TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's trade deal with the European Union is still a long way from full implementation, and Unifor is pledging to continue pushing back in favour of fair trade to benefit working people.
"This is a bad deal for working Canadians," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. "The Harper Government negotiated this deal in secret, and it continues to be rammed through without Canadians ever getting the chance to debate and review it."
The only public review of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) took place in 2013, based only on a partial release of the text. Not only has no public review ever taken place of the full text, but the fundamentals of the deal have changed since then, Dias said, pointing to Britain's vote to leave the European Union and changes to CETA's Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system.
"The world has changed since CETA was first negotiated and there is just too much wrong for it to be allowed to go ahead," Dais said. "A key issue of concern is imbalance. The ISDS continues to give too much power to corporations, jobs will be lost, inequality will rise and drug costs will go up."
Dias rejected a claim by Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne that opposition to the deal is "philosophically-driven," saying, "such comments show a real insensitivity to the real pain that poorly negotiated and corporate-driven trade deals have caused right across this country."
Unifor will continue to work with its allies in Canada and Europe as CETA passes through each of the parliaments of Europe and the Canadian Senate to prevent its full implementation, Dias said.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. To read Unifor's policy paper on trade, click here. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at [email protected] or (cell) 647-385-4054.