Invitation to Can-EU FTA discussions in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal
If you are concerned with how sweeping free trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union may affect public services, labour rights, environmental policy, culture, economic development, food policy, water services, and more, then please read on.
We would like to invite you to an important event on the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade negotiations. We wish to invite discussion on the largest, most intrusive free trade deal that Canada has ever entered into. Negotiations are progressing quickly, with little public scrutiny.
Canada is offering to make commitments that go beyond NAFTA and the WTO. On the table are chapters on services and investment, domestic regulation and standards, public procurement, and intellectual property rights.
Canada is also pushing to include a controversial, NAFTA-like, investor-state dispute mechanism that will allow European companies to sue the federal, provincial and municipal governments if they enact policies that interfere with profits.
To help us shed light on the European Union’s free trade agenda, we have invited three people from the trade justice movement in Europe to speak at public events in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto from April 19 to 21, 2010.
Gérard Choplin, coordinator with Via Campesina Europe, will speak about the effects of trade liberalization on food, farming and seeds. Frédéric Viale with Attac-France will describe Europe’s trade agenda, and how aggressively the European Commission pursues public policy changes abroad through free trade deals. Rolv Hanssen of Public Services International will speak about the privatization agenda of European service corporations and the Canada-E.U. union resistance to the current free trade negotiations.
We invite you to attend one of the following free and open public events:
Ottawa: Monday, April 19, 7:00 p.m.
Saint Paul University Amphitheatre
223 Main Street (side-door off parking lot)
Montreal: Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.
Pavillon Athanase-David de l’UQAM, local D-R200
1430, rue Saint-Denis (angle Maisonneuve, métro Berri-UQAM)
Toronto: Wednesday, April 21, 7:00 p.m.
University of Toronto, International Student Centre (Cumberland Room), 33 St. George Street (just north of College)
These events are organized by a new Trade Justice Network/Réseau pour la justice dans le commerce, a grouping of environmental, labour, cultural, and other organizations, which has come together to challenge the corporate priorities and secretive negotiating process of the proposed Canada-E.U. free trade agreement.
In this time of economic and environmental crisis, people around the world recognize that it is imperative to shift the global trade and investment regime away from corporate priorities and toward principles of sustainability, human rights, and social justice. The Canada-E.U. negotiations make these goals more difficult to attain. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic intend to limit the scope of public policies while increasing the range of corporate power.
We hope you will join us to hear from our European friends about how we can work together to get the trade and economic policies we really need.
Janet M Eaton, PhD
Trade and Environment Campaigner,
Sierra Club of Canada
For the Trade Justice Network: