(Saskatoon, SK, October 17, 2013) – Of all the negative actions that Harper has taken, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is by far the worst. Harper has sold Canadians out to be governed by foreign corporations.
“The devil is always in the detail, which this government has never disclosed,” contended Terry Boehm, President of the National Farmers Union (NFU). “We do know from leaked draft texts and from the EU’s similar agreement with South Korea that CETA is essentially a ‘Corporate Bill of Rights.’”
“Canadians are losing the fundamental tools of economic policy. We cannot restrict the movement of capital, which make us vulnerable to wild currency fluctuations. Except for six-month terms during emergencies, we cannot take measures to influence our balance of payments. This is disastrous for our economic sovereignty,” Boehm pointed out. “Nor can we use offsets in regard to covered procurements – all those goods and services tendered by all levels of government, such as schools hospitals and creatures of government such as crown corporations.”
Boehm quoted the definition of an offset from a leaked draft of the CETA text: “any condition or undertaking that encourages local development or improves a party’s balance of payment accounts such as the use of domestic content, the licensing of technology, investment, countertrade and similar actions or requirements.”
“We are witnessing the destruction of our autonomy as farmers, governments and citizens. Local food systems will be severely restricted. Harper’s negotiating tactic allowing increased importation of European cheeses will have negative effects on dairy farmers. As well, the increase in beef exports to the EU is a red herring – we have not filled existing export quotas for hormone-free beef to this point,” he exclaimed.
“From reading CETA’s precursor texts, this deal is horrendous no matter which way you look at it. We need Harper to open CETA’s final text for all to see, and to let Canadians say no if they don’t like what they see. Canada’s successful future depends on it,” Boehm concluded.
– 30 –
For more information:
Terry Boehm, NFU President: T: 306-255-2880; C: 306-255-7638; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org