OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2012) - As Canada's 13 premiers gather in Halifax to discuss trade and the global economy, CUPE National president Paul Moist is urging premiers to think critically about the federal Conservative government's trade agenda.
Trade and investor protection deals such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union and the Canada-China Investor Protection Agreement pose serious risks to provinces' sovereignty. Both Ontario and Quebec are already facing legal challenges at the World Trade Organization for green energy initiatives and steps to ban shale gas fracking. The two newest trade deals on the table will go even further to tie the hands of provincial and municipal governments.
"Canada is a trading nation, but we cannot give away our natural resources and equip foreign multi-nationals and governments with the right to sue our governments or restrain their ability to govern in the interests of Canadians," said Moist. "These trade deals will lead to an extraordinary surrender of our sovereignty."
"Instead of deals that sacrifice the rights of Canadians to foreign investors, we need fair trade deals that support strategic value-added industries, and support higher wage jobs with improved labour and social standards in Canada and around the world," added Moist. "I hope that Canada's premiers will use this meeting as an opportunity to think critically about the federal government's current approach to trade."
Canada's 13 premiers are meeting in Halifax November 22-23. The Council of the Federation is comprised of all 13 provincial and territorial premiers. It enables premiers to work collaboratively to strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship among the provinces and territories, and with the federal government.
Read the letter from Paul Moist to Canada's premiers and territorial leaders.