Media Release

Canada –EU Trade Deal Drastically Undermines Environmental Protection says Canadian Environmental Law Association

Oct 18 2013

TORONTO - Today the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) expressed its utmost concern about the agreement in principle on the Canadian and European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The Agreement is said to be the most comprehensive trade agreement to which Canada has been a party.

The Agreement will dramatically impact environmental protection in Canada, through the unprecedented liberalization of essential pubic services and provisions governing government procurement. Under CETA, essential public services such as municipal water and waste water would no longer have to remain in the public domain. CETA could, thus, lead to the privatization of essential public services and compromise Canadian governments’ willingness to impose environmental, health and safety costs on providing those services to the public.

The Agreement would also for the first time at all levels of Canadian government open public procurement to European suppliers. This raises very serious concerns about the ability of local governments to foster local sustainable development.

CELA has called on the province not to consent to the Agreement unless strong and clear environmental safeguards are established to protect essential public services and measures are in place to protect Ontario’s environment and ensure sustainable economic development.

CELA has also expressed strong concerns about the secrecy surrounding the text of the Agreement and the lack of public transparency and opportunity for public input on the negotiations between the Federal government and the European Union. Given the significant implications CETA will have on future environmental, economic and social development in Canada, CELA calls on the Federal government to disclose the most recent draft of CETA to Canadians so that the Agreement can be subject to public scrutiny.

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For further information, please contact:
Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director, 416-960-2284 ext. 219, c: (416) 662-8341
or Ramani Nadarajah, counsel, (416) 960-2284 ext 217.