EU Trade Deal worse than NAFTA: Toronto calls for protection



(CUPE) -- In a decisive 36-5 vote, Toronto city council has passed a motion asking to be shielded from the terms and conditions of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) being negotiated between Canada and the European Union.

On the same evening, the municipality of Thorold, Ontario, also passed a motion calling for an exemption from CETA.

The municipalities join nearly 50 other communities demanding CETA exemptions. There is growing municipal concern that the deal will limit municipal policy-making and purchasing powers that protect public services and local investment.

The Toronto motion calls on the Ontario government to:

Negotiate a permanent exemption from the trade deal for Toronto

Protect the powers of other municipalities and public agencies like hospitals, school boards, utilities and universities

Disclose details of the trade talks, in particular what the province has put on the table when it comes to purchasing, services and investment proposals

The motion also asks the federal government to protect Toronto’s powers “to create local jobs, protect the environment, and provide services and programs as it sees fit” without any interference from CETA rules.

A broad coalition of labour, social justice and environmental groups helped raise awareness with city councillors, and made presentations to the city's executive committee on the motion.

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