Fwd: Canada-EU deal ‘groundbreaking’ in scope


Richard Moore

Begin forwarded message:

From: Constance Fogal <•••@••.•••>
Date: October 6, 2008 6:46:24 AM GMT+01:00
Subject: [Fogal_contacts] Quebec premier says Canada-EU deal’groundbreaking’  in scope
From: Brent Patterson
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2008 8:42 AM
Subject: [coc-chaps-l] NEWS: Quebec premier says Canada-EU deal’groundbreaking’
in scope
Dear chapter activists,
As reported in today’s Globe and Mail, Quebec Premier Jean Charest “described
the proposed (Canada-European Union deep integration) pact as a groundbreaking
initiative on a scale that has never been attempted. The accord would go well
beyond the scope of the NAFTA agreement between Canada and the United States by
encompassing not only trade in goods and services but also the free movement of
skilled workers and an open market in government services and procurement…Mr.
Charest has been involved in the initiative involving the EU countries for two
years, including lobbying business leaders in its member countries…The pitch he
is making to Europeans is to do a deal with Canada that can serve as a model for
something far more ambitious with the United States.”
The newspaper report adds, “Canada’s premiers will play a pivotal role in the
country’s efforts to integrate its economy with the 27 nations of the European
Union, Quebec Premier Jean Charest says. Preliminary talks between Canadian and
European officials will begin on Oct. 17 at a summit in Montreal. The provinces’
role in the negotiations will be instrumental to the fate of the proposed
massive agreement because it involves issues that primarily fall under their
jurisdiction, Mr. Charest told The Globe and Mail yesterday. No deal could
happen without the premiers at the table, he said.”
The full article can be read at
To respond to the Council of Canadians action alert demanding the release of the
draft text of the Canada-EU deal, please go to
As reported in the Globe and Mail on September 18, “Canadian and European
officials say they plan to begin negotiating a massive agreement to integrate
Canada’s economy with the 27 nations of the European Union, with preliminary
talks to be launched at an Oct. 17 summit in Montreal three days after the
federal election.” The article continues, “…a senior EU official involved in
the talks described (them) as ‘deep economic integration negotiations.’”
The article states, “The proposed pact would far exceed the scope of older
agreements such as NAFTA by encompassing not only unrestricted trade in goods,
services and investment and the removal of tariffs, but also the free movement
of skilled people and an open market in government services and procurement –
which would require that Canadian governments allow European companies to bid as
equals on government contracts for both goods and services and end the favouring
of local or national providers of public-sector services.”
The Globe reports, “Because of the election, Mr. Harper appears to have decided
not to unveil a full text of the proposed agreement, but instead to use the
summit to inaugurate the trade talks with the launch of a ‘scoping exercise’
that will quickly set the goals of the pact and lead to formal ‘comprehensive
trade and investment negotiations’ to begin in ‘early 2009,’ according to
communications between senior Canadian and European officials examined by The
Globe and Mail…The two governments have completed a detailed study of the
proposed agreement that will be unveiled shortly after the election, should the
Conservatives win. Both Ottawa and Brussels have had staff work on a draft text
for a deal they had hoped would be introduced at a Canada-EU summit, to be
attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso and Mr. Harper in Montreal on Oct. 17.”
While the public has not been allowed to see the study or the draft text,
apparently large corporations have. The article notes, “Proponents, including
all of Canada’s major business-lobby organizations, are in favour of the deal…”
As reported on September 19 in the Metro Canada newspapers in Halifax, Edmonton,
Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper must make
public the draft text of a new ‘deep economic integration’ trade deal with the
European Union that rivals NAFTA in scope before voters go to the polls on Oct.
14, says the Council of Canadians.”
The article continues, “‘The prime minister should be accountable to the public
and release the text immediately so that voters can make an informed decision on
a deal that will be further negotiated in Montreal just three days after the
federal election,’ said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of
Canadians. ‘Stephen Harper ran on a campaign of accountability in the 2006
election, promising to bring significant international treaties to Parliament.
He must keep his word, be accountable, and release the draft text of this
sweeping new trade deal immediately.'”
The Metro article also reports, “While the text has not been released, it
reportedly includes the unrestricted trade in goods, services and investment,
the removal of tariffs, and an open market in government services and
procurement — which would require the Canadian government to allow European
companies to bid as equals on government contracts for both goods and services,
and to not give preference to local or national providers of public-sector
In Canada, Metro editions are published in: Halifax, Montreal (in French),
Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Metro targets 18-49 year olds
and has a circulation (as of September 18, 2008) of 1,007,800 readers. Metro
Canada is part of the Metro International network, the world’s largest global
Maclean’s magazine national editor and CBC political panel regular Andrew Coyne
writes (unkindly) in his September 18 Macleans.ca blog that, “One unanticipated
consequence of the Canada-EU deal, even before it’s been struck — we can no
longer accuse the Council of Canadians of being narrowly anti-American. It turns
out they’re also anti-European! Or perhaps they’re just shills for the
public-sector unions:”
He then quotes our recent media release on this trade deal at length and
concludes, “That said, I agree with the Council — show us the text! The time to
talk about this is during the election, not after.”
You can read this at
A recent CUPE media release states, “The Canadian Union of Public Employees is
asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end his secrecy surrounding
Canada-European Union trade talks and make it an election issue. The potential
trade deal has serious implications for Canadians, and details about the
agreement must be made public as citizens choose their next government.”
The full CUPE media release can be read at http://cupe.ca/trade/eu-trade-talks.
It notes, in part, “The North American Free Trade Agreement has already ushered
in privatization and foreign ownership while threatening quality Canadian jobs.
We need to renegotiate our current trade agreements. Why should Canada enter a
new trade deal with Europe if our own Prime Minister can’t share the details
with us during an election?”
A Council of Canadians rabble.ca blog on this issue can be read at
Brent Patterson
Director of Campaigns and Communications
The Council of Canadians
700-170 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V5
1-800-387-7177 ext. 291
Telephone Connie Fogal at: 604 872 2128