Open Letter to the Premier: Don’t let CETA cost Ontario 70,000 jobs

Dear Premier McGuinty: 
I’m deeply concerned that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that the federal government is negotiating with the European Union is not in Ontario’s best interest.
According to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ontario could lose up to 70,000 jobs if CETA is implemented. Ontario cannot sustain job loses of this magnitude.
The Green Party of Ontario has raised concerns about CETA in the past. Since CETA is currently being negotiated behind closed doors, it is difficult to obtain details of the proposed agreement. However, NGO and media reports suggest that CETA may threaten local purchasing programs, public utilities and delivery of public services such as education and health care, and sovereignty over natural resources. 
CETA is the first trade agreement that would apply to provincial and municipal governments. It may also expand the scope of other trade deals without due consideration. For example, under NAFTA rules, any rights granted to European corporations under CETA would also automatically apply to North American companies. 
The federal government is seeking input from the provinces. I strongly encourage you stand up for Ontario. At a minimum I believe Ontario should:

  • seek to exempt natural resources, local purchasing programs, public utilities and services such as education and health care, and municipalities from CETA. 
  • push for open and transparent negotiations, and
  • demand a change to the dispute mechanisms to put democratically elected governments and/or the courts in charge, not closed-door tribunals.

The Green Party supports free, fair trade with Europe, while maintaining democratic control over our natural resources, local job programs and public services. 
Over 50 municipalities and school boards are seeking an exemption from CETA. 
Premier, please stand up for Ontario in the CETA negotiations.

Mike Schreiner
Green Party of Ontario