Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union

Canada has been negotiating a new trade agreement with the European Union, an agreement that could hurt local governments. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could take away your municipalities’ right to have buy local & buy Canadian policies, increase your administrative costs through forced reporting, and threaten sovereignty over water.

The agreement is complex and to help inform local governments we have commissioned a legal opinion from renowned trade lawyer Steven Shrybman. Included is an issue backgrounder highlighting the potential loss of ‘buy local’ policies and services.

Why should you care? Buy local policies are important tools for stimulating local economic activity, job creation and innovation, and are often the backbone of other public policy goals such as food security and social equity.

Download the Legal Opinion prepared by trade lawyer Steven Shrybman (Sach Goldblatt Mitchell LLP) for the Centre for Civic Governance

Download The Centre for Civic Governance CETA issue sheet

Local Governments Protect Their Rights

September 2010, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) pass a resolution calling on the federal government to inform local governments about any CETA policies that may affect local procurement and to adopt a negotiating position that supports reciprocity. Copy of Motion.

September 2010, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) pass a resolution calling on the federal government to respect municipal autonomy in trade negotiations with the European Union. Copy of Motion.

October 2010, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) pass a resolution calling on the provincial government to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA. Copy of Motion.

October 2010, the National Farmers Union issues statement on CETA, warning that the agreement could prevent municipalities from setting local food preference policies and even extinguish farmers’ rights to save and re-use seeds. Click here for more information.

Latest News

What’s the Big Deal About CETA? – The Tyee, May 3, 2012

Walkom: Toronto’s last-ditch attempt to soften Canada-EU free trade dealToronto Star, March 07, 2012

Canada-Europe trade deal prohibits provinces, municipalities from favouring local bidders on contracts – Toronto Star, February 24th, 2012

Letter to the Editor: CETA will rob cities of vital tools – iPolitics, February 20th, 2012

Municipalities must demand consultation -The Daily News, November 12, 2011

Canada-European Union free trade: What’s in it for Hamilton? – Raise the Hammer, October 17, 2011

Norwood calling for action on trade agreement – The Community Press, Friday August 12th, 2011

Local CETA water concerns linger – The Squamish Chief, Friday July 22nd, 2011

Group calls for more transparency in European trade negotiations – Global Sakatoon, Friday, July 15th, 2011

City to voice opposition to CETA deal – The Grand Forks Gazette, July 13th, 2001

Euro trade pact worries ‘Buy Local’ movement – The Tyee, June 4th, 2011

Trade deal a gamble for municipalities – The Chronical Herald, June 9th, 2011

CETA: A hot topic at gathering of municipal leaders – CCPA, June 7th, 2011

EU trade deal could cost Canadian drug plans billions – Globe and Mail, February 7th, 2011

The Europeans are coming – A story published by the Yukon News describes likely impacts of CETA on the environment, jobs and local procurement policies.

What you don’t know about a deal you haven’t heard of – By Maude Barlow, published in the Globe and Mai, Jan 6th, 2011

Other Useful Resources

Centre for Civic GovernanceThree BC Municipalities Reject the Terms of the Canada EU Trade Agreement 

Negotiating from weakness: Canada-EU trade treaty threatens Canadian purchasing policies and public services – A report by Scott Sinclair for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Council of Canadians – Report on privatization of our water, Public Water for Sale: How Canada Will Privatize Our Public Water Systems, ACTION ALERT: Canada and EU exchange procurement offers – Make them public now! 

Transfair CanadaOur Dollars, Our Values

Council of Canadianswww.canadians.org

A Leaked Draft of the CETA text, dated January 2010, can be downloaded from the Trade Justice Network website

Official Canada – European Union CETA website – click here

About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.