Letter to the Editor: European Trade

Mr. Harper is very pleased, after several years of secret negotiations, to have signed an initial trade agreement with the European Union.

Mr. Harper is very pleased, after several years of secret negotiations, to have signed an initial trade agreement with the European Union (CETA). Of course, we do not know what benefits, if any, will accrue to the average Canadian; but we can assume that a few will benefit enormously and that others will pay the price.

Fortunately, several further steps are required before the agreement can be finalised, providing us some time to question the deal.

As with previous trade agreements, Canada will sacrifice some sovereignty and will be subject to legal proceedings if we transgress.

NAFTA (1989) in effect granted a private investor (a multi-national corporation, et al) the right to sue a national government for taking measures that could adversely affect “the investment”. Billions of dollars have already been paid by countries which were guilty of passing legislation protecting their own people.

It appears that this “right to sue” has spawned a new international industry involving hundreds of high-priced lawyers.

We need to know what’s in it for Canadians.

Bud Abbott/Cranbrook