Message from Maude Barlow from Canada:
I would like to express our solidarity from Canada with your rally against CETA! Let me assure you that what you are doing here is resonating on the other side of the Atlantic, inspiring many, many people to also oppose corporate style globalization.
And the movement is coming alive!! You have successfully put TTIP on life support. Chalk one up for democracy. But now, our politicians are going to pull another one over us with CETA, the Canadian-EU trade agreement.
But you are here, because you and we will not be fooled! CETA IS TTIP, THROUGH CANADA. It is just as dangerous as TTIP.
We have 42,000 US companies which will be empowered through CETA to sue European governments with the Investor Court System. Canadians can tell Europeans what it is like being on the receiving end of such challenges. Since NAFTA was adopted, Canada has been sued 39 times by American corporations and paid out over 135 million Euros in penalties. Canada is currently facing 1.75 billion Euros worth of challenges, two thirds of them related to environmental rules. These include challenges to bans on fracking, lawn pesticides, and the cross border export of PCBs. These same American (and Canadian) companies will use CETA to do the same thing to Europe.
Canada is also home to the most aggressive mining industry in the world, cited in industry studies as having the worst record of human rights and environmental abuses, and who are repeat users of ISDS. We have a tar sands industry eager to use CETA to lower your fuel quality requirements and export dirty oil to Europe. We have agribusiness eager to open up your food quality standards to GMOs, hormones, pesticides, and factory farm practices that disregard animal welfare.
To our politicians, who are rushing to get this agreement through, arguing that it is a dire situation: I want to say that there is a need to take a break, analyze this agreement properly, and weigh the consequences of the details before we rush into committing a dire mistake.
In that spirit, we must not let our leaders provisionally apply CETA. We won the right for parliaments to have a final say on the deal. Provisionally applying CETA is fundamentally undemocratic and would undo all of that. And the last thing the EU – or any country needs – is another top-heavy decision made by elites. That is not what people all over the world are screaming for.
There is something profoundly wrong with the current form of economic globalization characterized and protected by corporate-friendly trade agreements like TTIP and CETA. Too few are benefitting; too much damage is being done to the natural world. If ever there was a time for courage and a vision for a more just system of growing food, producing energy and trading across borders, this is it. Much rests on what we do now!