Did you know about this? I didn't know about it. Apparently it's a deep dark secret.... just like the the Security and Prosperity Partnership.
Now, I happen to think a much more robust trade deal with the European Union is a good idea. This country needs to get out from under the economic dependency of being strapped to the US. But given the conditions that seem to come with it, it's not the right way to do it. And since it's being driven by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, you just know the average Canadian is going to get thoroughly and properly screwed. That and one other important and salient point:
Harper is preparing entering into major trade negotiations without consulting Canadians. He's checked it out with big business but he's afraid to put it on the table for the Canadian electorate. And he has the perfect opportunity to do so in an election campaign.
So, why isn't he doing it? Easy. He has polls which tell him it is politically unpalatable. In other words, the political impact is negative and the communications strategy has not yet been formulated. The "jelly bean" lines have yet to be properly refined.
You see, this will set off a firestorm of protest:
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.Yes, you read that correctly. Governments - plural. Even provincial and municipal governments.
If Harper goes ahead with this, having had it in his pocket during an election and doesn't put it to the electorate, even if he wins a majority, he will have no mandate to proceed. Witholding this kind of information is patently dishonest. And Harper needs to learn that those CEOs have the same number of votes as every other Canadian over the age of 18 - one each.
Go read Alison.