From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Silent Destruction of Canadians Ability to Govern Themselves

Little by little through trade and security deals such as CETA and Beyond Borders we are losing the ability to make our own decisions regarding the governance of our country. Yet despite the profound effect these and other such agreements have on our lives we are given no say whatsoever in the process.Even worse,we are kept in the dark, often not even aware that negotiations are being held until they are fait accompli.

One such event happened at the WTO in December where Canada agreed along with the US,EU and several other nations to open up government procurement to foreign competition.

The World Trade Organisation’s negotiations on government procurement concluded successfully on 15 December after the Parties of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) reached an agreement on an updated set of tender rules and additional market access commitments. The GPA covers trade in the domain of public procurement worth 500 billion Euros globally annually. According to WTO estimates, the revision of the GPA will bring extra procurement opportunities worth around 100 billion Euros.

It is believed that not just federal but provincial and municipal procurement is on the table in the now almost completed CETA talks and this agreement confirms that fear as Harper offered them up in this WTO agreement.

New market access opportunities: The EU and U.S. expanded access to their central level entities, including important US Federal agencies. Canada offered access to procurement of its Provinces and Territories. Korea provides access to railway and urban transport procurement and Japan offered access to Public private partnerships and construction projects. Israel committed to phase out its offsets schedules and to lower its construction thresholds.

Slowly but surely,well not so slowly under Harper,in the backrooms of fancy hotels and resorts, our right to govern ourselves is being farmed out to unelected bodies in foreign lands. It is long past time that we put an end to this neoliberal nightmare.


  1. What does that actually mean? Can you give me the exact repercussions?

  2. It means that if a government wished to institute a buy local program for instance it couldn't. A prime example of the types of things no longer allowed would be Ontario's Green energy initiative and Canadian content rules in Toronto's streetcar purchase.
    Schools would no longer be able to keep their buy local food programs for their cafeterias.

    In short we will lose the ability to keep our tax dollars at home where they can do the most good, instead they will go to large foreign corporations.

  3. Quite possibly it goes beyond that too. Many free trade deals (including NAFTA) mean that local government can't enforce environmental (or other) regulations on foreign companies. There are numerous examples of this happening in NAFTA where local governments were sued, because they tried to enforce environmental protections.

    I'm not sure if it will be the same on this deal, but I wouldn't be suprised if it was.

  4. There is a chapter 11 type mechanism in CETA that will allow EU corporations to sue Canadian governments for decisions that effect their profits. This has happened already under NAFTA costing us 100's of millions and forced the repeal of a ban on a fuel additive in unleaded gas that is a known carcinogen

  5. hi Kev...excellent post. The problem with this latest sellout is that not enough Canadians know what's going on or what it means. So the more we can expose it the better. In the meantime welcome to Bananada...

  6. Hi Simon It's difficult for most to know of this shit when the government and the corporate media collude to keep it from them. I myself almost missed this one, I had bookmarked it to read several weeks ago and forgot to read it. Only found the bookmark when I decided to clean them out.

    Thankfully the EU isn't as secretive re trade as our governments have been and continue to be.