NDP wants full story on CETA implications

NDP MHA Christopher Mitchelmore (The Straits-White Bay North) says the provincial government is quick to promote perceived benefits in the agreement and principle of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement but not so willing to discuss all the potential implications of the EU deal signed with Prime Minister Harper.

“This agreement is a long way from finished and if we’ve learned anything about the Harper and Dunderdale Governments it’s that the forthcoming details will tell the true story,” said Mitchelmore, who is the NDP critic for both Industry, Business & Rural Development, and Fisheries & Aquaculture.

“Some are saying this is the beginning of the end for our province’s minimum processing requirements,” said Mitchelmore, “and it remains to be seen if this will be an improvement for the provincial fishing industry.”

Opposition parties were given a 15-minute briefing, scheduled with less than an hour’s notice on the CETA deal, so there is much yet to be absorbed, says Mitchelmore. “The devil may very well prove to be in the details,” he said. “We heard about lifting of fisheries tariffs today, which is good news for the industry but there is a lot that has to be talked about – including whether the workers in the industry will benefit.

“My caucus would like to know the impact on municipal procurement, for example, and on pharmacy costs to both government and individual consumers.

“In addition, is there some reassurance for plant workers concerned about potential job losses due to the lifting of minimum processing requirements? Has our premier negotiated for them as Ontario’s premier has for the dairy farmers?”

The 28 EU member nations will each have to approve the CETA deal, and it will be at least five years before the agreement comes fully into effect. Mitchelmore said, “There is still much more work to be done with this trade agreement – here in the province, in Ottawa and across the EU. I look forward to discussing all the potential implications and opportunities with stakeholders across the province.”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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