As International Trade Minister Ed Fast returns from negotiations in Europe that failed to secure a deal on the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, newly leaked documents to the CAQ and posted by LaPresse provide a detailed look at the remaining outstanding issues with details on the Canadian and European positions.
The Canada - EU Trade Agreement negotiations continue this week in Brussels with both parties hoping to wrap up many outstanding issues. According to information provided by Canadian officials at a briefing earlier next month, the plan is to narrow the areas of disagreement to no more than ten issues, with ministers meeting in Europe in November to try to forge an agreement on the contentious areas.
The Motion Picture Association - Canada reports meeting with Canadian Heritage Minister, Foreign Minister, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister all on the same day. These meetings occured less than three weeks after the introduction of Bill C-11 and the decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Ministers were willing to meet with the top U.S. copyright lobby group, but not with Canadian creator, consumer, or education groups who offered a much different perspective on legislative reform.
At Davos last week, the EU stated it wants to protect its policy space when it comes to water, but Canada is seeking no such protection. It's a case of European private water giants having their cake and eating it too. In other words, they protect public services at home, but want their own firms to lay siege to public systems abroad.
Already there is speculation as to whether Gaddafi's death will boost the Obama's approval rating, which hit a new low last week of 41 per cent (his popularity soared to 60 per cent after the killing of Osama). I'd bet that Obama won't get too much bounce from this one: The Seal Team 6 operation that destroyed Osama was brave and laudable; by contrast, there was something deeply sickening about seeing the bloodied Gadaffi being set upon by a chanting mob. Reacting to these images, HuffPost contributor Tarek Fatah bemoaned the onset of an Arab Winter. On a less ghoulish note, in a blog published on Tuesday, entitled "Jamie Hubley Didn't Have to Die," lawyer Josh Scheinert implored Canadians to follow the "It Gets Better Project." And then lo and behold, a group of Conservative MPs got together and released an anti-bullying video, in memory of Hubley, entitled guess what? "It Gets Better."
European corporations want to sell Canadians the services we now receive publicly, services such as health care, education, water and mail delivery, and CETA will give these private companies the right to bid on government tenders for goods and services including schools, hospitals, airports, and hydro projects.