Monday, July 26, 2010

 

“Sometimes it’s easier for Canadian politicians to say: ‘Brussels made me do it’.”

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BC Mary comment: B.C. taxpayers paid for Gordon Campbell's journey to this year's Bilderberg Conference in Sitges, Spain. We wondered why he was there, didn't we? And our own mainstream media never explained, did they? Well, I think the answer is embedded in this report, published by Reuters, picked up today by The Globe and Mail. 


Click HERE for the full news report.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/eu-eyes-canadas-lucrative-public-works-contracts/article1651777/

EUROPEAN UNION EYES CANADA'S LUCRATIVE PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS



Meetings on Canada-Europe free-trade deal included talks on access to about $100-billion a year in federal contracts

Article Comments (52)
Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck
Brussels — Reuters
Published on Monday, July 26, 2010

Access to Canada’s lucrative public works market is propelling the European Union towards a free trade pact with Ottawa despite fears a deal could swamp Europe with cheap goods or erode environmental rules in Canada.

Meetings in Brussels between the EU and Canada this month ran longer than expected as negotiators considered allowing European bids for public works contracts in Canada worth an estimated $100-billion a year.

{Snip} ... European industry wants access to Canada’s regional and local public works contracts, from provincial energy infrastructure to municipal water works and hospital equipment. {Snip} ...

Clouding formal talks among Europeans are fears that a free-trade area with Canada, a member of the North American free-trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, will create a corridor for cheap non-Canadian foods and goods to flood into Europe and put local producers out of business.

{Snip} ... Opposition is mounting among Canadian activists travelling to Brussels to garner support from European lawmakers who have the power to block a deal.

The activists say opening up public procurement contracts such as for municipal water works to private providers, or extending EU drug patents, would erode key social services.

They say environmental protection could be at risk if Canada signs new guarantees for European investment in exploiting the Alberta oil sands.

“Members of the European Parliament typically think this is an uncontentious issue,” said Larry Brown, national secretary for Canada’s National Union of Public and General Employees. “The more we go into detail, the more worried they become.”

The European Commission, which negotiates trade accords on behalf of European member states, has dismissed such concerns as premature. But European businesses have urged its trade commissioner to secure guarantees for Europe’s energy and pharmaceuticals sectors. {Snip} ...

Beyond international ambitions, a deal could advance long-standing federal Canadian aims of breaking the hold of Canada’s powerful provinces over local contracts and trade, according to Canadian observers.

“It’s an important agreement for European and Canadian business, and one hopes it will break down some of our inter-provincial trade barriers,” said Jason Langrish, director of the Canada Europe Round Table for Business.

“Sometimes it’s easier for Canadian politicians to say: ‘Brussels made me do it’.”

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