Proposed Canada-EU trade agreement a threat to procurement and public services: report

April 19, 2010

OTTAWA—The proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) poses a serious threat to Canada’s procurement policies and a broad range of public services, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The release of the report, which draws heavily on leaked documents including the draft negotiating text, coincides with the third round of negotiations between Canada and the European Union from April 19-23 in Ottawa.

According to the analysis, the proposed CETA would  have an adverse impact on public services, such as waste, drinking water, and public transit. The proposed rules would entrench commercialization, especially public-private partnerships;  prohibit governments from obliging foreign investors to purchase locally, transfer technology or train local workers; and make it far harder for governments to reverse  failed privatizations.

“Government procurement at the sub-federal level is one of the few remaining areas of significant policy flexibility under Canada’s international trade treaties,” said Scott Sinclair author of the CCPA report.  “Provincial, territorial and municipal governments  should not discard this important policy tool  simply because the EU and the federal government demand it.”

One of the EU’s main targets in the talks is Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which offers subsidies in return for cleaner energy sources and local job creation.  EU negotiators are trying to ensure that such policies do not spread across the country, the report notes.

“Unless citizens and their elected representatives speak up forcefully and take action soon, the CETA puts the future of these procurement policy tools and public services at serious risk, ” said Sinclair.


Negotiating From Weakness: Canada-EU trade treaty threatens Canadian purchasing policies and public services is available on the CCPA website:

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, Senior CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.