December 21, 2010

Canada’s public water systems could be up for sale under CETA

Canada’s public water systems could be up for sale under CETA

The Council of Canadians and The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) released a report last week raising serious concerns about the threat a trade deal with the European Union poses to Canada’s public water systems.

Public Water For Sale: How Canada will privatize our public water systems is a report to municipal, provincial and territorial governments regarding the Canada European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It warns that public water in Canada will be lost unless the provinces and territories take immediate steps to remove water from the scope of negotiations.

CETA would open up public municipal water systems across Canada to privatization. Europe is home to private water giants such as Veolia Environment and Suez. At the request of these private, for-profit water corporations, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments are considering including drinking water and wastewater services in their services commitments under CETA. Once systems are privatized, public control and accountability would be lost.

“CETA is a water privatization deal,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “Our public water is being negotiated away behind closed doors. We need to act now or we will wake up one morning and our public water systems will be gone.”

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CUPE and the Council of Canadians are calling on the provinces and territories to assert their jurisdiction and protect water from being opened up to private corporate interests.

To read the report, go here.

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