Canada says talks on track

MONTREAL — The Canadian government isn’t commenting directly on a report Germany is poised to reject a proposed trade deal between Canada and the European Union, instead insisting that work to finalize the agreement remains on track.

MONTREAL — The Canadian government isn’t commenting directly on a report Germany is poised to reject a proposed trade deal between Canada and the European Union, instead insisting that work to finalize the agreement remains on track.

The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung cited diplomats in Brussels as saying Berlin won’t sign the deal in its current form.

The sticking point is the legal protections granted to foreign investors, the newspaper said Saturday.

Critics say such provisions give companies too much power by allowing them to sue governments for unfair treatment.

A senior European Commission official told the German newspaper the trade deal is seen as a test on the issue for a far larger deal in the works with the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Shannon Gutoskie, a spokeswoman for International Minister Ed Fast, did not speak to the German newspaper report and would only say negotiations to put the finishing touches on the deal continue.

“Excellent progress is being made,” she said in a statement.

Canada and the EU reached an agreement in principle on the deal last October after four years of negotiations.

The Harper government trumpets the deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, as one of the biggest ever — one it says could benefit Canadian business more than NAFTA.

A longterm setback has the potential to be politically damaging to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has staked his government’s reputation on the potentially lucrative agreement.

Karel de Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, said this week a finalized agreement was still within reach, though he acknowledged negotiations have been difficult and complex.

“It has been very, very arduous to do this,” he told the European Parliament’s international trade committee on Tuesday.

The Council of Canadians cheered the possibility that Germany could reject the proposal.

Maude Barlow, the organization’s national chairwoman, said her group has been warning the legal protections granted to investors give foreign corporations the right to dictate domestic policy.

“We call it corporate rule. What these investor-state deals do is they give corporations the right to challenge domestic law, and we feel that is profoundly undemocratic,” Barlow said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Most Read