The story But what about our water? (Advocate, Jan. 26) noted aspects of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement — Canada and Europe that should concern us all.
Red Deer city council would be well advised to speak out against CETA, as it threatens not only our water, but many of the powers and responsibilities of municipal government. CETA would prohibit buy-local or buy-Canadian preferences in contracts, or requiring that bidders use some proportion of local or Canadian goods, services or labour.
Municipalities would lose procurement as a local economic or social development tool.
CETA would prohibit municipalities from creating or supporting a market for innovative goods and services, including green technologies, if the effect would favour Canadian producers or attract investment to Canada.
It would prohibit municipalities from prioritizing purchases that support sustainability such as buy-local food policies like the one Toronto passed to reduce emissions from transporting food long distances. In general, CETA prohibits support of the local economy by municipal government through purchasing (“procurement” in government lingo).
CETA opens the door to commercialized water services and treatment. Local government now plays a key role in water services and many other quality of life issues, but our federal government seems bent on removing municipal authority to govern in those areas.