CETA: a terrible deal for Canadians

Canadian unions affiliated to Public Services International, the global union that represents 20 million public sector workers world-wide, say their strong objection to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) stands despite recent backroom changes to the investment provisions in the trade deal.

CETA was a key agenda item at the recent meeting of the North American PSI affiliates, hosted by the PSAC  March 3- 4 in Ottawa.

“We want to make sure that European parliamentarians and unions understand it is our position that CETA remains a terrible deal that gives foreign corporations the power to sidestep domestic courts and sue governments if they think a public policy decision could interfere with their profit-making,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President.

“PSAC will also continue to work with other Canadian public sector unions to sensitize Canadians and mobilize against the dangerous provisions in CETA as it will most likely pave the way for other agreements such as the TTIP and TPP,” she added.   

Co-chaired by PSAC National President Robyn Benson, the meeting heard reports of PSI North American affiliates and some public service sectors. Presentations were made on important issues such as organizing, labour rights, and privatization.

Problems with CETA

  • Foreign corporations would have unprecedented power to sidestep domestic courts and sue our government if a public policy decision is deemed to prevent future profit
  • Cost of pharmaceuticals would increase by 1 billion per year
  • It would be harder to reverse failed privatizations in sectors such as healthcare, water or energy, or to expand public services in the future
  • The rights of provinces, municipalities, schools and hospitals would be limited to get the most out of their procurement spending by favoring local goods and services


  • Canada is the most-sued developed country under existing investor rights rules in NAFTA. 
  • Canada has already paid more than $200 million to corporations 


April 11, 2016