he Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)

The Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is a critical piece of negotiation that the Canadian government is deeply involved in. And Harper is not talking about it in this election.

It is a free trade agreement that will undermine key parts of the Canadian economy and attack and open the door to privatization of key social programs such as Medicare.

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Statement from the petition of the National Farmers Union to the House of Commons:

The Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, recognize that the agreement known as CETA between Canada and the European Commission will impact all aspects of our lives. This proposed agreement will jeopardize the ability of governments and their instruments (schools, hospitals, universities, and public utilities or agencies) at all levels to procure goods and services that favour in any way local and domestic businesses thereby, for example, destroying arrangements that specifically source local food. The European position in this agreement is also calling for extended patents and the inclusion of severe enforcement procedures of intellectual property rights. This would include the judicial precautionary seizure of movable and immovable property, and the freezing of bank accounts of an ALLEGED infringer and any third party deemed to have assisted in the ALLEGED infringement. Farmers could see their homes, land, equipment, crops seized and bank accounts frozen for being accused of using seed (including their own that may have been inadvertently contaminated) that has a gene patent or any other form of intellectual property attached to it.

We further recognize that the extended patents and further restrictions on public access to data on which regulators base their approvals, for example on new pharmaceuticals, will drive up the cost of public health care of which pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are among the largest budget items.

Therefore, your petitioners call on Parliament to refrain from entering into any agreement that would restrict or prohibit governments from favouring local goods, services, and local food. Further, we call on Parliament to reject any agreement such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that would threaten in any way the ability of farmers to save, reuse, exchange, and sell seeds. We further call for the outright rejection of any provisions that would allow for the precautionary seizure of crops, homes, land, equipment, and the freezing of bank accounts for ALLEGED infringement of intellectual property. We demand Parliament reject all provisions that would increase the cost of public health care that this agreement includes. We call on Parliament to fully disclose the content of this agreement, including the drafts and texts, throughout the entire negotiation process to the citizens of Canada