The NDP and CETA -

The NDP and CETA

A cabinet minister praises the official opposition


Whatever their concern for dairy farmers—the governments of Ontario and Quebec seem to have confronted the cheese question already—the New Democrats are at least not condemning the announcement of an agreement with Europe. And Jason Kenney is praising their “relatively balanced statement” on the matter. “Relatively balanced” is probably the nicest thing a member of the government has ever said about a member of the NDP. On this front in particular, the Conservatives are generally fond of labelling the NDP as “anti-trade.”

The NDP’s basic stance on free trade has been the subject of some fascination, with Mr. Mulcair credited for a shift in policy. On trade with Europe specifically, Mr. Mulcair explained himself to the Vancouver Sun in February and the Canadian Press in March.

Unifor, the union that resulted from the recent amalgamation of the Canadian Auto Workers and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers, released a statement yesterday on the proposed deal and made a similar appeal for transparency while noting several of its concerns. (Jim Stanford, an economist with Unifor, has suggested CETA could have a negative impact on Canada.) A collection of labour groups and organizations released a statement today calling for a thorough review.


The NDP and CETA

  1. It would be very surprising if Mulcair comes out against this trade deal. He was a cabinet minister in Charest’s government, when Charest was getting the ball rolling on this free-trade deal. Furthermore, he’s trying to make the NDP appeal to more than just the pro-union, far-left-wing crowd, and that might mean supporting such trade initiatives.

    • You mean the Charest the progressive conservative in a red cape, who was accused of corruption and lost his seat in the last Quebec election, oh, and wasn’t Tom approached by the same people who Charest was tied up with and he wouldn’t report it to the police. do you mean them guys ? my advice to the liberals, be careful what you sign with these cons, or you may wear it down the road. this deal just happened to happen too convenient.

      • It’s been 24 months in the making, if not longer. Hardly too convenient.

    • Mulcair will need to come out against this specific trade deal when the details are released. If he were to favour Harper’s trade deal, then he would be giving an endorsement to Harper. Also, many of his loyal supporters could abandon him.

      It would be wise for Mulcair to oppose the Harper specific trade deal. I do not suggest that Mulcair should recommend ripping-up the deal if he leads an NDP government. He should state that an NDP government will review the deal after two years and possibly recommend amendments if the costs of the trade deal are too severe for Canadians.

      Mulcair should be careful about the dairy industry. Since 50 percent of the dairy quota is in Quebec, Harper could exploit regional divisions and hurt the NDP outside Quebec as Harper promotes a consumer cheap milk and cheese agenda. Never mind that milk is usually sold as a loss-leader (below costs) in our supermarkets.

      • He’ll probably find the most ugly aspect and keep banging away on that – which actually be a good idea. Imagine if somebody back in 1984 had pointed out “y’know, if the Americans simply decide to with-hold money from free-trade tribunal decisions when they go in our favour, we can still be screwed anytime they want.”

      • Your conflating milk retails with milk producers. Milk producers aren’t selling their product “below cost”. They’re making a very, very handsome profit.

  2. both Mulcair and Trudeau are between a rock and a hard place here and no doubt about it – the funniest thing though is that this deal does change the channel and if the oppostion wastes all it’s time ranting about the Senate or legalizing pot – all they do is make themselves look sillier and sillier – Canadians love trade deals because it is in our genetices canada was built of the backs of traders – if the oppostion dartes stand in the way too much the train will run right over them and harper gets another majority – case closed and of this there is no doubt . This deal is the biggest thing since NAFTA and willl allow us to leverage our NAFTA though to the EU – think about if folks we are sitting pretty – just how it is

    • I disagree, Wayne: the stuff that regular folks — not ranting partisans like you and me — pay attention to is not trade deals, but exactly stuff like the Senate corruption. Stuff that makes you mad your tax money was used for, and that has no benefit to you, your family, your friends. And I should also remind you that not all Canadians have been Canadians back to our trader days. In fact, in my own little WASP, multi-generational Canadian family that traces back to UELs, we all married people whose families came here long after ours was here. Now we’ve got Italian and German and East Indian blood mixed in. And we are all Canadian. Cheers.

      • No way: the average Canadian is sick and tired of rehashing the so-called senate scandal. Full investigations are underway and besides, it is not JUST CPC senators on the hot seat – many Liberal senate corruption coming up.

        The average Canadian is very interested in the EU/Canada trade agreement.

        You are just upset and negative because Harper managed to seal a deal. But your constant negativity is not what others see.

        • All inside the bubble. The only winners are the big corporations. It just means more money for the rich. patchouli is 100% right. its all about the dirt. Thats what taxpayers want to hear about. Next Monday, this deal whatever you want to call it, will be in the rear view mirror and then back to the dirt and corruption. My messages are not for people like you, because you live in a bubble, like reporters, pundits and politicians. My messages may not be as intellectual enough for you, but their comprehensible to the lay person.

          • root canal, from comparing your comments to hers, I can tell you that you are far far above FV in intellect, clarity, vocabulary and humanity. She’s “an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” to quote a great writer. Sounds harsh, I realize, but stick around and you’ll find out for yourself. Go ahead: attempt to hold a conversation with her.

        • There you go again, Francien, claiming to speak for the “average Canadian”.

          I’m pretty averagely Canadian and I’m no more “sick and tired of rehashing the so-called senate scandal” than you are sick and tired of fulminating endlessly about Trudeau’s public speaking career.

          May I respectfully suggest you try harder to just speak for yourself.

          • Except that I think all political abuse of the system is wrong, whereas you think it is not wrong when Justin abuses the system.

          • I see…so not only are you the self-appointed spokesperson for the “average Canadian”, you’re now the arbiter of political morality.

            That being the case, I look forward to reading your indignant screeds about the injustice of Harper’s senior staffer making a personal loan to a senator to repay fraudulent claims on the “average Canadian’s” hard-earned taxes.

            Or isn’t that an abuse in your moral code?

        • Well, the EU is saying it will take probably till the end of 2015 to ratify the agreement. That’s 2 years from now and after the next election. Do you think Harper can keep the country worked up about the trade agreement and not interested in anything else, for all that time?

          • You think the EU would be able to ratify the deal any sooner if Harper were not the PM? You think they’d ratify it faster if Tom Mulcair were our PM? :)))

          • Not the point, my dear, as I know you know.

          • Do you think this FTA won’t be a central part of the Conservative’s election platform? Yes, it won’t be ratified till after the election. And the CPC will use that fact to relentlessly remind the public that they’re the party for international trade and will paint the NDP as being against trade, while Justin Trudeau’s economic platform consists of turning the federal government into the nation’s weed dealer.

        • This comment was deleted.

      • Obviously nobody likes misspending by politicians. But to suggest that people will “care” more about a few hundred thousand dollars in expense claims more than their businesses having access to 500,000,000 more consumers is just insane.

        No, it won’t make sexy headlines, but everybody will feel the effects of this deal from new hires at work to more European addresses on shipping labels. It completely defines the current government as pro-business. Meanwhile the NDP have nothing to say on the subject, and Justin Trudeau’s economic platform is entirely based on turning the federal government into the nations dope dealer.

    • answer a question for me my friend. what exactly does this deal do for you ? I mean you directly, because you seem like a very excited person over this. is their some kind of financial reward in this for you ? Or are you the us against them kind of guy ?

      • Free trade benefits everybody. Exports increase, which means more jobs. Europe has access to our market, which means lower prices for consumers on everything. Frankly I’d be excited about being able to buy better and cheaper European cheese and watch crappy Canadian cheese makers go out of business while the good cheese makers thrive.

        • Kraft and Saputo are going to go out of business?
          I’ll believe that when I see it.

    • Libs have been pro-trade since 1911….and in spite of Turner having to take the other side….still are. Justin came out for it some time ago….it’s been 4 years after all!

      Canadians are very keen on Senate punishment and legal pot…..but they hate trade deals. Were you asleep when we did FTA/NAFTA???

      • There are about 5 people in Canada that “hate trade deals”. And they’re all losers who have no friends. Canada has been a trading nation since it’s very inception. If you hate trade, you might as well hate Canada.

        • Then you slept through FTA/NAFTA

  3. The Conservative’s and NDP are and will be working together (as they
    have in the past) to try to take out the Liberal party….the enemy of
    my enemy is my friend blah blah blah

    I get the sense an SOS went out from the NDP headquarters to the media.

    • I dunno about an SOS, but certainly the Cons and the Dips hate Libs so much they can’t see straight most days.

      However polarizing the country between left and rightwing would be a disaster for everyone. We need a middle ground.

      • No one “hates” Liberals Emily.
        Liberals are a fracking joke. Especially Justine.

      • The SOS mention was not a shot at Wherry in particular, more a observation from the last 2 weeks of media coverage, especially the CBC.

        • Ahhh. I don’t see TV coverage but politics and strange bedfellows, as they say. There’s also something about short term gain and long term pain…..

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • Budgie smugglers? WooHoo!

      • It won’t concern you Emily until they start smuggling Wiki Parrots..

  5. Legalize the pot, keep the income in Canada and youth out of Jails. Its a herb, get over it.
    Ceta is a bad deal for the average uninformed Canadian too busy to investigate. The devil is in the details. I vote for correcting the political process in place that allows senators to believe they can steel public money without consequence.