The NDP and CETA - Macleans.ca

The NDP and CETA

A cabinet minister praises the official opposition

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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.