Environmental Assessment "Missing in Action"
I am writing this hoping that encourage you, the reader, to ask our federal government to provide Canadians with open information regarding an important "missing in action" national Environmental Assessment.
How does the upcoming CETA trade agreement between Canada and the European Union impact our oceans? The EU is expected to request concessions to open up Canadian fishing waters by increasing the percentage of foreign ownership in commercial fishing licenses. In addition there is a suggestion that in exchange the EU may concede to open up genetically modified (GM) salmon imports to the EU.
Potentially this can result in overfishing of our waters and an increase of open-pen fish farming for GM salmon.
The CETA trade agreement negotiations have been lacking transparency, and importantly, the Canadian Environmental Assessment has not been published. The EU has published a CETA Sustainability Impact Assessment which is comprehensive; however, it was a project funded by the European Commission.
The CETA trade agreement is likely to be used as a framework for future trade agreements with other countries. This means that if we give concessions to the EU, similar concessions may be made as part of the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement and other bi-lateral trade agreements currently under negotiation.
Find out more.
Please encourage the Harper government to publish the Canadian CETA Environmental Assessment so Canadians can be comfortable that our best interests are being served.
Vi Taylor is founder of CETA Public Environmental Information, an online environment and trade agreement resource that advocates for (1) greater public involvement and (2) transparent government communication in relation to Canadian trade agreements. Taylor lives in North Vancouver and enjoys hiking and painting in the North Shore mountains.