This afternoon we met with Reuters business reporter Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck primarily on the investor-state provision being negotiated now to be part of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

This provision would be the first for a European Union free-trade agreement and is less understood here than in Canada given our direct experience with Chapter 11 in NAFTA.

We provided the Reuters reporter with a copy of Steven Shrybman’s legal opinion on CETA and the tar sands which can be read at We are hopeful that this will form the basis of her article.

We also raised our concerns about Canada seeing Europe’s draft fuel quality designation of tar sands oil as carbon intensive as a ‘trade barrier’ and how the investor-state provision would provide a tool to corporations to challenge that and similar climate change-related legislation and measures.

And we raised the recent settlement on AbitibiBowater and the degree to which corporate ‘water rights’ were recognized through a NAFTA investor-state process. This sets a dangerous trend for this provision in a Canada-EU deal.

Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians


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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist, writer and the executive director of Peace Brigades International-Canada. He lives in Ottawa on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin...