So, howcum our “free” trade luvin’ CONS, who never met a shady deal they didn’t like, are balking at signing this new deal (CETA) with the European Union? Environmental concerns? Cultural Protection? No? How ’bout because the deal is dependent upon “our common commitment to human rights”?
Gliberal Senator Joan Fraser (not facing indictment for anything as far as we know) defended the gov’t position by stating that it has “very properly and entirely appropriately refused” to link the two issues. When asked about this by reporters she insisted “we are not going to negotiate via the media” which is likely to come as a tremendous surprise to everyone who had to sit through the Economic Action Plan ads during the playoffs.
EU spokesman Manfred Auster insisted that, “Canada is not affected by this because we don’t foresee any fundamental breaches of human rights or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” Mr. Auster is clearly unfamiliar with Canada’s current regime.
Fraser (no relation to the institute as far as we know) elaborated on the gov’t’s objection to linkage by noting that free trade is a practical thing that exists in the real world whereas “human rights could conceivably be viewed as rather more theoretical”, a position which is likely to rankle with Canada’s theoretical First Nations and theoretical political detainees.
Trade should be FREE! People, and information, not so much.