Agreement sparks questions

Resident has some deep concerns about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

Thank you Mr. Mayes for your efforts with your Keeping in Touch information you send out regularly. I do appreciate it.

I have some deep concerns about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. My concerns range from ethical to ecological to global warming.

I assume that other countries will be able to sell their food to us without tariffs. Where will our food come from then? Do the farmers raise their meat clean? Are their feed lots dirty and the animals sick that they are butchering and selling to us? How do the farmers grow their crops? Do they use immigrant labour from poor countries? What are the working conditions? How is their produce grown, with dangerous pesticides not allowed in Canada, but allowed in other countries? Is the food genetically modified?

This decision will have many health effects on our society in Canada. I also see it as furthering the exploitation impoverished people from Third World countries. Currently, I see the health effects on immigrant workers from Mexico in the Okanagan and am concerned. These people are in our country but have poor or very little access to health care while they are here. By engaging in a globalized movement of food, Canadians are losing control and sight of the social justice of our country. We will be able to get goods without realizing its impact on immigrant and visible minority groups and what it means for our health.

The cost of importing/exporting food is not just to get cheap food. What does it cost the environment? The use of fossil fuels to transport food from farm, to distribution depot, cooling while in transport, fuel for extended boat or air travel. What is the impact on our oceans? How will this boat transport affect the fish stocks on Canada’s coast line? How will the air traffic affect our air quality? How does this interact/impact global warming? I am curious, Do you have an environmental or global ethics statement developed during this CETA agreement?

CETA has been described as bringing ‘benefits to every region of our country. It will unlock new opportunities by opening new markets for Canadian businesses and creating new jobs for Canadian workers.” The low paid workers in B.C. that help produce and support the tree-fruit and berry industry are from Mexico. The money received from opening up the EU will not create more well paying jobs for British Columbians. It will just bring more poorly paid Mexicans to do the work. How will this bring jobs for British Columbians?

Also, will it flood the market with food from far off countries, cheaper than we can produce it? Will it keep the poor-poorer and make the rich richer? The neo liberal ideology of our government has me very concerned about the increasing income disparities in our country. What will this mean for our countries future? What will it mean for my daughter’s future? Will she be able to get a well paying job, eat healthy food and receive health care when she grows up? With the direction of this government with its market-driven ideologies and individualistic approach, I am not sure if these will be available to her when she grows up. How sad.

If this is the future impact of the CETA, I am not sure it had the intended effect.

Unfortunately, the Keeping in Touch information left me with deep concerns on what the CETA agreement means for our societies future. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration in addressing your constituent’s concerns.

Clara Dyck

Community Care RN, BScN,

MSN student