‘Buy local’ vs. CETA

The Editor,

Re. “City contracts topic at Sept. workshop” (The Tri-City News, June 18).

The recent talk at Coquitlam council about  the city  “buying local”  is admirable but may be too late. Where was council when the federal government started to push the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe? It is more far-reaching than NAFTA and prohibits any Canadian city from placing value on local content in goods, services or construction projects they purchase.

This means, should a European corporation also bid on a job, Coquitlam will not be allowed to favour anyone based on how much Canadian or local content their product or service contains. The corollary is Coquitlam firms would be able to bid on European jobs. That is a good thing but I worry not as good as being able to mandate local supply if we so choose.

There has been an astounding lack of publicity on the pros and cons of this agreement. I don’t want time and money spent developing policies with nice sounding names like Buy Local Bylaw to make me feel good about whom I may or may not vote for, when they are designed to fail.


Ken Holowanky, Coquitlam



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