Newfoundland and Labrador suspending support for CETA and other trade agreements

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador announces that they won’t be working with the federal government in the various ongoing trade agreements.

St. John's (20 Jan. 2015) — The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has upped the ante in its dispute with the federal government over a fisheries investment fund commitment made as part of gaining the province’s support for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development accuses the federal government of not honouring a commitment to set up the fund that the province feels is needed to help the seafood industry when the trade deal is implemented. The province has sent a letter to the federal government outlining its position.

Move threatens CETA and other trade deals being negotiated

At a press conference, King said that "the federal government’s failure to honour the terms of this fund is jeopardizing CETA for all industries, economic sectors, and indeed all Canadian and European Union citizens."

While the dispute is about the fisheries fund as it relates to CETA, the Minister stated that other trade deals are also affected.

"As a result of the federal government’s failure to honour its commitment respecting the fisheries investment fund, I have advised the federal Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, that the provincial government is suspending its participation in all trade agreements," he said.

"All trade agreements currently under negotiation by the federal government would not have any effect in matters within the jurisdiction of Newfoundland and Labrador.“

Province taking tough stand on issue

King further said that "if we see no activity we'll take the actions we've just described to you here from a trade perspective and we'll pull the plug on CETA and Newfoundland will no longer be a part of the deal."

King and the Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, Keith Hutchings, threatened to take the province’s case directly to Europe and is considering taking the federal government to court. The Ministers have already visited the embassies of European Union member states in Ottawa to inform them of their grievances with the federal government.

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