Same as the old boss: Justin Trudeau ready to sign Harper's EU free trade deal

CETA is a Canada/EU "free trade agreement," negotiated in secret and containing the notorious "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which lets corporations sue governments in confidential tribunals in order to force them to repeal their environmental, safety and labour laws.

If that sounds familiar, it should: CETA was negotiated in the same corrupt, secretive process that the old Harper government deployed for the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Canada/China deal.

Newly elected Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, arch-rival to Stephen Harper, has gone on record promising business-as-usual in passing and enacting CETA, with all of Harper's crony-capitalist gifts to multinational industry intact.

Lucky for Canada, many EU governments are deeply sceptical of CETA and may block it from the other side. But it's a timely reminder that having a tattoo and smoking weed doesn't make you anti-establishment: opposing the establishment makes you anti-establishment.

"The number of MEPs opposing ISDS is much higher than the number of MEPs opposing CETA," he continued.

"ISDS is the thorn in the flesh of CETA. This reflects a high degree of social mobilisation in a few large member states of the European Union," Moisa said. "The only way to solve the problem is to confront it head-on."

CBC News reported Thursday that EU officials saw an opening in Canada's change in government, and went back to Canadian negotiators looking for a rework of the ISDS provisions in CETA.

A proposal now on the table would create a new court system for arbitrating trade disputes under CETA — something the EU characterizes as not re-opening negotiations, but simply refining the legal text under the guise of the ongoing scrubbing process.

Justin Trudeau to talk over troubled trade deal with European Parliament head
[Janyce McGregor/CBC News]

(Image: Thoughtbubble, Jason Jack, CC-BY)