BC municipalities worry CETA will impact their buy-local policies

July 6, 2011

The buy local movement is picking up steam in BC. Local procurement policies are viewed as a way to strengthen communities, both economically and socially. These policies could be undone, however by the negotiated CETA agreement, which seeks to give European companies the equal access to local economies. Despite the severe ramifications for local industries and workforces, BC’s premier has had little to say on the issue. Charley Beresford of the Centre for Civic Governance, find’s Premier Clark’s lack of position on the matter troubling, noting,

“I think it is in the interests of British Columbians to know what the province is bringing forward,” she said. It’s surprising that Clark wouldn’t have positions on things like local procurement given how far the talks have gone, she said. “There might be something fairly well developed, I would think.”

Buying goods and services locally is an attractive way for civic governments to build local economies, she said. “Even if municipalities haven’t used the tool yet, the discussion as shaping up would take the tool away.”

That’s contrary to what municipal leaders want, and so the province needs to say clearly what position it is taking, she said.

 Read more in the Tyee.