10/05/2011

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and Municipal Governments. October 5, 2011.
FCM's Principles on CETA endorsed by AMO:

  • Reasonable procurement thresholds: Inappropriately high or broad procurement thresholds may force municipalities to tender projects when tendering is neither practical nor financially justified.
  • Streamlined administration: Ensuring that municipal procurement policies are free-trade compliant will likely create new costs and may require specialized expertise. The administrative design of these rules must be as streamlined as possible and developed in close cooperation with municipal procurement practitioners.
  • Progressive enforcement: Enforcing provisions of any deal should be progressive, starting with verbal or public warnings before moving to financial penalties, and should recognize and not penalize inadvertent non-compliance, particularly in cases where municipalities do not have the expertise to appropriately apply the rules. 
  • Canadian content for strategic industries or sensitive projects: A trade deal must recognize strategic and public interest considerations before barring all preferential treatment based on country of origin. There may be industries of strategic significance to a particular region, such as transit, or projects where considerations of quality, public benefit, environmental protection or business ethics means that a local government may wish to implement minimum Canadian-content levels. This should be allowed, within reason.
  • Dispute resolution: A dispute-resolution process, like the one in NAFTA, may require a careful review of the municipal role in that process so they can appropriately defend their policies and by-laws as an order of government.
  • Consultation and communications: Consultation and communications during negotiations are required to ensure any resulting agreement responds to municipal concerns.
  • Reciprocity: Canada´s negotiating position must support reciprocity in Canadian and foreign municipal procurement practices.