Opinion

Revenge of the comment section: Will CETA really benefit ordinary Canadians?

Some commenters are doubtful that the average person will reap the rewards

Some commenters are doubtful that the average person will reap the rewards

Politicians have called CETA “a deal for the people.” Some CBC commenters aren't so sure. (Patrick Seeger/EPA)

After years of negotiations, Canada is finally getting its deal with the European Union. Polls suggest that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has majority support, but some CBC commenters aren't sold on its merits. Politicians have called it "a deal for the people," but is it really? Check out the comments below. 

A Gouda deal

Does this mean we can all stop buying Gouda cheese made in Canada, and buy the real thing at a reasonable price?

Jimmy Vee

Diversification

I am happy this deal is provisionally concluded. We can now look forward to enhanced trade with the EU at a time of U.S. isolation. We need to diversify, and this is the tool for the job.

Mark Skerritt

Which people?

When a large group of politicians announce a "good deal for the people," this person gets very nervous.

Bob Skinner

Harper 2.0

This agreement, like just about every other trade agreement, is really about the loss of sovereignty and the extension of capitalism into public services. Corporations will attempt to operate public services for profit and not for the public interest. Shame on the Liberal Party and on Justin Trudeau for agreeing to give up our sovereignty, which we will never get back.

And shame on Trudeau for becoming Stephen Harper 2.0. Trudeau, the self-described feminist who sells arms to one of the most anti-feminist regimes on the planet (Saudi Arabia), who gets nice headlines at the Paris climate conference and then comes home and approves pipelines. Let's all wise up and boot him and his party from power in 2019.

David Fraser

More opportunities for Canada

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to open up the historically closed Asian markets to the U.S., but the U.S. election saw the end of the deal. The deal could not be explained in 10 words or fewer, so it had little chance of gaining popular support in the U.S.

As the U.S. becomes more isolated under Trump (if he can get his act together long enough to make constitutionally sound orders) the opportunities for Canada will grow rapidly.

Will Morgan

Diversify from the U.S.

As much as I like the U.S, we need to diversify our trade deals to limit the impacts of economic downturns.

Henry Wicks

What about the average guy?

This deal helps businesses save on many things, but will it actually help the person who is not a transnational corporation? If I, as a Canadian consumer, pay a $5,000 import tax on a German-built car, then this fee should also be eliminated. The regular middle class guy is, once again, the one who will feel the burden and not reap the rewards.

Dave Lombardo

Tell us what we're eating

If there is one thing I'm interested in when it comes to CETA, it is higher standards for food labeling and food quality controls. The same can apply to other consumer goods.

Rex Yuan

Congratulations, corporations

Bad move. This is about the only thing I agree with Trump on. Trade deals like this are good for corporations, not for the people.

George Hancock

Hurting the middle class

These deals always hurt the middle class in more developed countries. The corporations that provide jobs always go for the low-hanging fruit and run to places with lax labour laws. Governments always fail to recognize this, and they let the jobs flood out of the country by the thousands. 

I trust CETA as much as I trust NAFTA, TPP and the other deals that leave Canadian last.

- Greg Anderson

Bravo 

As a small Canadian manufacturer already exporting to Europe, I welcome this deal. It will reduce tariffs on our products, allowing me to expand even further into the market. This will lead to new hiring of sales and production staff at our facility, which is only good for the country. I don't imagine I'm the only manufacturer applauding this deal today.

- ​Lynda Simmons

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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