No 1579 Posted by fw, January 27, 2016
“This deal has serious implications for Canadian democracy, and our ability to protect our national industries and workers…. We cannot let the TPP move forward unless Canadians have signed on. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised ‘a full and open public debate in Parliament’ on the TPP. Canadians deserve nothing less, and I will hold the government to their promise. I will continue to fight to ensure that Canadian trade deals protect Canadian interests. —Elizabeth May
So writes the leader of the Canada’s Green Party in an email response to a petition that I, and countless other concerned citizens, probably signed. Kudos to Ms May, one of the few MPs who routinely responds in a caring and thoughtful manner to petitions from citizens.
I would, however, make one addition to one sentence in her otherwise clear and concise letter: “Prime Minister Trudeau has promised ‘a full and open public debate in Parliament’ on the TPP”. I would add: PM Trudeau has also invited Canadians to directly submit their input to the TPP consultation process. I took him up on his offer and, so far, apart from impersonal acknowledgments of receipt — nothing. Perhaps if I ask, Elizabeth will consent to query the PM in question period about citizens’ TPP input: what are citizens saying about the TPP, what is the government doing with their feedback?
Meanwhile, here’s a copy of Ms. May’s email –
Thank you for writing regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). I am strongly opposed to the TPP, and I echo calls to reject the agreement.
The TPP is a fundamentally undemocratic agreement that threatens Canada’s sovereignty. The Harper Conservatives negotiated the TPP in secret, and Canadians were kept in the dark. The agreement hurts the Canadian auto and agricultural sector, and was drafted without input from labour, environmental, health, and consumer groups. The TPP would allow milk that includes hormones (rBST) into Canada, even though rBST use in Canada is prohibited. You can read my press release on the issue here.
The greatest problem with the TPP, however, is the investor-state provisions that expose Canada to lawsuits by foreign corporations. When we make new laws protecting the environment, or improving labour protections, for example, companies can sue Canada if they feel these decisions will hurt their bottom line. Investor-state provisions put multinational corporations ahead of Canadian interests. Simply put, the investor-state provisions in the TPP threaten Canada’s sovereignty.
This deal has serious implications for Canadian democracy, and our ability to protect our national industries and workers. At the very least, the TPP must be subject to thorough analysis and public consultation. I support calls for the TPP to be analyzed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, for public hearings across the country, and for the obligation to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities. It is imperative that any agreement reached at COP21 be fully protected from potential TPP challenges.
We cannot let the TPP move forward unless Canadians have signed on. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised “a full and open public debate in Parliament” on the TPP. Canadians deserve nothing less, and I will hold the government to their promise. I will continue to fight to ensure that Canadian trade deals protect Canadian interests.
Thank you again for writing.
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