Now that the dust is settling on the latest federal election, we have some work to do to protect our own interests. The most urgent crisis is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has already been signed by Canada despite the fact that almost no Canadians, if any have actually read it.
Why the secrecy?
Even American Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, a person with a long track record of endorsing free trade agreements, is nervous.Here is what he said at a breakfast last month hosted by the Christian Science Monitor:
“We are an organization that has supported positive trade bills all over the world.”
But he went on to explain his concerns that, “Nobody has seen it. Nobody has read it. ”
American business hopes the deal is okay because without it, Beijing would end up setting the standards for international trade in the region. US President Obama is pushing hard for it to pass but the two top Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both oppose it, echoing concerns from trade and environmental groups that it would accelerate job outsourcing and give companies too much power to challenge regulations. If it passes in American, Obama will have to rely on Republican help, and they are hesitant.
So, let’s be clear, the Trans-Pacific Partnership gives corporations the right to interfere with Canadians ability to set our own laws and protect our own environment.
It will move Canadian jobs overseas and it lowers Canadian standards (for example, milk that comes from cows treated with hormones will be allowed here).
The threat is so great that even Republicans south of the border are worried about it.
Canada concluded negotiations on this deal without Canadians reading it.
We still have time to stop it, as the deal must be ratified by parliament. Maybe it’s time for everybody to send an email to our new prime minister.
CEO, Green Party of Canada for Battle River – Crowfoot