To TPP or not to TPP

Are you readers aware of this invitation to let our government know your thoughts on the TPP?

I’ve written to this paper in the recent past about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which the former Harper government had negotiated — in total secrecy — and signed shortly before they lost power.

Now the Trudeau Liberals have inherited the deal and our newly minted International Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland, has been quoted by the Globe and Mail saying “we will have serious consultations [with the electorate]”.

Are you readers aware of this invitation to let our government know your thoughts on the TPP?

I question anyway if there is a real intention to consult and take into account our views. In the last three weeks, Justin Trudeau has discussed the TPP with the leader of Japan and with Barack Obama, and in both cases he seemed to share their wholesale enthusiasm for it. Ms. Freeland, meanwhile, is touting TPP as the saviour of the middle class, despite the fact in 2012 she wrote a book in which she argued globalization is a driving force in the growing income inequality.

Though our new government seems gung-ho on ratifying the TPP, various influential voices have raised serious concerns about parts of the deal, including Jim Balsillie (formerly of Blackberry fame); Professor Michael Geist, an expert in Internet law; and Maud Barlow of the Council of Canadians on the ISDS provision.

I’ve started a petition on Change.org asking Trudeau to allow us to comment on the deal via discussions with our MPs (www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-allow-ordinary-canadians-to-comment-on-the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-trade-deal).

If you wish to learn more about the TPP deal, there are links to articles and analyses on the main petition page and in some updates. There are many more to be found online. Please join me in fighting this toxic deal, if for no other reason except to save the environment.

 

Liz Newton

Mill Bay