TPP makes it more difficult to protect environment

One of the more problematic portions of the TPP is the inclusion of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) model.

Last Wednesday’s paper featured an article about a couple of resolutions recently adopted at the convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. The first one is resolution A5, an Environmental Bill of Rights which recognizes the “right of every resident to live in a healthy environment, including the right to clean air, clean water, clean food and vibrant ecosystems”. The second, resolution B34, brought forward at the convention by the CVRD, asks the province and the Ministry of Energy and Mines “not to issue permits that contravene local zoning bylaws”.

Your article quoted Sonia Furstenau, CVRD director for Shawnigan Lake, saying the adoption of these resolutions has given her new hope “the plight of her community will not continue to be ignored by those with the power to create change”. I however, reading the piece, had a disconcerting feeling of living in a house of mirrors.

I have written to this paper before about my misgivings concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) which has just been finalized by the 12 nations it encompasses, including Canada. Throughout the years the TPP has been negotiated, the citizens of the nations involved have been kept in the dark about the points being negotiated. The few bits of information we have are thanks to Wikileaks getting hold of certain portions of the drafts. Those few bits are worrying.

One of the more problematic portions of the TPP is the inclusion of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) model. ISDS allows corporations to sue governments if environmental, public health or any other laws or regulations stand in the way of said corporation making profit. The settlement of such suits takes place in a private tribunal, completely outside the court of law of the country involved. Gus van Harten, professor at Ontario’s Osgoode Law School has said, under this trade deal, “U.S., Japanese, Malaysian, and other foreign companies would get a new power to sidestep Canada’s legal system by bringing a TPP lawsuit against Canada”, see www.rabble.ca, “Ten ways the TPP gives too much power to foreign investors.”

I would think an Environmental Bill of Rights or local zoning bylaws are exactly the kind of things which could hinder a foreign corporation from realizing the full potential of its investment and trigger an ISDS challenge. We in the South End already feel betrayed in the matter of the toxic soil dumping decision. The ISDS provision in the more recent trade deals negotiated by Ottawa, TPP and CETA, makes me feel even more powerless to protect my environment.

 

Liz Newton

Mill Bay

Just Posted

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

DAVID VAN DEVENTER
Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read