(OTTAWA) - Following Canada’s signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership yesterday in New Zealand, the Green Party of Canada is reiterating its staunch opposition to the current trade deal.
“As International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland told media yesterday, there is a big difference between signing and ratifying this agreement,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich – Gulf Islands). “We now have the opportunity to study and debate the details of this bad deal in the House of Commons, and I will continue to encourage MPs from all parties to engage in transparent, democratic debate about the TPP’s threat to Canadian sovereignty.”
Initial details suggest the TPP will weaken Canada’s food safety regulations, damage copyright laws, increase pharmaceutical costs, and erode Canadian sovereignty by allowing foreign companies to sue the government in secret tribunals.
The Green Party of Canada has been the only federal party to consistently oppose the TPP.
In 2012, May signed a joint statement of Green Party parliamentarians from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among others, to express concerns about the agreement. With yesterday’s TPP signing, the 12 participating Pacific nations now have two years to ratify the agreement.
“Clauses that allow foreign corporations to launch suits in private arbitrations if government decisions are considered bad for profits mean this deal is a threat to Canada’s sovereignty,” said Paul Manly, Green Party International Trade Critic. “The Green Party has serious concerns with the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of TPP negotiations conducted under the previous government. However, the TPP remains an agreement only in principle. Canadians now deserve to know what kind of a deal they’re getting.”
• The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 Pacific nations (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, United States, Singapore and Vietnam) in New Zealand on Feb. 3, 2016.
• The TPP contains Investor State provisions that give foreign corporations (an "investor") the ability to sue the Canadian government (a "state") in secret tribunals over any legislation which would hurt their future profits, such as regulations defending human health, labour safety, or the environment.
• The TPP will restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment without risking major financial repercussions.
• A NAFTA arbitration panel recently ruled against Canada after a U.S. company argued a joint federal-provincial environmental review board decision to disallow a quarry in the small fishing community of Digby Neck, Nova Scotia, imposed “unfair trade restrictions.” The U.S. company is now seeking $300 million in damages.
• Another NAFTA panel recently ordered Canada to pay Exxon Mobil Corp. and Murphy Oil Ltd. $17.3 million after Newfoundland and Labrador required offshore oil producers to have money allocated toward research.
• TransCanada, the company behind the rejected KeyStoneXL pipeline, has launched a $15 billion lawsuit against the U.S. government under NAFTA provisions after the Obama administration rejected the pipeline last year.
• The Harper government locked Canada into another Investor State Agreement with China with no opt-out clause until 2045. The Green Party was the first to raise the alarm in opposition to this deal.
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