Niagara, Ontario Activist Calls On Feds To Grant Longer Public Consultation Period On TPP Trade Deal

“I’d like to ask the committee to seriously consider who this deal is good for. We know that it’s good for the winners. We know that it’s good for the Magnas, but we also know what’s happening in this country, that our income inequality is increasing by leaps by bounds, that more and more Canadians are falling into poverty.” – Fiona McMurran, longtime Niagara South chapter member, Council of Canadians

By Brent Patterson, Council of Canadians

Posted May 30th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade earlier this month in Toronto.

The Council of Canadian's director with member and longtime Niagara, Ontario activist Fiona McMurran

The Council of Canadian’s director with member and longtime Niagara, Ontario activist Fiona McMurran

On May 13, the Committee was at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to solicit input on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In response to criticism that the public has had very limited access to these ‘public hearings’, the committee has begun to allocate two-minutes of time to individual speakers during the last hour of each of the one-day hearings in a session they have framed as “spontaneous presentations”.

McMurran made very good use of the limited time provided her.

She stated, “I’d like to ask the committee to seriously consider who this deal is good for. We know that it’s good for the winners. We know that it’s good for the Magnas, but we also know what’s happening in this country, that our income inequality is increasing by leaps by bounds, that more and more Canadians are falling into poverty, that we now have one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world.”

“Deals like this are a race to the bottom for most of us. All of you, as well as thinking about the overall GDP, which by the way is not going to increase at all to any great degree under this deal, also have to think about the real Canadians that you represent.”

McMurran then pushed for a longer consultation period on the TPP.

She highlighted, “This is an extraordinarily complex deal as I know you now appreciate. How on earth are your colleagues going to be prepared to vote on this? I ask you to please consider this and find some way of extending the discussion and particularly the discussion with ordinary Canadians on this deal or you do us all a terrible disservice.”

At present, the deadline for public comment on the TPP is June 30.

The deal is not expected to go to the House of Commons for a ratification vote until 15-months after this deadline.

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For more about why we oppose the TPP and our campaign to stop it, please click here.

About the Council of Canadians –
Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.
Through our campaigns we advocate for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care, and a vibrant democracy. We educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable.

For more information on the Council of Canadians and its public activist work click on http://canadians.org/ .

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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