Join A TPP Day of Action In St. Catharines, Niagara – Saturday, November 5th
A Call-Out from Fiona McMurran, South Niagara Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Posted November 3rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – A free trade deal that brings more job losses and higher drug costs to Canadians is no deal say Niagara residents set to meet this Saturday to voice concerns that big corporations and financial institutions are the only winners in the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The community is urged to gather Saturday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. outside the office of St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle, 61 Geneva St., for a TPP Day of Action.
“Council of Canadians members from London, Hamilton and Guelph will join Niagara activists to draw attention to the problems with the TPP, and to let our MPs know that constituents will be taking notice of how they vote when this deal comes to Parliament for ratification,” said Fiona McMurran, South Niagara Chapter, Council of Canadians.
The North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA cost Canada and the US thousands upon thousands of well-paying jobs said McMurran, pointing to the ripple effect on small business and on municipalities such as Welland that lost key industries.
By comparison, the TPP has been called NAFTA on steroids. “Its corporate/investor rights provisions are the strongest yet, and the TPP allows in another 19,0000 corporations with the power to sue Canada if any law or regulation is deemed to threaten the profit of foreign corporations, under the Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions, a key part of the TPP,” McMurran said.
The losers are ordinary citizens and the winners says McMurran, “the one per cent: rich investors. Big corporations and globalized financial institutions.”
Increasingly, Canadian farmers find they can’t compete with subsidized food from the US and overseas entering the country tariff free. The agriculture and food processing sector may well disappear entirely, McMurran fears.
Meanwhile, the intense media attention on Wallonian opposition to CETA (the Canada-EU trade deal) over the past two weeks has put a spotlight on these corporate rights agreements presented as ‘trade’ deals. And the CETA controversy is drawing more public attention to the 12-country TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).
Canada’s natural resources are located primarily on indigenous land; federal regard for the free, prior and informed consent of impacted First Nations when foreign corporations seek to build new projects will make Canada vulnerable to suits under the ISDS.
Extended patent protection under the intellectual property right provisions will dramatically increase the prices of pharmaceuticals by delaying cheaper generics. Environmental protection laws have been challenged under NAFTA; the TPP brings in many more big corporations with the same rights to sue in private investment courts.
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