Not so fast: TPP needs public consultation, says Council of Canadians
November 6, 2015
Council of Canadians
OTTAWA – With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text finally revealed, the Council of Canadians asks that new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor by failing to consult with the public about the agreement. After years of secret talks where only cleared advisors and lobbyists were consulted – with no input from Parliament, civil society or labour organizations – a full democratic accounting of this far-reaching deal is long overdue.
The Council of Canadians is asking for a full public consultation, including an independent human rights, economic, and environmental review of the document. It also asks that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow corporations to sue states for lost profits, be excised from the deal. The Council of Canadians also asks that any progress made at the Paris climate talks be shielded from lawsuits.
“TPP negotiators have boasted about the supposed benefits of this deal,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But now that the details have come to light, Canadians can judge for themselves. Without a full public consultation, this deal has no legitimacy.”
Specifically, the Council of Canadians demands:
- A comprehensive and independent analysis of the TPP text by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Among other things, the analysis must assess the deal’s impact on human rights, health, employment, environment and democracy.
- Public hearings in each province and territory across Canada as well as separate and meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities and First Nations. No agreement can be ratified without their consent.
- Ensure that the any progress made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) is protected from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS) in the TPP. Furthermore, ISDS must be excised from the TPP.
“Trudeau is under a lot of pressure to adopt this deal as soon as possible, with calls already coming in from U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese President Shinzo Abe. But a thorough public review is needed before he can establish whether the TPP is truly in Canada’s interest,” concludes Barlow.