Centre for International Governance Innovation senior fellow John Ibbitson comments in the Globe and Mail today, "If Barack Obama and (Japanese prime minister) Shinzo Abe can hammer out a deal on agriculture subsidies this week, then next year’s Canadian election could be the first in a generation in which trade is a key issue, with Stephen Harper favouring the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Thomas Mulcair and (possibly) Justin Trudeau opposing it."
As posted in the Watershed Sentinel, March 22, 2014
Over the last 25 years, corporations have been the driving force behind global, regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements that favour their interests by limiting the ability of signatory countries to set conditions on global trade and investment. The goal of free trade agreements is the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to the free movement of goods and services. Non-tariff barriers include local economic development programs, domestic food sovereignty rules, and environmental laws that are thought to be “excessive” and hinder trade.
CBC reports, "The Canadian government is downgrading the protection of humpback whales off the coast of B.C. under the Species at Risk Act. The move is being made as the government readies for a decision on the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would feed oil onto a tanker shipping route that overlaps with what environmental groups describe as 'critical habitat' for the whale."
As United States President Barack Obama begins his four-country trip to Asia in an attempt to make progress on the controversial (and faltering) Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Council of Canadians has joined an international campaign supported by dozens of organizations to shine a light (literally) on the secretive corporate-rights pact.
If concluded, the TPP -- an ambitious agreement being pushed by the United States and including Canada and 10 other countries (Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) -- would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to South America and the Pacific region, constraining democracy in the interests of multinational corporations.
The ‘Our Risk – Their Reward’ Energy East tour of six Ontario communities has just one more stop next Monday in Cornwall. What a whirlwind it has been!
Spending two days in each community, we held a series of public forums, meetings, site visits and actions. This was done in collaboration with local organizers and groups – who we’ve learned so much from throughout this process – and looked a little different for each stop.
We’ve had excellent turnouts at all events (speaking both to the hard work of organizers involved and public concern), reaching over 1200 people. Significant local media coverage and the over 1000 Our Risk – Their Reward window signs distributed ensures the message is getting even further.