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Brandon chapter takes TPP concerns to their city council

The Council of Canadians Brandon chapter.

The Council of Canadians Brandon chapter brought its concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to their city council this past Monday.

In their “Delegation” request to the City of Brandon, chapter activist Scott Blyth asked “To present information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and request City Council to pass a resolution opposing it.”

We are told that their city council did not vote on a motion, but that the chapter will likely make another presentation to city council at their meeting on August 15.

The chapter’s 8-page information package (including cover letter) can be read here. A video of the chapter’s presentation will be uploaded in the coming weeks to the City of Brandon’s Vimeo account here, and the minutes of the June 20 meeting will be posted here.

University of British Columbia political science professor Michael Byers has warned, “There’s the very real possibility that large cities could pay millions of dollars in arbitration and they have no say in the matter. This is being imposed on them.”

And University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey has written, “Investors from TPP countries will have the power to challenge local government decisions that damage their commercial interests, including disputed procurement or PPP [public private partnership] contracts, planning and consent processes, or blocking price increases for utilities like water or sanitation. …The contracting out of services, greater use of PPPs, including for water, and asset sales will intensify the exposure of local government to the TPP and heighten the risks of investor-state disputes over disputed contracts.”

In other words, this 12-country global trade agreement could have major implications for Canadian municipalities.

On April 26, Nanaimo city council unanimously passed a resolution after this presentation that stated, “BE IT RESOLVED THAT: Nanaimo Mayor and Council express its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and communicate this to Prime Minister Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers and every Member of Parliament.”

Our Vancouver-Burnaby, Kelowna, Northwest Territories and Brandon chapters have all asked their municipal councils to pass resolutions against the TPP.

The City of Vancouver is currently studying the implications the TPP and its investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision would have on municipal governance.

For more on our campaign to stop the TPP, please click here.