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Council of Canadians presents to House of Commons committee on the TPP

Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey and allies on Parliament Hill, June 7, 2016.

Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey and Board of Directors member Steven Shrybman presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade meeting that took place on Parliament Hill yesterday morning.

Earlier that morning, the Ottawa Citizen reported, “International Trade members continue to explore the implications of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership with witness testimony expected from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Pork Council, Doctors Without Borders, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Council of Canadians and Scotiabank.”

Dey (in person) and Shrybman (via video-conference) highlighted the reasons for our opposition to the TPP, notably its Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision.

Dey told the Committee, “We worry about how the TPP in particular endangers the robustness of our democracies and our ability to set public policy. ISDS mechanisms would make us vulnerable to suits from more countries in the TPP. We are already the most sued developed country in the world; we lost $200 million of suits. This puts a chill on the ability to change policy. UN Rapporteurs on human rights and indigenous peoples have come out against ISDS.”

In a Huffington Post op-ed published yesterday, Dey also highlighted, “Studies on the TPP are not hopeful. A Tufts University Study predicted 58,000 job losses in Canada, dismal economic growth and rising inequality.”

The transcript of their presentation should be available shortly.

The 10-member Committee is chaired by Liberal MP Mark Eyking and is comprised of six Liberals, three Conservatives, and one NDP MP. They are accepting written submissions through to June 30. We encourage you to write them at ciit-tpp-ptp@parl.gc.ca

Dey also met with Liberal MP Kyle Peterson about the TPP yesterday. Dey was part of a delegation that included Angella MacEwan (Canadian Labour Congress), Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network), and Dénis Côté (L’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale). On Thursday, Dey will be meeting with Green MP Elizabeth May, Liberal MPs Linda Lapointe and Bob Nault, and NDP MPs Tracey Ramsey and Murray Rankin to again highlight our critique of the TPP.

And yesterday evening Dey tweeted the remarks made by Shrybman, Reid-Smith and Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow at a public forum on this issue. As noted in the promotion for the event, they spoke “on how core elements of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) risk undermining a sustainable development agenda that works for people and the planet in Canada and overseas.”

It is expected that the TPP will be voted on in the House of Commons in September-October 2017. The twelve signatory countries to the TPP have agreed to a ratification deadline of November 2017.

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