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Council of Canadians TPP infographic handed out at Liberal Party policy convention

Photo by Rachel Tetrault.

Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape attempted to hand out leaflets opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the Liberal party biennial convention now taking place in Winnipeg.

While DePape was stopped quickly by security inside the RBC Convention Centre, she did manage to give a leaflet to Maryanne Kampouris, the National Policy Chair for the Liberal Party of Canada. Kampouris has previously stated that her role within the party is to, “Hold open discussions on the policy process, summarize proposals and ask for clear direction within 3-4 months of the biennial.”

In its formal party statement on the TPP, Justin Trudeau highlights, “The Liberal Party of Canada strongly supports free trade, as this is how we open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, create good-paying jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership stands to remove trade barriers, widely expand free trade for Canada, and increase opportunities for our middle class and those working hard to join it.”

The leaflet that DePape gave Kampouris directly challenges this Liberal Party position by highlighting, “Studies show that trade deals like the TPP and their corporate lawsuits will benefit very large corporations and wealthy individuals. Experts are now saying that the TPP would result in job losses and only minimal economic growth in Canada.”

In fact, a study by Tufts University found that the TPP would cost Canada 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality. The wealth gap is already a problem in Canada with the wealthiest top 10 per cent seeing their median net worth increase by 42 per cent between 2005 and 2014, while the bottom 10 per cent of income earners have experienced their median net worth shrink by 150 per cent. In addition, 50 per cent of the population now owns just 6 per cent of the country’s wealth.

An EKOS poll in October 2015 also found that 61 per cent of Canadians believe the TPP will mean job losses in Canada.

But much work still needs to be done to raise awareness about the TPP in this country. In February the CBC reported, “Support for Canada joining the TPP stood at 32 per cent in the poll, with 20 per cent of respondents saying they opposed joining the deal. But that still left 49 per cent of Canadians without an opinion.”

It is expected that the Liberal Party majority government in the House of Commons could vote on the ratification of the TPP in the fall of 2017.

For more on our campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including our TPP infographic, please click here.