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Council organizer speaks against the TPP at rally outside trade minister’s office

Council of Canadians organizer Rachel Small speaks at the protest in front of trade minister Chrystia Freeland’s constituency office in Toronto. Photo by Mark Calzavara.

Council of Canadians organizer Rachel Small spoke at a rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) yesterday afternoon outside the Toronto constituency office of trade minister Chrystia Freeland.

Small stated, “We say NO to corporate trade deals like the TPP which do not serve the public interest, violate the rights of Indigenous peoples and racialized communities worldwide, and enable corporations to sue governments when their profit is affected. We stand for sovereignty and democracy in Brazil and across Latin America, and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock.”

Small, Tori Cress from Idle No More Ontario and Fatin Chowdhury from Leadnow.ca also met with a representative from Freeland’s office to ensure that the issues raised at the rally would be conveyed to the Minister.

After the protest, Small posted, “Great turnout for the rally! We committed to continue to organize in solidarity with allies across Latin America, with all land-defenders, and especially right now with all of those resisting at Standing Rock and who will be defending their rights at the Rally for Indigenous Rights at the Supreme Court at the end of the month.”

The protest was part of a series of #JornadaContinental actions taking place in twelve countries across the Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

November is a month of action against the TPP:

  • The Council of Canadians Hamilton, South Niagara, London and Guelph chapters are protesting today outside the constituency office of Chris Bittle, the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Catharines.

  • Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow is speaking against the TPP at Canadian Labour Congress-organized town hall meetings in Toronto (November 8), Halifax (November 10), Vancouver (November 22), and Winnipeg (November 23).

  • Our allies in Quebec will be organizing in the “1st Citizens’ Public Assembly on FTAs, extractivism and power of transnational corporations” in Montreal (November 10).

  • There will be rallies and petition deliveries in Toronto and Winnipeg (November 23).

  • The Council of Canadians is organizing with allies a demonstration against the TPP in Vancouver (November 30).

  • There will be a trinational conference opposing the TPP in Toronto (November 30-December 3).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes G7 ‘major advanced economies’ (the United States, Canada and Japan), G20 ‘major economies’ (Australia and Mexico), relatively smaller economies (New Zealand and Singapore) and ‘developing economies’ (Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam).

A Tufts University report projected that the TPP would lead to employment losses in all countries, with a total of 771,000 lost jobs. As Small highlights, it also contains the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision which could be used to violate community and Indigenous rights. And it would lead to higher prescription drug costs.

The TPP signatory governments are expected to try to ratify the agreement by February 2018.

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