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Public input on Trans-Pacific Partnership ignored by Liberal government

The Council of Canadians delivered 20,000 petitions against the TPP to NDP MP Tracey Ramsey on Parliament Hill on October 26, 2016.

The Liberal-dominated House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade has issued its report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The Standing Committee recommends, “That, recognizing the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and wanting to conclude agreements that are in the best interests of Canadians, the Government of Canada actively pursue a trade and investment agreement with Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories, as well as additional trade and investment agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The 10-member Committee was chaired by Liberal MP Mark Eyking and was comprised of six Liberals, three Conservatives, and NDP MP Tracey Ramsey.

The NDP’s dissenting opinion to the Standing Committee’s report notes, “Despite the Committee’s study being called a public consultation, the Committee’s report gives little attention to the input provided by members of the public. The report provides no analysis or breakdown of the nearly 50,000 emails and letters received by the Committee. It is worth noting that every individual who spoke at the public participation sessions expressed concerns with the TPP and in most cases opposed the agreement outright.”

The Council of Canadians encouraged comments to the committee through campaign blogs and an online action alert. Numerous Council of Canadians chapters – including the Comox Valley, St. John’s, Saint John, Prince Edward Island, North Shore, South Niagara, London Northwest Territories, Calgary and Peterborough-Kawarthas chapters – also presented and wrote submissions to this committee in opposition to the TPP.

And the NDP opinion highlights, “Despite Global Affairs Canada receiving over 30,000 public submissions between October 19, 2015 and June 24, 2016, the Minister of International Affairs failed to provide the Committee with any analysis or breakdown of the results of these consultations.”

The Council of Canadians had also encouraged our supporters to send emails to Global Affairs Canada.

But even before the Standing Committee’s deadline of June 30 for written the comments, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have made up his mind.

In March 2016, Trudeau stated, “In our conversations with Canadians, with industries which are ongoing, there are a lot of people in favour of it and there are a few who have real concerns and we’re looking at understanding and allaying certain fears and building on some of the opportunities.”

The Standing Committee’s report was issued on April 10.

By April 16, the Japan Times reported, “The 11 [remaining TPP signatory countries] are expected to begin discussing the issue at a meeting of chief negotiators in Canada early next month. Their trade ministers will also meet in Vietnam later in May on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering.”

The Council of Canadians demands that the Government of Canada formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

To add your voice to that demand, please click here.