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South Niagara chapter pushes for longer TPP public consultation period

South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran with Maude Barlow.

Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade earlier this month in Toronto.

On May 13, the Committee was at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to solicit input on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In response to criticism that the public has had very limited access to these ‘public hearings’, the committee has begun to allocate two-minutes of time to individual speakers during the last hour of each of the one-day hearings in a session they have framed as “spontaneous presentations”.

McMurran made very good use of the limited time provided her.

She stated, “I’d like to ask the committee to seriously consider who this deal is good for. We know that it’s good for the winners. We know that it’s good for the Magnas, but we also know what’s happening in this country, that our income inequality is increasing by leaps by bounds, that more and more Canadians are falling into poverty, that we now have one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world. Deals like this are a race to the bottom for most of us. All of you, as well as thinking about the overall GDP, which by the way is not going to increase at all to any great degree under this deal, also have to think about the real Canadians that you represent.”

McMurran then pushed for a longer consultation period on the TPP.

She highlighted, “This is an extraordinarily complex deal as I know you now appreciate. How on earth are your colleagues going to be prepared to vote on this? I ask you to please consider this and find some way of extending the discussion and particularly the discussion with ordinary Canadians on this deal or you do us all a terrible disservice.”

At present, the deadline for public comment on the TPP is June 30.

The deal is not expected to go to the House of Commons for a ratification vote until 15-months after this deadline.

For more about why we oppose the TPP and our campaign to stop it, please click here.