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South Niagara, Hamilton, London & Guelph chapters protest the TPP

Photo by Daniel Nardone.

The Council of Canadians South Niagara, Hamilton, London and Guelph chapters gathered today to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

They did so outside the constituency office of Chris Bittle, the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Catharines.

After the rally, South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran posted on Facebook, “We had a great turnout today for the Niagara Day of Action against the TPP! Niagara activists from the Council of Canadians, from labour and the Niagara Regional Labour Council, as well as environmentalists and students were joined by activists from Council of Canadians Chapters in London, Guelph and Hamilton, as well as labour representatives from London and Hamilton. The National Farmers Union was represented by Brian Griffith and Gwen French.”

The promotion for the rally had noted, “Join us outside the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle, 61 Geneva Street, for a Day of Action against the Trans Pacific Partnership — help us send a message to our MPs that this ‘free trade’ deal is a bad deal for Canada. It will eliminate good Canadian jobs, increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, make it much harder to address climate change and honour Canada’s commitments in the Paris Accord, overrule Indigenous land rights…and make our Internet less open.”

November is a month of action against the TPP. Upcoming actions include:

  • Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow 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 organizing the “1st Citizens’ Public Assembly on FTAs, extractivism and power of transnational corporations” in Montreal (November 10).

  • Rallies and petition deliveries in Toronto and Winnipeg (November 23).

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

  • 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. It also contains the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision which could be used to violate community and Indigenous rights. And its patent provisions would lead to higher prescription drug costs.

While Justin Trudeau promised during the election “a full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted on this historic trade agreement”, just last month he stated, “It’s difficult to imagine a world where Canada would turn its back on three of its top five trading partners. We established very clearly during the campaign that we’re a pro-trade party.”

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.