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Victoria chapter presents on the TPP to the Township of Esquimalt and the District of Saanich

Victoria chapter activist Ted Woynillowicz presents to Township of Esquimalt council on Monday September 12.

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter presented on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at a special Saanich council town hall meeting on September 13.

On September 3, Saanich News reported, “Following a presentation [by Ted Woynillowicz and Neil Mussell of the Victoria Chapter of the Council of Canadians] to Saanich council [on August 15], a motion was made by RON Talks organizer, Coun. Colin Plant, and supported by council, to ask Woynillowicz and Mussell back. The two will present at a special meeting, open to the public, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in Saanich council chambers. They will present to members of three Saanich advisory committees, Healthy Saanich, Planning, Transportation and Economic, and Environment and Natural Areas. The public will also have a chance to speak.”

Woynillowicz tells us, “It began with our 10 minute PowerPoint presentation titled Why Municipalities Should Oppose the TPP. This was followed by statements from the various invited Saanich municipal departments followed by comments from the public.  With just one exception, all of the speakers expressed deep concerns regarding the TPP and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.  The committee will take the recommendations to a meeting on October 24. A number of councillors are also working on a joint Capital Regional District (CRD) statement expressing concern regarding the TPP and the consequences it may have on municipal governments.”

Woynillowicz and Mussell also presented to the council of the Township of Esquimalt on Monday September 12.

The District of Saanich has a population of about 110,000 people, while the Township of Esquimalt has a population of about 16,000 people. Both municipalities are part of the Greater Victoria Region and the Capital Regional District.

And on September 8, the chapter spoke in favour of a motion on the TPP at Victoria city council.

The background to the motion, introduced by Councillor Ben Isitt, states, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed multi-lateral trade and investment agreement that involves 12 countries in the Pacific Rim. Canada has participated in negotiations since 2012. Civil society organizations including the Council of Canadians have expressed concern over the implications of the TPP on democratic governance, local procurement practices, worker rights, environmental regulations, the agricultural sector, social programs much as Medicare, and regulation of financial institutions.”

The recommendation states, “That Council request that the Mayor, on behalf of Council, write to the Prime Minister of Canada, requesting that the Government of Canada undertake meaningful consultation with local government on the draft terms of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, to ensure that local government autonomy is recognized and protected prior to any further steps being taken toward Canada becoming a signatory to this agreement.”

That resolution was passed!

The Council of Canadians Vancouver, Kelowna, Brandon and Northwest Territories chapters have also called on their city councils to pass resolutions in opposition to the TPP. On April 26, Nanaimo city council unanimously passed a resolution that stated, “BE IT RESOLVED THAT: Nanaimo Mayor and Council express its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and communicate this to Prime Minister Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers and every Member of Parliament.”

The leaders of the signatory countries to the TPP have set November 2017 as the deadline for the deal to be ratified.