Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape with allies protesting against the TPP prior to a federal consultation in Manitoba, April 2016.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister wants the Trudeau government to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
CBC reports, “Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government is backing a huge free trade deal among a dozen countries. …The PC government wants unanimous support for the TPP from all parties in the Legislature.” Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen says, “It sends a more concrete message to the federal government that … all parties support the initiative and support the agreement and if we can have that initiative brought forward on a unanimous basis it would deliver a stronger message for the Canadian government.”
The article notes, “One quarter of Canada’s pork exports come from Manitoba and under the deal, tariffs on the meat would be completely eliminated over ten years. Manitoba exports approximately $700 million of pork to seven TPP countries. …[But] the TPP would see the amount of milk allowed into Canada increase and that may take some market share from some of the province’s approximately 300 dairy producers. …[In addition], Alex Paterson of the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition said signing the TPP would give companies in other countries the legal right [through its investor-state dispute settlement provision] to extract products such as oil, even if Canada wanted to limit production of fossil fuels.”
The news report adds, “Debate on Manitoba’s stance on the trade deal stretched into Tuesday afternoon without a vote.”
Where are some of the other provinces on the TPP?
Premier Christy Clark has been a vocal proponent of the TPP. In April, the Globe and Mail reported, “In a letter to International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ms. Clark’s government is calling on Ottawa to ratify the deal. Ms. Clark’s Liberal government also introduced a motion in the legislature endorsing the deal. Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan says the public deserves a greater say on the trade deal beyond the premier’s endorsement.” And back in February, Clark stated, “We’re bringing together a coalition of people who support it, because we want the federal government to know: We understand they need to have a conversation with Canadians as they promised in their platform, but we’d like them to do it quickly and we’d like to get this done.”
In October 2015, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall praised the TPP as a “huge deal” that was good “for our exporters”. It would likely mean more mining in the province. CBC reported, “According to data on the website for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Saskatchewan’s biggest export sector to TPP countries has been in metals and minerals. From 2012 to 2014, the province has exported $16.7 billion in metals and minerals to those countries. Its next biggest sector is Agriculture and Agri-Food: the province has exported $5.66 billion in the sector from 2012 to 2014 to TPP countries.”
In October 2015, the Montreal Gazette reported, “The Couillard government welcomed the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which it said benefits Quebec as a whole, and the Quebec mining, manufacturing and aerospace industries in particular. …Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis argued that 60 per cent of Quebec’s agri-food sector also stands to benefit from the deal: ‘Pork producers, maple syrup, cranberries, I think it’s a golden opportunity for them.’ He recognized it is a raw deal for the remaining 40 per cent under supply management, especially dairy farmers, but said there are ways to attenuate the impact.”
In a debate in the Ontario Legislature the day after the Harper government concluded negotiations on the TPP, NDP Leader Andrea Horwarth stated, “The Council of Canadians warns that the TPP threatens the possibility of creating a national pharmacare program. Why is the Premier choosing big American pharmaceutical companies over the health care needs of Ontarians?” Premier Kathleen Wynne responded, “We haven’t endorsed anything, what we’ve said is we must compete globally.” Prior to the completion of the negotiations, the Toronto Star had reported, “Wynne said her government wants to see reduced trade barriers for exporters, but not at the expense of sectors that are important to the provincial economy, including the $34-billion agriculture industry.” She has also expressed concerns about the impact of the TPP on Ontario’s auto sector.
News articles are sparse on the positions of most other provincial governments on the TPP.
We encourage you to write your provincial government, to highlight your concerns about the TPP, and to ask them to publicly oppose the deal.
For more on our campaign to stop the TPP, please click here.