October 18, 2017

Police at one of the occupation sites, Oct. 13. Photo by Alexandra Morton.

The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter in New Brunswick has expressed solidarity with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Namgis, Mamlilikula. Ma’amtagila and Tlowitsis nations and their occupation of three fish farms situated on their territories in British Columbia without free, prior and informed consent.

The Canadian Press reports, "First Nations occupying several fish farms off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island say tensions are rising after protesters were served with injunctions [on Monday October 16]. A news release from the protesters says RCMP and representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and [Norwegian-owned] fish farm company Marine Harvest have arrived near Alert Bay in the Broughton Archipelago. They say the injunction applications are due to be heard in court [today, Wednesday October 18] but add police have no jurisdiction to remove them and protesters are concerned about the escalation of what they describe as tactical teams in advance of the court hearing."

October 16, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on October 11 to discuss NAFTA. In response to a reporter asking "Is NAFTA dead?", Trump responded, "We'll see what happens. We have a tough negotiation, and it's something that you will know in the not-too-distant future."

In mid-August, just before the 1st round of NAFTA talks, the CBC reported that the Trudeau government's demands for NAFTA 2.0 were:
1- Maintaining [the Chapter 19] process to regulate anti-dumping and countervailing disputes
2- Reforms to the investor-state dispute settlement process
3- Expand procurement
4- A new chapter on labour standards
5- Protect Canada's supply-management system for dairy and poultry
6- A new chapter on environmental standards
7- A new chapter on gender rights
8- A new chapter on Indigenous rights
9- Freer movement of professionals
10- Protect cultural exemptions

October 15, 2017

Unifor workers rally to call on Boeing to drop it's complaint against Bombardier, Sept. 20

On Saturday (October 14), the Trump administration put on the negotiating table eliminating Chapter 19 in NAFTA. The Canadian Press reports, "The U.S. want to strip down Chapter 19 that allows companies to fight to overturn duties... Chapter 19 would be eliminated entirely, after a phase-out period."

In late July, in response to previous reports that the Trump administration would seek the elimination of Chapter 19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented, "A fair dispute resolution system is essential for any trade deal that Canada signs on to and we expect that that will continue to be the case in any renegotiated NAFTA, that we will continue to have a fair dispute resolution system."

How should progressives respond to this?

October 15, 2017

On the first day of the 4th round of NAFTA talks, petitions from The Council of Canadians and numerous allies calling for an end to Chapter 11 were presented in Washington, DC.

The Trump administration has just proposed making the Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement mechanism voluntary, eliminating the Chapter 19 panels that examine anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, and turning the Chapter 20 state-to-state dispute settlement panels into advisory bodies.

The Canadian Press reports, "The American proposals would render all of [these chapters] toothless. Chapter 11 would become voluntary, with countries being allowed to opt out. Chapter 19 would be eliminated entirely, after a phase-out period. And Chapter 20's panels would become an advisory body."

The CBC adds, "For example, the American proposal on Chapter 11 would make the current arbitration system voluntary, meaning countries would have to opt-in. When it comes to the state-to-state dispute resolution process, the panels that make decisions would become advisory."

October 13, 2017

On October 11, petitions from the Council of Canadians and numerous allies calling for the Chapter 11 'investor-state dispute settlement' provision to be removed from NAFTA were delivered in Washington, DC.

There have been a number of key developments midway through the October 11-17 round of NAFTA talks now happening in Arlington, Virginia.