Fredericton, New Brunswick – Today David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, is holding stakeholder meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at Barker House, 570 Queen Street in Fredericton. Local chapter members of the Council of Canadians will be present at the consultations and available for comment on the controversial corporate rights pact.
“The government needs to hear from Canadians – not just corporations – about what we think of the TPP,” says Leticia Adair with the Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians. “The deal gives investors the right to launch costly corporate lawsuits that undermine the government’s ability to tackle pressing issues like climate change. How will that affect our communities?”
“For most of these so-called ‘consultations,’ the government is providing less than 24 hours notice. Are these stakeholder meetings really just a smokescreen for a deal the government already intends to sign?” says Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “There are many questions about the threats the TPP poses to the public interest, the environment, health care and our democracy. The big question is will the government actually listen?”
The Council of Canadians is requesting an independent analysis of the TPP by the Parliamentary Budget Office that considers the impact on environmental, human and labour rights. The organization is calling on the government to hold full and proper public consultations with First Nations, provinces and municipalities.
“The government is consulting on TPP and the environment, but it’s not possible for the government to protect the environment and support the TPP,” adds Dey. “TransCanada’s NAFTA challenge of the U.S. decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline shows how corporations will be even more empowered by the TPP to sue over sensible environmental protections.”