Guelph, ON – Today David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, is holding stakeholder meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ontario regional office (174 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario). Despite the government providing less than 24 hours notice, the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians will be present at the consultations and available for comment on the controversial corporate rights pact.
“We had high hopes for this administration – we really want them to keep their promises to ensure that Canadian citizens have meaningful input into this consultation. We have been talking to our MP about our concerns about the TPP and asking to be heard since last November, so it’s terribly disappointing that the Liberal government did not let us know about this event in Guelph,” said Lin Grist from the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians. “We will be at the event because we think the prime minister and his ministers need to hear from Canadians – not just corporations.”
In past government TPP consultations, including in Regina and Winnipeg, the government has also not invited the public and simply issued a press release a day before the event.
“The history of previous trade agreements gives us great concern in Guelph. The prioritization of investor rights above all else in the TPP will have overwhelmingly bad effects on our food and water security, and our environmental initiatives,” says Norah Chaloner from the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians. “The overarching TPP control that supersedes our government’s decisions should be removed from trade agreements. These investor ‘rights’ will cause great damage to community resilience in the face of the climate stress ahead.”
The Council of Canadians is requesting an independent analysis of the TPP by the Parliamentary Budget Office considering the impact on environmental, human and labour rights. The organization is also calling on the government to hold full and proper public consultations with First Nations, provinces and municipalities.