Ottawa – Today, as negotiations on a new form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States start in a secret location in Sydney, Australia, the Council of Canadians is perplexed at how the government can continue to participate in negotiations when Canadians have written to it overwhelmingly opposing the deal.
According to Global Affairs documents obtained by the Council of Canadians’ Access to Information request, only two out of more than 18,000 Canadians wrote in to support the TPP during a consultation to the government’s email address. That means only 0.01 per cent of those who participated in these email consultations supported the deal.
According to the document, Global Affairs received 18,214 submissions. For the most part, 16,849 of those submissions were from a Let’s talk TPP campaign hosted by the Council of Canadians and OpenMedia and others encouraging people to email their concerns. Out of the remaining 1365 submissions, only two expressed support for the TPP, 45 were coded as unspecified, although the majority of those expressed concerns about public participation, intellectual property, technology, corporate power, loss of sovereignty, or asked questions about the deal. Some of the document is incomplete, but it does show an overwhelming trend.
“It all very well to consult Canadians about an agreement, but it’s extremely cynical to then ignore everything that people have said to you. No wonder people are so exasperated with trade agreements,” said Maude Barlow, honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “What is concerning is that from media reports, negotiations are heading towards minimal changes to the U.S-led TPP 1.0. So, we will be getting all the things that led people to reject the deal in the first place: lost jobs, higher drug prices, and corporate courts, but with no further access to the U.S. market. The Trudeau government needs to clearly oppose the TPP, not support further secret negotiating rounds.”
According to Global Affairs, out of the 1365 letters which did not come directly from the Let’s talk TPP website, the concerns broke down as follows:
- 413 Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions
- 187 intellectual property provisions
- 164 sovereignty or corporate power
- 132 public consultation
- 76 food safety
- 71 environment
- 63 temporary foreign workers
- 45 technical questions
- 34 transparency
- 10 need for economic analysis
For more information on the Council of Canadians campaign against the TPP »
The TPP negotiations started today and continue until Wednesday.
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