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Canada Access Innovation Internet Choice & Affordability Our Vision

NAFTA and the OpenMedia community: The story so far

Canada has signed a new NAFTA agreement, now known as the USMCA. Here’s how the story unfolded from the beginning and how the OpenMedia community was involved throughout the process so far.

Below is a list of the different actions we launched throughout the NAFTA negotiations and the number of people who supported them:

  • 18,261 people across Canada participated in in the government’s NAFTA public consultation via OpenMedia’s tool at: https://act.openmedia.org/NAFTA

  • 27,056 people in Canada spoke out against Bell Canada’s proposal to introduce a mandatory website blocking system without court oversight and radical new copyright rules in the new NAFTA at: https://act.openmedia.org/bellnafta

  • 11,368 people across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico endorsed OpenMedia’s petition calling on key decision makers to embrace an open, transparent, and democratic process, while also protecting the Internet and our online rights in the new NAFTA at: https://act.openmedia.org/freetradefreeinternet (Spanish version: https://act.openmedia.org/TLCAN)

  • 7,824 people in Canada emailed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, directly demanding transparency in the negotiations and putting pressure on the government to release the submissions and key findings from their public consultation at: https://act.openmedia.org/NAFTAtransparency

  • 22,755 people across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico endorsed OpenMedia’s petition asking Minister Chrystia Freeland to remove the Intellectual Property chapter from the revised NAFTA agreement, and not trade away the Internet at: https://act.openmedia.org/DontTradeAwayTheInternet

  • Over 55,000 voices were delivered straight to Minister Freeland’s office in February 2018.

  • OpenMedia filed an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request and obtained over 46,000 submissions to the government’s official national public consultation on the agreement.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who took part in one or more of these actions. Even though Canada signed onto the agreement back at the beginning of October — despite a lack of transparency and massive public opposition — we must keep the pressure on the government and let them know we are watching, and that we will hold them accountable to their actions.

What’s next?

The agreement will have to go through Parliament before it is ratified and set in stone. During this process the text of the agreement is subject to amendments, where Members of Parliament (MPs) will play a key role.

What’s more, some of the proposals originally floated in NAFTA, such as Bell’s website blocking plan, are still under consideration by the government. To speak out against website blocking, you can do so through our Let’s Talk Copyright tool.

Once again, thanks again for everything you’ve done so far — every signature, email, call and tweet at decision makers makes a difference!

If you want to stay on top of NAFTA and other free expression developments, sign up here: https://act.openmedia.org/defendfreeexpression