By Meghan Sali
March 29, 2016
OpenMedia original article
Canadians are talking about the TPP
Today, we're sending a message. (Thousands of them, actually!)
Since the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed in early February we’ve been hearing a lot from the government about how Canadians would be consulted on Canada’s involvement in the far-reaching agreement. We’ve been told that no decisions have been made, and that we’ll be listened to.
Thankfully, the government appears to be both talking the talk and walking the walk on creating opportunities for Canadians to speak up: but the question remains, will they listen to what we have to say?
In an effort to foster the “full and open debate” we’ve been promised, last week the Standing Committee on International Trade, a parliamentary committee tasked with studying the effects of the TPP on Canada, opened a consultation process through which all Canadians were welcomed to submit briefs raising questions and concerns they have about the agreement.
Working with our partners at Council of Canadians, SumOfUs, and Stand (formerly ForestEthics) we jumped into action and built a brand new tool that would allow Canadians across the country to easily put their voices directly on the public record as opposing the TPP.
Our plan is has three points of contact where your messages will be sent:
1. The Standing Committee on International Trade: this is the committee that was tasked by Minister Freeland to study the effects of the TPP on Canada. As they examine the agreement, they’ve asked for Canadians to submit briefs for their review. This is a key target of our campaign because your comments will feed into a review by committee members from across the political spectrum. They want to hear from you. In fact, only about an hour after we launched our tool this morning, we got a call from the Clerk of the committee to ask us about our campaign. After he saw the emails start flooding in, he wanted to know more about what our goals were and how we were engaging with Canadians. Here’s Andrew on the phone with him:
2. Your MP: this is another key piece of the puzzle. Not only does the Trudeau government need to hear from Canadians, but your local representatives should also know where their constituents stand on the TPP. When the time comes, our MPs will be voting on whether or not Canada ratifies the agreement. Now is a great time to remind them that they work for Canadians, and we expect them to vote against ratification.
3. The Ministry of International Trade: Minister Freeland has been championing the cause for consultation within the Liberal government. In her role as International Trade Minister, responsibility for the TPP falls squarely in her lap, and she has repeatedly reiterated that she wants to listen to Canadians on this. So let’s take this opportunity to help make the decision abundantly clear: we don’t want the TPP.
Reaching out directly to decision-makers in various roles will help give us the leverage we need to convince the government that the cost of ratifying the TPP will be huge, and that they do not have the necessary social license to push this trade agreement through without our permission.
Whether you’re concerned about safeguarding the environment, the future of good-paying Canadian jobs, our digital and innovation landscape, affordable medicine (or one of the other dozens of reasons to be opposed to the TPP) your decision-makers need to hear from you right now!
Here’s a little taste of what Canadians are telling us their main concerns are:
A deal that allows foreign private interests to sue the Canadian people for democratically enacting legislation that might result in the loss of imagined profits is bad for democracy and bad for Canada. It threatens the environment, the quality and availability of jobs, the cost of healthcare and free expression. Please do not support corporate rights over the rights of Canadians.
The TPP is a bad deal for Canadians. It will restrict free expression online, kill jobs, undermine environmental protections, and erode our democratic rights. Government is supposed to be about the needs of the many, of making sure everyone is taken care of. Anything that undermines a government’s job to take of people because corporations don't like the regulations is NOT in the best interest of Canadians. Or anyone for that matter.
I'm very unhappy that the TPP was signed before any attempt was made to get feedback from Canadians. The secrecy surrounding the deal and everything I know about it makes it seem like it will be bad for citizens. We should not be making deals to help big corporations at the expense of the people. To be clear, I will never vote for anyone who supports this agreement.
I am a local constituent and am concerned about this trade agreement. The TPP is a bad deal for Canadians. It will restrict free expression online, kill jobs, undermine environmental protections, and erode our democratic rights and give too much power to big businesses. Please stop the TPP.
Don’t forget to add your concerns to the growing pile at letstalktpp.ca!
Last but not least, the government have just announced a series of nationwide in-person hearings. We’re cooking up big plans for these, so stay tuned!
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