Angus Wong —
Stephen Harper’s trade minister is about to sign off on the world’s biggest corporate power grab, the TPP. This treaty would hand power to secret courts to overturn Canadian laws that foreign and domestic big business didn’t like.
Stephen Harper’s trade minister is about to sign a secret, global pact to allow corporations to sue the Canadian government for billions — just for passing laws to protect our health or the environment.
Sign a petition to say NO to the TPP
The secret meeting in Singapore is happening right now. Harper wants us to believe the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is all about getting a better deal for Canada. But the truth is that it could end up being one of the biggest corporate power grabs in a generation.
This deal is like the disastrous Canada-China FIPA trade pact on steroids. Harper and his trade minister are refusing to make the deal public (although corporate lobbyists seem to be getting the inside track) — making it hard to know just what’s in the TPP. But leaks so far indicate this is bad news. That’s why Harper wants it to stay confidential — he’d prefer to quietly sign away our rights without a big fuss.
This deal is too important to leave to the politicians: it could affect the lives of Canadians for generations to come.
The TPP is being negotiated by 12 countries from around the Pacific. They’re discussing everything from restricting internet freedoms to weakening environmental protections. But that’s not the worst of it. One of the key parts of the deal is a system that will allow the world’s biggest companies to overturn our democratically decided laws.
Right now, Eli Lilly is suing the Canadian government under the rules of NAFTA for $500 million dollars. Eli Lilly claims that the Canadian courts were wrong when they allowed other companies to make generic cheaper versions of two of its drugs after their patents had expired.
If the TPP goes ahead, this will be an everyday reality. Canada will be at risk every time a profit-seeking corporation with a grudge comes looking, and it will be taxpaying Canadians that pay the bill.
Together, our community voted to make stopping unfair global trade deals one of our top priorities for 2014. So we’ve been busy working on a plan that stretches right around the globe and we’re going to need lots of help. Already, SumOfUs members have been active in the USA calling on Congress to refuse Obama the right to negotiate without their input — and Congressional leadership have come out against “Fast Track” in response. We’re also busy building opposition in Australia and New Zealand too. Now it’s our turn to send a clear message to the Canadian government — “say no to the TPP”.