Greens unite across the pacific - TPP is a bad deal for Canada and New Zealand
(NANAIMO) - October 13, 2015 - Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May and International Trade Critic Paul Manly today hosted a news conference with elected representatives from the New Zealand Greens to show they are united in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mr. Manly is the Green Party candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
“Greens on both sides of the Pacific realize the TPP is fundamentally flawed,” said Manly. “The Canadian and New Zealand Green Parties both have serious concerns with the deeply undemocratic and non-transparent nature of this deal.”
“This is a deal negotiated in secret, agreed to in secret and now it is being kept a secret. How can any citizen trust this process?” Elizabeth May added. “This deal will have far-reaching impacts on our economy and our sovereignty and we deserve to have an open and forthright debate about it.”
The Green Party of Canada has been the only federal party to consistently oppose the TPP. In 2012, May signed a joint statement of Green Party parliamentarians from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among others, to express concerns about the agreement.
James Shaw, New Zealand Greens Co-Leader, highlighted a key issue: “We worry the proposed investor state clauses will restrict the NZ government’s ability to regulate to protect human health and the environment.”
Manly agreed, “Clauses that allow foreign corporations to launch suits in private arbitrations if government decisions are considered bad for profits mean this deal is a threat to Canada’s sovereignty. Signing this deal in the midst of a federal election is another disturbing example of Harper’s pattern of unaccountable, secretive, and undemocratic practices.”
“Elected Green MPs will work collaboratively within the next minority government to introduce legislation preventing these types of investor-state agreements that put foreign profit over the best interests of Canadians,” said May.
The Green Party has also pledged to work with governments around the world to open a full-scale global review of all investor-state agreements with the goal of revising and improving all of them to rebalance rights to democracies and reduce global corporate rule.
- The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), allowing free trade between 12 Pacific nations (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, United States, Singapore and Vietnam), has been approved.
- The TPP contains Investor State provisions that give foreign corporations (an "investor") the ability to sue the Canadian government (a "state") in secret tribunals over any legislation which would hurt their future profits, such as regulations defending human health, labour safety, or the environment.
- A NAFTA arbitration panel recently ruled against Canada after a U.S. company argued a joint federal-provincial environmental review board decision not to allow a quarry in the small fishing community of Digby Neck, Nova Scotia, imposed ‘unfair trade restrictions.’ The US company will now seek $300 million in damages.
- Another NAFTA panel recently ordered Canada to pay Exxon Mobil Corp. and Murphy Oil Ltd. $17.3-million, because Newfoundland and Labrador required offshore oil producers to have money allocated toward research.
- The Harper government also locked Canada into an Investor State Agreement with China; the soonest opportunity to end it without penalty isn’t until 2045. The Green Party was the first to raise the alarm in opposition to this deal.
- There have been no public hearings held on TPP.
- Leaked content of the TPP raises real concerns that provisions will make medicine more expensive, weaken Canadian content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.
- Elizabeth May was the only leader of a federal party to attend the government briefing on TPP after the deal was announced.
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