PHOTOS: Kinder Morgan Inc. headquarters in Houston Tex. (Photo: H-town-visually.blogspot.ca). Below: Author and journalist Andrew Nikoforuk, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and lighter-than-air Prime Minister JustinContinue reading
PHOTOS: Kirill Kalinin, former First Secretary and Press Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Canada. Below: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and the Russian EmbassyContinue reading
As I recently wrote, I am very doubtful that the Trudeau government will rescind its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, damning evidence ofContinue reading
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland continues to treat the Canadian public as children, revealing nothing as to what our country’s goals are in the upcomingContinue reading
I suspect that, if they had their druthers, both Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her boss, Justin Trudeau, would much prefer that we trustContinue reading
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.-George Orwell Regarding the misuse by the Saudis of armoured vehicles CanadaContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Dennis Howlett comments on the distortions in Canada’s tax system which redistribute money upward to those who needContinue reading
PHOTOS: Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former prime minister of Ukraine, with then Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper in July 2015. (Screen capture of CBC news broadcast.) Below:Continue reading
PHOTOS: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland during her visit to Edmonton in the midst of the 2015 federal election. Below: Former Foreign Affairs Minister StephaneContinue reading
This week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland admitted that the United States’ withdrawal from Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) effectively kills the mega trade deal. TheContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Peter Martin reports on the Australia Institute’s recent study showing that corporate tax levels have little to doContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – The Star argues that a crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance is a crucial first step in reiningContinue reading
While it is beginning to look like International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland’s departure from CETA negotiations was more of a ploy than the end ofContinue reading
A recent post I wrote contrasted the apparent indifference/ignorance of Canadians toward CETA with the furious involvement of the Europeans, most recently the Germans, in open protest against the deal. It is a pact that will see even greater erosion of our ability to enact strong legislation to protect labour, the environment and a host of other realms thanks to the Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions that protect multinationals at the expense of citizens. It will further undermine our increasingly fragile sovereign rights.
And sadly, it is a deal the the Trudeau Liberals are avidly embracing.
Scott Sincleair and Stuart Trew write a trenchant reminder of CETA’s dangers:
Much more than a trade deal, CETA is a sweeping constitution-style document that will restrict public policy options in areas as diverse as intellectual property rights, government procurement, food safety and environmental protection, financial regulation, the temporary movement of workers, and public services.
My previous post noted the weak language governing some of the above, including platitudes like commitments to cooperate, provisions encouraging Canada and the EU to continue developing our resources in a way that is environmentally sustainable, establishes shared commitments to promote trade in a way that contributes to the objectives of sustainable development in Canada and the EU, etc.
All part and parcel of what Liberal International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland calls “a gold-plated trade deal.”
As Sincleair and Trew observe,
While CETA’s safeguards for labour and the environment are mainly voluntary and weak, the investor protections are strong and fully enforceable. Such an agreement could only be considered enlightened in an upside-down world.
The devolution of our sovereignty began long before CETA, however.
Canada’s experience with investor-state arbitration under NAFTA is pitiful. We are the most-sued NAFTA party despite our highly developed legal system and strong protections for private property. Many of these challenges involve environmental protection policies that were legally enacted, but which upset an investor’s plans or profits.
Just last year, Canada lost a disturbing NAFTA dispute over an environmental assessment that recommended against a massive quarry in an ecologically sensitive part of Nova Scotia. Canada currently faces a raft of claims as a result of progressive policies, such as banning natural gas fracking in the province of Quebec.
The pending deal promises more of the same, a source of puzzlement to European progressives:
European labour unions, environmentalists and human rights advocates question why Canada and the EU would want to expand this anti-democratic process through CETA. Despite being rebranded as an “investment court system” with pretenses to judicial independence, the substantive protections afforded to foreign investors remain largely intact. This will expose taxpayers in both Canada and the EU to huge financial liabilities and have a chilling effect on future progressive public policy.
European progressives are also asking important questions about the interplay between CETA and public services. CETA contains no clear protections for governments hoping to expand public services into areas where there is currently private sector competition, or to bring previously privatized services back under public control. Doing so can actually trigger foreign investor claims for compensation, effectively locking in privatization.
All the warning signs are there. Whether the vast majority of Canadians can rouse themselves enough to care is an open question.Continue reading
PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the […]Continue reading
As pointed out by The Mound, Joseph Stigliz has issued a dire warning to Canada about the dangers of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership); essentially, it will enrich the few at the expense of the many. As well, he has warned about two other grave dange…Continue reading
I won’t for a moment pretend that I am not glad to see Justin Trudeau’s Liberals as our new government. But as happened with a vice-principal we teachers once welcomed with open arms as a relief from the previous administration, my early hopes for real…Continue reading
Recently, I wrote a post about CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement; part of it examined the double-speak of Chrystia Freeland when she talked about both the protection of investor rights and the benefits of the deal that will redound t…Continue reading
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives just launched a new series of reports seeking to “demystify” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as Canada inches closer to ratifying the controversial trade deal.
The post Canadian think-tank wants to demyst…
As Canada and 11 other nations prepare to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Indigenous peoples in New Zealand say the trade deal is “a death sentence for indigenous rights.”
The post Canada and TPP partners to sign “death sentence for Ind…