Many of the ISDS lawsuits have been over sustainability issues. NAFTA can be terminated in 6 months; TPP has no end date. Canada is at a cross-roads. We must make a choice between TPP, which will continue lawsuits for favouring wind power, or for requiring a certain percentage of local products and labour in MicroFIT installations, and innovative sustainability solutions harnessing wind, sun, tidal and other kinds of energy that will necessarily lessen the use of fossil technology and perhaps other technologies too. Free trade agreements that are bound by a top down system will stifle our innovation. TPP will hold us in fear of lawsuits. Democracy will be eroded under TPP as will the power of government to make good executive decisions for the health of land and people.
We must notice all this at the beginning, and notice the inconsistencies between MPs mandates and TPP mandates.
For example, The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s ‘to do list’ includes ‘protection of water,’ careful stewardship, green infrastructure, protecting the Great Lakes, The St Lawrence River Basin, protecting coastal marine life – Wonderful! All necessary, imperative work. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has been asked to increase the proportion of marine and coastal areas tha are protected. Fantastic. Imagine if this is all scuppered by industry overruling our common sense, laying claim to land that is fragile, putting corporate bottom lines in front of health and well being?
The Minister of Health is tasked with introducing new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children – about time! Imagine having to continue on a path to childhood obesity because of being locked in forever to an agenda that favours multinational profit over health and well-being?
We are on the cusp of great advancement through new use of technology so we can live more gently on our planet. Focus on pure profit to the exclusion of general well-being belongs in a previous era. We can choose change on all levels. If Canada wants to ship beef round the world, and wants lower beef tariffs with Japan, then negotiate that by exchanging something they need, and leave the other 29 chapters of TPP. Tariffs are a very small carrot in comparison to the costs they come with. Trading our democracy for a possible .1% increase in GDP that comes with increased health care costs + lawsuits makes no sense.