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Dear Sir or Madam – TPP-PTP.consultations@international.gc.ca and

Dear Chrystia Freeland – Chrystia.Freeland@international.gc.ca

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Thank you for asking what the Canadian people think of TPP.

I am deeply disquieted by the TPP agreement for a number of reasons. I don’t believe we should give such power over our land, jobs and environment to unelected corporate CEOs who’s only mandate is increasing their own profit.

If I understand tariffs right, countries impose them to manage their domestic trade. The tariff money presumably goes to the government. When tariffs are lifted, it’s not a benefit to a country, but to the corporations that trade who no longer have to pay these fees. Seen from another view, isn’t it another way corporations are dodging taxes – they want to make all the money, pay nothing, and twist things around so it looks like their not paying tariffs is a good thing for everyone – and we should give up our democracy, signing an agreement so they can have a freer ride? This makes no sense.

At a time when government revenue is down, I would like your office to inform me where the money is going to come from. Specifically:

  1. Since TPP is sold on the basis of tariff removals, I assume it is a considerable sum. How is the government going to make up for the loss of tariff revenue?
  2. How will Canada prevent more job outsourcing, and how will the extra funds to pay for EI and social support with inevitable job loss be financed?
  3. How does Canada intend to prevent more tax havens, further reducing the tax base?
  4. Why is Canada considering signing a deal which offers so few financial gains – Tufts University calculates .28% over ten years, and so many significant losses?

Thank you for your immediate attention to these questions.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

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I had great hopes that the new Liberal Government would be more democratic. My hopes are flagging hearing that the government is going ahead to sign the TPP without public consultation!

Unlike NAFTA where we could get out with 6 months notice, TPP has no end date. When the deal doesn’t work out, which it looks inevitable that Canada will lose out, how do we extricate ourselves from the agreement? What is in place to exit? If there is no clear exit strategy, we shouldn’t be signing.

Previous trade agreements have promised a lot and delivered almost the opposite. How would the TPP be any different?

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

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There appear to be many problems embedded in this massive TPP trade agreement.

I am concerned about health care costs, especially at a time when Canada is considering including pharmaceuticals as part of health care. If the extended intellectual property rights causing pharmaceutical price hikes due to removing and delaying generics costs the billions I have read that it will, how are we going to pay for this?

Why is there no discussion about the nuts and bolts of the TPP? While everyone focuses on tariffs, all the rest of this high cost agreement slips through without attention. We are already in financial doldrums – we don’t need this made worse.

Please explain how we are going to pay for all of the many costs of TPP.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

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Thank you for asking Canadians what they think of the TransPacific Partnership – TPP.

If lawsuits like the ongoing 700 million Ontario NAFTA lawsuit for favouring windmills is anything to go by, I don’t see how we can sell enough of anything – beef to Japan or whatever – to make it worthwhile. Why sign something that costs us?

Given our climate change and pollution predicament, we should be asking ourselves if we should be shipping food such a distance in the first place. Perhaps we should be asking if we should be increasing beef sales when beef is the most environmentally damaging of all foods.

Focusing on tariff reductions to serve a few wealthy multinationals while ignoring the environment and our country’s finances makes no sense.

Please explain why you are furthering this direction by signing the TPP.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

_________________________________________

I had found it promising that the Liberal Government was asking for public opinion about the TPP. We have hardly had time to understand what is in it, and yet I hear now you are going ahead to sign it.

My deepest concern is for the environment. It matters little what is decided in Paris if TPP trumps sustainable action these ISDS lawsuits. I’ve read that these perceived loss of profit lawsuits in the investor-state dispute resolutions have become a business in themselves, with corporations suing for mining they never intended to do to make a quick buck. The worst is scuppering protection of land, sea and air, supporting local input, moving to renewable energy and everything we really need to do because these lawsuits will be threatening at every move.

Please explain how you intend to

  1. govern the country, with decent food, environmental and social equality policy when these lawsuits are hovering to sue anytime corporate profit is diminished.
  2. how Canada is going to pay for all these lawsuits
  3. why corporate profit is being allowed to be a governing factor.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

____________________________________________

It was promising to read that Justin Trudeau was asking Canadians to read the TPP agreement and comment on it. However, looking on the gc.ca website, I see only the positive points put forward, putting all the focus on perceived gain. This is disingenuous, to put it mildly. Democracy relies on balanced information.

The Council of Canadians have started doing the math on, for example, the extended intellectual property rights on already wealthy pharmaceuticals and biologics that will cost health care billions, and price medication out of reach of many people needing health care, and greatly slow or prevent generic drugs. This should also be on the gc.ca website otherwise it’s a lopsided picture.

Now I hear that the signing is going ahead, skipping the promised consultations with the public. Please explain why this is so, and why information about this far-reaching deal has not reached ordinary Canadians. Where’s the flyer? Where is the information laid out in newspapers and talk on the radio?

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

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Re TPP secrecy and being pushed through fast:

It is always suspicious when a document is prepared in secret. Then we find out this document is 5,544 pages long, only five chapters are actually about trade, and the rest are about control of internet and intellectual property rights. These are issues that will affect us forever.

My questions are:

  1. is there anyone who knows what all the small print in this document is?
  2. When are Canadians going to be let in on what is in this document? The gc.ca website focuses on potential gains, and doesn’t outline the costs.

We need to know how many billions are needed to pay for ISDS lawsuits, how many billions health care will cost with the extended patent protection on pharmaceuticals, how many jobs will be lost, how many foreign workers can be expected to swamp our already fragile markets, how much EI and welfare will cost with the inevitable unemployment, how much corporate money can find new tax havens, how much it will cost to re-write internet rules, and weigh this against properly assessed gains.

I would like more information about why Canada is signing a deal which upfront looks like a such a very bad deal.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

__________________________________________________

I appreciate that you have asked public opinion on the TPP. I hope you read letters, and hope that there is still democracy.

I have many reasons for concern about the TPP. It promises corporations new countries to outsource Canadian jobs to at a time when we already have unemployment at home. It offers Vietnam for labour that is even cheaper than China, and puts Canadians in the position of competing with 65 cent/hour wages

TPP likely offers new ways Canadian corporations can off-shore profits to avoid taxes, further reducing funds for infrastructure, health and education.

TPP allows the importing of foreign workers even though there is unemployment at home. This adds up to total benefit for already hugely profitable corporations – why they call TPP ’the gold standard’ but promises losses on every front for ordinary Canadians! 

It sounds like all the promises made before NAFTA. While Canada’s GDP grew under NAFTA, all those gains were in a fw pockets, and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost.

I would like you to explain why would we repeat this mistake.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

 

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I have many concerns about the TPP. My biggest concern about the TPP is that it effectively puts a layer of government above our own which dictates policy through punitive ISDS lawsuits. This corporate ‘over-government’ is entirely unelected, composed of profit seekers who act like they think the planet’s resources are their right to exploit, and who appear to be short-sighted regarding the needs of delicate ecological balances, the effect of GHG emissions, and the dangers of pipeline leaks, tail pond chemical contamination and every manner of chemical pollution. This is criminal!

Any health or environmental regulation that effects their bottom line can result in another lawsuit, adding to the $5 billion already in the pipeline due to NAFTA.

Governments will quickly be bankrupt under this scheme, which I guess is ideal for corporations who want to privatize everything.

The Liberal Government had promised discussion before signing this deal. I hear now it will be signed on February 4th. I would like to know where is the public consultation? Where is the information made available for Canadians to understand this deal? The ramifications certainly aren’t made clear on the government website.

Thank you for promptly answering these questions.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

______________________________________________

 

I am dismayed that the TPP is being signed without sufficient discussion around the ramifications for ordinary Canadians.

It’s a clever spin to say that ‘Canada benefits from tariff reductions.’ Corporations benefit from not paying tariffs; the Canadian government loses a revenue stream, and the market regulation the tariffs are designed to create.

How is this a benefit to anyone except the writers of the agreement?

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

_____________________________________________

I had great hopes for our country when the Liberals won the election. There was a promise of change. Now I hear the TPP is going through without consultation. How is this change?

For all MPs who went through pavement pounding and electioneering: what is the point when you get in power when you sign an agreement allowing corporations to coerce you through fear of lawsuits?

These ISDS lawsuits are no conspiracy theory. The billions of dollars of lawsuits from NAFTA already prove they happen, and regularly. Since loss of profit is all that is needed to file a ISDS lawsuit, and from the Nova Scotia coastline – when the corporation hadn’t even started work! – I can’t see how you can possibly run a country. Every good food standard, every environmental protection plan, could be said to be a loss of profit for some corporation somewhere. We’ll be living in squalor, eating poison just so some wealthy multi-national can make even more profit.

I would like a clear explanation why Canada would agree to such a thing.

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code

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Signing TPP creates a deeply imbalanced way of doing business. This isn’t ‘Free Market.’ Small Canadian businesses can’t sue Walmart for loss of profit, only the other way round. Governments can’t sue corporations for ruining land or being dishonest through the ISDS process, only the other way round.

The biggest wrong being that something this big this that could effect the lives of people in so many countries forever is being negotiated and pushed through in secret.   Either we are democratically organized people, or not. Already we have massive organizations run by non-elected officials – like the IMF and WTO. Now we are giving a non-elected bunch of profit seekers power over the regulatory capacities of our government!

I would like you, please, to give me an explanation for this direction.

Awaiting your response,

Sincerely,

Name, credentials, address, postal code