26th September 2016
To the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada.
Concerning: CETA, TPP and TiSA.
I have written now nine times to your Minster of Trade concerning one or all of these investment agreements and have received no response from her at all, and am therefore writing directly to you. As a Canadian I am somewhat miffed by this lack of response and as the interim Leader of the Canadian Action Party I am disgusted by the discourtesy of a highly paid member of your Cabinet.
Over the years Canada has been an exporter of a huge variety of items, from wheat to beef and pork, all manner of natural resources and innovation. We did not need special agreements – we simply did it. Mulroney’s FTA and the offshoot NAFTA changed all that with respect to Mexico and the USA and made trade more about corporate profits and their protection. During Jean Chretien’s time trade boomed because it was done on a personal and direct basis, with him going overseas with Canadian business men/women in tow talking directly to overseas counterparts. Did it work? Oh yes it did, we had a healthy surplus in trade in 2006.
Then came the era of destruction when everything from parliament to sovereignty and the rule of law was under severe attack, and the dark era of investment agreements disguised as and called trade agreements took place. Every one of them had within it an investor state dispute mechanism which had nothing to do with trade at all, but everything to do with protecting the perceived profits of corporations from those other countries.
Has this process worked? Well, we now have a huge trade deficit and have been taken before a corporate dispute tribunal more than any other country in the world. The reality or legality of the claims is immaterial as shown in the case of Abitibi Bowater. They had water and timber rights granted in the early 1900s by Newfoundland and Labrador for as long as they had an operating mill there employing Canadians. When they closed their last mill in 2008 those timber and water rights were taken back by the province as the conditions for those rights were no longer being fulfilled. The Harper Government of the time did not let the NAFTA claim go to arbitration but instead simply and quietly paid Abitibi Bowater $130 million rather than fight such a ridiculous claim and by this action deliberately opened the floodgates.
Worse yet is the fact that Canadian based companies such as Lone Pine Power of Calgary saw the advantage of incorporation in Delaware USA and when their intention to frack and drill in the St Lawrence River was rejected by Quebec because, among other things, a proper environmental study had not been done, Lone Pine Power lodged a tribunal claim against Canada for $250 million for perceived lost profits
Where exactly does trade fit into this picture?
Your Minister is so excited that CETA – which she erroneously called “a gold plated trade deal” – is not dead as it should be but has been resuscitated by the creation of a new court to deal with perceived profit loss disputes. I have asked for details of this new court such as where it will be based, who will provide the judges and lawyers and under what jurisprudence and at what cost to Canada, because we always seem to end up paying for these things , and how it will affect our court system and will that new court overrule our Supreme Court. I have, as usual, received not one word in answer, nor can I find answers on the Ministry of Trade website.
Perhaps you can tell me.
My understanding is that the Germans are not too happy about this new CETA court and rightly ask the same questions as to how it will affect their court system. The American equivalent of CETA (TTIP) is apparently dead so why is your Trade Minster and indeed the Government of Canada pursuing CETA instead of a real “trade” agreement?
Both CETA, the TPP and TiSA are extensions of Stephen Harper’s desire to subjugate Canada to the profits of international corporations. The Harper government was mercifully rejected and an ungrateful nation will now reward him for his treasonous behaviour with millions of dollars instead of a gold watch as he has quit his MP job to become a lobbyist; not of the Federal government I trust, as that would be contrary to the Lobbying Act.
The question, Prime Minister, is why are you and your Trade Minister continuing with these Harper government perfidious investment agreements, and where exactly is your mandate to turn our ability to make laws and regulations to protect both Canada and Canadians from corporate greed into an inability to do so, thereby destroying any sovereignty left after Harper? I actually think you were granted a mandate to scrap them along with Bill C51.
I have to tell you also Prime Minister that sunny ways and sunny days have turned to very dark and turbulent skies on this file and I am very fearful for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I did not come to Canada in 1967 to raise a Canadian branch of the family here in BC only to have them subjected to the greedy whims of some CEO somewhere in the world while their country, Canada, has its sovereignty given over to international corporate interests.
Canada is soo much better than that.
Interim leader of the Canadian Action Party
cc by mail to:
Minister of Trade, Minister of Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs.