Submission: Environmental Assessment of Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

On Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 in Backgrounder, TPP

Environmental Assessment of Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
Trade Agreements and NAFTA Secretariat (TAS)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0G2

January 29, 2013

To whom it may concern,

The following comments are submitted as part of the Environmental Assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations that Canada has officially joined and which Ministers Moore and Fast announced on October 9th, 2012.

While the secrecy surrounding these ongoing negotiations renders it difficult to know precisely what the full extent of the environmental impacts could be, given the demonstrable negative environmental effects that similar kinds of agreements have had and continue to have in Canada and internationally, there are a number of things we can conclude.

Despite Australia’s urging against the inclusion of such measures in the TPP, and despite the Gillard Government’s published Trade Policy Statement stating that it will no longer agree to such measures, we can be very certain that the final iteration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement will include investor-state provisions.

While not directly related to trade, there exists ample evidence that the inclusion of investor-state provisions in treaties, such as the TPP or Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), fundamentally erode a government’s ability to enact laws, regulations and policies that protect its environment or the health of its citizens. In particular, insufficient attention has been paid to an analysis of the arbitrations under Chapter 11 of NAFTA.

The first of these suits was in 1997, when Ethyl Corporation of Richmond, Virginia, challenged a Canadian statute that had been democratically enacted to protect Canadians from MMT. MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) is a neuro-toxic gasoline additive that posed both health and environmental problems. It was compromising the catalytic converters on Canadian cars, alarming car makers about the potential for voiding their warranties, while also increasing air pollution. As well, its impact in the atmosphere raised concerns it could have neuro-toxic effects on particularly vulnerable populations – children, pregnant women and the elderly. The same company had manufactured, and I believe still does for sale in the developing world, leaded gasoline. The public health experience with leaded gas demonstrated conclusively that if one wanted to increase absorption to the brain of a toxic heavy metal, adding it to gasoline was an effective delivery method. Ethyl Corporation’s creative use of the “tantamount to expropriation” language of Chapter 11 was a surprise to the trade and investment community. What they now so sanguinely defend as a “typical FIPA provision,” was not the intent of the NAFTA negotiators. I have spoken to a number of them who believed that the Chapter 11 language was only to codify what was clear in international law: that is a nation-state nationalized and expropriated the assets of a foreign corporation, compensation was owed.

As the Ethyl Corporation challenge became known, there was an effort through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to being in an international version of Chapter 11 under the name “Multilateral Agreement on Investment.” The OECD chose to consult with global civil society and, as Executive Director of Sierra Club of Canada, I attended a session with OECD negotiators in the Paris headquarters of the OECD. The session was under “Chatham House Rules,” meaning I can relate what happened, but not attribute quotes. It was clear from that session that the negotiators within the OECD working on the MAI were shocked that a US-based corporation could use Chapter 11 “tantamount to expropriation” language to claim damages from Canada for the decision to remove a toxic product from trade. The collapse of the MAI negotiations was proximately related to concern of the French government

for protection of its culture, as well as a massive international citizen mobilization, but the Ethyl MMT complaint was a warning of the way the language had morphed into something with the potential to undermine democratic decision-making. Barry Appleton, Canadian lawyer for Ethyl Corp, said at the time, “It wouldn’t matter if you were adding liquid plutonium to children’s breakfast cereal. If you ban it and a US corporation loses its expectation of profit, you will owe money under Chapter 11.” (This quote is a paraphrase of his comment.)

Following the decision of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien to push the MMT matter to a settlement prior to the arbitrators’ ruling, a second Chapter 11 case was brought by S.D. Myers of Ohio, complaining of the impact of the ban on export of PCB contaminated waste from Canada. S.D. Myers had hazardous waste incinerators in the US. It had none in Canada, so the term “investor” was a stretch. This matter went to arbitration and Canada lost.

The S.D. Myers ruling is notable for several reasons:

  1. It was a law of general application, i.e. PCB exports were banned. There was no way in which the move was discriminatory towards the United States in general, nor to S.D.Myers in particular.
  2. It was a move taken consistent with Canada’s obligations under the Basel Convention on Hazardous and Toxic Materials. Further, the Basel Convention is specifically referenced in NAFTA as a pre-existing multi-lateral obligation of Canada, exempt from NAFTA requirements.
  3. At all material times when Canada banned the export of PCB contaminated waste, it would have violated US law to import the PCB waste to the United States.

The S.D. Myers case should be a clear warning to anyone looking at the Canada-China Investment Treaty that international arbitration can come to bizarre conclusions. Chapter 11 of NAFTA has had a higher proportion of environmental law challenges than in other areas of public policy. Mexico lost to Metalclad, a US-based hazardous waste disposal company that wished to locate a large toxic facility in San Luis Potosi. The state level government rejected the application and the federal government of Mexico was successfully sued.

It must be stressed that the nature of the full environmental impacts of Chapter 11 of NAFTA has never been assessed. I submit that the chilling effect of the Ethyl Corporations and S.D. Myers was profound. I am aware of a letter warning Alan Rock when he was Health Minister that removing the registration of pesticides for use in lawns for cosmetic purposes could give rise to Chapter 11 suits, so the move was not made. We have no way of assessing the “chilling effect” of the Chapter 11 cases that Canada has lost. In my opinion, there is a compelling case that the Ethyl and S.D. Myers case have resulted in failures of the Canadian government to regulate and/or ban toxic substances that they would have in the pre-Chapter 11 era. A thorough review of the regulatory process by the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development, within the office of the Auditor General, assessing why certain pesticides and toxic substances have not been banned could provide empirical evidence of the chilling effect. In my view that is the single greatest environmental threat in this treaty. I believe municipal, provincial, territorial and the federal government will find themselves second-guessing policy and law-making related to environmental quality, health and safety based on how they imagine the investors awarded these powers by the TPP might respond.

More recent instances of such investor-state provisions being used to challenge sustainability or environmental protection measures here in Canada, and by Canadian firms abroad, are equally troubling. This past November, US energy company Lone Pine Resources launched a Chapter 11 challenge against the Quebec government, demanding $250 million in compensation. The damages that Lone Pine is alleging emerge from Quebec’s adoption of a province wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), and related suspension of exploration rights in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, pending the results of a comprehensive review into the negative environmental impacts of the practice. Such cases represent clear barrier to environmental protection and regulation in Canada. As stated by company spokesman Shane Abel, “We think that the expropriation is arbitrary and without merit,” he said. “… We think that’s a clear violation of the NAFTA agreement.”

In practice, findings that such a regulatory decision is “arbitrary” are themselves arbitrary, since a many government decisions, such as those resulting from a democratic change in government, can be viewed as “arbitrary” from the perspective of investors. This creates a basis for arbitration claims in any area of Canadian policy. And while guarantees against arbitrary and uncompensated expropriation are important to ensure a stable investment climate, in reality, the domestic courts in any of the countries participating in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations would provide sufficient protection for investors against such risks.

At minimum, I would insist that any inclusion of investor-state arbitration clauses into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement include clearly stated exceptions against claims of expropriation for any laws or regulations pertaining to environmental, social, or labour policies that a future government may want to pursue. Yet while better than nothing, even here such exceptions present unacceptable risks to Canadian’s sovereign, democratic rights to govern ourselves, including in environmental protection.

As explained by investment law expert Gus Van Harten, “The catch is that these exceptions are always uncertain and, ultimately, in the arbitrators’ hands. Arbitrators have often decided that a measure was not “necessary”, for example, where a less restrictive option was available to a government.” The potential environmental impact of this degree of power being vested in an unelected and unaccountable body is both direct, wherein an arbitral panel may award damages in response to environmental laws or regulations that, in its sole opinion, are not strictly “necessary”, creating pressure for them to be rescinded, and indirect, wherein the implicit threat of such legal action is sufficient to pre-empt a government from enacting an environmental law or regulation that could even potentially be challenged using the dispute resolution mechanism likely to be included in the TPP.

As described above, and for the reasons listed here, the Government of Australia has commissioned a major national review of the impacts of investor-state dispute resolution on the Australian economy and environment. Published in November, 2010, the 400 page “Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements Productivity Research Report” formed the backbone of the “Gillard Government Trade Policy Statement”, from April, 2011. The Policy Statement arrives at some conclusions that are particularly relevant in considering the environmental impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Describing the negative impact of investor-state mechanisms on the ability of an elected government to pursue laws and regulations in the public interest, the Policy Statement states:

Some countries have sought to insert investor-state dispute resolution clauses into trade agreements. Typically these clauses empower businesses from one country to take international legal action against the government of another country for alleged breaches of the agreement, such as for policies that allegedly discriminate against those businesses and in favour of the country’s domestic businesses.

The Gillard Government supports the principle of national treatment – that foreign and domestic businesses are treated equally under the law. However, the Government does not support provisions that would confer greater legal rights on foreign businesses than those available to domestic businesses. Nor will the Government support provisions that would constrain the ability of Australian governments to make laws on social, environmental and economic matters in circumstances where those laws do not discriminate between domestic and foreign businesses. The Government has not and will not accept provisions that limit its capacity to put health warnings or plain packaging requirements on tobacco products or its ability to continue the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Australia has, in no uncertain terms, identified the linkage between investor-state provisions and the erosion of democratic control over the laws governing its social, environmental, and economic spheres. As a direct result, as a matter of policy the Government of Australia “will not support [investor-state] provisions in trade agreements that constrain our ability to regulate legitimately on social, environmental or other similar important public policy matters.”iv When it comes to our domestic ability to enact environmental laws or regulations, Canada would do well to heed Australia’s example during these negotiations.

I urge the Trade Agreement Secretariat to make public the terms of this Agreement currently being negotiated in our name.


Elizabeth May O.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada

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  • Heather

    Good work Elizabeth, I’m with you! (And reposting) :)

  • Josh Buzzell

    Thank you so much for keeping me informed! Canadians deserve to be informed.

    • Complex issues

      Josh hate to put you down but read the last sentence. Miss May is telling us the Harper Government is NOT KEEPING US INFORMED. Well after all is said and done (signed). Too late for all of us!

      • Seeking justice

        never too late for those who feel passionate about it

  • Devin RavenWave MoonFire Fenwi

    WOW!!!…Hot damn!…A straight to the throat analysis of possible negative implementations of the trade agreement with fundamental past examples. Excellent work! :)

    • Cassandra

      Yes, but NOW how to work on the solution?????

  • Danny Daniels

    As always, Elizabeth, incisive, detailed and yet easily readable. Surely both our experiences with US corporations under Chapter 11 and the Australian analysis must convince our own negotiators to ensure that we don’t fall into future traps that would erode the ability of Canadian governments at all levels to adequately protect our own citizens from environmental hazards.

    • Cassandra

      tells you where their real interest lies!

  • Canadian citizen

    Simply put: No other nation, corporation, person or persons shall have supremacy over the democratic rights of the population of Canada and any attempt to create an agreement that affects those rights otherwise shall be considered illegal and its content to be null and void.

    • Cassandra

      well, that’s what WE want … but obviously our last 2 govt’s have the other agenda. Join up the dots.

    • Nick Gurnick

      That would bring total agreement from all Canadians. That is why Mr. Harper will ignore it.

    • Complex issues

      Yes indeed!

  • Preston Odin

    Well put, Elizabeth. We are proud of you.

  • Don

    I fear that the Harper government does not fear the abuses it enacts to canadians or the environment. They serve only their corporate masters. Concentrating wealth is the objective, that is short term gain for a few and long term or even permanent loss for the entire world.

    • Cassandra

      yes, & evil thrives when good people remain silent & DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!

  • Sue Near

    Thank you. I will share this important article.

  • Tanya S

    Wow, what a clear, detailed and powerful argument! I so wish we had more politicians like you. Thank you!

  • Demetrios

    Dear elizabeth, we the canadian public is fortunate to have someone like you fighting on our behalf! These matters need to be exposed, and your are doing it admirably. It is incredible to see how our governments have compromised us on behalf of the big corps, with clauses that are harmful to the environment and the people. It must also be noted that our big mining companies are doing much harm to peoples and environments overseas, and that must be addressed as well. Keep up the good work!

    • looking for some hope

      yes, but we must find a way to solve this practically … before it’s too late … what is your solution?


    Thank you Elisabeth, giving visibility on the social media

  • Marg Wood

    Unfortunately our present Government doesn’t care! He only cares about Corporations and wealth. He is doing everything in his power keep Canadians from learning anything negative about the destruction of our environment and health.

    • Sleel OfWpg

      Yeah. Horrible thing that having profitable companies. Employing people, paying them the money that keeps them housed, fed, clothed. The same companies that are paying more then they did 25 years ago, just to have the marvelous governments at the same time take so much more in taxes ppl have less take home pay then they did then. Because government creates so much wealth creating jobs. Oh wait, they get all their money from taxes and create none on their own. (Unless you actually think printing money is creating it and not deflating it, in which case, I have some lunar real estate you will be interested in) So all that tax money that is supposed to save us either gets strip mined out of our pockets, or from debt. And I, for one, am not even remotely interested in more debt. Greece doesn’t need more company.

      And, no. I don’t support the treaty with China (or trust China further then I can wizz into the wind in a blizzard in January at Portage and Main) Nor anything that usurps our sovereignty. All I’m see in this comment section are people in an echo chamber acting like 1 seat means they speak for all of Canada. While at the same time as saying they are sick of partisanship, spout arguments based on nothing but partisan hate for Harper. Which, ironically enough, was mentioned in the news on tv before I checked my email and saw this newsletter.

      • cross-words

        BTW, those companies that are paying more than they did 25 years ago? They would not be paying more had it not been for unions. And you wouldn’t have health care were it not for your despised government. Or rules that make it possible for you to walk or drive around safely. Or government regulations that let you eat your food without fear of contaminants. Whether you like it or not, there is such a thing as “the common good” and you should be thankful to those who fight on your behalf.

        • Douglas Newman

          It isn’t the government that is bad. It’s the terrible crony-corporation dickheads *in it* that compromise and basically ignore the will and spirit of The People! They cannot be allowed to steal *our* government! (Remember when reading online, Harper has *paid* observers in forums who’s job it is to nullify dissent from the “Harper party line”. Expect it.

      • James Kinney

        JOBS, JABS…sounds like a bite from Goin’ Down the Road! You cannot have microeconomics without macroeconomics. That is a fact. Period. Without oversight and policy making companies acting strictly under the profit motive will exploit everything and everyone…including folk from the Peg like yourself. Incorporation was an innovation that allowed businesses to have the same rights and RESPONSIBILITIES as us regular folk. Problem was they forgot to include a conscience! This is where government oversight becomes critical. Problem is governments, while empowered by the people they are essentially there to ensure the smooth running of business. Therein lies the conundrum. Which master do you serve? The one’s that financed your campaign or the one’s who placed an X beside your name. Ideally, they should strike an equitable balance and, sometimes governments lose the entire plot and serve themselves. I know that Harper doesn’t seem concerned with what the other half of Canadians think; however there has been ample proof of that from previous administrations of the Liberal variety as well.
        At the end of the day it is about ensuring a healthy environment and I would agree that jobs too are a part of the equation. A cautious and balanced approach is essential. As for China? They have strip mined their own resources and those of smaller countries with whom they have partnered. I don’t expect our relationship would be ant different. I suggest you take a look at Chinese fishing practices in the Pacific islands where they have invaded sovereign waters and deplete fish stocks under the guise of economic cooperation. Sadly, maybe this IS the new democracy at work. Countries like China, India and Brazil (with whom we are seeking greater economic ties), having depleted their own resources must exploit the only resource they have in abundance…People. Cooperation, then will equate to Canadians reducing their expectations to be in synch with that of the average Asian worker! Harper sees a larger and more sinister truth. That we cannot defend our own borders–much less our way of life, therefore, if you can’t beat ‘me, join ‘em. Yes. Harper sees a future where we must exploit our people and our resources in a manner consistent with the Àsian “investors” in order to remain competive.

        • James Kinney

          I should clarify. On a per capita basis Canadians are actually bigger wasters. Countries like China and India actually use resources more efficiently than we do…it’s the question of scale and the attitude of emerging industrial economies that environmental damage is a necessary evil.

      • Deb Brown

        I dont know what world you live in, but your opinion that all of these people are in an echo chamber, and only link to the 1 seat of the green party is mistaken. In my reality, I see a unified voice raising globally, in various Canadian political parties, in indigenous peoples Idle no more movement , in North American online groups, in David Suzuki’s and other environmental groups, online groups representing more than 30 countries speaking out, together. No one is against profitable companies, just profit at all costs. Do you have children? What will you tell them when they look you in the eye and ask what you did as our world was poisoned, and their future was sold?

        • Lillian Tetreau

          Right on, Deb. I am a card carrying Liberal yet I fully support Elizabeth May’s courageous action. Let’s work to make your assumption true; Rise up Canada and oppose the dangerous decisions of our current government.

  • Andy Bryce EFTMaster

    Wake up! As a Canadian you need to know this! It is an essential read even for expats.

  • Laura Morie

    Consistently well researched reports, that give detailed analysis. Thank you

  • Ian W Burnett

    Good work Elizabeth! For the love of Canada!

  • Charles Fayet

    Well done. Now we need a condensed version to populate social media channels!

  • frustrated

    Unfortunately we have a majority government who doesn’t give a damn about anything other than making immediate money. We also have an uninformed apathetic population who just sees the short term gain of jobs, houses, cars and toys. Not until they develop serious health concerns and our environmental destruction personally impacts them, or they become aware of multi-million dollar payments to foreign companies who have sued us,( suits that our government has agreed to be kept secret), will they see the real price we’re all going to pay and then it’s too late. I predict that China’s impact on our environment and guaranteed future law suits will make past instances look trivial.

    • also frustrated

      Too right! … too soon old, too late schmart … ya never miss the water til the well runs dry … etc, etc, etc

  • James M Patterson

    It appears we are but a few pen-strokes away from losing any notion of sovereignty over health, general well-being, the environment, working conditions, and our own legislative processes. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sounding the warning bell in such clear and concise terms! I will repost as well.

  • LCarney

    Thank you for an excellent report! By the way, wasn’t the Percy Schmeiser case a classic example of this problem some years back? Monsanto was able to sue him for their GM Rounld-up seed that blew into his fields and contaminated his crops. I think he eventually won – if a draw is a win – but they almost went broke fighting Monsanto in court.

    • seeking justice

      yes, they know how to put A BIG CHILL on any dissent

    • Mike MacKinnon

      Actually he lost and was not able to continue the fight. He was actually quite old. The Chretien govt did not support his case and today our fields are filled with GM grains which do not produce any seed and require specific chemicals. Both seed and chemicals can only be purchased from Monsanto. 12,000 years of human progress in agriculture destroyed by one company and supported 100% by both PC’s and Liberals.

  • Deb Brown

    Elizabeth – This is an excellent, informative and detailed letter, clarifying specific concerns relative to Canadian free trade agreements. The issues you outlined are of such great concern to me and to the future health of all Canadians, it is hard to believe our Government is not protecting us. When I think of the implications of this legal issue with our free trade agreement with China, and their investment in the oil industry in Alberta, it is so very frightening to the health and economic future of our country I cannot believe our current government would even consider not protecting us. Are they blind? Are they stupid? Why are the people of Alberta not screaming “bloody murder”? Cant they see where this is going to lead? Northern Alberta will be dead land. If the Quebec government is unsuccessful and being sued for $250 million in their attempt to stop fracking of oil, then Alberta will be fracked to death by the Chinese oil investors and there will be no way to stop it. Why is this information not known by all Canadians? Why is the media not letting us know? Are the media conglomerates owned by investors who will benefit from these laws? How can a single Canadian vote for a government that would allow the ever escalating wrongnesses occurring in our country? Do they have their heads in the sand? How can a single Canadian parent not see the poisoned future this will lead to for our children? Murder is illegal. Genocide is illegal. What I see occuring in our world is Globacide. We must speak up now like never before! Canada is been negotiating free trade agreements and inviting foreign investment in our natural resources with not only China, but with South America, India, and Europian countries, promising reduced taxes and streamlined processes to prevent environmental protection.. It is so wrong! Good for you Elizabeth May for being a strong, intelligent voice speaking out against the current trends of our government. Now is the time to unify our voices and to speak loud and strong as we are able. We must do our best to protect the future of humanity and all other life on our planet. It sometimes seems so hopeless, yet standing up against the corporate wrongness is the only hope we have for the future. Thank you Elizabeth, you are doing a good job!!

    • looking for hope

      but how can We help solve this terrible problem???

      • Deb Brown

        I cant give you a direct answer to how to solve this problem, but I can offer words of hope. I believe that by speaking out and sharing information we can affect the awareness of the public, and one by one gain a strong enough shared voice that Harper and his onmnibus bills will be challenged in court, and voted out in the next election. Although one candle does not have a big flame, several million little candles can light up a whole room.

        • looking for hope

          you in your small corner, & in mine ….

  • Dave Vogel

    Thanks Elizabeth…keep up the good fight…keep our temporary King’s feet to the fire…I also think the interests of our nation are being sold to the highest bidder…consequences be damned…How does a democracy remove a majority King from his unfettered power?…

    • Cassandra

      funny (NOT FUNNY, really) how the former gov’t won’t team up with the present opposition to do that job. .. guess they agree, as they broke their promise to renegotiate the FTA when it was first signed.

  • Anti

    Having read this well written reasoning of chapter 11 and its flaws it makes you wonder why our PM S.Harper is in such a flap to close this deal behind closed doors and in secrecy, other than to pander to Corporate pressure to be able to obtain money in the way of legal fines for trying to protect the population and the environment from knowingly polluting said peoples and Land, where then is Harpers allegiance? it is certainly not looking out for Canada or Canadians! and as this is so WHY is he still able to manipulate our ‘alleged’ democratic process?

    • Cassandra

      wonder no longer! you got it!

  • Ryk Mann

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  • A. K. Ruth

    Many thanks for this clear, detailed, and solution-generating response. May our current governments (federal & provincial) take these suggestions seriously and follow the lead of the Australian Government in enacting protection for our environment.

    • Cassandra

      fat chance!

  • Haasey

    Thanks Elizabeth. But why must I learn this from one who is not my MP, and who is not a media person? Where are they? Who do they talk to? Who do they stay silent for?

    • MaryLouise

      after all my wondering about WHY, WHY, WHY??? here is my take on this gov’t:: This is the “Pied-Harpist of Tarsandsland, piping his bevvy of bobble-head Tar-babies onto the OMNI-BUS, taking Canada into the TYRANNY of the IMF world bankers. Have you seen the British U-Tube “B***** the Bankers & Politicians?” – it’s a ringer….

  • Gary Anweiler

    Would that we could have you cloned, my dear. My heartfelt thanks, as always.

  • Karlwo

    Thank you for this paper – I found it very informative – seemslike Elizabeth and the Green Party are among the few Canadians politicians who take thetime to be informed about issues.

  • Donald Jantz

    Raw, focused and undeniably explosive. Elizabeth, you are awesome!

    • seeking justice

      How about an explosion into some positive ACTION???

  • Terry Robinson

    I recall objections to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on taking decision-making out of the hands of government and putting it into the hands of the judiciary – the Canadian judiciary. How times have changed….

  • Holli Lalia Lorenzo

    Keep spreading the knowledge fellow Canadians! We won’t be kept in the dark Harper!! This land belongs to the people.

  • Allan Grse

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for your incisive comments.

  • Rod McNabb

    Amen, dear Elizabeth. Amen. In other times, the usurpation of national authority in this manner (investor-protection tramping rough-shod over duly enacted Canadian
    rights) would be tantamount to invasion and acts of military occupation. Signing treaties with such provisions is an act of treason.

    • Canadian Justice????

      of course it is!, but do you believe our GG or Supreme Court would seek such charges??? after all, they were appointed by government.

  • David Brooks

    Good for you, Elizabeth. I have read many objections to Chapter 11 from the environmental movement, but none has been so clearly stated and so damning as this one. Your Environmental Assessments should be required reading not only in environmental classes but also in political science and English composition classes.
    David Brooks

    • looking for hope

      Very Good! but what do your educated professors contribute to solving this terrible problem???

  • Jo Riley

    Is there a petition or vote of non confidence we can enact against Harper. How do we stop this? Get them the frack out of our country.

  • Respect Earth

    Interesting how the money collectors have labeled government protection as “expropriation”. If they were fair they would label their fipa protected lawsuits as “extortion”. How can we allow these corporations to black mail our governments (which is the public) with possible gigantic lawsuits and at the same time they poison us and destroy the very thing that sustains us all; our precious planet. This must be a new definition of true insanity.

    • Cassandra

      not insanity, PURE TYRANNY FOR THE IMF

  • Dy Persaud

    In the new game of globalization and economic exploitation, nation-states and citizenship no longer seem to matter. Our new masters are the multinational corporations in their quest for profits, aided and abetted by their lackeys in government. From citizenship to serfdom – unwelcome!

    • Cassandra

      Right on!

  • Christina Mary

    Thank you Elizabeth! It is a big job to wade through all the legal jargan of policies and understand what the fine print is REALLY saying. My heart sinks further when I read about what is being imposed upon the people and the land with out thought of the people or the land. Where is their conscious? Do these people not have Children? Money is something that was created by man. The earth was not! We could survive with out money. We have skills, we could make a new system.

    We can not make a new earth! It is worrisome. Thank you for all your efforts. You are a good person.

  • Peter E.T.

    You serve as a more effective opposition than the other parties efforts combined. I am voting green next election

  • New Langley Green

    Ms. May, you are a hero. I watch Power and Politics on a regular basis and each and every time you speak you outshine every one of the other leaders. I will be voting Green from now on. You’re the only party leader with the kahunas to put common sense and reason in the face of the talking points of this array of self-absorbed and self-interested politicians who form all the other parties.

  • Young Professional

    Hear hear! Thank you for keeping us informed Elizabeth!

  • Caroline

    I don’t understand how can this be. Wasn’t this provision put in place so that governments would use protectionism and favour its domestic companies vs. foreign companies? If the american was suing us for passing legislation that would ban the us of that toxic additive MMT then in order to win that case wouldn’t they have to show that this decision was made based on protecting the canadian industry it was competing with? Where is this international court that rules on these lawsuits?

    • Cassandra

      probably behind world globalism under the IMF

  • Bruine

    Harper wasn’t kidding when he said; when I’m through with Canada, you won’t recognize it…
    Thank you Elizabeth for informing us about the nasties this governement is doing to our beautiful land. Harper cannot be booted out of office soon enough, as far as I’m concerned.

    • seeking justice

      well, don’t hold your breath … the other ‘opposition party’ refuses to join up to help that happen (on ‘principle’ -heh, heh … you can guess THAT principle!)

      • Sleel OfWpg

        Opposition doesn’t mean opposing for the sake of opposing. It means actually coming up with your own ideas, not just “Harper said it, EVVVVIIILLLLLL”. And ideas that don’t rely on jacking people’s taxes so we get to import those wonderful new terms from Europe, like Energy Poverty, would be a nice change.

  • Chimosabe

    Huck Farper

  • Al Cushing

    Thank you Ms May! This morning, I read in the Guardian newspaper that Globablism is on the decline, and celebrated. Our Government is philospophically years behind the rest of the world.

    • MaryLouise

      let’s hope & pray!

  • Balbir

    You are absolutely right Elizabeth. This letter surely is an eye opener for Canadians. We must not fall prey to unhealthy operations of other countries.

  • Arno Keinonen

    finally something concrete and specific that majority of people can understand and I also am sure will support! The process from here on will be a real measure of the crazyness of our dictatorship level of operation of our current government.

  • Dan.

    What a great article from Elizabeth May. Isn’t it too bad that the Harper Government is incapable of such great conclusions on behalf of the Canadian tax-paying public. Instead Harper insists on repaying those who put him in power to the great detriment of all of us. One can only wonder who the Harper government sponsors are (Athabasca Oil Sands Company, CanWest Petroleum corp, Imperial Oil Ltd………..) ? This guy should be wearing a sponsor vest like those worn by race car drivers. That way the Canadian public would know who rules this country.

    • Cassandra

      he doesn’t need ‘conclusions’ ,,, he has the IMPLEMENTATION aGENDA of the Mulroney FTA so-called negotiations … which he is doggedly ‘implementing’

  • Maureen, Chilliwack, B.C.

    Thanks Elizabeth for bringing these matters to our attention. It seems that these so called agreements are not very agreeable to our health and well being..

  • Dr. Gayle BoehmSmith

    Bless you for all your hard work. This world needs more people like you.

  • MaryLouise

    Elizabeth May IS our wonderful WARRIOR PRINCESS … Join up the dots! It’s obvious that our present gov’t is edging Canada bit by bit into the GLOBAL TYRANNY OF THE IMF BANKERS (who have just been meeting again in Davos). Harper indeed vowed to change Canada forever. And he is counting on the apathy of the people to IGNORE THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS of the NAFTA AGREEMENT. We are indeed losing the sovereignty of our country.

    • Dennis Davey

      I am65 yrs young, and have followed politics from the age of roughly 25 yrs young. This man is the most DANGEROUS ever to come to power i have seen. This country is at a DANGEROUS cross roads, and unfortunately our political system forces us to endure this DICTATOR for several more years, he is essentially unstoppable. The solution to rid ourselfs of this TYRANTis for the NDP, Lib to realize the ominous danger this country is headed in and come TOGETHER prior to next election and run only one canditate in each riding to avoid splitting the vote. Its time for politicans to put their ego aside and realize the danger of losing our democratic Parliamentry system of govt. This UNDEMOCRATIC Prime Minister has DICTATOR in his genes.

      • MaryLouise

        well, actually it happened with Mulroney’s FTA “negotiation” scam. & he is S.H.’s mentor. he is merely carrying out the “Implementation Agenda” to effect Canada to become the 51-54 states of the USNA. See “Shelley Ann Clarke/NAFTA. & pay attention – she was a 30 year trusted veteran of Foreign Affairs & blew the whistle, but those who would support her are terrified for their lives.

        • maryLouise

          & I am nearly 81, Dennis, a congenital liberal, but greatly disappointed with Mulroney’s successor (Jean Cretien) as he carried on, rejecting HIS OWN ELECTION PROMISES!

  • Marie Lloyd

    I have supped full with horrors…

    • Concerned Citizen 2

      a-a-r-r-r-g-g-g-h-hhh! “Hasten, Jason, bring the basin … woops (plop) … bring the mop! if we don’t laugh (once in a while) we’ll die of anguish! I’m almost there now.

  • Ira

    This woman should be our prime minister.

  • Aneilia

    Thank you Elizabeth for describing this so clearly and simply. Even an ordinary citizen would not agree to terms like this. Why can’t our government see this.

    • Concerned Citizen 2

      none are so blind as those who will not see! or those who have an unswerving agenda to Change Canada Forever

  • Wood

    totally agree

  • Kent Williams

    Thank you for representing our true voice Elizabeth. Here is a meesage I left to Mr. Andrew Saxton (N. Van MP):

    Hi Mr. Saxton,

    As one of your constituents I want to voice my dis-pleasure and dis-satisfaction with your present party’s (and representing the voice of Canadians) secret negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement. This is such an important issue to Canadian’s and it is our basic right to be privy to the details of this pending agreement. It is the ‘investor-state’ provisions that I find most concerning that can put our country and citizens at risk of the potential legal action by big business. We have seen this happen in the past and it is getting to be common practice as environmental policy changes to protect Canadians.

    Unfortunately, it is my feeling that this present representative government has performed poorly on respecting the human agency and pushing through policy that will affect us negatively for years to come. The primary focus of your party seems to narrowly focus on the economy without balancing equally important pillars, as in social and environmental responsibility. What is the legacy you want to leave for your children? Is it one of growing the interest of large organizations in their pursuit of profits at all cost? Globalization does not build community nor does building pipelines across our country – I feel it is short-sightedness in so many respects. Or do you want to leave a legacy of Canadian well being. I understand there is the pressure to provide a stable economy but unless we start to engage in an understanding, and meet challenges for long-term sustainability, our children are not going to have much of a future.

    The present government has a responsibility to the people to build awareness on long-term sustainability for Canadians. You and your government, in my opinion, are failing to do that. History will be written, and I do not think it will be kind to the legacy and leadership demonstrated by the Harper dictatorship. I implore you to take a stand to protect Canadians (our children) by engaging citizens in forming trading policy that will affect us for many years to come. Involving human agency is the best way to approach change in an innovative and most successful way.

    • Cassandra

      Right on, Dan … but Mr Saxon is one of the Pied-Harpist of Tarsandsland’s bobble-headed Tarbabies, marching onto the OMNI-BUS bound for the TYRANNY of IMF GLOBALIZATION. Join up the dots….

      • Sleel OfWpg

        Wow. They is the comment of an open mind. Never mind there is no tar in the oil sands. Tar being a leftover product of the refining process. You want tar. Visit the Tar Pits in California so you can find out what the difference is.

    • Complex issues

      Kent, when did you send it to your MP?
      Let us know when you get an answer.
      I presume 2020. You’ll see (LOL)!
      Oh when 2020 comes along we definitely will see what is done to our country.

  • Rob Allan

    Thank godness sombody is looking out for us.

    • Cassandra

      Yes, yes, yes, but E.M. needs support to take this knowledge forward into ACTION AGAINST this tyranny.

  • Karen Martin Sampson

    Once again, thank you, Elizabeth! Your vigilance is so appreciated! I wish every Canadian would take the time to read this report!

    • Voice crying in the wilderness


  • Don Davidson

    Add my name to the growing list of Canadians who insist on the sovereignty of their democracy in all questions of potenial environmental hazard and/or degradation.

  • Karen Lewis

    Way to go, Elizabeth–as always!!

  • Byron

    Thank you for your continued work on this topic Elizabeth May. This is possibly one of the most severe contemporary challenges to our environment, democracy and future of our country. I am so proud to have voted for you in the last election and wish you all the best in the continued struggle against the detrimental decisions and plans of the Harper government.

  • Maggie Engler

    Thank you for your thoughtful analysis. I can almost hope for a different future if more leaders could bravely foward the interests of the human community they supposedly represent.

  • cate stoker

    all I can think is: Canadians need to see this information posted on any/every media possible to reach those who would not know because they do not see(k) to…come forward you tech savvy/media communicators/socially motivated…we’re called to carry a message Elizabeth May has formulated for us…people speaking to power

    • Cassandra

      well, some time ago wen I spoke out about these things, a wonderful wife-mother-super volunteer-giver in general-husband a school principal-replied: Well! I’m glad YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THAT! — as her eyes glazed over ????????

  • comox resident

    yes, “voice in the wilderness”, WE ALL HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! THAT’S WHAT ‘IDLE-NO-MORE’ and other social networks are about. It’s no good whining for “someone” to do something, WE ALL HAVE TO NAIL THESE TREASONOUS BASKETS TO THE CROSS!

    • Ken Drumbolis

      Precisely, this IS tyranny when a group of so-called leaders puts their own interests above those of the country and primarily when those interests violate the interests of the majority. The urgent environmental crises facing us only serve to underline the criminality of it. This is also a strategy that facilitates corporate power ursurping that of an elected, democratic government.


    Thank you Elizabeth May for making things clear for we who are not well informed by our present government.I fear for our Democracy as I see it quickly eroding!!! Keep up the good fight we are certainly behind you!If someone does not do something very soon to change things in a big way our beloved,free Canada will no longer be “free!”Those who are signing these negative agreements are indeed committing treason of sorts!!!

  • Concerned Canadian

    One would think that protecting Canadian sovereignty would be a no brainer, particularly in light of the financial penalties incurred in cases by Ethyl and other under NAFTA. And one would also assume that insisting that sovereignty be protected is not an ideological decision, does not mean one is anti-business and something all political parties should be able to agree on. However, one gets the impression that our current government in Canada is all too eager to sign away these rights, or at least give that appearance. The fact that the government is thus far unwilling to make the contents of these trade agreements public prior to ratification leaves it difficult to conclude otherwise regardless of political affiliation.

    • Cassandra

      well, he has that “Implementation Agenda” that Shelly Ann Clark/NAFTA saw when she was weeding out the files after the ‘negotiations’. Don’t believe me, lok her up yourself. His behaviour proves it..

  • gailet

    Thank you Elizabeth!! This is a fantastic piece and one that i will share far and wide. I have voted Green in the past 2 elections and will continue to do so in the hope that one day more Canadians will wake up the real threats caused by initiatives like this, not only for our country but for the entire world. Let’s bring back our democratic rights!!!

  • Gronk

    A very disturbing fact of this article is the total absence of any examples of a Canadian company using Chapter 11 against the US Government. It appears that NAFTA was designed and is being used by Americans to bully their trade “partners” when things don’t go according to the US’s “God-given” rights to do what they damned well please in the world.

    • Cassandra

      actually, in 1985 the exec-secty to the 3rd FTA negotiator, Shelley Ann Clark (30+years’ experience in Foreign Affairs) early on saw red flags happening, tried to be transferred out of her job but was refused because she ‘already knew too much’ … long story short … she came to the conclusion that Canada had been ‘given away’ before any negotiations began. When clearing up at the end, came across an”Implementation Agenda’ – bit by bit things had to happen each year: FTA to be signed, Bouchard to be put into Quebec to see that it would break away from Canada, provinces would over-spend on mega projects to divert water to the USA (unsustainable debt), harmonization of laws, etc. … by about 2005 such a financial crisis would happen & when the govts would approach the IMF for a bail-out, it would be refused , but not if we would become the 51-54th states of the USNA!!!!! she was not allowed to return to Canada, but sent to a post in Vienna where her life was put in danger. Back in Canada she was kept on the payroll for many years, but given very poor jobs & very much harrassed since then. … (look up her story ‘Shelley Ann Clark/NAFTA” , also her interview on “Liquid Lunch” noonhour programme (after the first 5 min banter – 15 minute story)..No organization (union, RCMP, lawyers, journalists) will take up her cause – they must all be under the thrall of those IMF bankers & politicians. And since Harper is “Mulroney’s Man’, all his stonewalling & outrageous non-parliamentary behaviour is merely carrying out, bit by bit (& hopefully unnoticed) that Implementation Agenda. The REAL & COMPLETE (over 200 pages & NOT the shorter legal one) free trade agreement is apparently sealed & buried somewhere 16 miles out of Ottawa for 30 YEARS BY WHICH TIME NOTHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT!!! …2015! not much time left.

  • Brian

    Absolutely right that we should follow the Australian example! If othewr countries/companies want to do business with us then it should always be within the laws of Canada that represent our culture and the wishes of Canadians for a safe and healthy environment, and not be based on the profit sheets of corporations, especially those that are state sponsored!

  • Phil Durocher

    Well written. Thanks. Does the welfare of our country really requires such bend down on known toxins? What kind of government allows previously taken common sense decisions in banning dangerous pollutants to be challenged again? A whistle blower prevented Monsanto’s to bring BGH… What is the limit for securing a sustainable GNP? Is it what our government (Harper) thinks, That there is a limit? If our politicians had to swear against most engineer code of ethics, they would all be facing disciplinary actions for letting their action affects the health and life of their citizen this way. Accountability is truly weak in the hand of our policymakers.

  • Banditboy

    Elizabth May, our next Prime Minister, if only!

  • Mat Hanson

    Harper Autocry continues to erode the rights of Canadians to protect their environment, keep it clean and productive for future generations. Instead it is providing the profit based rational of mulit-national corporations to lead all political policy making at the expense of all but a few uber wealthy Canadians (mostly in the energy sector). Troubling to say the least.

  • Alberta citizen

    Thankyou for your research and excellent article. Now how do we get Harper and his government to ‘see the light”?!!!

    • Concerned citizen 2

      their light is from the globe-alization lamp! He vowed to Change Canada Forever – or did you miss that????

  • Alex

    Unfortunately, by the time the majority of Canadians wake up
    to the fact that they allowed for the barn door to be opened, and their only
    real means to close it is with the next election, it will be too late. This pro
    corporate Harper government has waited for a majority government and now, in
    the time they have left before the next election they are hurrying to legislate
    all they can to pave the way for big business to siphon off Canadian resourses
    for a quick profit, leaving whatever is left in the wake for future generations.

    • Seeking Justice

      Right on! There must be a way to reverse this gov’ts treason.

  • John Lyon

    Wow, nice job, Elizabeth! I am so glad you are in the House Of Commons, to help keep Canadians informed. I don’t understand why we are allowing our sovereignty to be compromised by international treaties that offer short-term gain (maybe) and long-term pain ( for certain). I never voted for the conserbvatives and I never will. Please keep informing Canadians of issues like this! You remind me of J. S. Woodsworth, who did so much research on behalf of working- class Canadians that MacKenzie King called him his best researcher.

    • Cassandra

      but waiting for government to change will be too late .. Harper vowed to change Canada forever & he’s got a short time left to accomplish it!

  • Judy

    If only we had as conscientious a government as Australia, but the Harper government has made it clear that it does not care for Canadian citizens or our environment.

  • Cam Gray

    Arbitrators…….”unelected and unaccountable”…….and potentially responsive to vested interest lobbyists. Not good. Is there any reason why these trade deal negotiations shouldn’t be televised?

    • Cassandra

      of course, there’d be hell to pay if us peons found out the reality

  • Deryck Hockley

    In a nutshell, I support the Govt. of Australia’s position on this matter and recommend that Canada follow closely. It would also be my position that in all proceedings involving investor-state decisions between those interests of the ‘people of Canada’ and those other interests of sundry alien investors, that the people’s ultimate representative be the Government of Canada no matter what process of arbitration is followed. Furthermore, our government must be invested with the power of veto over all final decisions involving judgements against, and contrary to, Canada’s lawfully constituted federal laws. In other words, Canada would not abide by any decision, even a decision by the World Court if the consequence contravened Canada’s constitutionally enacted laws, or in any way contrain the government’s ability to protect the people of Canada, now and in the future. Do business with our country on our terms, or not.

  • K. Fisher – Canadian

    Thank you for this Ms. May. I commend and thank you for speaking on behalf of all Canadians for what is fair and right. I agree whole heartedly and hope our PM and the Trade Agreement Secretariat will act upon your requests for the greater good of Canada’s future and her citizens.

    • Cassandra

      dream on, K Fisher … the Globalization Tyranny of the IMF inches on!

    • concerned citizen 2

      dream on & on & on!

  • W. Akawi

    What we really need here, is a comprehensive advertising campaign with a simple, strongly-worded message for all Canadians. That’s the one (and only) thing Harper responds to. ” New Harper Trade Deal Threatens Your Health & Safety “

  • Heather J.

    Does the leader of the Federal NDP or of the Liberal Party ever congratulate you on your prophetic and wise analyses of the foolish sell out of our Canadian sovereignty to foreign investors by the greedy short-sighted Harper puppets now in power?
    We need to help raise the alarm. I agree that we should all call it for what it is – TREASON !

  • Matthew Rimmer

    I agree. The Trans-Pacific Partnership poses many challenges for the environment and climate change: In addition to the investment chapter, it is worth also considering the impact of the environmental chapter; the IP chapter; the technical barriers to trade chapter; and possible text on climate change. All the chapters will have a bearing upon environmental protection.

  • EagleBear

    is there any chance that Harper could be arrested for treason for actions that harm the people of Canada, the environment of Canada, and the sovereignty of Canada?

    • Seeking Justice

      keel-hauling would be too humane

  • owlmon

    The Harper government as the ones before were and are all founded upon fraud! Check out the repeal of section 2 of the BNAA Who inherits the Throne when Queen Vic died? Fraud!!

  • Wm. R. McLeish

    We, the Canadian people, should have total control over social, economic and environmental issues within our own borders. Extremely greeding gigantic corporations are the only benefactors in investor state provisions. The expectation of huge profits and unrealistic policies at the expense of Canada’s social, economic and environmental policies is not ok with me. What if Canadian Banks had refused to buy or sell the toxic portfolios of Wall St. Could Canada have been sued for the loss of their profit expectations under NAFTA? What a disgusting outcome that could have been. Massive profits for putting together the toxic portfolios and massive profits for being denied access to Canadian participation in what was clear then, and more so now, a massive scam paid for by a massive bailout all taken from the pockets of ordinary people. We cannot put ourselves in the position of being prostitutes for corporate pimps. Just another reason why Harper has to go. Listen to the people or resign. Corporate votes aren’t worth the money they are written on.

    • Cassandra

      well, the banks are the IMF Globalization-nazis. You should read the late Walter Stewart’s book “Bank Heist – How the Banks are Costing You Money” (1997) & pay attention to the little table on p. 250, particularly the ‘note’! … you’ll see why our Canadian debt is so high that too much of our tax-revenue is being bled off due to bank interest!!!! relevant now & a real eye opener.

  • Ehren Rebmann

    Great idea! It would be better than bombing those companies…Legally right is not morally right.

  • Ken Earl

    Great article! It is absolutely essential that we start planning now for the next federal election in 2015 and ensure that oppostion parties either form a coalition or have an agreeemnt for strategic voting to ensure that we return democracy to all Canadians.

    • Seeking Justice

      that will be TOO LATE … Harper VOWED TO CHANGE CANADA FOREVER. & he’s surely doing it in a hurry.

  • LightCo2

    Elizabeth you are the CANARY & we thank you. What frightening realities you are dealing with: investors co-opting democracy, mystery ARBITRATORS, the inept but HON. Fast Eddie OMG you are brave!

  • Davis Mirza

    This is why Vandana Shiva is trying to eliminate corporations like Monsanto in 5 years…as they grow more powerful and unaccountable, thay are destroying life itself…suicide-seed patents that would control how/where/when/and what we eat. Check out her Occupy Monsanto speech:,Monsanto,GMO,Genetic,Engineering,Modified,Organism,Food,Sustainable,Local,Locavore,Organic,RoundUp/vandana-shiva/

    …lets start major boycoots of Ethyl Corp and Monsanto to make their disappearance a reality. Public Need B4 private greed!!

    • seeking justice

      Vandana Shiva is an international hero – heard her with Maude Barlow some years ago in Vancouver. She’s done wonders for the poor farmers in India. Somehow, a World Movement must happen, soon, to counteract all this destruction of our natural world … survivor of millennia that supports all our life.

  • Eldon Wiancko

    I think the most chilling part of this is that nearly forty percent of voting Canadians voted for this mob.

    Eldon Wiancko

  • Roch Rococo

    The Australians are on the right track…The non-government majority must unite to force the ante-diluvian Harper minions to follow suit.

    • Cassie

      dream on, Roch – the former gov. straggling bunch refuse to band with the official opposition to do the trick – so they must want it to continue, because they did nothing about NAFTA when they were in power.

  • Barrie Bolton

    Since it appears that profit, profit over all, is the mantra of such deals. I think average Canadian’s reply, when faced with these nation breaking claims is; “This is our country, Go suck a rock.” I realize this might be considered international law breaking, but who will stand up for us, if we do not stand up for ourselves. Thank goodness we have people like Elizabeth to bring these practices to national attention.

  • Kevin Henley

    Thank you for keeping us informed, I fear what this agreement will do to and against our country. If in the end Canada is left with a polluted country how will that help our descendants. When you look at the environmental laws and conditions in the country’s we are dealing with that should send a shiver down all the spines of all Canadians now and in the future. If our environmental laws are going to be rendered meaningless I feel that is a decision that everyone should be aware of and have a voice towards.

    Kevin Henley

    • Cassandra

      it’s a done deal … sneaked right by us all.

  • HoD

    Google Evangelical Capitalism then do a cross section of SHarper Ministers and supporters to see the thread that binds them together, void of other perspectives. As other perspectives remain fractionalized there is little threat to SHarper’s 36% power base. The key is to connect the thread of all people to overcome manic SHarper Conservatism. That thread is in the Community Heart. Ecology and Happiness should trump economics when defining policy and that is the bottom line.

    • Cassandra

      I recently discovered that Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations) & others considered his first book “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” his most important. And according to Prof. Arthur Herman’s PhD thesis, Smith cautioned that a balanced society could be achieved ONLY if monetarism were paired with the ‘fellow feeling’ of his moral sentiments theories. It is obvious that Prof Milton Friedman & his Chicago gang of new economists have ignored that. & our world is not at all better off for that.

  • Susan

    Thank you for such a clear and detailed explanation. If only Canadians would awake to the fact that the elected majority who should protect us are woefully under-skilled for asserting our rights in the global environment.

  • Maria Matias

    Thank you for the Inf. A Green, Clean Environment is fundamental to everyone’s survival and better health…Being in a CONSCIOUS to our needs and to each and everyone’s. The Planet is becoming a better Place with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, LIGHT, TRUTH…

  • a concerned Canadian

    there is something very wrong with any government that would give or deal away its ability to protect its citizen and the environment. quite frankly, it sounds like treason to me.

    • also concerned

      well, frankly, the general public is so distracted by the complications of lives & families that they have little time to be good observers of the politics

  • Andrea Clark

    Excellent- the implications of investor-state provisions completely unacceptable!

  • Helen from B.C.

    Good Work as always Elizabeth.

  • Richard Glanville-Brown

    An excellent and clear explanation of the dangers that lie ahead of us due to the Harper government’s devotion to big business to the exclusion of all else.

    Elizabeth, why not start a petition through Avaaz, and what about a strong YouTube video to help spread the message as big media does not seem to be willing to do. And a word in Rick Mercer’s ear wouldn’t hurt.

    Wonderful stuff. Keep it up

  • Peter S

    Thank you for this clear statement on FIPA etc. I hope Canadians will get mad at Harper on this issue!

  • Robert

    Impeach Harper and prosecute all his cronies. If we don’t have mechanisms to do so- make that the next objective for collective action across the country. Change the legislation and throw the “takers” out.

  • Anne Savaage

    Thanks for this clear and detailed picture.

  • Sheryl Walker

    Thankyou for this information, and your committment to this issue. Keep up the pressure please.

  • AJ

    Has there been compiled a balance sheet on the impact of NAFTA? Certainly, we should be able to assess its impact on the societies and economies of the members.

    • Seeking JUstice

      it’s obvious we have no say in the fait a compli

    • Seeking Justice

      actually, Elizabeth May HAS stated in her above article that there has been NO ASSESSMENT on the impact.

  • Penny McLaren

    I agree we need transparency around Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. It is frankly stupid of us when we let foreign corporations extract money from Canadians because our trade agreements are poorly written (like NAFTA). Our government should not be allowed to make harmful decisions detrimental to our country and children’s healthy futures, just because there may be a nasty price tag. If we let the TPP pass without extensive oversight and care, we only have ourselves to blame: fool us once, and shame on you, fool us twice and shame on us. Hello, Harper, hello Trade Secretariat: anybody home? Please let Canadians have a look and say!

    • Cassandra

      …don’t hold your breath! …can’t you see he’s steamrollering that “Implementation Agenda” discovered by Shelley Ann Clark/NAFTA

  • Canadian citizen

    Thank you for your diligent work. Canadians need to know.

  • Ricky Zee

    sure wish Mr Harper would stop deregulating our countries industries and start standing up for the interests of our citizens…

  • Green Liz

    I wish you were prime minister already!

  • Bill Zilio

    Keep up the good work Elizabeth! We know you are looking out for the interests of ordinary Canadians instead of the corporations like the Harper gov’t is doing!
    Thank you very much.

  • Peter Ellis

    Where are the journalists who should be reporting on the reduction in Canadian sovereignty?

    • Cassandra

      ask Stevie Cameron, or the lawyers or unions or RCMP … they must be terrified by the IMF….or else agree with it.

  • Warren

    It is hard to believe that a company, foreign in particular, takes precedence over our desire to protect our environment and health and will sue for the profits they would have gotten, absurd! I wish we had a government more in line with Australia, I believe the Gilliard Government truly want to protect their country where as Harper wants to give ours away and does not give a dam about any of us.

    • Cassandra

      likely already given away by Mulroney (Canada’s open for business while Irish Eyes Are Smilin’, Sure They’ll Steeaaall Your Land Awaaaayyyy!)l- Harper’s mentor. You can see how he’s scouring out Canada’s hard-won institutions & amenities – the envy of most of the world.

  • Stuart Meade, Vernon, B.C.

    Clearly, these Trade Agreements have to each go to a national Referendum. This will remove the secrecy, duplicity, and blind stupidity from the process.
    The money people behind these Agreements represent a certain viewpoint. They need to be given the opportunity to convince us, the people of Canada, that that viewpoint is legitimate and in our best interests. They might want to start with foreign companies that are determined to bring in temporary foreign workers, or Canadian companies for that matter, (if there are any left!), or our future ability to stop or control tanker traffic on our coasts including the Arctic, or our ability to control growth, or, as Elizabeth May notes above, our ability to control or stop questionable practices such as fracking, or gasoline additives, etc., or the claim made that these Agreements render moot our democratic process to an as yet undetermined degree.
    These same money people, in the process of a Referendum, would be given a golden opportunity to defend what has occurred under NAFTA, again as Elizabeth May has noted above. And they would also have the opportunity to defend related issues and effects such as the Softwood Lumber situation where, in spite of a free trade deal, we had it done to us again and again to the point that it was a national embarrassment.
    And while they’re at it regarding what has occurred and is occurring under NAFTA, they can respond to critics that point out that the U.S. has, by threatening the flow of trade goods, caused us to enter into security protocols or agreements that fundamentally alter how Canada polices its borders. Further, these agreements and protocols have resulted in new law in Canada such as the recent Transportation Security Clearance for Canadian workers and the ‘Fly-over Bill’ for air travellers which render moot privacy, labour, and human rights law, and removes protections of the Charter and brings Canada into a position directed by U.S. law enforcement. It is imperitive to note that this affects millions of Canadians but nonetheless was accomplished by U.S. law enforcement simply threatening to impede the flow of Canadian trade goods into the country. This in turn mobilized the most powerful lobby group in Canada, -business, to pressure our government to accede. And our government appeared happy to comply.
    So a distasteful implication of a Trade Agreement is also that once our economy gets wired into it, that dependence lends us vulnerable to bald-faced blackmail by interests not actually seen to be a functioning aspect of the Agreement at the time that it is signed. The Chinese appear to be aware of this vulnerability as they recently tried the same tactic to influence our position on Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and also the Falun Gong. Fortunately, we’re not yet wired in to the point that it motivated our business community to successfully lobby on the Chinese government’s behalf. Unless we have ironclad wording written into FIPA specifically prohibiting such actions, you can bet the rent that we will receive similar directions from the Chinese government in the future.These collateral issues too need to be substantively addressed by the proponents of these Trade Agreements and not simply spun by their high priced P.R. people, as they ‘move the process along’.
    A national discussion involving the citizens of Canada needs to be provoked regarding these trade deals and a national Referendum is the appropriate tool.

    I, for one, will have to be convinced that these Agreements are not simply a mechanism that sacrifices the common good of the country, and my rights and freedoms including self determination, to facilitate the looting of the country by an elite international element, which includes Canadians. Canada belongs to all of us.

    • Cassandra

      further to what Shelly Ann Clark revealed: her boss (the detail man & official shredder) required her to work with him absolutely secretly after every round of “negotiation” – download the round & “cleanse” all the numbers & omit certain paragraphs (e.g. ‘water’) for reports for the premiers. (there were two ‘mole’ premiers – Getty & Devine who found out the premiers’ bottom lines past which they would not sign). Each premier was given his report for only one hour to read & sign. Her boss, Germaine Denis then shredded all reports but 1, to keep track of the deceptions til the next round. Then, as I’ve mentioned above, at the end of the negotiations when she was instructed to weed out the files (when she came across that ‘Implementation Agenda’} she was instructed to place them all in her boss’ car, unobtrusively, & lie about them if someone asked. Obviously, they were to be shredded. read her story for yourself.

  • Brenda Guiled

    Sleel OfWpg – You’re missing how Harper is trying to play ‘democracy’ both ways.
    We have representative democracy; that is precisely what Parliament is and what MPs do.
    Harper has said numerous times that he need only go directly to the electorate, with no middlemen or MPs, to get all the info’, advice, and go-aheads he needs to enact his laws.
    When the majority of the populace that he represents say things contrary to his plans, however, he’s deaf and immoveable as a post.
    Give us straight, honest, reliable talk, please, Mr. Prime Minister, and respect the representational form of government that you head. Playing it for something else is gnawing at ever more people, as they see his hypocrisy for what it is.

  • Jack Stein

    Thank you again for keeping us informed,. I am curious if you would consider being in a co opesition government.

  • pat

    I am so glad that Elizabeth May is trying to inform us all of the dangers of business
    profit at any cost. Maybe there are things more important like health, for us and generations to come. Vote

  • E. Wald

    No more suppression of the truth can be tolerated. No more enforcement of regulations that do not support life on this planet will be allowed. Harper et al must go as our current negotiators can only be trusted to do the opposite of what is right and necessary.

  • dk

    Only a fundamentally corrupt and morally bankrupt government would give away its rightful authority to foreign corporations. It is tantamount to treason.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Thank you, Ms. May for your lucid report. I applaud your efforts and agree with the majority of positive comments already made. A. Manz

  • sheggy

    No responsible democratic government would agree to terms that prejudice their ability to act in the best interests of the country and its entire populace. Anything less
    represents a dereliction to their principle oath of office.

  • Michael Fish

    excellent article Elizabeth

  • Reece Dolezsar

    Love you Elizabeth May! I want to see your face on the new 20$ bills!!! Your so inspiring, keep up the amazing work.

  • Glenn Arthur Wright

    Very good work Ms May. I wish more people would get informed and standup to this. Keep up the great work!

  • Pocheter

    Please consider mentioning the term ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) at least once in your communications on this topic so it is easier to find from a search engine. The ISDS abbreviation is in widespread use and allows a researcher to link up to many more articles that support what you are saying. We have a problem right now with a lot of mainstream media outlets being unwilling to even mention the term, or to mention anything about the TPP other than the industry advantages/disadvantages for that matter.
    You are the only candidate with the integrity to talk about the real problems with the TPP during the election race. Thank you for properly warning Canadians.

  • Jan Slakov

    Wondering how to oppose the TPP? I suggest getting your local government to pass a resolution, as Nanaimo and other jurisdictions have done. I am working to get the Islands Trust to say “no” too and am happy to assist others. Contact me at janslakov @ .

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