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Mr. Dobbin, you have written an excellent summary of how the TPP ought to be evaluated. The last thing our economy needs is more arbitrary secretive tribunals such as ISDS – that are unappealable, and can only be accessed by for-profit corporations. Anyone who has had to deal with the impunity for fraud that is dished out by our deregulated self-regulating governance tribunals over the investment industry – it is glaring that what these sham operations that go by the acronyms IIROC and OBSI as well as the provincial insurance councils and securities commissions – these are insulators for predatory oligarchs so they do not have to account under the law to their prey.
Canadians should have learned by now that protesting these enablers of fraud is not enough. We need to document the histories of outright violations of Sections 361-363 and 380 of the Criminal Code, and we need a panel of agencies that are dedicated to lawful rules in governing investment to look at the facts of impunity from the law – and to ask these pretend regulators if they are or if they are not in possession of specific pieces of evidence. At least this would make the cases public domain – and banish the shield of confidentiality under which this racketeering is given license.
Complex questions on the TPP just got Justin Trudeau to tune out and provide a very rote answer to gloss everything over by his saying: “Trade is good.” Protest is not enough; Canadians need to get the government to confront the hard task of critical and empathetic thinking. We need to survey the legislators with the question: “Please name one argument as to why a municipality would support the ISDS tribunals that operate independently of the law, and can make arbitrary and unappealable decisions that overrule local authority to set environmental and labour standards.” These MPs should be given ample time to think clearly on this point. Generally, from my observations, the supporters of TPP do not even try to answer this question – and agencies like C. D. Howe Institute -when I questioned them about their propagandist, Lawrence Herman, who went on various media saying “Canada needs to ratify the TPP quickly”, this Institute appeared to be distancing themselves from his statements.
Those of us who believe in economic democracy need to get far more aggressive, and we need to ensure that our public interest civil society groups get into high gear to get Canada to lead the world in a genuine program of Fair Trade.
Place your bets. Will Justin Trudeau and his economic advisors choose a neo-Keynesian approach to the growing economic disaster facing the country or will it stick to the neo-liberal ideology that has been the stock response of Liberal and Conservative governments for the past 30 years?
Trudeau’s planned deficits (though very modest ones) for three or four years suggests the possibility of a return to government intervention in the economy. But his infrastructure program is not really incompatible with neo-liberalism: even the most devout free-marketeer will agree, under pressure, that we actually need roads and bridges and sewer and water lines.
The real test of where the Liberals are going to take the economy is tied up in the government’s pending decision on the Trans Pacific Partnership — the TPP. The fact that the Liberals have not yet committed to the TPP (Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said recently “We’re very…
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The work gangs that are established under anti-democratic rules that say a person has to return to their home country after 8 months on an annual basis, and has to live in specific conditions under the TFW program [the term in Canada], may be amenable to a better and simpler alternative.
What might be considered is having a way of getting people in countries of “the south” register as wanting to get hired by specific farms – and this could be arranged as a part of tourism. If a person could be hired on an individual basis – the way students in Australia get hired to work at ski resorts, for example, this would be less formal and more recognizing of the right of people to be free agents. They could stay with an individual farm placement for the season and then return to their home country when the work if over for the year. This alternative would be worth checking out to see if it would be practical.