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Council of Canadians
When our democracies try to act on climate, trade agreements get in the way. For over 20 years, we have been fighting ISDS, the investor state dispute settlement clause in Chapter 11 of NAFTA, which allows companies to sue states over their decisions. It is a favourite tool of energy and mining companies.
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I cannot help thinking that, while countries rush to sign trade deals such as CETA and the new TransPacific Partnership, they cannot seem to get a binding climate change agreement. Very little at the UN or in previous climate conferences has been binding. CETA and TPP are both major trade deals that must be fought.
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The TPP court could pose a roadblock for Canada to fulfill its obligations with regard to the right to health, including access to healthcare and the underlying social determinants of health. For example, the TPP could block governments from establishing a national PharmaCare plan that would increase access to prescription drugs but could decrease pharmaceutical companies' profitability.
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For the past four years, Texas oil billionaire and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens has been suing the Liberal government in Ontario under NAFTA, arguing he has been the victim of "unfair" backroom d...
I can't remember feeling this disheartened about a federal election since 1997. Ever since then, there's been a growing malignancy in our body politic -- a malignancy that goes beyond partisanship. Regardless of who's been in power in Ottawa (and provincial capitals, for that matter), we've been watching the gradual but unmistakable enfeeblement of government, to the point where it may well be irreversible.
This week, it was announced that an agreement on the TPP had been reached, although few details were forthcoming. For more than 10 years, experts on North American economic integration have been calling for a deepening of the NAFTA. The TPP offers such an opportunity. Canada would be foolish to miss it.
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The bottom line with the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Canada is that it really doesn't have a choice about whether or not to join. The Americans and Mexicans are joining and they're taking the North American market i.e. Canada's market, the source of its prosperity, with them -- whether or not Canada agrees. The TPP will turn North America from a privileged table for three, which Canada has more or less had to share only with Mexico, into a crowded sauve qui peut la vie table for 12.
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This will be the first generation of Canadians in our history to be worse off than their parents. That blunt fact is the new reality of our country, where seven per cent of workers are officially jobless (and much more if hidden unemployment is included) and youth unemployment stands at over 13 per cent. And that reality is a direct result of the policies and actions of this Conservative government and the Mulroney government that came before it. Friday's headlines point to the 26,000 auto parts jobs at risk as Harper drives ahead to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
WASHINGTON _ Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he wants to be able to slap tariffs on U.S. companies that choose to make their products overseas, and he's willing to violate exist...
Trade negotiations are growing in importance as developed and developing countries alike increasingly realize that protectionism is not a path to prosperity. Federalism poses challenges for our trade negotiations that are exacerbated by elections at both levels of government in Canada, and among our trading partners. The electoral clock is also ticking on Japanese Diet elections next summer and on U.S. presidential and congressional elections next fall. If the machinery of trade talks ground to a halt every time an election approached, there would be no trade agreements at all -- which is, perhaps, what some people desire.
Can the water be bought and sold? Does the licensee have an ongoing right to receive the water?
That the U.S. is changing is not news; it may be the definition of pabulum. But what is surprising is how out of touch or uninformed most of Canada seems to be with the drastically changing U.S. and also Mexico, in other words with North America.
Attention in Canada is finally starting to shift toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and two things are starting to become apparent. The first is that no one in Canada seems to know what the agreement is. As iPolitics has noted, Canadians seem unsure" if the TPP is a trade agreement, rock band or new brand of toilet paper.
Making the case to deepen ties with Mexico to Canadians on the basis of a thoughtful review of the arguments and the evidence of twenty years of NAFTA experience is a valuable contribution to the Canadian debate, and very much in the tradition of sober second thought on issues of the day.
“Something is not working” with the free trade deals Canada has signed onto, CIBC World Markets says in a new report — but don’t expect the usual argument against globalization. Instead, CIBC deputy c...
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We Canadians are writing to you, the Socialists, New European Left, and Greens, because you have the power to stop these dangerous trade deals. With this type of trade agreement, we have a choice: Do we accept rising inequality, unchecked corporate power, and lowered social and environmental standards, allowing the one per cent to become richer at our expense, or do we draw a line in the sand?
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An international trade tribunal has ordered Ottawa to pay ExxonMobil and another oil company $17.3 million, following a complaint that the companies were required to spend money in Newfoundland and La...
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How is Canada faring in our industrial diversification? Progress on trade diversification over the past 15 years is likely one of the most remarkable developments in Canadian economic history. A strong dependence on traditional markets was only enhanced by the Canada-US FTA, which saw exports to the US soar to over 85 per cent of the total. But a big shift began in the New Millennium.
Mexico's human rights crisis is staring Canada in the face. According to Amnesty International, there are six times more reported cases of torture and ill-treatment than a decade ago. The 43 disappeared in Ayontizapa are only a needle in the hay stack of more than 80,000 estimated dead and 26,000 disappeared in the last 8 years.
Canada's environment appears to be taking the brunt of NAFTA-enabled corporate attacks. And when NAFTA environmental-protection provisions do kick in, the government often rejects them. According to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, more than 70 per cent of NAFTA claims since 2005 have been against Canada, with nine active cases totalling $6 billion outstanding.
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Canada is the most-sued country under the North American Free Trade Agreement and a majority of the disputes involve investors challenging the country’s environmental laws, according to a new study. T...
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Canada is trying to stop NAFTA's environmental watchdog from taking a closer look at the environmental effects of the huge tailings ponds produced by Alberta's oilsands, and it appears Mexic...
Attempts by NAFTA's environmental watchdog to look into the Harper government's record on salmon farming and the oilsands are at an impasse after deadlines passed for member countries to vote on the i...
A new international study has attempted for the first time to understand changing patterns of industrial pollution across the North American continent.The report from the Commission on Environmental C...
On the eve of a summit between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Union leaders, Germany has signalled it’s putting the Canada-EU trade deal on hold. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agree...
CALGARY - Ottawa wants the Commission for Environmental Co-operation to drop its investigation into whether laws are being properly enforced when it comes to oilsands pollution.The CEC asked the feder...
Canada needs to make more use of direct programming with target countries (nearly 80 per cent of official aid went to foreign agencies in 2013, often on a sole-sourced basis). And more should be done to connect Canadian expertise to multilateral development banks and international humanitarian institutions.
By design, free trade agreements tear down the protectionist walls propping up status quo producers. However, even those producers -- at least those who reform, will also find a newfound ability to thrive given increased access to markets with tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, of potential new customers. All of this benefits consumers, most obviously when expensive tariffs on their choices, from Korean cars to Canadian beef, are eliminated.
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VANCOUVER -- With the ink still wet on a free-trade deal with South Korea, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada would be willing to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement for the right pr...
WASHINGTON - There's been lots of talk this week from the U.S. administration about NAFTA's shortcomings and the ways it can be fixed.Make no mistake: this talk is about the next trade deal, not the l...
OTTAWA — Will a few days in Mexico City be enough time for Stephen Harper to thaw years of frosty relations between Canada and Mexico? The prime minister and his Mexican counterpart, President Enriqu...
WASHINGTON - A controversial six-year-old campaign promise by Barack Obama to renegotiate NAFTA made a re-appearance Tuesday.The president's trade secretary said that renegotiation is precisely what's...