Canada's premiers are in Charlottetown for their annual Council of the Federation meeting and once again the apparently catastrophic issue of interprovincial trade barriers ranks high on the agenda. Most premiers would rather talk about a real problem, like lack of infrastructure money, but western provinces and the federal government see their moment to change the conversation for reasons no one is being honest about. According to their line of thinking, which is fuelled by letters from a list of business lobby groups, interprovincial trade is hampered by barriers too numerous to count.
Stuart is the editor of The Monitor, the CCPA's monthly journal. He has a BA in Journalism from Carleton University and was, until 2006, the editor and political columnist for a popular news and entertainment weekly in Ottawa. Stuart spent the following eight years at The Council of Canadians as a researcher, Ontario-Quebec regional organizer, and finally as their trade campaigner. During that time he published reports, academic papers and many news commentaries on the connections between the free trade regime, social and economic inequality, and climate change.
According to our poll, 54 per cent of Canadians said they oppose giving special protections to EU firms, "similar to the protections American investors in Canada have as part of free trade with the U.S. [that] let them sue Canadian governments if they feel a government policy, including an environmental policy, unfairly affects their investment or profits in Canada."
12/11/2013 05:28 EST
Once every few months, the Canadian public is asked by one polling firm or another how it feels about a Canada-European Union free trade agreement. Consistently, between 70 and 80 per cent of respondents say they generally like the idea of a deal.
11/29/2013 05:31 EST
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) -- with conditions. The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries. Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants.
10/22/2013 05:50 EDT
In the Straterra case, Eli Lilly said its ADHD drug could be used as a treatment for chronic ADHD. However, a federal court found there was not sufficient evidence to back up those promises when the patent was registered, and therefore it should not have been granted on the grounds of inutility. This "promise doctrine" of the courts arguably makes Canada's patent system more rigorous. Patents can be a useful way of rewarding innovation, but they also lock away knowledge for many years, keeping potentially better and certainly cheaper versions of the same medication off the market. In any case, invalidation of a patent is a rare occurrence in Canada.
09/19/2013 05:44 EDT
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