Monday, January 25, 2016

Canadian unions are disappointed with news that the government plans to sign onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a move that locks the country into a two-year countdown to ratify the trade deal. 

In a meeting with Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland today, CLC President Hassan Yussuff and several other union leaders outlined their concerns about the deal, and called for comprehensive study and meaningful cross-country consultations on potential impacts before considering ratification. 

“We’re disappointed with the government’s decision to sign on and have outlined the many problems that we see with this very broad-reaching agreement," said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Among the concerns raised by unions:

  • The deal could have devastating impacts on Canada’s auto sector. 
  • It gives more power to foreign firms operating in Canada to bring in workers instead of hiring here. 
  • Investment and service provisions weaken government’s ability to regulate in the public interest.
  • The deal will increase prescription drug costs, compromises food safety and compromises personal privacy.

The labour movement has made it clear there can be no ratification before Canadians have been fully informed and can have their say.

“The government says we’ll have two years to debate the deal but we need to ensure that that debate is fully informed. That’s why we are asking the federal government for a thorough assessment of potential impacts, followed by public consultation, long before ratification is even considered,” says Yussuff.