24 September 2015

#54 Take My Legislative Power…Please!

Cast your mind back…all the way back…to the day before the election writ was issued. I know it seems like forever, but it was only August 1st. That evening, all the way over in Hawaii, the election plans of the outgoing government were dealt a bit of a blow when the secret negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership failed to reach an agreement.

The TPP is just the latest in a whole series of “trade” agreements that promise to bring some unprecedented powers, not really to legislators, but to companies. We already knew that these agreements tend to lower barriers to trade between countries and to ease the transfer of capital from one place to another. They never seem to be the tools of ensuring the free movement of people or the broader application of decent labour standards in the world. Not the goal, I guess.

No, the thing that is hiding in the secret negotiations that threatens the very sovereignty of the country is the right that it will give to companies to argue that any particular piece of government legislation has deprived them of potential profits and that they deserve to be compensated. It doesn’t matter if the legislation or regulation in question is applicable to all companies, Canadian or not. What matters is that the pesky legislation that we might have demanded in order to protect the environment, for example, deprived someone of a profit, so we will all be liable to make giant payments to the company that so “suffered”.

It’s that kind of clause that we all ought to know more about before the country signs the agreement, if that unhappy day aver comes. The outgoing government seems intent on keeping things secret and giving its power away to multinational corporations. I don’t know why.

Further reading here, here and here

Delicate, they say
these negotiations to
limit our options

No comments: