NAFTA

NATFA renegotiation

September 19, 2017 Incoherent ramblings No comments , , ,

leadnow.ca is running a campaign to object to the NATFA secret tribunals, stating:

In just a few days, negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada will converge on Ottawa for a critical round of NAFTA negotiations where sources are saying things are really going to heat up. [1]

Corporate lobbyists are fighting tooth and nail to preserve dangerous and extreme rules in NAFTA called “Investor State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS). ISDS gives corporations the power to sue our government for laws that protect our environment and our health.[2]

Time is running out to influence this deal, and unless we speak up in a big way, lobbyists could bully the Liberals into putting corporate profits ahead of the public interest.[3-4]

The government has opened an inbox to get the public’s input on what it should prioritize in negotiations — and almost 10 000 Leadnow members have already sent messages calling on decision-makers to strip ISDS from the deal. We want to hit at least 15 000 messages before meetings start on the weekend to let negotiators know that Canadians want toxic ISDS rules out of NAFTA. 

Peeter, will you help us up the ante against these toxic rules that let billionaire corporations sue Canada?

 

Their form letter explicitly names the secret corporate tribunals (ISDSs), something I knew existed, but didn’t know the name of:

“Dear Canada’s NAFTA negotiating team,

Modernizing NAFTA means standing up for democracy and fighting to remove its extreme, secretive, and anti-democratic Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) rules. No more corporate lawsuits that kneecap our democracies at the expense of the public good.

We know the corporate lobby and business elite are lobbying to keep ISDS intact. Please don’t cave into the corporate pressure. Put our democracy first. I’m calling on you to fight to remove toxic ISDS rules during NAFTA re-negotiations.”

While informative, their letter was a bit boring, so I wrote my own:

I understand that the NATFA negotiating team is probably populated with corporate shills, fighting to keep or augment the status quo.

This note is a quick exercise in futility, pretending that I have a place in the sham that we call democracy. A “free trade” agreement that is hundreds (probably thousands) of pages long, and was negotiated and now renegotiated in secret, that grants corporation effective control over the countries in the agreement is a travesty.  Unlike so many that fell for or still fall for the deliberately misleading label of “free trade”, I’d like to see NAFTA dissolved entirely.  I know that this is very improbable, and this note and any others that express a similar opinion are just headed for the trash, but I can still fantasize.

TPP sales pitch from Bob Saroya, my “representative” in parliament.

November 2, 2016 Incoherent ramblings 1 comment , , , , , , ,

My “representative” member of parliament, Bob Saroya, is busy wasting my money my sending out TPP sales propaganda, apparently believing that I’m stupid enough to fall for this bit of fear mongering.

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My response was:

I received your TPP sales pitch.  I’m not surprised to see a member of parliament attempting to sell Canada to unaccountable corporate tribunals, using a misleading attempt to disguise this as a “free trade”.

This is of course the function of government “representation”, to take resources from people who actually work for them, and channel them into the hands of power elite.  Your letter demonstrates that you are serving this purpose admirably!
Of course there’s a chance that you are just spouting the party line without actually believing or understanding what you are writing.  Even if that is the case, it is disappointing and frustrating to see taxpayer resources wasted on such empty propaganda.