“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," — CLC President Hassan Yussuff
Ottawa (26 Jan. 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 the Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland on January 25, Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), 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. James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), was one of the leaders in attendance.
Disappointed in government's decision to sign onto TPP
“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, will compromise food safety and will compromise personal privacy.
There needs to be a public debate before deal is ratified
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.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE