Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Not So Fast: TPP Needs Public Consultation, Says Council Of Canadians

OTTAWA – With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text finally revealed, the Council of Canadians asks that new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor by failing to consult with the public about the agreement. After years of secret talks where only cleared advisors and lobbyists were consulted – with no input from Parliament, civil society or labour organizations – a full democratic accounting of this far-reaching deal is long overdue. 

The Council of Canadians is asking for a full public consultation, including an independent human rights, economic, and environmental review of the document. It also asks that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow corporations to sue states for lost profits, be excised from the deal. If ISDS provisions are not excised, the Council of Canadians asks that any progress made at the Paris climate talks be shielded from lawsuits.

“TPP negotiators have boasted about the supposed benefits of this deal,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But now that the details have come to light, Canadians can judge for themselves. Without a full public consultation, this deal has no legitimacy.”

Specifically, the Council of Canadians demands:

1.      A comprehensive and independent analysis of the TPP text by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Among other things, the analysis must assess the deal’s impact on human rights, health, employment, environment and democracy.

2.      Public hearings in each province and territory across Canada as well as separate and meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities and First Nations. No agreement can be ratified without their consent.

3.      Ensure that the any progress made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) is protected from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS) in the TPP. Furthermore, ISDS must be excised from the TPP.

“Trudeau is under a lot of pressure to adopt this deal as soon as possible, with calls already coming in from U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese President Shinto Abe. But a thorough public review is needed before he can establish whether the TPP is truly in Canada’s interest,” concludes Barlow.

The complete text may be accessed here: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Treaties-and-International-Law/01-Treaties-for-which-NZ-is-Depositary/0-Trans-Pacific-Partnership-Text.php

###

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.

'It's One Deal': Warren Says She Won't Vote for Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Without Climate, Child Care

"We can't let the infrastructure train leave the station while child care and clean energy get left on the platform—or while billionaires and big corporations don't pay their fair share in taxes."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


'We Can't Turn Our Backs': 60+ Lawmakers Demand Biden Extend Pause on Student Loan Payments

"President Biden should cancel student debt, but in the meantime he should extend the payment pause so that borrowers aren't hurt."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


US and Israel Vote 'No' as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

"The U.N. vote... on Cuba was a chance for President Biden to show global leadership," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. "He failed miserably."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


With Planet's Future at Stake, Biden Told to Be Bold With Pick for Top Energy Post

"It's time to treat climate change like the emergency it is, and stop approving new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, reads a letter signed by over 300 climate-focused groups.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


SCOTUS Solidifies Students' Free Speech Protections, Upholding Right to Say 'F**k Cheer'

"The message from this ruling is clear—free speech is for everyone, and that includes public school students."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·