Outsourcing democracy

We need to pay attention to actual TPP text that goes far beyond fair trade

Thank you Saanich News for hosting discussion on something as complicated as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  This is an important matter affecting everything from Canada’s national climate plan to how Saanich might curb plastic waste.

It’s not nearly as black-or-white as Keith Sketchley (letter, Jan 6) would have us believe.  Most of us understand the value of fair deals and level fields.  Most of us understand democracy as more than tyranny-of-majority.  We need to pay attention to actual TPP text that goes far beyond fair trade.

For example, article 9.1 defines invested assets to include “expectation of gain or profit”.  Then, if Saanich council voted to restrict waste, some plastics manufacturer in Singapore might sue Canada not only for actual investment (like a warehouse in Saanich) but for the much greater amount of “expected profit” from future plastics sales.  Such a corporation in Singapore could effectively veto Saanich council (or Canada’s parliament).  Where’s “democracy”, “fair deal” or “level field” in that?

Greg Holloway

 

Saanich