Toronto activists oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership and corporate globalization

ByJohn Bonnar,| February 1, 2014

He called it the most nontransparent trade negotiation in Canadian history.

“Here in Canada, how much do we know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians, standing outside the Mexican Consulate in downtown Toronto on Friday afternoon. 

“Almost nothing because this government refuses to show people what’s in this deal. Refuses to even show the deal to politicians in Ottawa. Refuses to even show them an impact assessment.”

Obama´s Free-Trade Conundrum

By DAVID E. BONIOR JAN. 29, 2014

    WASHINGTON — IN his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama focused on reversing the growth of economic inequality in the United States and restoring the American dream. At the same time, he also announced his support for fast track authority that would limit Congress’s role in determining the content of trade agreements.

    Carbon Briefing: Who killed the EU's transport fuel standards?

    Ros Donald,  30 Jan 2014, 13:00. Photo Credit National Wildlife Federation.

    Is the fuel that powers our cars set to get a lot dirtier? After 2020, the European Union is to drop the Fuel Quality Directive, a measure designed to help clean up transport fuels. Environmental and business groups have called the decision a coup for Canada's tar sands industry - but who really engineered it, and who really benefits? The answers may be subtler.

    The fight to make fuels cleaner

    While the EU's emissions in other sectors are going down, emissions from transport keep growing. The EU has introduced measures to tackle this trend, such as standards for new cars and including aviation in emissions trading.  But it also wants to make sure EU vehicles are using the least polluting fuels.

    NAFTA Oil Sharing Clause Bites Deeper and Deeper

     By John Dillon,     KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

    Twenty-five years ago when I first scrutinized the text of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) I warned that the proportionality clause in the energy chapter posed a grave danger to Canadian energy sovereignty. When invoked it would require Canada to make available to U. S. importers the same proportion of our total oil or gas supply as we sold them over the previous three years. That same clause was later incorporated into NAFTA. Mexico wisely negotiated an exemption.

    In 2008 I decided to test my concern that the proportionality obligation could actually lead to energy shortages in Canada. In a study entitled Over a Barrel, co- published by the CCPA and the Parkland Institute, Gordon Laxer and I explored three scenarios concerning what would happen if the clause were invoked.

    NL People not convinced by argument for fracking: NDP (Stephenville meeting cites NAFTA, CETA issues)

    Jonathan Stewart, who attended an anti-fracking meeting in the United Church Hall in Stephenville Saturday, signs petitions opposing fracking.
    He especially liked the fact that the NDP environment and conservation critic talked about how Lone Pine Resources Inc., a U.S. fracking company registered in Delaware, which wanted to frack for gas under the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, has threatened to sue Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of Quebec's moratorium on fracking.
    He said the company is saying this moratorium is violating the oil company's right to frack and it's demanding $250 million in compensation.
    In October of 2013, groups such as the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club, For Love of Water (FLOW), Eau Secours!, and AmiEs de la Terre were gathering signatures for a letter to Lone Pine urging the company to drop plans to sue Canada.

    Bee Action Alert

    ACTION ALERT / February 5, 2014

    Tell the Senate to Speak Out Against Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry is now holding hearings on widely-used, bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. The committee has invited beekeepers, grain-farmers, and scientists to present evidence at the hearings.

    The Senate Committee will undoubtedly hear a repeat of what the Ontario Bee Health Working Group heard last summer -- that something was wrong and the beekeepers want a moratorium on the prime suspect: neonicotinoid pesticides.

    State Department report moot; Keystone will never get Obama approval

    MEDIA RELEASE, January 31, 2014

    While the U.S. State Department’s hiring of biased oil industry consultants remains under review by the agency’s Office of Inspector General, it went ahead today and released another biased report downplaying serious concerns about the Keystone Tar Sands pipeline.

    The clearly biased report ignores the massive increase in carbon pollution we would see as a result of the project's approval.

    Obama Downplays Trade Authority, Trans-Pacific Partnership: Fleeting Mention Doesn’t Even Reference Recently Introduced Camp-Baucus Fast Track Bill -Statement of Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

    Posted: 28 Jan 2014 07:57 PM PST
    Statement of Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
    "Corporate interests were fiercely lobbying for President Obama to dedicate serious time in this State of the Union speech to pushing Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in order to try to overcome broad congressional and public opposition to both, but instead he made only a passing reference that largely repeated his past statements.
    With almost no House Democratic support for Fast Track, a bloc of GOP "no" votes and public opposition making congressional phones ring off the hook, high-profile treatment of the issue was considered necessary to revive any prospect that Fast Track could be passed in this Congress.