Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May

Election 2015: Greens pan trade deal

NANAIMO – Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Nanaimo on Tuesday for a press conference criticizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Green Party panned the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a bad deal for Canada and for Canadian voters.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Nanaimo on Tuesday for a press conference criticizing the 12-nation free-trade agreement. She was joined not only by local Green candidate Paul Manly, but also by James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party of New Zealand, via teleconference.

May accused the federal government of “undermining Canadian interests during the election” by signing the deal last week. The Green Party takes issue, particularly, with provisions in trade agreements that allow corporations to sue for loss of revenue due to government legislation – environmental regulations, for example.

She noted that one of the TPP partner nations is Malaysia, which owns Petronas, the company central to B.C.’s liquefied natural gas ambitions.

“So if a future British Columbia provincial government comes to its senses and realizes we don’t want to have our economy based on fracking and changes the rules for this Malaysia state-owned enterprise, for the first time, if TPP goes through, Malaysia would have the right to sue the government of Canada over changes we made to protect the B.C. government,” May said.

Manly said last week’s trade deal could hamper progress on climate action at a time when countries are preparing for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this fall.

“We could all go to Paris and come out with a great agreement, singing Kumbaya, and then show up in our home countries and find out that we’re going to be sued by corporations because we want to stop burning thermal coal or slowing down expansion of fossil fuel use,” Manly said.

Shaw had similar concerns about the dispute settlement mechanisms within the agreement, and added that the deal doesn’t go far enough with its environmental, labour and human rights standards.

Both Green parties are also concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s impact on pharmaceutical costs. New Zealand has a single-buyer system, Pharmac, and Shaw said there’s real concern medicine will become more expensive because of changes to patent law that could keep patent disputes tied up in the court system for years.

“It’s going to cost the provinces extra, it’s going to cost private insurers extra and it’s going to cost individual Canadians extra…” said Manly. “This agreement undercuts that ability to provide a Pharmacare plan and save money because of extension of patents.”

With the New Democratic Party also campaigning against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Greens were asked to differentiate their party’s stance. May criticized the NDP for voting for trade deals with Korea and Jordan.

“We are consistent,” said May. “We would never support an investor-state agreement. We would never support it because every single one reduces Canada’s sovereignty. It is absolutely anti-democratic.”

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read