Election 2015: Pacific trade deal faces mixed reaction in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – A Nanaimo-area farmer is concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada and Pacific Rim countries.

A Nanaimo-area farmer is concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada and Pacific Rim countries.

The partnership is a free-trade deal – similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement – among the other 11 countries, including the U.S., Japan, Australia and Chile.

It has provisions to relax or even do away with tariffs that could affect a number of industries in Nanaimo, including forestry and agriculture.

Barbara Ebell, co-owner of Nanoose Edibles Organic Farm, said based on numbers from Statistics Canada, $5.6 billion per year of foreign food is delivered and sold on Vancouver Island.

“If you extrapolate that to what would happen, if not only was it coming from the States, which it mostly is now by probably 95 per cent, it’s going to come from any country who wishes to sell their food into Vancouver Island and for sure it’s going to be cheaper.

“So that means that the Vancouver Island farmer, who is a big-time landowner, is going to have no market,” said Ebell.

The agreement was discussed at an all-candidates’ meeting at Vancouver Island University Tuesday.

Mark MacDonald, Conservative candidate, said the partnership “is a tremendous deal” that was done by people looking after the country’s interests. We live in a global world and have to have access to these markets, he said.

Tim Tessier, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Liberal candidate, said his party encourages trade, but only when done in Canada’s best interests. A deal can’t be signed that saddles this generation with mistakes.

Paul Manly, Green Party candidate, expressed concern about investor-state sections of the deal. Manly said there are provisions that allow foreign corporations to sue the government if Canadian laws and policies affect profit.

If the deal is truly fair trade and good for Canada, Sheila Malcolmson, NDP candidate, said her party would support it. However, it was negotiated in secret and making decisions in the middle of a campaign is not right, nor transparent, she said.

Andre Sullivan, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation board chairman, said the corporation is generally for global trade partnerships, but not all details of this partnership are known.

“We know at a high level that it opens up our exports to new markets with the downside of opening up our markets to new imports, but in general most trade agreements benefit the economy,” said Sullivan.

– with files from Greg Sakaki

Just Posted

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read