Trade/Corporate Power Agreements Update

1. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The Council of Canadians is calling for the removal of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in NAFTA. NAFTA’s Chapter 11 grants private investors from one country the right to sue the government of another country if it introduces new laws, regulations or practices – be they environmental, health or human rights – that might cause corporations to lose their anticipated profits.

To the best of our knowledge financial services are not being negotiated in NAFTA, and financial institutions will not have access to ISDS claims under NAFTA, but the special ISDS power of large corporations to challenge our government’s policies is of great concern.

2. Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Financial services ARE part of the TPP package that continue to be discussed by Canada and the remaining TPP countries (the United States has withdrawn). The TPP would make it possible for the finance industry to challenge laws that could prevent another financial crisis. The TPP would:
• Require TPP governments to allow new financial products and services to enter their economies if these services are permitted in other TPP countries
• Constrain governments’ ability to ban risky financial products – including those not yet invented!
• Empower financial institutions to launch ISDS claims against governments.

3. Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

The draft of TISA’s Financial Services chapter sets out rules that would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The US has been particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

 

Beyond Banksters – What You Can Do!!

Organize, raise awareness, make these issues part of the national conversation!

Join forces with groups that are working to oppose privatization and corporate rights deals, promote public services (like postal banking), and raise awareness of financial alternatives: Council of Canadians, Friends of Public Services, Canadian Bank Reformers, COMER, the Public Banking Institute, LEAP manifesto… and many more…

Form a reading/discussion/action group for Beyond Banksters. Watershed Sentinel can will connect you with others in your area who are also interested.

Ask for a copy of Banksters at your public library or university/college library, or order your own to donate to friends/family/libraries.

Follow Beyond Banksters on Twitter and the Watershed Sentinel on Facebook to get and share news of the book and related issues.

Learn more & spread the word: Do your own research. Check out CUPW’s cool resources on Postal Banking – including great animated videos that you can share to explain how postal banking works and why we need it.

Sign the Council of Canadian’s NAFTA petition to the Prime Minister demanding that the government:

• Protect water by explicitly removing it as a tradable good, service or investment. We cannot leave our water vulnerable to bulk exports or privatization.
• Eliminate Chapter 11 investment provisions that allow corporations to sue governments over public interest laws or policies that hurt future corporate profits.
• Free Canada from the energy proportionality clause that locks us into supplying the U.S. with oil quotas that are destroying our environment and restricting real action on climate change.

Water: A Public Forum with Maude Barlow

boiling point

Water is one of the most important issues facing our times. Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, passionate water rights activist and award winning author, will be in B.C. to discuss her latest book, Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis. Speaking in Courtenay on April 6 at the Filberg Centre, she is joined by Vancouver Island water advocates, David Stapley and Coree Tull who will highlight the issues we face here in the Comox Valley and in our province.

This public forum is extremely relevant as we head into the May 9 provincial election. Topics of discussion will include Site C dam, the BC Water Sustainability Act, watershed health, Kinder Morgan pipeline, bottled water takings, fracking and the repercussions of international trade agreements including NAFTA.

Author of 18 books, proud recipient of 14 honorary doctorates, Barlow served as Senior Advisor on Water to the United Nations General Assembly and was a key leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the United Nations.

“Water is life, and this is what drives me every day,” says Coree Tull, Organizing Director for Freshwater Alliance and second guest presenter at the evening’s Public Forum. “It’s time for world class protection of waters in BC.”

“Right now, with the provincial election less than 2 months away there is a unique and important opportunity for British Columbians to shift the public discourse about freshwater protection and pressure the Government to add stronger regulations to the Water Sustainability Act (WSA),” states Tull.

Joining the panel is well-known local water advocate David Stapley, Program Manager with the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership. He will speak to watershed conditions, local boil water advisories, and approaches to address source drinking water quality and quantity issues for the Comox Lake Watershed.

The evening will open with the Kumugwe Dancers and close with Tina Filippino, song leader of Letz Sing. Copies of Boiling Point will be for sale and The Comox Valley Council of Canadians are hosting a special book signing opportunity with Barlow.

One of the world’s foremost water activists, Barlow has been on the front lines of the world’s water sustainability crisis for the past 20 years. On April 6 from 7-9 pm in the Conference Hall of Courtenay’s Florence Filberg Centre, she brings her wealth of experience and expertise to the Comox Valley, inviting us to take action to build a water-secure future that encompasses water restoration, conservation and protection.

The Council of Canadians, co-sponsoring the event with Freshwater Alliance, CV Conservation Partnership and CV Global Awareness Network welcomes you to join Barlow in what promises to be a compelling Public Forum.

REGISTER FOR FREE TICKETS HERE

Author Yves Engler visits Comox Valley

propaganda_cover_for-catalogue_300_420_90Book signing and a Meet, Greet & Chat on his latest release: A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation

Author, Yves Engler, dubbed Canada’s Noam Chomsky and one of today’s most important voices on the Canadian Left, is the author of nine books and hundreds of enlightening articles.

Engler’s engagingly-written and latest book A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation highlights the dark sides of Canada’s real involvement in the world. His book reveals why most Canadians believe Canada is a force for good worldwide, despite its long history of supporting empire, racism and exploitation.

Visiting Courtenay on Friday, Nov. 18, Laughing Oyster Bookstore (286 5th St. Courtenay) is hosting a book signing with Engler from 12-1pm.

Then a Meet, Greet & Chat with Engler, sponsored by the Chapter takes place at Cornerstone Café, 1:15–2:30pm, following his appearance at Laughing Oyster.

In A Propaganda System, Engler lays bare the links between corporations, government, media and academia, when it comes to establishing and maintaining Canada’s brutal foreign policy from helping to destabilize Haiti’s democratically elected government to backing the human rights-abusing Canadian-based mining companies.

A Propaganda System clearly exposes the facts that run in stark contrast to Canadians’ popular notion that we are a peace-loving country.

The Chapter welcomes you to join in a thought-provoking conversation with author Yves Engler Friday, Nov. 18 from 1:15 to 2:30 at Cornerstone Café – corner of 5th and Cliffe.