Release: Public consultation on TPP in Saskatoon

The following is a press release from Climate Justice Saskatoon and the local chapter of the Council of Canadians. More information and media to follow.

Locals to stage rally outside Trans-Pacific Partnership hearings in Saskatoon

Saskatoon – Climate Justice Saskatoon and the local chapter of the Council of Canadians are organizing a rally to coincide with Saskatoon’s public hearing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hosted by the Standing Committee on International Trade at the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday, April 20th from 8:00-11:45am. The rally will take place on Wednesday outside of the Radisson at 12:00pm.

The rally has been planned to highlight the concerns of local citizens in regards to the TPP and shortcomings of the consultation process itself.

Justin Fisher, from Climate Justice Saskatoon, says “The TPP is a deal that was negotiated in secret by the former Conservative government, and it puts corporate profits ahead of the concerns of everyday citizens. We’re concerned about undermining climate policy, Indigenous and workers’ rights, and public health care, among other things.”

The TPP was signed by Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland on February 4th, 2016, but the Liberal government promised to hold public consultations across Canada before deciding whether or not to ratify the controversial agreement.

Tracey Mitchell, a national board member of the Council of Canadians based in Saskatoon, says “The Liberals are clearly stretching the meaning of the word ‘public’ with these hearings. Saskatoon’s hearing has been poorly publicized, will include just 12 speakers, and is happening on a weekday morning. We want genuine public consultation, not a rigged process that reflects corporate pressure.”

The TPP has been signed by 12 countries but cannot enter into force until it is ratified by signatories. The agreement has been criticized by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz as the “worst trade deal ever.” Public consultations began on Monday, April 18th in Vancouver.

TPP and You
Infographic credit: The Council of Canadians

Sask. Sticking with Status Quo… For Now

You might not have known it, but Saskatchewan held a provincial election this past week, which turned out to be largely a re-hash of its last election in 2011. The Saskatchewan Party, led by Premier Brad Wall, maintained a strong majority government. For what it’s worth, in the run-up to election day we sent out a questionnaire to candidates of all parties in multiple ridings and attended as many candidates’ fora as we could in order to get a sense of where each party stood on issues related to climate change and climate justice. You can see our highlights on the graphic below. As the graphic makes clear, Saskatchewan has re-elected a government with an abysmal record on climate change and seemingly little concern for an issue of grave importance to this province, to Canada, and to the rest of the world. Disconcertingly, though, while the Sask Party clearly scored lowest among all parties in this year’s election, no one party stood out in viably addressing this critical issue. The highest grade we were able to bestow was a middling C+.

CJS Report Card

If you would like to see candidates’ answers in more detail, along with greater analysis from CJS, please take a look at our PDF here: Election grades. A big thanks is owed to Mark Bigland-Pritchard, who led this effort.