Time For The End Of ‘Nice”. Time For Political Will.
Written by Robin Mathews
One of the greatest errors of our time and place may well be the “error” revealed in Murray Dobbin’s post of Feb. 5, 2016, about the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) trade deal. Rich in information, the article uncovers real destruction of Canadian legislation. And - more importantly – it points to Canadian legislation which is knee-capped before even being made visible as possible, positive direction for the country to take. Murray Dobbin uses as evidence of the destructiveness of Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions the (signed 1992) NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
So what is Murray Dobbin’s possible “greatest error of our time and place?”
It is his ‘gentlemanly’, his ‘reasonable’, his ‘moderate’ approach to an (apparent) act of Liberal government sell-out. It is his willingness, by his ‘balanced’, ‘restrained’ style, to excuse the Liberal cabinet and to (therefore) water down the (already operating) gigantic attack upon the right of Canadians to legislate for the good of the people and the country.
Dobbin takes the position that Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland (and, therefore, Justin Trudeau and the rest of the cabinet) “seems to be either ill-informed or misled” about the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision in the TPP which (experience shows) not only prevents positive legislation from being formulated, but permits punitive, expensive judgements against existing sovereign legislation that is claimed to obstruct profit-making by foreign interests in Canada.
Significantly, challenges have arisen most frequently to Canadian environmental protection laws/regulation and – what are closely connected – resource management laws/regulations (neither of which, at this time, are sufficiently demanding).
Enough! The good manners or naivete of anyone which would allow that person to entertain the fiction that Trade Minister Freeland, Justin Trudeau, or anyone else in the Liberal cabinet might not really know what Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses mean … is simply preposterous. Not believable. [Remember that historically the Liberal Party has often been the party of Free Trade/integration with the U.S.A.]
Let us not forget for a moment that – though Brian Mulroney signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1992 – Jean Chretien, Liberal Party opposition leader, promised to re-negotiate NAFTA, and if re-negotiation was denied To Get Out Of It Altogether. When Chretien was prime minister after 1993, the U.S.A. refused to renegotiate NAFTA.
Chretien collapsed completely, broke his election promise, and negotiated (at U.S. wish?) two supplements to NAFTA. The history of Free Trade with the U.S.A. is long … and dirty.
Free Trade deals with the U.S.A. have never been in Canada’s interest. For decades the two countries had many, many single-issue, mutually beneficial trade agreements. From the beginning Canadians knew Big Package Deals were toxic for Canada. Our first prime minister knew that well.
In the 1891 election, when the Liberal Party pushed hard for “Commercial Union” with the U.S.A., aging John A. Macdonald worked himself to death (literally) to defeat the Sell-Outs. When Free Trade with the U.S.A. was surfaced in the 1940’s, to Mackenzie King’s credit he not only rejected the idea but said he would come out of retirement to fight it if the idea was proposed by anyone.
Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau has just had the TPP signed … and promises a full debate… before ratification ….
Very clearly, Canadians are especially threatened by the new moves (historically) of large multi-national corporations backed by expansionist governments like the U.S.A., China, the European Union … to erase the power of Canadian government (by introducing a wholly new form of Private Corporate Court System), to peonize Canadians, and to pillage the wealth of the country … unchallenged. In that situation Canadians must be certain, militant, unswerving, uncompromising, and aggressive facing Canadian law-makers and any others involved in what is – to put the matter simply – the wholesale sell-out of the Canadian people and its peaceable future. There is no room for ‘nice’.
It is no accident that Canada’s environmental law is one of the most attacked under Free Trade mechanisms. That fact leads directly to The Disaster – called the November/December COP 21 Paris Environmental, 13 day (and night) Conference. Elizabeth May and Carol Linnett write about it ‘nicely’, ‘reasonably’, in a ‘balanced’ and ‘restrained’ way. In the Jan/Feb issue of The Watershed Sentinel May calls the Paris Agreement (agreement?) “an historic and potentially life-saving agreement”. Ms. Linnett does “if” and “should be” and “important conversation”. Ms. May’s “potentially life-saving” is so far away and Ms. Linnet’s call for action so nice, serious people should fiercely reject the stance of both writers.
The Paris Environmental Conference was, quite simply, a victory for The One Per Cent … the very people who, under NAFTA, have attacked (and under any other like trade agreement will attack) Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations in Canada and anywhere else on the planet where it is possible to do so. They are the people who (for profit) are decimating the Middle East and watching the murder of millions in a Public Relations Orgy of almost unbelievable magnitude…as the Environment there becomes a torture chamber for a huge, innocent population.
At Davos, Switzerland just a few weeks after The Disaster at the Paris Environmental Conference, the representatives of The One Per Cent (The World Economic Forum, Jan. 23-26, 2016) met. Concerned about Climate Change? Almost not at all. According to Benjamin Hulac, since 2011, Climate Change has been considered there to be among the top five significant economic threats. Lucy P. Marcus observes that the body meeting this year at Davos revealed (on all matters) “the inability or refusal to recognize the need for course correction.” A repeated concern was of looming populism, or in other words growing global awareness of the reality: a criminal One Per Cent looting the world.
Whatever government does in Canada, Canadians must – more and more – face the gigantic threats: economic, environmental, and phoney-judicial of the present gangster regimes fighting for dominant power on the planet. Canadians must say NO to the TPP, must attack head-on the Orgy of Public Relations lying intended to lead us to give up the wealth of Canada to gangsters. The Globe and Mail, just a few days ago, had a page-long editorial praising the TPP, and urging its acceptance – I don’t remember a word about the Investor State Dispute Settlement provision! (Canadian press and media sell-out goes on full-speed. O Canada!) Canadians must help to organize the 99% so it can work to de-activate and strip the wealth of the 1%, which presently possesses hugely disproportionate (often criminal) power in the world. That stripping has to be done before it is too late.
And the Canadians who write for other Canadians? They should be repeating the final two sentences in the last paragraph over and over again for their readers. Perhaps, as well, they should begin suggesting forms of resistance. A many country organization to prevent the next meeting of The World Economic Forum? If the TPP is ratified by the majority Liberal parliament, perhaps the Canadians who write for other Canadians should - well in advance - suggest things like a major, on-going, relentless Parliament Hill Protest – with wholly new tactics…to bring down the Liberal government. Elsewhere in Canada how about wildcat stopping of train traffic? After all, foreign and local representatives of The One Per Cent now control almost all railway operation in Canada. Stopping rail traffic in Canada would be a way to target – directly – The One Per Cent ... and to make more Canadians aware of the stealth takeover of Canadian wealth, incentive, and sovereign government by people who see Canada as a cash cow, to milk … and toss aside.
Foolish ideas? Perhaps. But at the present time almost all of the Canadians who write for other Canadians are doing everything but really facing the critical state of economic banditry, environmental desecration, and global corporate (and government) collusion to render Canada and the rest of the planet uninhabitable profit-fodder.
Being nice in Canada often means wanting to be comfortable, wanting to please criminals in power. That is the character – I am sure - of almost all writers in the so-called “Mainstream Press and Media”. Writers like Murray Dobbin and the others I refer to as ‘Canadians writing for Canadians’ are NOT in that category. So maybe its time for them to stop “being nice”. Maybe it’s time for them to suggest other Canadians, too, stop being nice….
Written by Robin Mathews
Political will....No such animal, the only thing that motivates a government to act in the best interest of the people is when they fear for their own survival....Grant G..February 12th/2016
The Straight Goods
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