The world cheered when national leaders announced they would take steps to address climate change, the greatest danger human civilization has ever faced, at last year's talks in Paris. Let a government actually take action that might help to reduce emissions, though, and they will be soundly punished for it in secret corporate kangaroo courts that award millions of public dollars to corporations who are inconvenienced by the fact that sane people might not want them to roast all of our grandchildren in order that they might pocket a few more billions.
"The Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club and Quebec-based Eau secours say the suit by Lone Pine Resources Inc. (TSX:LPR) shows that trade deals that include investor protection clauses are a bad idea because they can prevent governments from passing laws to protect the environment."
This is just like Trans Canada's $15 billion dollar lawsuit over the decision that maybe future generations are more important than the Keystone XL pipeline, which basically amounts to an extortion attempt typical of a mob protection scam: "That's a lovely climate you don't want us to kill. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. Tell you what, all you have to do if you don't want us to destroy your children's food supply is pay us $15 billion to NOT do that."
This crazy example of the idea that corporations pocketing more stacks of cash is more trumps the value of governments trying to protect their citizens come to us through NAFTA. The Trans Pacific Partnership promises much more of the same, but even worse.
Under the TPP corporations can attack governmental regulations over cancer-causing chemicals or environmental concerns before tribunals comprised of corporate lawyers that rotate by day and night between acting as "judges" and representing corporations attacking governments. These decisions then cannot be challenged in federal courts, and taxpayers get stuck with the bill.
That's where this is the most scary. The truly horrific part of this monstrous agreement lies in the Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions. The TPP removes legislative authority from nations on a range of issues. Judicial power is surrendered to three-person trade tribunals in which only corporations are permitted to sue. Workers, environmental and advocacy groups and labor unions are blocked from seeking redress in the proposed tribunals. The rights of corporations become sacrosanct. The rights of citizens are abolished.
I'll let this video explain more about how that works.
With the power of NAFTA, Canada was already transformed from a nation concerned with the well being of its people to a shill for a toxic product in surprisingly short order.
If the government can't even ban a proven neurotoxin out of public health concerns, we're already in pretty rough shape, but of course it doesn't end there. Canada has been sued more often under NAFTA than any other member nation, and primarily over efforts at environmental protections.
I recommend this fabulous documentary on corporations and the unfortunate way they have been structured by law to value profits above any other concerns, period.
Is that who you want to have control over our nation's ability to write its own laws? The TPP is not about trade, it's about dominance. It's The Plutocracy Plan. If you wish not to be dominated, stand up now and demand that your government NOT join the TPP.
And for those who argue that a signature is not the same as ratifying it so we shouldn't make a big deal about signing the thing, may I remind you that pulling out a pistol and pointing it at someone's face is also not the same thing as pulling the trigger, but it's still plenty of cause for concern.
Phyllis Carter - Is that the same St, Lawrence River into which the Mayor of Montreal just dumped millions of tons of raw sewage?