Tell Minister Freeland:
We need a real debate in Canada on NAFTA 2.0!
CC: Your Member of Parliament, based on postal code
No rubber stamp for new NAFTA
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called on opposition parties to fast-track the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) through the House of Commons. In a letter, she pleaded for MPs to join her “in this essential national effort” to ratify the new deal “without undue delay.” Legislation to enact the agreement is expected to hit the House of Commons today.
Canada has been on the sidelines as debate raged on about the trilateral deal in the U.S. For more than a year, Democrats and U.S. politicians have been tweaking and debating the agreement.
We, too, in Canada must have our debate. With a minority parliament where more democratic debate is possible, CUSMA can’t just be rubber stamped.
So far, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP have stated publicly that they want a full parliamentary debate. But the pressure is on. Already there are attempts to get the parties to give unanimous consent to cut short normal parliamentary procedure, including waving the 21 sitting days the government is supposed to wait before they ratify the agreement.
You and I can’t let that happen. Will you send a direct message to Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and your MP asking for a full debate of the new agreement?
While U.S. Democratic lawmakers did improve the deal, there are very specific Canadian and progressive concerns that haven’t been addressed including:
- Canadian dairy farmers would be sacrificed to allow U.S. dairy products into our grocery stores, including milk from cows injected with genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone.
- The provisions around environmental protections are still far too weak. There is no mention of the climate crisis, and very little about greenhouse gas pollution when we have less than 10 years to address both before catastrophic climate change.
- Foreign and domestic corporations would have greater rights to monitor and change Canadian regulations to their benefit on a wide range of public policies.
A true democratic debate should address not only how to remove the worst aspects of this corporate-friendly trade agreement, but also look at how we can create agreements that respond to the climate crisis, increasing economic global inequality, and corporate control of our regulations and of our economies.
Tell Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and your MP that you want a meaningful democratic debate on the new NAFTA and not just a rubber stamp of approval.
Photo credit: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office, Worker Solidarity in Action: A Tri-national Labor Response to the Re-negotiation of NAFTA, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Remixed work here is also under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.