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Results: 1 - 15 of 62
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 17:07 [p.29415]
Madam Speaker, I have a question about how the member feels about investor state dispute settlements being removed from the agreement, and also about article 22, which limits state-owned corporations.
In light of that, how does he feel about the Canada-China FIPA? It was an investment treaty, not a trade agreement, that was pushed through by the Harper government without any debate in this House, whereby Chinese state-owned corporations can use investor state dispute settlements to seek compensation for the loss of potential profit when our laws and policies get in the way of their profitability.
I am just curious about how the member feels about investor state agreements in trade agreements, about state-owned corporations, and about the Canada-China FIPA in light of those things.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 17:25 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to stand here today and engage in the debate on NAFTA.
Many of my constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith will know that I am very passionate about trade issues and concerned about international trade and investment agreements.
First of all, I want to say that the Green Party of Canada supports trade. We think it is a vital part of our economy. However, what we want to see in trade agreements is respect for environmental regulations, labour standards, health and safety standards, and consumer protections. These things should be increased in trade agreements, the way that the European Union does. Countries that enter the European Union must increase their standards and regulations to meet the highest standards in the union. We think that those kinds of approaches to international trade are important.
About 15 years ago, I was focused on a lot of local issues and worked on films about local water. Somebody had asked me if I knew anything about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the SPP, and I did not. Therefore, I went off to Ottawa to go to the people summit and learn about the SPP.
I went to Montebello to document the protests that were happening there, and I happened to videotape three police officers who were dressed as radicals with masks on who were attacking their own riot squad. They were unmasked in the process, and all of their boots matched with those of the riot squad. This raised questions for me about why the police would be involved in this kind of incitement, and I have footage of them banging rocks into shields, etc. I wondered why they would be involved in this kind of incitement at a peaceful protest, and they were later proven to be police officers.
I became interested in the Security and Prosperity Partnership and started to dig in. What I found was that in this process there was a deep integration of Canada, the United States and Mexico as part of a fortress North America after 9/11. It also included integration of our regulatory standards. I looked into who was negotiating on behalf of Canada for these regulatory standards. There were 20 corporations for each of three countries, Mexico, the United States and Canada. There were some great Canadian corporations representing Canada in this negotiation process, such as Home Depot Canada, Walmart Canada, Chevron Canada and Ford Canada.
I started to study trade agreements a little more and found that there really was no involvement of civil society in these agreements. These were corporate agreements. Therefore, I really appreciate in this new version of NAFTA that the government has involved labour organizations and environmental organizations as part of the negotiating process, and I see that as progress. This is what we need to be doing in our negotiations on international trade and investment. They cannot just be secretive processes where only the corporations and the bureaucrats are involved. We need people who represent consumers, workers and environmentalists so that we have a fair process that can look at all aspects of trade and make sure that our regulations and standards are protected.
One of the others things I learned working on this film was about investor-state dispute settlements. Chapter 11 in NAFTA was the first time that a developed country had signed on to this process. It was something that the Europeans had used with their former colonial states to kind of keep corporate control over mineral extraction, etc. However, when I looked into Chapter 11, there were cases such as Ethyl Corporation, which got $5 million when Canada blocked the use of MMT, an additive that was a neurotoxin in gasoline. Ethyl Corporation said that it was an unfair trade practice to ban it. There are also things in these investment chapters such as indirect expropriation, and we all know what expropriation is; national treatment; as well as most favoured nation status. These are all things that are used by corporations to challenge our laws and policies. Therefore, I was really happy to see that the investor-state dispute settlement was taken out of the new NAFTA.
Let us look at cases like Bilcon, where a foreign corporation is challenging our environmental assessment process and getting $7 million for doing nothing. It is not a process that makes sense. We see this used as a big stick by mining companies to get developed countries to accept mining and extraction projects.
We need to do something about softwood lumber. That is an important issue in my community.
I am also concerned about the extension of patents for pharmaceuticals from eight years to 10 years for biologics and how that will affect the cost of drugs. We see many people, seniors in particular, who are having to make decisions about what they spend their money on: rent, food or pharmaceuticals.
Article 22, the state-owned chapter, has a carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion project. That is a concern for me as well.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 20:45 [p.29435]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand again to speak to the new NAFTA. I appreciate the Liberal Party giving me some time to speak about this.
When I left off, I was talking about investor-state dispute settlement and my appreciation that this part of NAFTA was removed. I know it will take three years for it to be completely removed and that some corporations will still be able to use that provision against Canadian laws and policies that get in the way of their profits.
I think it is time to get rid of investor-state provisions in all our trade agreements. It is undemocratic, and it undermines our sovereignty. As we have seen in many cases, such as in Bilcon v. Canada, three arbitration lawyers, whose only interest is keeping the system going, sit in a room and make decisions on our environmental assessment process.
In Bilcon v. Canada, there was a proposed quarry at Digby Neck. The community came out and experts came out and talked about the problems with the quarry. It was an area where the endangered North Atlantic right whales had their calving grounds. There was tourism for whale watching. There was lobster fishing. The community did not want the quarry. When the environmental assessment review panel ruled against Bilcon, after years of environmental assessments, Bilcon was able to take the dispute to a NAFTA panel. Bilcon wanted $470 million. It walked away with $7 million. That is outrageous. Using these kinds of processes to challenge our laws and policies is antithetical to democracy.
Investor-state provisions are being used in developing countries to force through extraction projects or to make developing countries pay through the nose.
A good example of this is Crystallex, a Canadian mining development company. It challenged Venezuela using investor-state provisions after Venezuela decided, on behalf of its indigenous population, that the Crystallex mine would not be in the interest of the indigenous population. It was a threat to the environment. Tenor Capital paid for the arbitration lawyers and invested $30 million. Crystallex ended up getting $1.2 billion in a settlement in this investor-state dispute, and Tenor Capital walked away with a 1,000% return, or $300 million. It is obscene.
I could give members example after example of these kinds of situations. I am glad this is out of NAFTA.
I am also glad to see that the proportionality clause is gone. Under this clause, we had to continue to export the same amount of energy to the United States, on average, as we had in the previous three years.
However, as I was saying earlier, there are a few things that disappoint me about the new NAFTA.
First is the extension of biological patents for pharmaceutical drugs. This is important for products like insulin and for people who have Crohn's disease. People are already struggling with the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. We need drug costs to come down. We must have a national pharmacare program rather than more money for big pharma.
Second is article 22, the carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion. It looks to me as though it will continue to be a state-owned corporation, which is concerning.
Third is having bovine growth hormone in the American milk and dairy products we will import.
I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to the bill.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 20:51 [p.29436]
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned at the top of the speech, we support trade. What we look for in trade agreements is fair trade. We want to ensure labour rights are respected and that standards are improved for labour, health and safety and for consumer standards and environmental standards.
We like the European Union model. When a country joins the European Union, its standards need to be raised to the level of the highest standards of countries in the European Union. We should be looking to that model.
I appreciate that in this round of NAFTA there have been labour organizations and other civil society organizations involved in the actual negotiations, and that is important.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 20:52 [p.29436]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that I will support the bill. The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands thinks that this might be as good as it gets.
I understand the New Democrats think the Democrats in the United States might be able to improve the deal. I know there is some progressive movement within that party, but it has been very neo-liberal in the past and I am not sure the leadership in the Democratic Party in the United States has changed enough that we will see progress from them on this issue.
The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has less trust of the Democrats. I am not sure she thinks we will get a better deal than what we have. I think we could be getting a better deal. I am not whipped in my vote. We will see how it all comes down when we vote.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 20:54 [p.29437]
Mr. Speaker, the problem with CETA is that there is some change in the way investor-state dispute settlement is done, with the tribunal process, but it is still not good enough. I have listened to trade experts, like Gus Van Harten from Osgoode Hall. He says that it is basically the same kind of thing, the same sort of investor-state dispute settlement. It has just done it with a more permanent court.
We need to improve the judicial system. We need to deal with these issues within domestic boundaries. When we talk about domestic law, let us deal with disputes within domestic boundaries. If we are dealing with countries that do not have good judicial systems, let us make that part of the trade conditions.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 21:19 [p.29440]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the hon. member is about article 22 and annex IV, which gives a carve-out to the Trans Mountain expansion project.
When we are dealing with climate change, do we not think that perhaps it would be a good idea for other state-owned enterprises to be available to us in dealing with a climate emergency?
Also, I would like to know about this carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion project. What is the plan? We have seen that it is not really economically feasible. I have read reports by Robyn Allan and others who say that this pipeline is not economically feasible.
What is the plan if the government cannot sell it to the private sector within the 10-year period, as outlined in article 22?
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-18 23:36 [p.29376]
Mr. Speaker, I have a number of concerns about this agreement, including the potential import of dairy containing bovine growth hormone, the extension of patents from eight to 10 years, and article 22, which is about state-owned enterprises and the carve-out for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion; we are seeing now that we have this state-owned enterprise that is excluded from this deal.
I would ask the hon. member about the provisions for investor state dispute settlements. He said that we do not have enough time to debate this issue, but investor-state dispute settlements are part of the FIPA agreements that the Conservative government pushed through, including the Canada-China agreement, which allows Chinese state-owned corporations to sue Canada for laws and policies that get in the way of their profits.
I would like to hear—
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-13 12:11 [p.29045]
Madam Speaker, I would love to have more time to debate this trade agreement in Parliament. It is really important to have these discussions so that Canadians can understand the implications of these agreements.
I am glad to see that the investor state dispute settlement portion of this trade agreement has been eliminated. ISDS undermines our sovereignty and democratic authority. Canadians have had trade agreements and foreign investment promotion and protection agreements, like the Canada-China FIPA, foisted upon them. The Stephen Harper government rammed through the FIPA agreement with China and basically turned Canada into a colonial state of China. Canadians need to understand better what investor state means to our democratic authority.
There are things in this agreement that need to be improved. I am opposed to extending patents on pharmaceutical drugs, but we need a more fulsome debate on what investor state dispute settlements mean and how we are going to get rid of these ISDS agreements in our foreign investment promotion and protection agreements and our other free trade agreements. I am glad it is gone from NAFTA. Let us get it out of the rest of them.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-11 11:40 [p.28892]
Madam Speaker, I am very happy to see that the proportionality clause has been eliminated from NAFTA. I am glad to see that the investor-state dispute settlement provisions, ISDS, have been eliminated as well. I would like to see ISDS removed from all our trade agreements and from our FIPA agreements, specifically from the Canada–China FIPA, which the Conservatives passed without a vote in the House of Commons. These agreements are detrimental to our sovereignty and to our democratic authority in this place.
I am disappointed about the provisions for extending patents. I am also disappointed about the provisions for allowing American dairy to come into Canada. I wonder if the minister could explain how dairy will be labelled and what we will do about BGH, bovine growth hormone, in milk from the United States.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-11 12:40 [p.28901]
Mr. Speaker, I certainly share many of the concerns of the hon. member for Essex about this new version, NAFTA 2.0, CUSMA or USMCA, depending on where people stand and what country they are in.
I have concerns and I am also torn. CUSMA certainly is a vast improvement in finally getting rid of the investor-state provisions in chapter 11. It is certainly an improvement to get rid of the energy proportionality. That clause really tied Canada's hands on energy security.
It is lamentable to see it chip away at supply management, as the member has pointed out, and it is certainly worrying that it does more to protect big pharma in patent protection.
In figuring out where we go with this as a Parliament, how do we discount the importance of getting rid of U.S.-based corporations having the right to sue Canada? Invariably, they win and we lose.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-10-03 16:10 [p.22163]
seconded by the member for Repentigny, moved:
Motion No. 3
That Bill C-79 be amended by deleting Clause 9.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-10-03 16:26 [p.22165]
Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting amendments to Bill C-79. The Green Party is naturally opposed to agreements that are designed to protect the rights of investors and big foreign corporations.
On that, I am proud to say that we are the only party in the House that has consistently and always opposed investor-state dispute resolution agreements in every trade deal that has come through here.
I want to thank the hon. member for Essex for her work on this as well. It is very clear that the New Democratic Party does oppose investor-state agreements in the context of the CPTPP. In that, we were only joined by the Bloc Québécois today in objecting to shortening the debate. Even though the NDP, the third party in this place, was prepared to bend and allow a shortened debate, its amendment, which was rejected in this place, would have allowed debate that went for five hours as opposed to being shortened to almost no hours. It was amazing to me that the compromise position of the NDP was not accepted and that the large parties in this place, the Liberals and Conservatives, were all too quick to rush this bill to conclusion.
The trans-Pacific partnership, which we are entering into in this rushed fashion, has been refashioned as the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership agreement, but it is very clear that it is not progressive, and it may not even be comprehensive.
I want to focus initially, as others have in this place, on what we celebrate, and I do want to be clear that I celebrate the achievements that were just achieved in replacing NAFTA with what has now been rebranded, Trump style, the USMCA. However, parts of the USMCA remain troubling. I should mention what they are. There is the erosion of supply management that protects not only our dairy farmers but other protected agricultural sectors. It presents a threat to human health in Canada if dairy products contaminated with bovine growth hormone are allowed to enter our marketplace. We remain concerned about the USMCA giving longer patent protection to pharmaceutical companies, thus driving up drug costs. We remain concerned about other sectors that are impacted by the new USMCA. However, we are relieved that the auto sector will survive this. We are relieved that many other sectors have not been negatively impacted as much as Trump had threatened.
The big good news out of the USMCA is what the Prime Minister mentioned earlier today, which happens, ironically, to be the subject matter of the amendments I argue in this place today. What the Prime Minister celebrated today, and I could not be more overjoyed, and “overjoyed” is the word to use, was the end of chapter 11 in NAFTA.
Chapter 11 was the world's first investor-state dispute mechanism. It was the debut of a concept that is so inherently anti-democratic that it is astonishing how it has managed to creep into nearly every trade agreement Canada has signed since. Now, essentially, the grandfather of all investor-state dispute resolutions is gone, but the illegitimate progeny continue to contaminate democracies around the world.
I will never forget how Steve Schreibman, a noted trade lawyer in Canada, described ISDS when he was fighting for intervenor status on behalf of Sierra Club Canada in one of the many chapter 11 cases that we ultimately lost. It was the one brought by S.D. Myers of Ohio, which claimed, believe it or not, that it was an investor in Canada, although it had never actually built anything here. It claimed that its rights had been infringed, because Canada banned the export of PCB-contaminated waste. We lost that case. Members may not believe it, but at the time an investor-state dispute resolution panel ruled that Canada had violated chapter 11 by banning the export of PCB-contaminated waste to the U.S., it was illegal under U.S. law to allow its importation. In this area of trade law, the only precedent to help figure it out is to reread Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, because none of it has ever made any sense.
I was about to quote Steven Schreibman in that case. He said that chapter 11 investor state dispute mechanisms are “fundamentally corrosive of democracy”.
Here we are in this place celebrating today, and I do celebrate. I want to thank, on the record, the Minister of Global Affairs for her extraordinary work in bringing through a concluded agreement with an administration as incoherent and unpredictable as the one that currently occupies the White House. Regardless of political stripe, Canadians should celebrate that. We have much more in common as Canadians than differences with those trying to score political points against the government for managing to navigate anything in the topsy-turvy world one encounters when dealing with the President of the United States.
We celebrate this big achievement that chapter 11 of NAFTA is gone. Why, then, are we inserting chapter 9 in the CPTPP, which does the same thing, but with different countries? With the advent of CPTPP, if we pass Bill C-79 as it is without accepting my amendment, we will now be subject to the same corporate rule, where foreign corporations from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico—we already had a Mexico ISDS under NAFTA—New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam have superior rights to domestic corporations.
There is another truth that must be told about these agreements, because, really, Canada is not at risk from TPP investor-dispute mechanisms from Chile, Mexico or Vietnam. I say that because there is a pattern. Here is the pattern, which we know from hundreds of cases reviewed by two major European Union think tanks, the Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute. They looked at hundreds of these cases that allow foreign corporations to sue domestic governments. Was there a pattern? Do governments tend to win? Do corporations tend to win? That is not the pattern one finds, but there is a pattern: the larger economic power always wins.
When Philip Morris, a U.S. corporation, decided to sue Uruguay because it dared to put health warnings on cigarette labels, Uruguay was going to lose, and it did. When it is a U.S. corporation, such as Ethyl Corporation, SDMyers, AbitibiBowater or Bilcon, the very worst case, the U.S. corporation will win and Canada will lose.
Canadian corporations, on the other hand, trying to sue in the U.S. nearly always lose, because we are a smaller economic power. That is why it is extraordinary that it was the U.S. that wanted to remove this agreement and Canada that used it. I hope we were using it the whole time, holding it back knowing it was a bargaining chip we were prepared to play, but we should never have fought to hang on to chapter 11 of NAFTA. It is so deeply offensive.
Here is the evidence. “Profiting from injustice” is the name of the study, and the subtitle is “How law firms, arbitrators and financiers are fuelling an investment arbitration boom” and gaining enormously financially. It is basically, like the words used earlier in this place in a different context, ambulance chasing. Basically, law firms, arbitrators, financiers and individual lawyers have made out like bandits on chapter 11 cases and other ISD cases. The arbitrators are for-hire judges. There is no court. They are individual lawyers who are arbitrators, who, in the same firms, often represent corporations suing countries. There is no justification for leaving this in the CPTPP.
We have another precedent besides removing it from NAFTA, and that is that in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU, individual countries have opted out of ISDS while still joining in the overall trade deal.
Investor-state dispute resolutions are anti-democratic. They have nothing to do with trade and everything to do with transferring democratic rights to corporations. We should pass my amendment, please, and take ISDS out of the CPTPP.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-10-03 16:38 [p.22167]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Winnipeg North will know that in my speech, I focused on the investor-state dispute mechanisms, which have nothing to do with expanding markets, access to markets or trade.
However, since he raises the example of hog barns in Manitoba, I want to remind him that farmers in Manitoba did not want massive hog farms. In town after town, they tried to protest them. The former government of Gary Doer suspended the right of municipalities to say no to mega-farms for hogs. The result is the contamination of Lake Winnipeg and significant toxic eutrophication because liquid hog waste has contaminated it.
These issues are complex. The small family farms created more jobs and more healthy ecosystems for Manitobans than massive hog barns, which leave the pollution behind for the people of Manitoba, while shipping the product out.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-10-03 16:40 [p.22167]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert for his question. It is sort of funny, but I want to share a story that comes from Robert Reich, a former Clinton cabinet secretary. He said that not one member of the U.S. Congress read the NAFTA document before the vote.
One really important thing I want to point out is that the MPs here and the members of Congress in the United States are not comfortable with the documents and have no time to read them. The situation is the same in both countries, in Canada's Parliament and in the U.S. Congress. Now we do not even have enough time for debate. However, it is very rare to find even one person who has made the effort to do some real research on the issues.
I personally have been working hard for years to oppose agreements that favour foreign corporations and have the potential to harm our democracy.
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