Unifor members from across the country attended a teach-in today to share information and strategies on the fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, before hitting the streets for a mass postering action in Federal Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland’s riding.
“Civil society organizations need to collectively mobilize like never before to stop this dangerous corporate rights deal,” said Unifor Political Action Director Roland Kiehne.
The Stop the TPP: Teach-in and Postering Action, held at the United Steelworker’s Hall in downtown Toronto, was organized by Unifor, Leadnow, OpenMedia, Council of Canadians, Common Frontiers, USW, Fight for the Future and People's Climate Movement.
The teach-in consisted of information sessions on how the TPP will negatively impact several aspects of life in Canada. Presenters explained how this free trade deal will erode democracy and environmental protections, impact jobs and the economy, and cause a decline in health care and other public services.
“People will die because of this deal,” said Dr. Chetan Mehta, a member of the newly founded FutureHeath Canada. “The TPP puts lifesaving, cost-effective medical interventions at risk.”
Dr. Mehta warned that if the TPP is ratified and implemented, patients will suffer as drugs and even medical procedures are patented. He went on to predict that the trade deal would even herald a spike in some diseases. “The TPP spreads Hep C,” said Mehta. “Under the TPP, I estimate that the cost of treating Hep C alone would take up ten per cent of the entire provincial health care budget.”
Following a performance at last night’s Rock Against the TPP concert at Toronto’s Opera House, Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane took time to share a personal story of how his grandfather was beaten when he fought for a dollar a day wage and a five day work week. Sane explained that coalition building can make a difference. "We can change the way this deal is going".”
Activists also heard from NDP Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey, MP for Essex and Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade. The Committee is currently seeking input from Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ramsey actively encouraged all present to write in to the Committee to express their views and to spread to news to everyone they know.
“This deal is so dangerous to our democracy,” said Ramsey. “Labour, youth, environmentalists, seniors, and civil society groups too - all were left with this conservative negotiated deal and only a choice of yes or now. Now is the time that the voices of Canadians and voters must speak out to send a resounding loud no.”
Send your input to the TPP House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade - email to:
Be sure to send your message today! Submissions will only be accepted until Monday, Oct. 31.
Learn more on what you can do to stop the TPP at www.unifor.org/TPP
To view the photo album of this Stop the TPP event check out our photo album.