Trade Agreements and Worker’s Rights

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – There is so much deep concern in the community about what that agreement [the SPP] will do and the fact that the government, as the previous government did, is signing on to this agreement with virtually no public disclosure. It will impact every aspect of domestic life in Canada. It will impact on the ability of Parliament to do its job. It will impact on the delivery of services. It will exacerbate the privatization of services. It will exacerbate the deregulation that is taking place in our society. At the end of the day these are things that begin to affect the quality of life. It becomes a race to the bottom.

We recognize the connection that this bill [C-9] has in dealing with the dispute mechanism and its attachment to the World Bank, how it is completely complicit and tied into this move to globalization that is shutting down the democratic process. We strongly object to that. We intend to do everything we can not only in Parliament but in the broader civil society to see that these agreements are opened up, changed, and are refuted.

We understand that trade is obviously going to happen. Trade is an important part of our economic activity in life, but we want to see fair trade. We want to see trade that is based on, agreed to, and implemented around core standards that set out labour rights, that set out environmental rights, that set out a social contract and social conditions so that the workers in the south are not being exploited, and that Canadian workers are not losing their jobs as a result of these trade agreements.