Sunday, April 01, 2007

No Joke

The Alberta B.C. Free Trade agreement; TILMA came into effect today! It is modeled on NAFTA.

The Council of Canadians has denounced the pact as an intrusion on provincial political rights. It warns, for example, that it could stymie B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's ambitious new environmental plan.

The agreement gives businesses and individuals the right to sue either province if they find that any regulation or government policy "restricts or impairs" investment.

Governments in the two provinces see the deal as a blueprint for other provinces wanting to remove interprovincial trade barriers.

The council is also warning that a trade, investment and labour agreement between B.C. and Alberta could negatively affect municipalities.

It says school boards and health and social service agencies could also be stripped of protection by private investors wanting to put profit before regulations.

Pickard, the council's regional organizer for B.C., says that unfortunately, TILMA is not an April fool's joke.

The B.C. and Alberta governments are selling the agreement as a way to erase trade barriers.

But Pickard says it was signed without public consultation or legislative debate.

"TILMA has very powerful provisions that will allow companies to challenge and overturn important municipal bylaws," Pickard said in a statement.




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1 comment:

janfromthebruce said...

So how do provinces get out of this deal - what is the deal breaker?