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WARNING: Hurricane TILMA TO STRIKE B.C. and Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:25 pm
by Oscar
WARNING: Hurricane TILMA TO STRIKE B.C. and Alberta
02 Jul 2007

This trade agreement between B.C and Alberta (TILMA) is very destructive and needs to be opposed.

The worst of it is that most people, I have talked to, have not even heard of this agreement.

I have cobbled together this one page statement and would ask you to send this to other folks you know who are concerned about Gordon Campbell's Liberals' corporate agenda.

Dave Myles
7106 18th Avenue
Burnaby, BC V3N 1H1
604-612-4688
myles.d@shaw.ca

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WARNING: Hurricane TILMA TO STRIKE B.C. and Alberta

Last April, the Alberta and BC governments signed a far-reaching agreement called the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). This agreement between Gordon Campbell and Ralph Klein went into effect on April 1, 2007.

TILMA was signed in virtual secrecy and without public consultation. The Liberals even went so far as to refuse to debate the merits of TILMA in the Legislature. The reason for this secrecy is clear when we consider the fact that TILMA favours investors over the public interest, and is clearly anti-democratic.

TILMA is supposed to remove “trade barriers” between BC and Alberta and harmonize regulations between provinces. This sounds nice, until it is understood what this means. When pressed by critics, the BC Liberals cannot name any ‘barriers to trade’ that TILMA might reduce. This is because TILMA is not about trade. Rather it shields investors from standards and regulations that protect the public from the irresponsible behavior of business.

If a municipality, school board or provincial government passes a law that "impairs or restricts" investment or trade the ‘offended corporation' can sue the provincial government for up to $5 million for its losses. This means that the taxpayer (read you and me) will be left holding the bill for passing legislation that promotes higher environmental or public standards than other provinces in TILMA.

An example of this would be the latest ban on pesticides in Burnaby, or if a school board passed a law banning junk food in its schools, the BC government could be left holding a $5 million fine for democratically enacted ‘restrictions’ on business in the public interest. If a daycare centre in Alberta opens up in BC they will be allowed to operate under Alberta’s higher adult/child ratio under TILMA. This effectively is a regulatory race to the bottom.

Our Democracy is under threat from ‘trade’ agreements like TILMA. Why are we surrendering our sovereignty to private corporate interests when the outcome is less control over our government and no clear financial gain? Saskatchewan and Manitoba have rejected TILMA for just this reason. We should be rescinding TILMA ourselves.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has produced two reports on TILMA. They are at http://policyalternatives.ca

http://www.stoptilma.com/ has also done a great job of analyzing TILMA.