WIN! Saanich Council passes resolution opposing the TPP

2016 October 30, by Chapter Council

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter has convinced Saanich Council to pass a resolution in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)!

On September 3, Saanich News reported, “Following a presentation [by Ted Woynillowicz and Neil Mussell of the Victoria Chapter of the Council of Canadians] to Saanich council [on August 15], a motion was made by Coun. Colin Plant, and supported by council, to ask Woynillowicz and Mussell back.”

That article adds, “The two will present at a special meeting, open to the public, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in Saanich council chambers. They will present to members of three Saanich advisory committees, Healthy Saanich, Planning, Transportation and Economic, and Environment and Natural Areas. The public will also have a chance to speak.”

After that presentation, Woynillowicz told us, “It began with our 10 minute PowerPoint presentation titled Why Municipalities Should Oppose the TPP. This was followed by statements from the various invited Saanich municipal departments followed by comments from the public. With just one exception, all of the speakers expressed deep concerns regarding the TPP and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.”

Following that meeting, the Healthy Saanich Advisory Council requested that, “Council express opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and to send a letter to the federal government stating opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.” In addition, the Environment and Natural Areas Advisory Committee requested that, “Council express opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement for its restriction on the ability of Saanich to protect the natural environment.”

Last night Woynillowicz tells us, “Saanich Council passed a resolution on Monday night opposing the TPP.”

The District of Saanich has a population of about 110,000 people and is part of the Greater Victoria Region and the Capital Regional District.

Last month the chapter was also able to successfully get Victoria City Council to pass a resolution that states, “That Council request that the Mayor, on behalf of Council, write to the Prime Minister of Canada, requesting that the Government of Canada undertake meaningful consultation with local government on the draft terms of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, to ensure that local government autonomy is recognized and protected prior to any further steps being taken toward Canada becoming a signatory to this agreement.”

The Council of Canadians Vancouver, Kelowna, Brandon and Northwest Territories chapters have also called on their city councils to pass resolutions in opposition to the TPP. On April 26, Nanaimo city council unanimously passed a resolution that stated, “BE IT RESOLVED THAT: Nanaimo Mayor and Council express its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and communicate this to Prime Minister Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers and every Member of Parliament.”

University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey has written, “Investors from TPP countries will have the power to challenge local government decisions that damage their commercial interests, including disputed procurement or public private partnership contracts, planning and consent processes, or blocking price increases for utilities like water or sanitation. …The contracting out of services, greater use of P3s, including for water, and asset sales will intensify the exposure of local government to the TPP and heighten the risks of investor-state disputes over disputed contracts.”

The leaders of the signatory countries to the TPP have set November 2017 as the deadline for the deal to be ratified.