rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Liberals open to consulting -- and ignoring -- Canadians on TPP

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Trade minister Chrystia Freeland announced that Canada will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, but made clear that it would not come into force until it was ratified in Parliament. They'll say their vows, but they won't say "I do" until Canadians get a chance to speak up or forever hold their peace.

But they can only speak up with a yes or no because the Liberals said they won't renegotiate this deal that the Conservatives negotiated in secret. So it's like having a ballot with only two options, except it's different than a ballot in that nobody has to count it.

The Liberals can now ratify the TPP any time they want, but in the meantime they say they're "open to consulting with Canadians." Consulting us in the same sense you consult an alarm clock set to 6 a.m. with a giant snooze button.

Justin Trudeau said that the "Liberal Party of Canada is a pro-trade party." As though being against the TPP means you're anti-trade. Anti-TPP is not anti-trade. I'm fine with California oranges. I'm not fine with giving an oil company the power to sue my government over rational environmental policy.  

It remains to be seen if the Liberals pro-trade stance means pro-TPP, but for now they'll listen to Canadians, so that Canadians feel listened to. Because when we believe that our feelings have been felt, we'll think our thoughts have been thought and believed, even if listening isn't hearing and seeing isn't believing and the Liberals are going to do whatever they can get away with.

This video originally appeared in the Toronto Star

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.