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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Division at Global Affairs Canada (the federal department of foreign affairs and international trade) has provided an email address for the public to send in their comments and questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Below are the questions I emailed on February 3 and the responses I received on March 1:

1. Do you accept the findings of the Tufts University study that says the TPP will cost 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality in Canada?

“With respect to impact studies, there is an important number of them that have been produced on the TPP. We are looking at all of them, including the Tufts University study.”

2. How would the ISDS provision in the TPP prevent an investor-state challenge similar to the one launched by a U.S. company under NAFTA against Quebec’s moratorium on fracking under the St. Lawrence River?

“The Government recognizes that you — and many other Canadians — have concerns regarding the scope and application of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The Government is focused on consulting with Canadians, a key commitment of this new government, as the Government of Canada analyses the full potential impacts of the TPP.”

3. How do you respond to the World Health Organization director-general’s concerns about extended patents for drug companies?

“With regards to intellectual property rights, the Government also recognizes that there has been a lot of attention devoted to these issues. The Government is listening to Canadians who have shared concerns on what the TPP means for Canada’s legal and policy framework for the protection and enforcement of patents and other intellectual property rights. The Government remains firmly committed to ensuring that our intellectual property regime balances the interests of both right holders and users.”

4. Will BGH-tainted milk entering Canada be labelled?

“The labelling of products containing Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), the Government understands that Canadians afford a great importance to the safety of the food they put on their tables. All food products, both domestic and imported, must meet Canada’s robust health and safety regulations and standards. For this reason, all of Canada’s free trade agreements include language to reaffirm Canada’s right to take measures necessary to protect human, plant and animal health and food safety. The TPP also includes such language. The Government remains committed to protecting the quality and safety of food in Canada.”

5. How many emails have you received in total, how many have expressed concerns about the TPP?

“The Government has received over 1,000 emails expressing various views. The Government has seen and heard from Canadians who feel the TPP presents significant opportunities, those who have serious concerns, and also from those who have not made up their minds or have further questions as they continue to deliberate the merits of Canada’s participation. The Government is committed to giving all Canadians an opportunity to fully debate the TPP’s implications. Please rest assured that your concerns are being taken into serious consideration as the Government assesses Canada’s participation in the TPP.”

To email the government about the TPP, send your questions and comments here.

For more on our campaign against the TPP, please click here.

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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist, writer and the executive director of Peace Brigades International-Canada. He lives in Ottawa on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin...