Don’t trade away our rights

Don't trade away our rights Open letter to MP Ryan Leef: I am astounded to learn that the impending 31-year trade agreement with China, which has such immense implications for our rights and freedoms, is to be confirmed without any debate in Parliament,

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef:

I am astounded to learn that the impending 31-year trade agreement with China, which has such immense implications for our rights and freedoms, is to be confirmed without any debate in Parliament, let alone input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including, most particularly, the citizens of Canada.

The fact that Canada has already signed several similar agreements with other countries is not an excuse for letting this one pass unexamined, and, in fact, also raises the question of how those other agreements came into being, and what the implications of their terms may be, or have been, for our country.

The very thought of an agreement which supersedes Canadian rights and laws, (and indeed, our very right to be masters in our own house), and subjects us to some unaccountable secret tribunal which will have the power to render judgements against Canada and our various jurisdictions if our Chinese “partner” deems a particular decision or policy we take as contrary to their interests, escapes my comprehension.

How did we get to this juncture where such important and far-reaching agreements may be undertaken virtually behind closed doors without public input or consent?

The timing of this agreement is all the more odious as we approach Nov. 11 and remember those who fought Nazi tyranny and sacrificed themselves for our country, our freedom and our right to have a say in the affairs of our nation, and to have that right respected. As I comprehend it, this agreement amounts to an usurpation of our democratic rights and therefore constitutes an affront to all Canadians, those present and those past. What you have given up in the blind pursuit of “trade benefits” for our nation was not yours to give up!

Was this agreement birthed with the best of intentions and the benefit of Canada and Canadians in mind? I assume that it was, but even so, it seems to me that it was done while wearing rose-coloured glasses and without adequate consideration of the potential costs and what could go wrong or otherwise compromise our rights and values. As has often been said, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Unless you are among the quiet supporters of this trade agreement going along with it in the hope that, in the end, it will all turn out well, I implore you to take a stand against it in caucus, and if possible, in the House. Even a small protest would speak volumes.

Why our governments and opposition parties of all stripes and levels have let this agreement pass without full public consultation and a demand for answers as to how it may affect our rights and obligations completely escapes me. I feel let down by all of you and I have to wonder whether any of you are worthy to sit in the seats to which you were elected.

Show us that you are. Take a stand.

Rick Tone

Whitehorse