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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read