Egg

ELECTION 2015: NDP, Tories battle over Pacific trade

NDP's Thomas Mulcair against Trans-Pacific Partnership, Liberal Justin Trudeau on fence about Conservative Ed Fast's deal

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair stepped up his attack on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the last days before the Oct. 19 federal election, rallying union support to oppose Canada’s biggest-ever trade agreement.

The NDP campaign emphasized support from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and health care unions, adding to vocal opposition from Unifor, the union representing auto workers. The NDP has described the TPP as a secret deal that could drive up drug costs and cost jobs by removing tariffs from imported vehicles and other products.

The TPP, agreed to in principle last week by 12 countries including Canada, the U.S., Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, provides only minimal foreign access to supply managed poultry, dairy and egg markets in B.C. and across the country.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast took a break from his Conservative re-election campaign in Abbotsford to conclude the TPP talks in Atlanta last week. Fast said it keeps the government’s promise to preserve supply management in farm products, by offering “modest” import access and paying farmers for any loss of revenue.

Over five years, the TPP would open to imports 3.25 per cent of Canada’s dairy production, 2.3 per cent for eggs, 2.1 per cent for chicken, two per cent for turkey and 1.5 per cent for broiler hatching eggs.

For beef and other farm products, the TPP gives Canada full access to the U.S., Australia and other competitors in the Pacific Rim, Fast said. The NDP’s opposition to trade deals goes back a long way.

“They opposed the Canada-US free trade agreement, they opposed NAFTA, they have voted in the House of Commons against our trade agreement with the European Union,” Fast said in an interview. “They voted against trade agreements with countries like Switzerland and Lichtenstein and Israel and Peru.”

Mulcair has repeatedly demanded that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau take a position on the TPP, and that the Conservatives release the full text of the agreement before the vote.

Fast said the legal text is not completed and requires consent of all 12 countries, which is unlikely before the election. Implementation of the TPP is expected to take about two years, as each government ratifies its terms.

B.C. International Trade Minister Teresa Wat praised the TPP deal, noting it phases out tariffs in Asian countries on B.C. salmon, halibut, herring, crab, geoduck, blueberries, fresh and frozen vegetables, pork and icewine.

 

Just Posted

Seven arrested in drug trafficking investigation

Queen Charlotte RCMP arrested seven people in connection to a drug trafficking… Continue reading

More sailings coming to Haida Gwaii

The B.C. government says Haida Gwaii’s two BC Ferries routes are among… Continue reading

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Mold shuts down construction at QC supportive housing project

Construction of the new 19-unit modular housing complex in Queen Charlotte has… Continue reading

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read