Letter to Christia Freeland

April 5, 2016

The Hon. Christia Freeland

Minister of International Trade

Re: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Dear Ms Freeland,

We fail to see how ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership will help our nation reach our goals in regards to climate change. Bunker oil used to fuel cargo ships_the dirtiest, crudest of all usable oil – has a large greenhouse gas footprint. By transport of, largely, cheap plastic crap (also made from petroleum products, of course), we are moving in exactly the wrong direction.

Climate action must be bold. Yes, there will be profound opposition – but the existence of millions of species depends on it. The Nature Conservancy estimates that about one-quarter of all species will be wiped out by 2050 due to climate change. A study recently in the journal Nature estimated one-sixth of species will be extinct. Beyond the devastating droughts, fires, and arctic melting we’re already seeing, we really have no idea of all the dire ways the situation is going to hit the fan. The reality of climate change must inform all decisions and policies.

Globalization, that is largely the result of free trade agreements, has already resulted in:

      .

 

  • a great difficulty in supporting Canada’s own prosperity through the lack of made-in-Canada consumer products

 

  • the death of mom-and-pop operations, a mainstay of vibrant communities

 

  • the evacuation and resulting wasteland of Canadian small-town downtown

 

  • Canadian consumer-spending support for low-wage, low-safety, environmental-diasterous working conditions in developing countries

 

  • the overproduction of cheap-crap consumer goods, manufactured in developing countries, and largely made of plastic, that feed a throw-away, new-new-new mentality undermining the  the ethical underpinning of our country and culture (as seniors, we were raised to value the objects in our lives, to maintain and repair them.)

 

  • the profligate use of fossil fuels for the manufacture and shipping of goods to feed the ravenous maw of free trade, in a time of climate crisis

 

  • the profligate use of fossil fuels for the manufacture and shipping of goods when these non-renewable resources should be thoughtfully and conservatively allocated, while we still need them, prior to shifting to further sustainable energy sources

 

  • the proliferation of low wage, non-union McJobs in Canada, and

 

  • the erosion of democracy, as corporations gain more power over national interests and policies

 

Sincerely,

Anthea & Wesley Weese

2556 Rednersville Road, RR#1

Carrying Place, Ontario K0K 1L0

cc. The Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada


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