Open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: We need real, open consultations on the TPP


Council of Canadians logoThe Council of Canadians has put up a platform where concerned Canadian citizens can write directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland to express their concerns regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and demand real, open consultations before its official ratification.

Reproduced below is the text of the letter I have just sent.

Click here to send your own letter.

Refer to this previous post if you also wish to sign a petition to express your concerns regarding the TPP.

Henri Thibodeau RiderInBlack


  • Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade


  • Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Conservative Party
  • Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the NDP
  • Rhéal Fortin, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
  • Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party

SUBJECT: Hold real public consultations on the TPP

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland,

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text now revealed, you have promised to consult with Canadians, listen to us, and act on what you hear. I commend you on this promise, and take you up on it.

I have serious concerns about the TPP and believe it requires a full independent review to ensure it is in the best interest of Canadians like me.

The TPP isn’t really about trade at all. It’s about securing corporate privilege and profits at the expense of working people, our shared environment, our rights and the public good.

The TPP must be expunged from all threats to our national sovereignty.

Specifically, I request that you:

  1. Ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to conduct a comprehensive and independent analysis of the TPP text. Among other things, the analysis must assess the deal’s impact on human rights, health, employment, environment, democracy, and the sovereignty of our country.
  1. Hold public hearings in each province and territory across Canada as well as separate and meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities and First Nations. No agreement can be ratified without full consent.
  1. The TPP requires countries to screen all their environmental policies to make sure they do not hurt trade and investment. Take steps to protect our national policies and international climate agreements from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS) entrenched in the TPP.
  1. The ISDS would let companies sue governments in secret tribunals when public policies get in the way of profits. This powerful tool of corporate rule undermines our democracy and must be excised from the TPP
  1. Remove health care and pharmaceuticals from the TPP. Excessive patent protections in the TPP undermine health regulations, jeopardize a new universal pharmacare program, and raise the cost of medicines to the point that they may become inaccessible. Our public health policy should be dictated by evidence and national priorities, not by trade agreements that put profit before people.
  1. Remove any and all components of the TPP that would infringe on Canadian copyright laws & regulations.


Henri Thibodeau

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One Response to Open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: We need real, open consultations on the TPP

  1. I received the following reply from Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, in response to my letter.

    Thank you for writing regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). I am strongly opposed to the TPP, and I echo calls to reject the agreement.

    The TPP is a fundamentally undemocratic agreement that threatens Canada’s sovereignty. The Harper Conservatives negotiated the TPP in secret, and Canadians were kept in the dark. The agreement hurts the Canadian auto and agricultural sector, and was drafted without input from labour, environmental, health, and consumer groups. The TPP would allow milk that includes hormones (rBST) into Canada, even though rBST use in Canada is prohibited. You can read my press release on the issue here.

    The greatest problem with the TPP, however, is the investor-state provisions that expose Canada to lawsuits by foreign corporations. When we make new laws protecting the environment, or improving labour protections, for example, companies can sue Canada if they feel these decisions will hurt their bottom line. Investor-state provisions put multinational corporations ahead of Canadian interests. Simply put, the investor-state provisions in the TPP threaten Canada’s sovereignty.

    This deal has serious implications for Canadian democracy, and our ability to protect our national industries and workers. At the very least, the TPP must be subject to thorough analysis and public consultation. I support calls for the TPP to be analyzed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, for public hearings across the country, and for the obligation to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities. It is imperative that any agreement reached at COP21 be fully protected from potential TPP challenges.

    We cannot let the TPP move forward unless Canadians have signed on. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised “a full and open public debate in Parliament” on the TPP. Canadians deserve nothing less, and I will hold the government to their promise. I will continue to fight to ensure that Canadian trade deals protect Canadian interests.

    Thank you again for writing.


    Elizabeth May


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