International trade and investment, deep integration

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Canada is addicted to oil. Like all addictions, ours is debilitating. It has erased the line between state and private industry (thin as that line is in most countries), stifles our politics, and is holding back local, provincial and national preparations for a world without fossil fuels. Curing our addiction to oil and gas will take time and money, and historic levels of Indigenous–federal–provincial co-operation. But it absolutely has to happen—starting now.
This report, which is published with PowerShift e.V., examines the threat to precautionary environmental, consumer, public health and labour policy arising from regulatory co-operation and "good regulatory practices" (GRP) chapters within the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA or USMCA), and the rebooted U.S.-EU negotiations toward a transatlantic free trade deal.
Canadian corporations are taking advantage of Canada’s free trade and investment agreements to undermine environmental policies in developing countries. And it’s putting the global fight against climate change–and Canada’s international reputation–at risk.
In 2018, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly proudly proclaimed that Canada successfully negotiated a cultural exemption in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a Harper-era multilateral trade deal rebranded “Comprehensive and Progressive" (CPTPP) by the Trudeau government. In 1987, Flora MacDonald, then Mulroney’s minister of communications, made the same claim at the conclusion of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) negotiations. Neither minister was being entirely honest.
Six years ago, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act revealed that federal spy agencies had covertly monitored several groups that had expressed opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project, including Leadnow, Dogwood, the Council of Canadians, ForestEthics (now, the Sierra Club Canada, and Idle No More. The documents show CSIS—Canada’s national spy agency—and the RCMP working to protect the private interests of oil and gas companies while casting the aforementioned advocacy groups as appropriate targets of surveillance.
OTTAWA—Canadian investors disproportionately target environmental policy in developing nations when they file investor-state lawsuits outside North America, according to new analysis released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Environmental policy is the fastest growing trigger for such investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases.
Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases launched by Canadian investors outside North America follow a pattern of disproportionately targeting environmental policy in developing nations. Environmental policy is the fastest growing trigger for such cases. This report finds that since 1999, Canadian investors have initiated at least 43 ISDS claims against countries outside North America, whereas only one case has ever been brought against Canada by investors from a country other than the U.S. or Mexico.
Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon. They are among the world's most valuable and most trusted companies, but increasingly the most scrutinized for their data-hoarding practices, monopolist tendencies, poor treatment of workers and willingness to bend or even break privacy laws in the pursuit of growth. More data gives these and other tech firms a more accurate picture of individual tastes and broader societal trends.
On April 30, 2019, the European Court of Justice (Court) will release its decision on whether the investment court system (ICS) in the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is compatible with EU law. CETA was concluded more than two years ago, and most of it came into force at the end of 2017. However, a wave of resistance across the EU and Canada caused a stand-off in Belgium that almost sidelined the agreement.
December 2018 protest of taxi drivers (REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)