BURNABY — CUPE BC is supporting the Council of Canadians in its call for a Day of Action on March 30 to stop the implementation of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between B.C. and Alberta.
The TILMA, which was signed in secret by the B.C. and Alberta governments last April, is scheduled to come into effect—appropriately enough—on April Fools Day this year. Join your fellow CUPE and other community activists throughout the province who say NO to the agreement’s implementation.
This deal extends privileges similar to those in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to corporations and individuals, allowing them to sue provincial governments and their official agencies for any regulation deemed harmful to investment (i.e. ability to make profit). The agreement assures investors that there will be no ‘barriers’ to investment and will force governments - down to the municipal level - to harmonize regulations, allowing investors to choose the weaker regulation of the two provinces under which to operate their business. So, under TILMA, even provincial or municipal policies designed to protect the environment and public health are vulnerable to attack from corporate lawsuits of up to $5 million.
The Ministry for Economic Development has consistently stated that the TILMA will add $4.8 billion to B.C.’s economy, create upwards of 78,000 jobs and will not dictate that only the “lower” standard will be adopted by both governments. However, both figures have recently been debunked and with the threat of a $5-million lawsuit breathing down a local government’s back, there is little doubt that municipal governments will be squeezed to adopt lower standards and refrain from passing any further regulations which contravene another’s.
“This agreement has been called everything from ‘the New NAFTA’ and ‘Hurricane TILMA’ to ‘The Death of Local Government’,” says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.
“Let’s not let it become known as ‘the April Fool Agreement’ as well. Instead, let’s take collective action on this. Let’s talk to our MLAs, and to the media, about why this is a bad deal and do what we can to stop it.”
Provincial Day of Action - March 30, 2007- What you can do:
- On March 30, join with other concerned citizens across the province to say NO to the TILMA’s implementation with a visit to your MLA’s office. Let them know that they must stop the Agreement from going into effect until the public has been consulted and a full debate in the legislature has taken place.
- To find your MLA’s contact information.
- Call your MLA’s local office and schedule a meeting to hear their views on the TILMA and deliver the Citizen Declaration.
- You can find out if they voted for or against the motion (Motion 43) to debate TILMA in the Legislature.
- If your MLA cannot meet with you, take the Citizen Declaration to her/his office and deliver it to the door of the office. For the media’s sake, it would be best to have your event before noon. However, some MLAs may not be back in their local office until the afternoon. In either case, call the media and let them know that you are taking action.
For more information about TILMA visit: