Earlier this year, Canadians were invited to participate in a public consultation regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The deadline for submission is 23:59 EDT, October 31, 2016.
My submission is slightly over 4000 words in length; too much for a blog post. Below are the closing paragraphs; the entire document is available here.
Update: A thoughtful reader alerted me to a 404 response when trying to access my submission. If the direct link does not work, try the attachment page.
… The principle argument to join the TPP seems to be that Canada cannot afford to be left out. Even if the agreement was only a matter of tariff and subsidy reductions, that argument is weak. Given the nature of the entirety of the TPP, the costs of which will be felt through heightened expenditure for medicines, diminishment of Canadian culture, elimination of future innovation, absence of attention to public well-being for fear of international reprisals, and the loss of sovereignty when such reprisals are unavoidable, one has to ask: whom is this government wishing to please by committing Canada to the TPP? The answer does not appear to be: Canadians. One must also ask: has our existing business community been sufficiently engaged to warrant our confidence that fulfilling their wishes will lead to better living for all?
That does not appear to be the case. In 2012, Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada, indicated that instead of investing in the economy, Canadian businesses “were holding on to nearly half a trillion dollars in cash, an increase of 43 per cent since the end of the recession in 2009.” Recently, the esteemed firm Deloitte, an internationally revered organization, released a damning report concerning the willingness of Canadian businesses to take the necessary steps to reinvigorate the economy. In Deloitte’s words, too many “lack an essential game-changing quality: courage.”
By virtue of the TPP, the individuals that Canada most desperately needs to encourage – the innovative entrepreneur looking to develop new industries to drive the economy when our wood and water have been exhausted – will find that no amount of courage can overcome the hurdles put in place by their own government. As the actual trade measures of the TPP bring very modest gains to Canada, and the remaining components will inflict costs far in excess of those gains, adopting this agreement makes little sense beyond acquiescing to the corporate bullying that is likely happening behind closed doors. If that is the sole reason that Canada must go forward with the TPP, please be honest to Canadians about the government’s reasoning. Please do not pretend that this is solely about Trade.
The TPP is an international omnibus bill, the effects of which will be detrimental to Canadians. The greatest pain will be inflicted upon those youthful voters whom this government so assiduously courted.
 The C.D. Howe analysis estimates the loss to Canada for not joining the TPP; “The real GDP impact would be a negligible -0.006 percent in the first year, rising to about -0.026 percent in 2035.” The losses to existing industries are not taken lightly, but it is essential to wonder what industries could rise in their place, if unrestricted by the constraints embodied within the TPP.
 Michael Enright, “Canada’s cowardly CEOs are sitting on billions, rather than investing in the economy,” The Sunday Edition, 16 October 2016 <http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/timid-ceos-endless-war-in-syria-steve-earle-fall-in-vermont-1.3801572/canada-s-cowardly-ceos-are-sitting-on-billions-rather-than-investing-in-the-economy-michael-s-essay-1.3801574>.
 Deloitte, The future belongs to the bold, <http://www2.deloitte.com/ca/en/pages/insights-and-issues/articles/the-future-belongs-to-the-bold.html>. As an aside, poetry lovers will enjoy the inference of Invictus by the report’s authors.