An interview with Aaron Wier of the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC)
Currently, a national free trade and investment agreement for Canada, is facing growing controversy. Canada's internal free-trade agreement--The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement--or TILMA, is being promoted by the Conservative government in Ottawa and Provincial counter-parts in BC and Alberta.
The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement has raised concerns nationally among environmental and labor groups across the country, who view the agreement as an attempt to adjust labor standards, environmental laws and economic policies to the lowest common denominator. TILMA's cross-country 'harmonizations' could remove the abilities of municipal and provincial governments to introduce their own local labor or environmental standards without corporate challenge.
TILMA is a NAFTA-like agreement which includes similar economic policies, including the ability for corporations to sue municipal or provincial governments for up to 5 million dollars for assumed 'lost profit' due to local restrictions, regulations or laws, an extremely clause to NAFTA's controversial Chapter 11.
Opponents to the TILMA agreement, directly link proposed TILMA policies to economic integration efforts under the Security and Prosperity Initiative, the SPP-- a trilateral trade and security initiative in North America. Canada's proposed internal trade accord is indicative of policies pushed through the SPP, in that the agreement, according to it's critics, attempts to drive down labor and environmental standards to the lowest common denominator in order to secure greater corporate profits.