TILMA: Northwest Territories Association of Communities passes resolution urging Territorial Government not to sign trade agreement
The beleaguered Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) took another well deserved hit recently when the Northwest Territories Association of Communities passed a resolution at its 2007 Annual General Meeting urging the Territorial Government “not to sign on to any such agreement, and should it do so anyway, that it negotiate a clear, permanent exception from TILMA restrictions for NWT municipalities and municipal organizations.”
The Premier of the Northwest Territories is Joe Handley. He began his term on December 11, 2003.
The 41st Annual General Meeting of the NWT Association of Communities was held May 14-17, 2007, in Norman Wells. The host venue was the Denis Droulet Community Centre.
The NWTAC has been recognized as the unified voice of municipal (community) governments within the NWT since 1967. Mayor Gordon Van Tighem, City of Yellowknife, is the current president.
The resolution pertaining to TILMA is as follows:
2007-07 Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement
WHEREAS the BC/Alberta trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), which was signed without appropriate consultation with local governments or the public, will expose to challenge all government measures that “restrict or impair” trade, investment or labour mobility, unless such measures are specifically exempted from TILMA; and
WHEREAS the Alberta/B.C. Trade Agreement will function like a municipal North American Free Trade Agreement, by giving extensive new grounds to the private sector to sue local governments for trade “infractions” such as municipal construction regulations, zoning, quality densification standards, etc.; and
WHEREAS TILMA would accord private individuals and corporations that extraordinary right to challenge local government land use planning and other public interest decisions that they allege offend the agreement’s rules, and to seek up to $5,000,000 in damages arising from each alleged TILMA violation; and
WHEREAS political pressure may be growing to encourage the GNWT to sign on to such an agreement without consulting either municipalities or the territorial legislature;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NWTAC urge the Territorial Government not to sign on to any such agreement, and should it do so anyway, that it negotiate a clear, permanent exception from TILMA restrictions for NWT municipalities and municipal organizations.