TILMA: Labour standards, minimum wages, social assistance benefits, subsidies for non-profit organizations "by no means safe"
The following letter to the editor appeared in the June 19, 2007, edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
SP commentary on TILMA skips many key provisions
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Randy Burton's column, No need to fear new trade deal (SP, June 14) omits important facts.
He cites a long list of exemptions in TILMA but failed to point out that Article 17 of the agreement requires a ministerial committee to "review annually the exceptions listed ... with a view to reducing their scope."
The list of exemptions is meant to shrink over time, eventually exposing them to the full force of the agreement.
The Conference Board of Canada's impact assessment of TILMA for the B.C. government confirms this. So, such things as labour standards and codes, minimum wages, Employment Insurance, social assistance benefits and workers' compensation programs are by no means safe.
Subsidies for recreation, academic research and to non-profit organizations could be at risk since they, too, are subject to Article 17.
An Edmonton Journal editorial admitted on April 3 that there's "little in the way of genuine trade barriers remaining between the two westernmost provinces." Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall said in a news release that
And yet Wall and The SP say we must sign TILMA as soon as possible. Why?
© The StarPhoenix (
) 2007 Saskatoon