Congratulations to council and Emil Anderson Construction for the securing of a contract to replace the Vedder Bridge. A local company, employing local people, for a local project. As it should be.
Should our federal government ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement I fear this will no longer be the case. As I understand it all levels of government, down to and including municipal government, will be forced to consider, with equal weight, competition from all 12 of the signatory countries.
Should a company feel wronged in the choice governments make on our behalf, they are free to sue for perceived damages. The tribunals that adjudicate these cases will be made up of attorneys. These attorneys will rotate between serving on the tribunals and representing corporations that bring cases to be heard by the tribunals. This is a conflict of interest because the attorneys serving on the tribunals will have tremendous incentive to rule for the corporations if they want to continue to get lucrative corporate business.
The end result will be expensive legal bills and large payments to foreign companies we chose not to deal with. This in effect disadvantages local businesses as it is likely governments would tend to choose foreign competitors to avoid the costly and difficult suits brought due to perceived bias whether or not it exists. Local companies may in fact find themselves at disadvantage not only due to the threat of litigation costs, but also in bid competitiveness – owing to a potential wage disparity being paid to foreign workers by foreign country bidders.
Our federal government is presently in the process of going into considerable debt, financing large infrastructure projects. I hope the contracts are going to Canadian companies and workers. Should the TPP be adopted such economic measures may prove to stimulate someone else’s economy as foreign workers take home our money.
The federal government has just announced it is shutting down its much hyped consultation with Canadians on June 30. The time to learn about and express your concerns about this extremely flawed agreement is running out. I urge everyone to bring their concerns to all levels of Government, now.