Poll shows Canadians unaware of TPP treaty
Staff of the Canadian Press (Ottawa), 17 June 2015
A new poll suggests 75% of Canadians have no idea that Canada is one of 12 countries immersed in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group for Trade Justice Network, an umbrella group dedicated to challenging the secrecy in which international trade deals are generally negotiated. Fully 75% of respondents said they had never heard of the TPP before being asked about it in the poll. The telephone poll of 1,002 Canadians was conducted June 3-12 and is accurate to within 3%.
The 12 countries involved in negotiations include the U.S., Mexico, Australia, Japan, Chile, Vietnam and Singapore; they represent a market of almost 800 million people and a combined gross domestic product of more than $25 trill.
The federal government maintains the TPP would enhance trade in the Asia- Pacific region, providing greater economic opportunity for Canadians. In a statement, Trade Justice Network spokesman Martin O’Hanlon called it “deeply disturbing” that so few Canadians are aware of the partnership talks. The network maintains that the secret negotiations are being conducted with the guidance of multinational corporations, and with no input from labour unions, environmentalists or even MPs. “It’s frightening that this can happen in a democracy” O’Hanlon said.