Sunday, March 15, 2015


Sovereignty for Sale

CETA, TISA, TPP & TTIP seen as threats to Canada

By Kathy Read, Agassiz


n Canada we are all led to believe that our governments are doing their best for the good of all. Think again, good citizens, because if Harper gets his way he will be selling our health care system down the proverbial tube. Here is why.


Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)  

This agreement between Canada and the European Union will face ratification votes within this next year.


This agreement would lengthen patent protection for pharmaceutical companies and will cost Canadians $850 million to $1.65 billion annually. Under the investor-state provisions of CETA companies could sue governments for laws that impact on their future profits. CETA could undermine implementation of a national pharmacare program.


Eli Lilly has sued Canada for $500 million using the NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-state provision. This after two courts invalidated their patents.


Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

This is an agreement between 23 governments representing 50 countries of which Canada, the US, the European Union, Australia, Mexico and South Korea.


The Sydney Morning Herald reports: "According to a leaked document, [TISA] negotiations ... will include discussion of wide-ranging reforms to national public health systems to promote 'off shoring' of health care services. ...The leaked 'concept paper on health care services within TISA negotiations' ... argues there is 'huge untapped potential for the globalisation of healthcare services', creating massive business opportunities from what is a $US6 trillion per year industry. The proposed regime would involve health professionals authorising patients to be treated in other TISA countries (for reasons including long waiting times in the home country or inadequate expertise for specific medical problems); and the patient's costs being reimbursed through their home country's social security system, private insurance coverage or other healthcare arrangements."


Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

This agreement will form a free trade zone of twelve countries including Canada, the US and Japan and would encompass approximately 40% of the world's economy.


"Doctors without Borders and Health Global Access Project have warned that the Trans Pacific Partnership will undermine efforts to ensure that we will have access to affordable and life-saving medicines in all countries involved.”


According to Health GAP,” Leaked drafts of this partnership agreement revealed that the US wants stronger, longer and more accessible patent monpolles on medices and new nonopolles of drug regulatory data that would prevent marketing of, pre affordable generic equivalents.”


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The Lancet reports "Serious concerns about the health effects [of TTIP] have been highlighted in medical journals and by civil society. The concerns include unprecedented expansion of intellectual property rights that would prolong monopolies on pharmaceuticals and reduce access to affordable and lifesaving generic medicines. Effective price regulation of medicines could also be undermined. Rising medicine costs would disproportionately affect already vulnerable populations, obstructing efforts to improve health equity within and between countries."


If you find this as frightening as I do, write your MP and tell them that Canadians don’t want these agreements. Write to Harper, the Health Minister and anyone else in government and let them know that we are against letting corporations dictate to us.


Another thing would you like to be shipped off to some other country to have your surgery or treatments done? I sure don’t.



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