10.05.2015 08:17 AM

TPP, and the next two weeks of #Elxn42

In 1988, an entire election was fought on trade. In 2015, I’d be willing to bet that a majority of Canadians didn’t even know the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks were taking place.

As of this hour, that is about to change, I think. And – barring any niqab/citizenship/barbaric practices shiny balls being rolled across the public agenda again – I think TPP is going to be the big story for the final two weeks. Thus, the party talking points, helpfully rendered with colour-coded bolding:

  • Conservatives: The Harper government fought hard for this deal, which will open up markets to Canadian goods and services, and create jobs and prosperity for generations. A vote for CPC is a vote for TPP.
  • New Democrats:  This deal was negotiated in secret, in the middle of an election campaign, and will sell out Canadian jobs and sovereignty on a historic scale.  A vote for NDP is a vote to kill TPP.
  • Liberals:  TPP was negotiated in secret, without transparency or a mandate, and we therefore don’t know what’s in it.  A Liberal government won’t sign on until we have a chance to evaluate it.  A vote for LPC is a vote to slow down on TPP.

It is in the interests of both the Cons and the Dippers to make TPP a big deal.  As with ISIS, C-51, etc., their parties offer clear and diametrically-opposed positions.  They will want to use TPP to force Grits into the mushy middle, so that no one really knows where they stand on a critically-important issue.

Here we go!



  1. bobfrombob says:

    “Mushy middle” is a little harsh in this case. It’s prudent to wait and see the deal before you take a position on the deal. They could still hammer on “made in secret” until they do.

    • JH says:

      Liberal spokespeople are on the networks tonight basically saying they are free traders and after seeing the documents and checking it all out, if satisfied, they are on board.
      BTW Wally Smith of the Dairy producers just told Amanda Lang that they are satisfied Harper kept his word and protected his industry. Car parts folks seem to be about evenly split pro and con. NDP spokes people are the most adamant and Mulcair will fight the deal. At least that’s the way it shaped up tonight on the news and pundit shows.
      Not much daylight between the Cons and the Libs, so little advantage for either. NDP it seems will attract those opposed and could perhaps profit from that in certain areas.

  2. Matt says:

    Liberals:  TPP was negotiated in secret, without transparency or a mandate, and we therefore don’t know what’s in it.

    No mandate? Canada officially joined the negotiations 3 years ago in October 2012.

    They could argue in an election the government, as a caretaker government has no authority to sign this. But the constitution does allow the government to make decisions of an urgent nature. I would argue participating in the negotiations on this deal was an urgent matter.

    And hasn’t Mulcair done a major flip flop here? Earlier in the campaign he said the ndp were in favour of trade, which in itsef was a flip flop from the normal stance from the ndp being against all trade deals.

    • Lou says:

      Tom has dropped his smarmy sweet guy routine and back to angry Tom , too little too late Tom ..Who and what are you really , we can excuse voters for not having an answer on that regarding you or your party…Of course the deal had to be done , after 3 plus years f negotiations Harper was clear that negotiations would continue from day 1 of the election…NDP is an isolationist brand so its no suprize hes screaming fowl… Trudeau , more ip flapping nonsensical rhetoric , tabloid headline reactionary stuff….

    • doconnor says:

      The government can sign it, but it doesn’t mean much until the necessary laws are passed by Parliament (and Congress and other legislative bodies).

      Mulcair has supported some deals and opposed others, but indications are there will be a lot of dislike in this one.

  3. Mark says:

    One of the potential worries in TPP was an increase in intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical companies, pushed by the USA, but that seems to have been defeated according to the NYT article. The Conservatives can use that to say the deal helps keep drug prices affordable (or that going against TPP means the others want increased drug prices) which would be a popular move amongst many groups, especially in light of the greedy drug pricing scandals lately (which wouldn’t be touched by this).

  4. ben burd says:

    “Earlier in the campaign he said the ndp were in favour of trade”

    Of course the ndp is in favour of trade – Fair Trade! This deal will harm the auto sector and expose to higher cost milk filled with GMOs

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      ROFL, how is removing restrictions on supply and sale of milk going to result in higher milk prices? Neat trick that, expanding supply and raising prices at the same time for a commodity product. Let me know the answer, I would like to earn the $trillions that come with such knowledge.

  5. doconnor says:

    I expect you’ll be able to read data based analysis about how the TPP will hurt Canadians on the The Progressive Economics Forum while the Liberals and Conservatives will go on about how important trade deals are without any actual evidence.

    In the foreign affairs debate that I finished last night Trudeau was saying while the Conservatives have signed trade deals their export growth was the lowest since World War II, but didn’t seem to realize the trade deals may have been one of the causes.

    • Matt says:


      The progressive economics forum says the deal will hurt Canada. I’m Shocked.

      • MF says:

        There’s no way I’m clicking that link. I’d probably get lice. Or dreadlocks. I’d definitely come back smelling like weed and wearing a lot of buttons.

  6. Bruce says:

    Obviously it looks like the NDP have decided that they’ll campaign against whatever is in the TPP because they think it’s their best bet on making themselves look super progressive when compared to the Liberals. Two months ago Mulcair said they were for it; in the last few days they decided they were against it. Either position was taken without fully knowing what’s in the deal.

    I guess I wonder if and why the NDP actually believe that that’ll be a winning election strategy – especially after the success of the FTA and the NAFTA. I can see the clear positives for the Conservatives: bringing Canada into the largest trading area ever would be a boon for the country – big time, and helps the Cons on a longtime positive for them, international trade.

    How can opposition be good for the NDP, though, other than potentially picking up the votes of some of the anti-trade/anti-globalization crowd (who, let’s face it, would probably already be voting NDP or Green)? I just think that when we have this big deal that’s over 8 years in the making, championed by Obama and all of our major allies in the Asia-Pacific region, how can the NDP oppose it and still look responsible enough to run the government?

    I know the NDP are hoping the Cons and Liberals will move in lock-step and both be in favour of the deal, but if that happens, I wonder if there’ll be just a collective shrug across the land and a general sense that the NDP just aren’t serious. You might even say, ‘just not ready’.

    • Jack D says:

      That’s a pretty accurate analysis.

      Other than a minor nuance, the Liberals and the Conservatives are pretty much in favour of this TPP deal. The general consensus amongst economists is that this big of a deal would be silly to pass-up and it would essentially mean opening up markets for Canadian exports for unprecedented access.

      The issue with the NDP stance is that its entirely hollow. Its a complete contradiction to what Mulcair said a month ago (almost to the day) and its not getting traction amongst voters the way they are expecting it to. The media will report on their position to the extent of its relevancy and its oddity of being out of step with the opinion of many people. The issues facing farmers and autoworkers can be rectified, but opposing the agreement outright would cause far more loss to the Canadian economy.

      This leaves the NDP looking incompetent on the economic front. This is not the issue that Canadians are going to look at and go “yeah, Mulcair is the guy who is sticking it to Harper” because it looks more like Mulcair is the guy acting desperately as his fortunes fade.

      Mulcair is like the anti-Layton. Instead of attracting voters to his cause in the winding days to the election, he’s chasing them all away.

  7. MF says:

    The dairy producers in Quebec have a strong lobby. I suspect they would not like this deal. Could hurt the CPC.

    The auto manufacturing sector in Ontario may not like this deal. Could hurt the CPC.

    If I put myself in the position of someone thinking about voting CPC, I think that my decision would be to not vote CPC after watching Jason Kenny blather about barbaric practices hotlines and the like. Found that quite offensive. I daresay many others did too.

    • Matt says:

      To everyone claiming the deal kills the dairy industry:

      The dairy and poultry farmers will not lose a penny.

      3.25% of the dairy market, 2.1% of poultry/egg market and 2% of the turkey market opened to foreign producers.


      Cabinet has already approved a $4.5 Billion fund to “make whole” and loses the dairy/poultry farmers take over the next 15 years.

      And considering most talking heads at the CBC were claiming Harper was going to have to give up 8% to 10% or the dairy/poultry market, he did a damn good job in protecting supply management.

    • Joe says:

      So because you don’t like being reminded that barbaric practices are endemic to the world at large you are not going to vote Conservative. And yet the Conservatives are the only ones who have tried to put a stop to said practices…..hmmmmm

  8. bobbie says:

    What does this mean?
    It means that this election is FINALLY about something….and it’s not the leaders either of the parties either.
    It also means that the Conservatives are much better at using the boards than the NDP or Liberals on this issue.

    I have to wonder how many other countries deferred to their oppositions during talks?

    I’m betting….ZERO!

  9. Jason Smith says:

    Remember Warren….we are dumb. Once hockey season starts this week, the Cons will try to deflect again. Expect another announcement about some bullshit that doesn’t matter like a niqab or a burka or a tip line to report them.

  10. Merrill Smith says:

    “A vote for NDP is a vote to kill TPP.” That’s not what I heard Mulcair say. I heard him say the NDP would not be bound by the treaty. That leaves him a world of wiggle room. He could decide after reading the details that it’s just dandy. Or maybe ask for some minor adjustments and sign when he’s told they can’t be made. Some people will also remember that Chretien vowed to tear up NAFTA and forgot about that promise once elected.

  11. Mark says:

    I don’t think the TPP is going to hurt Harper. “The Farmers” are the group that Canadians as a whole feel the greatest emotional connection to, and all of farmers (even dairy) will fare relatively well under the terms of the deal disclosed so far. In other words, there will be nothing catastrophic that convincingly sets ups a Harper vs The Farmers storyline.

    Autoworkers working for automakers are likely to suffer the most out of any industry. But this just sets up a Harper vs. Unifor story. There is a lot less sympathy for “The Unions” vs “The Farmers” in general. Interesting how it will play out in battleground Ontario though.

    • !o! says:

      Southern Ontario is exactly where it will be interesting. From 60% N.American parts to 45% parts from anywhere in Asia Pacific is a really big change, and one that I can’t imagine benefits manufacturers here…

      I’m sure there will be some announcement of promises to inject money into the sector without much intention of follow up after the election. How the whole thing plays will be pretty interesting.

      • RogerX says:

        Okay…. it’s either 45% of something or 60% of nothing …. and that’s what the auto parts union workers must consider.

        • !o! says:

          That’s vapid.

          Do you think that ‘something’ will be in Canada where we have labour laws and minimum wages or in somewhere like China, where the cost of production is negligible in comparison. ‘We’ don’t get 45% of something, the manufacturers have to allocate at least 45% of production somewhere in the Asia Pacific Rim. That somewhere sure as hell aint going to be here.

          60% of something vs. 45% of nothing is more apt. As you likely know anyways.

  12. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Don Martin, to paraphrase: I didn’t think it was possible to get a deal and preserve the dairy industry’s market management system…but he did it. (He actually looked disappointed…)

    This is a huge deal for Canada, and a game changer.

    • bobbie says:

      Watching the NDP and MSM heads explode.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      First take, politically…

      Trudeau (whom I just listened to on CTV, and whom looked and sounded entirely over his head on this) just landed between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to be seen to be conceding any kudos to the CPC government. On the other hand, the NDP will fight this to the end, basically because that’s what they always do, and because their base is essentially isolationist and anti-trade.

      Which is to say: If this issue becomes polarizing…and it will…supporters will leak to the CPC, in good part because Harper knows what the hell he’s talking about on this file, and clearly Trudeau does not. And naysayers will stick with, or move to, the NDP.

      Obviously, Harper will now ask for a mandate to make sure this gets done.

      He will get his mandate.

    • Ron Waller says:

      Yes a real game changer. The amount of wealth and jobs the TPP will export will put the economy on a path of self-destruction much faster than the present one cased by 30 years of failed free-market reforms.

      It’s funny how the Liberals call free-trade ideology evidence-based policy. Well let’s look at the results:

      GDP growth in 25 years previous to 1988 FTA: 176% (4.2% annually)

      GDP growth in 25 years after: 74% (2.3% annually.)

      That’s evidence-based policy for ya! (Source: The Conference Board’s TED.)

      • Al in Cranbrook says:


        Evidence based? C’mon!

        The 25 years leading up to NAFTA were largely post WW2 years, during which North America enjoyed unprecedented economic growth and rises in standards of living. To compare that era to that following NAFTA is just a bunch of disingenuous balderdash!!! Give your head a shake, man!

        The TPP opens up a $27 Trillion annual GDP market to Canada. One does not sit on the sidelines and let this opportunity pass by, especially for shallow and narrow ideological pretexts…especially socialist ones! In the same manner, so does a trade deal with Europe. And just as did the NAFTA agreement with America and Mexico.

        You want to lift, not just the standards of living for Canadians, but globally, you do with trade and commerce, end of story.

        • Ron Waller says:

          During the post-war era modern living standards were created, which were unprecedented in human history, because of the centrist demand-side Keynesian economic policies employed.

          All of this went down the crapper after 35 years of Milton Friedman’s supply-side free-market reforms.

          During the Keynesian era, all segments of society got a share of economic growth. Real wages grew alongside GDP.

          During the Friedmanian era, only the top 20% benefited from GDP growth. Real wages are less now than they were 35 years ago.

          Trade is a two-way street. If a nation is exporting more than it is importing it is bleeding wealth and jobs. More trade with countries one has a trade deficit with, means bigger trade deficits. According to the twin deficit hypothesis, bigger trade deficits (current account deficits) will be followed by bigger budget deficits.

          In any case, doubling down on trick down is a good idea. The quicker the ideologues destroy the economy the quicker the return to successful Keynesian policies. The downside, of course, is that the last time the ideologues killed the economy it triggered a world war. So there’s that.

          • cgh says:

            “…because of the centrist demand-side Keynesian economic policies employed.”

            Complete and utter rubbish. In the fall of 1945, the United States had suddenly become 45% of the entire global GDP, not because of Keynesian economics but because all the other industrial economies had largely been bombed into gravel. Only North American industrial capacity was available to fill the post-war gap. Significant deficit spending ended with the end of WW2 and the New Deal. The US in fact ran significant budget surpluses to pay down war debt during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.

            The rest of your post reeks of mercantilism.

          • cgh says:

            Your second last paragraph is also economic nonsense. It implies that all trade is a zero-sum game. This, bud, is mercantilism.

          • Ron Waller says:

            Oops, that should be “when a nation is importing more than it exports it bleeds.”

            In any case, ideologues have a bizarre idea of cause and effect. When economic policy they hate produce good results, it was not the policy that produced them but some unknown. When their policy produces disaster, it was not their policy but some unknown (like “secular stagnation.”). Perhaps they believe that economic policy doesn’t matter because the free market will succeed none the less. Except it doesn’t. Except they claim we need more failed policy to “create wealth and jobs” that never come.

            Ideologues can only think in terms of black and white. But trade is a spectrum. On the far left (full government control) is mercantilism (the desire of a country to run trade surpluses to amass reserves whether in currency or gold.) On the far right is free-trade ideology (no government involvement.)

            In the center, is managed trade, or “fair trade.” It is a practical policy: demand workers in undeveloped countries get their fair share of the economic pie in exchange for market access. That way people in undeveloped countries can afford buy first-world goods and services, which creates wealth for all.

            The argument against actual mercantilism is that overall balanced trade accounts are the most desirable. (If everyone wants to run a trade surplus we have to trade with another planet.) That is not the world that free-trade globalization has produced. In it, undeveloped countries run big trade surpluses. Or in other words, it fosters mercantilism among undeveloped countries. That’s why extremist policies always fail: they fail to take all things into consideration.

          • cgh says:

            Your argument is still nonsense. Trade differentials always balance through other mechanisms like currency valuations and exchange rates. Ideologues indeed have a defining characteristic; many meaningless words that say nothing of substance to the matter at hand which is the TPP.

    • Alex says:

      Al, while I disagree with your politics, in this instance I think you are right. I don’t see how the NDP can win the TPP debate. To my amazement, supply management was maintained, which effectively removes the dairy and poultry lobby from the political chess board.

      Sure, large parts of the auto sector will likely be unhappy, which will impact the election in south western Ontario. But let’s assume that the NDP sweeps SW Ontario — which they won’t, but let’s pretend for arguments sake. For every unhappy auto worker in Ontario, there will be a happy forestry employee in B.C., a smiling beef/pork producer in Alberta, a satisfied canola farmer in the Prairies and an excited seafood exporter in the Atlantic provinces. The gains of the TPP are pretty big, so good luck to the NDP trying to make this a wedge issue.

      If I were in the Liberal war room, I would advice that the Grits support the TPP, while finding ways to outbid the Tories in terms compensating any sector that is negatively impacted by this deal.

  13. Tim says:

    This might help get rid of Harper by erasing any Niqab gains he may have had in rural Quebec, giving the NDP a few seats back at the cons expense. Meanwhile Trudeau is surging elsewhere. As a member of the ABH Party, I say “bring it on!”

  14. Shawn says:

    The “mushy middle” in this case is being pragmatic. There’s nothing wrong with nuance on this subject.

  15. Tired of it All says:

    Hey Warren, what do you think of Chenier’s poll tracker on the CBC site? http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/poll-tracker/2015/

    • Maps Onburt says:

      I think the fact that he’s treating Nano’s nightly polls equally in the sample to those of Ipsos and Ekos speaks for itself… Let me explain. Nanos does nightly polls of UP TO 400 people… he then takes the last three nights and displays the average (reading all sorts of things into provincial splits from ridiculously small sample sizes but that’s another point). The next day, he drops the third night and adds in the current one. If he gets one bad night, it takes three nights to work its way through the system because that data is in the system for three different polls. The problem with Eric’s site is that he treats three consecutive Nanos polls the same as one Ipsos, Ekos, Leger, Forum poll EVEN though Nanos has 2/3 overlapping data. It would be different if he took the three Nanos polls and averaged them together to create one “result” that he could then compare against the others who don’t use the rolling average method. It’s even worse than that because Nanos reports polls much more often, Grenier tends to use Nanos much more than the others. If you display the last 10 polls that Grenier used, Nanos was in 6 of the 10. So he’s using Nanos sample size of about 2400 different opinions against 1600+2000+2099+1500 on a 60/40 weighting. Just doesn’t make any sense at all. (He does assign weighting factors against different MoE polls but treating each Nanos poll as a discrete “event” nullifies that). He also “ages” polls… so a poll from early in the week isn’t worth as much as one later in the week… again that amplifies Nanos.

      What does this mean for Eric’s latest projection of a slight Conservative lead? WTFKs… You’d need to back out the three Nano’s polls and replace with an average which is hard to do because Grenier doesn’t show his raw data. But looking at the other polls, they are somewhere between 27 (Angus Reid and Forum) and 31 (Innovative and Leger). That should make them fall well back because nobody else is showing them anywhere near the 35% Nanos has been. I also don’t think the NDP have fallen as far (although it is clear they are falling). In my mind, this is still very much a horse race in the popular vote.

      Sorry, rant off… I’m a bit of a poll methodology junkie as you can tell 🙂

      • Maps Onburt says:

        My junkie half got the better of me… and I averaged out the last 10 or so polls Grenier is showing

        Cons NDP Liberals
        Nanos average 31.6 26.2 33.0
        Everyone Else 31.8 26.6 31.5
        Properly weighted 31.8 26.5 32.0

        So, like I said… a horse race. What is clear is that over the past fifty polls (last month), they have ALL hit 35.5%… and they have ALL fallen to 26%. The AVERAGE poll for all of them is 30% plus or minus 0.5%. These things are useful for generating clicks and headlines but not much else frankly. There is no real “momentum” for any of them except the NDP have fallen back at the moment but they are no further back than the Liberals were last month and unless one of these guys ties their shoes together, it is unlikely to change much.

        Lest any of you (DAN!!!) think I’m picking on Nanos because he shows the Liberals ahead right now… back in Sept 5-9th, he did the same thing to my Conservatives… taking them from 25.8% to 30.8% over three nights (where coincidentally everyone else had them).

  16. Ted H says:

    Still has to be ratified and the Harper government doesn’t have a sterling track record of looking after Canadian interests to the extent that a government that cares about the people should. JT’s position is simple common sense, let’s see what’s in it.

  17. Jon says:

    Harper’s messaging on this is very strong out of the gate this morning. He’s covered off the flank by getting the dairy farmers behind him, and I expect the message from the auto industry (read: not necessarily auto WORKERS) will be positive.

    I’m a Dipper, but this doesn’t look good. I don’t see a win of the scale needed to turn back the Liberal tide.

    It will be JT vs SH in two weeks, with the strength of the ABC going against the strength of the Conservative base vote to determine the winner.

    • RogerX says:

      Yup…. the Liberal Red Bull Wave is drowning the NDP Orange Crush fizz, and if Mulcair doesn’t attack Justin the NDP will slide back into third place rump status… and Mulcair will vacate Stornoway in a couple of weeks for the Trudeau family…. unless he’s heading for 24 Sussex.

      If Justin leapfrogs both Harper and Mulcair, they are both headed for the political scrapheap …. where Harper will get even richer while Mulcair will be again remortgaging his Quebec residence and looking for lawyer work.

      The next two week will be the best show in Canada as all the political parties come out firing on all cannons… and hoping Canadians minds and hearts can be changed. Good luck because once besotted, forever faithful.

  18. Curt says:

    A good deal is when all sides are equally unhappy. When th present opposition cites parts that are bad remember the above statement.

  19. RogerX says:

    TPP is Harper’s only real chance to go on the offense, because all he’s been doing is defending his past record. Greedy voters say yes, you gave us all those tax savings but we want more… so what do you offer that’s new because the other leaders are promising even more? The voter is insatiable and will not reward Harper with past benefits… they want more and more… new and improved government… extra shiny goodies!

    Is Harper counting on TPP as his big promise for prosperity and a brighter future for all? Seems so, and that may be all he can summon up to blunt the emotional attacks by the opposition. Let’s see how the Cons will be selling TPP for the next two weeks… because other than that they have NTO.

  20. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I’m wondering about CETA. Does it require ratification only by the EC, or does each individual member-state have to pass it? If it’s the latter, room for trouble ahead.

    Maybe this process will also apply to TPP.

    Coming into force. A wonderful thing.

  21. Either of the Opposition can just lie through their teeth and exaggerate the impact.

  22. Ron Waller says:

    “A vote for LPC is a vote to slow down on TPP.”

    No amount of Liberal empty talk will slow them down from signing onto a deal they are in favor of. The empty talk is just to mollify Canadians and fool them into believing they are somehow not in favor of the deal to get their votes.

    Both the Liberals and Cons take the Orwellian position on free-trade: it “creates jobs” when it’s painfully obvious to most Canadians all it does is destroy good-paying jobs. Like turning $30/hr auto plant jobs into $3/hr jobs. (It also destroys demand for goods and services which is why the Western economy is teetering on the verge of collapse.)

    “The Liberal Party of Canada supports free trade, as this is how we open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow export-oriented businesses, create jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers. We know that an increased emphasis on trade produces the growth* that will deliver a real and fair chance for middle class families.”

    Gotta hand it to Justin though. He’s the master at saying sweet nothings to voters. He treats the electorate like a woman he wants to seduce.

    • Matt says:

      “Like turning $30/hr auto plant jobs into $3/hr jobs. (It also destroys demand for goods and services which is why the Western economy is teetering on the verge of collapse.)”

      The only thing getting destroyed is your credibility with statements like this. $30 an hour jobs into $3 an hour jobs???

      • ben burd says:

        “The only thing getting destroyed is your credibility with statements like this. $30 an hour jobs into $3 an hour jobs??? ” Where the f**k have you been these past years – with your head up your arse?

        “What’s that big sucking sound” – Ross Perot – never has a man been proven so right!

      • Ron Waller says:

        $30/hr auto plant jobs in Canada and the US are being moved to Mexico where workers are paid $3/hr.

        How many Mexican workers making $3/hr are going to be able to afford to buy a new car? Zero.

        This is the obvious self-destructive reality behind free-trade ideology. In an economy one person’s spending is another person’s income. Take away the ability for workers to spend money, by exploiting workers in undeveloped countries, and voila: the economy collapses.

        Neoclassical ideology is entirely self-serving to businessmen and wealthy investors. They are the only ones who benefit. (Cut labor costs, short-term profits rise; share value rises; executive bonuses rise.) But like burning the furniture to heat your house, it is an unsustainable practice that ends in disaster.

        • RogerX says:

          So what’s the solution to protecting bloated union wage jobs because the union boys may not have jobs after the Americans sign on for TPP and Canada rejects it? You can’t build a union wage firewall around Canada any more because the Americans have bought into TPP … and Canada must follow the USA or perish economically.

          NDP and LPC know they must accept TPP and their only argument is questioning the details and fearmonger for votes.

    • billg says:

      Free Trade, GST, and, now TPP.
      Name three things Liberals were against when in Opposition but for when in power.
      How ever, at least they get it right, eventually.
      As our largest trading partner (USA) and our third largest trading partner (Mexico) sign on to this deal, the NDP would have Canada on the outside of this deal looking in and, hoping it all worked out.
      This is why the NDP were never taken seriously in Federal politics.
      800 million new clients for Canadian made goods and the NDP doesn’t like this deal.
      Welcome back to 3rd party status.

      • Ron Waller says:

        Note that people who support neoclassical ideology are like members of a cult: when faced with insurmountable evidence their policies have failed (free trade and other reforms causing a significant drop in output as well as the return of boom-to-bust business cycles and economic collapse) they just stick to script.

        It’s no different than Christian fundies saying the theory of evolution is bunk because the Bible says God created the universe 6000 years ago. Useful idiots of plutocrats.

  23. The Observer says:

    Economics and foreign policy are two of Harper’s strong suits. Having this in the headlines as we close out the election will almost certainly be good for Harper. From the lack of shrill reporting that this will be the end of Canada, those outside of the media bubble can rest easy that this is good for Canada.

    The vast majority of Canadians will not digest, or care to digest, the details in this agreement. But Canadians generally know that exports are a hugely important part of our economy and that opening up hundreds of millions of potential customers to our products is a good thing.

    • Ted H says:

      Dispute settlements that sacrifice Canadian sovereignty for the benefit of multi-national corporations and foreign governments are part of these deals too, and with Harper at the helm, Canada is a world leader in bargaining away the rights of provinces, first nations and individuals.

  24. lou says:

    I guess Trudeau and Mulcair can rail all they want against this deal. Facts are facts. We are now potentially part of a pact that will effect 40 percent of the world economy. To bail would be a disaster of monumental economic suicide. Are we going to be an island unto ourself, or are we a part of the global economy. Mulcair is hooped and Justin will have to take precious time away from baby kissing to be reprogrammed. Check Mate.

    • doconnor says:

      Without this trade deal we still have valuable resources, technology and capabilities to sell to these countries. The tariff reductions is small compared speculator-driven currency fluctuation.

      We can still trade while keeping our sovereignty.

      • Matt says:

        Yeah, uh……..

        Japan, as a member of the TPP has a chance to buy from fellow TPP members the US or New Zealand, or from Canada who isn’t.

        Who do you think Japan will buy from?

      • Curt says:

        If we are not part of the deal then the minivan made in Ontario will only be allowed into the U.S. With a tariff on it. Will an American buyer be willing to pay extra for a Canadian made minivan vs an American or Mexican made minivan?

    • Ridiculosity says:

      Trudeau is NOT railing against this deal.

      Mulcair is.

      • RogerX says:

        …. and listening to Mulcair at election rallies, his voice sounds desperate trying to get his promises across. It’s like listening to a drowning man treading water and going down down down… scary! Mulcair is in full panic mode now by the sound of his voice… just listen to him.

  25. Jack D says:

    TPP = Good for Canadian economy.

    That said, were in the dead heat of an election campaign, how in god’s name could Liberals come out supporting 100% the Conservatives signing of the TPP without getting criticized? So they are (rightly) optimistic of the possible benefits of this agreement while being skeptical of the process and the absence of details.

    So my question is, what the hell are NDP doing here? They’ve picked the wrong issue to take a incomprehensible stance on because 1) most Canadians don’t even know what the TPP is but if the general consensus is that its good for economy –they’ll support it, and 2) Mulcair’s position on the agreement is diametrically opposite to what it was a month ago. The incompetence of the people running the NDP campaign is staggering. The notion that this issue would be symbolic of Mulcair’s principled opposition to Harper is laughable considering that its a position thats clearly a flip-flop, its coming at a time when the NDP is fading away in the polls so it wreaks of desperation and it’ll be eaten by the news cycle by tomorrow and largely forgotten about.

    The most amusing part of all this, to me anyway, is that Mulcair’s hard opposition to the TPP just shows how incapable and incompetent the NDP is at managing the federal economy. They’ve essentially undone months of hard work at trying to change that perception to only go and throw it all in the garbage in the last few days until e-day.

  26. Al in Cranbrook says:

    President of Dairy Farmers of Canada pretty much has endorsed the TPP agreement. No, not perfect, but “a long ways from where we started”. And he appreciates the huge opportunities it opens up for others in the agricultural industry.

    Just took that wind out of the NDP’s sails.

  27. Matt says:

    Justin Trudeau:

    The Liberal Party is, and has always been in favor of trade deals.

    Guess he forgot about 1993 when the Liberals swept to power largely based on a promise to kill NAFTA.

    From what I’ve been watching, seems only the NDP and Unifor are pissed about this deal.

    The president of Unifor Jerry Diaz is an embarrassment. I’d take his criticisms more seriously if his union wasn’t spending millions of his members dues on an anti Harper advertising campaign.

    • Jeff says:

      No, Matt. In 1993, Chretien said, and I quote, “If you are against free trade, vote for the NDP”. The Liberals said they would renegotiate, and they made it clear that they meant around certain improvements, but that largely it would be the same deal. In December of 1993, Chretien met with Clinton in Seattle and did just that.

  28. Scott says:

    Looks like Trudeau is about to surpass Harper in preferred PM category. Ya gotta love it.

  29. Jeff says:

    The “interesting findings” were the Best PM numbers. And it turns out that it was warranted, yes. Trudeau yesterday had pulled to within a point of Harper on the question of who would make the best Prime Minister.

  30. Paul O says:

    The negotiations are concluded: many stakeholders participated in the discussions, but after years of negotiations it’s time to fish or cut bait. When the question is a YES or a NO it’s difficult to find three different positions for the three major parties to adopt.

    That Canadians aren’t more aware of Canada’s trade deals is a question for the media. And those who suggest that the negotiations were conducted in secret are welcome to post their own salary negotiating strategies online at any time.

    Summaries have been posted online, with thanks to those involved:

    We can be part of the global economy, or become a backwater.

    • cgh says:

      Agreed, Paul. But it’s more malignant on the part of the media than just a question. Just as an example, the CBC has been frantic for the past few days to find anything to denigrate the agreement. If it stands, it undercuts their meme of “At all costs, Harper must go.”

      And it’s not a surprise. The CBC has been bribed with JT’s promise of an extra $150 million per year.

    • P Brenn says:

      Paul O – great post ….got to be at these tables or our standard of living drops major league ….

  31. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Ipsos now has CPC edging into the lead…

    CPC – 33%
    Libs – 32%
    NDP – 26%



    NDP – 29%
    Libs – 23%
    CPC – 23%
    BLOC – 23%


  32. Cam says:

    Seems to me the election is about change. TPP or not, it is still going to be about change. Continue to watch the NDP votes bleed off to the Liberals. From what I observed in the last Ontario election and what I’m seeing here now, I’ll go out on a limb, even though it’s not much of a limb, and call a Liberal Minority or even Liberal Majority.

    Now about the TPP.

    If the TPP actually does threaten Auto Sector jobs than in Ontario you’re talking about threatening the jobs of several 10,000s of good paying manufacturing jobs. Sounds a lot like Hudak saying I’ll eliminate 100,000 jobs if I’m elected. If the NDP plugs away on that than it will generate a lot of fear in Ontario. People must not under estimate the importance of Auto parts and assembly manufacturing in Ontario. If it goes, just like most other manufacturing, the Ontario economy is screwed.

    Free trade did not help the manufacturing sector in Ontario, despite what the free traders say or will say. Talk to most workers in Ontario and they will tell you times are tough here – service jobs working at Tim’s, but half decent paying manufacturing jobs have vanished. More and more people are coming to the conclusion that free trade hurts more than it helps.

    Free traders refer to how free trade will help oil, gas, mining, etc. Those who want our commodities are going to come and get them in any event, free trade or not. It would be nice if we actually did something with our wood and metals instead of just shipping them out.

    One should neither jump on or off the TPP bandwagon until one knows the details. Do you think the public will have time to digest the significance of the TPP before the end of the election? If not, than taking a wait and see approach would seem most reasonable.

  33. ottlib says:

    As yes the 1988 Free Trade Election. I remember it well. However, the FTA was an issue long before the writ was dropped. Virtually everybody knew about it and had an opinion on it. Heck, I knew a couple of guys who could quote the damned thing chapter and verse in supporting their positions on it. Even before the election the battle lines in the electorate were drawn.

    Contrast that to the TPP. The Conservatives just dropped it on Canadians today with very little warning. There has been some talk about it in the last couple of weeks but it was stepped on by the Niqab during that time. It is ironic that the Conservatives were so busy blowing dog whistles that they utterly failed to prepare the ground for this announcement.

    As for the party positions. The NDP has reverted to its default position with regard to trade deals. That position does not resonate well outside of the most ardent Dippers so if Mr. Mulcair rails at this agreement for the next two weeks he will find his party in the default position for the NDP after an election, in third place with between 15 and 20% of the popular vote.

    The Conservatives have nothing to sell. No details have come out only speculation and what speculation that has come out has all been negative. If Stephen Harper spends the next couple of weeks saying this is a good deal that is good for Canada someone is eventually going to say prove it. As well, it is Stephen Harper that is going to have to sell it and he is not the most trusted politician right now, at least not outside of his base.

    The Liberals will take a more nuanced approach as is their wont. That kind of an approach may not work well for there decision on ISIS but it should be less of a problem for this issue. It is a trade deal. No one is having their head cut off in a YouTube video. Most Canadians will realize that this issue is not cut and dried. There are many shades of grey to deal with. It is totally reasonable for the Liberals to assert that they support free trade as a matter of principle and that they are looking forward to seeing the details of this deal made public, along with every other Canadian, so that they can properly evaluate it. Further they have already stated that a Liberal government will have a healthy debate on it when it comes up for ratification.

    Further Mr. Harper in his announcement today said he hopes the deal will be ratified within 2 years (I thinks he is being very optimistic). It would then take another year to fully implement the deal so we could be looking at 3 years before we begin to see any economic benefit from it. The main theme of the Liberal campaign is the economy needs a boost right now and any debate about this agreement in the coming weeks can allow them to pivot onto that main theme every time.

    Heck, it plays very well into that theme. “Mr. Harper is taking the same old, same old approach and the one thing he is doing that is different will not be felt by Canadians until 2018 at the earliest. The Liberals have a better plan.”

  34. fan590 says:

    The choice for NDP voters is EVEN CLEARER NOW.

    If you want any hope to stop a bad TPP (or at least work at changing the worst parts which most harm Canadian workers)

    …you must vote for Trudeau and the Liberals.

    Any other choice and the NDP is equally responsible as the Conservatives in giving Canada the TPP.


    • Steve T says:

      How are you proposing that Canada “changes the worst parts” of the TPP? Go back to the negotiating partners, as a little country of 35m people, and try to be the Mouse That Roared? Guess what – it won’t fly. Our international reputation would be a joke after that.

      The TPP is not a domestically-focused agreement in which each province or special-interest group gets their piece of the pie. I’m sure, for example, that Quebec is absolutely apoplectic that it won’t get special treatment. The beauty of international negotiations is that all this domestic equalization and sensitivity crap can be cast aside, and the overall best interests of Canada can be front and centre.

      So, dairy boards and other outdated and inefficient structures, your reckoning has come. It’s about time.

      • fan590 says:

        There are lots of things that can be changed by doing things like joining other ‘blocs’ who have similar interests or make deals.

        Economics is politics is people.

    • RogerX says:

      You make the TPP sound like some kind of disease… like the ‘Dutch Disease’ that seems to have been cured by the 75¢ loonie.

      Look, the USA is in the TPP and Canada must dutifully follow or else we’ll be isolated and insoluble…. and the USA and CDA are inseparable economically.

  35. Darren H says:

    Calling it now – Conservative Majority. According to Ekos they are roughly in the same spot they were in 2011 this far from the vote. The TPP will do nothing but help them and show the ‘grown up’ voters, the ones who elect governments, that Harper is the guy that’s looking out for them and their families. Mulclair just made the NDP unelectable, and the Conservative campaign machine will focus solely on Trudeau. Prepare to see all his goofs and gaffes played out for your enjoyment starting this Thanksgiving weekend.

    • RogerX says:

      I guess you don’t believe in a Liberal Red Bull Youth Wave swamping the NDP and CPC, and all the voting age youth not following their pied piper Justin who recently offered to help pay for student loans for the poor and middle class graduates who earn under $25,000 p.a.?

      So now it’s a ‘generational’ war between the Liberal youth and the Conservative grannies and grandpas?

      There is still 2 weeks, which can be an infinity in political days…. watch out!!!!

  36. bobbie says:

    Trudeau’s “Middle-class” budget.
    Doe he not realize that every time he utters the words “Middle Class” that he’s not believable?
    Similarly, he has blatantly contradicted himself in presenting a budget at all because didn’t he say that “budgets balance themselves.”
    The image of him holding up another “red” book is really quite touching.

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