Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trade Lawyer criticizes TILMA

The entire Leader-Post article is here. The Sask. Chambers of Commerce on the other hand were enthusiastic about TILMA and want to get on with it. The article presents the pro TILMA arguments as well.

Ottawa-based trade lawyer Steven Shrybman, who was hired by CUPE Saskatchewan to analyse the agreement, said TILMA favours private holdings over public interests.

In his condemnation of the agreement, Shrybman said TILMA sets the stage for deregulation and privatization. The enforcement clause would also create a system where businesses in other provinces could invoke a review process whenever they felt their interests weren't met, he said.

"If you took out the enforcement aspect, no one would be interested in TILMA," he said.

The lawyer said TILMA would open the door for private health care in Saskatchewan. Other public interests would also be jeopardized by the agreement, he said.

While TILMA contains provisions that would protect labour groups, CUPE Saskatchewan president Tom Graham said inclusion in the deal could have a negative effect for all Saskatchewan residents.

"We are citizens of the province as well as working people," Graham said. "It concerns us that a business or an individual could decide how we're going to live."

The standing committee's report to the province is expected on June 29.

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2007

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