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TPP Will Break the Campaign Open

October 6th, 2015 · 55 Comments

Anyone who says the parties, politicians and policies are all the same can’t be paying much attention to this federal election.

Whether it has been over deficit spending, balancing the budget, refugees, security, Senate abolition or reform, the Clarity Act, or even the niqab, there HAVE BEEN differences between them all …but not enough for many to make a clear choice.

Now there is.

For those who don’t want to vote for Harper/Tories … but hadn’t been able to decide between Mulcair/NDP and the Trudeau/Liberals … there is now a CLEAR MAJOR DIVIDE between them all … over the TPP.

As government, the Tories OWN the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement: they negotiated it; they signed it; and, from now until the Election Day and beyond, they will be pushing it.

The Liberals, listening to Trudeau,  sure seem to me to be basically in favour: yes, some concerns over the details …yada, yada, yada … but I have NO doubt they would approve it if they win a majority and even vote for it in a minority government situation.

The NDP …. NO! While not absolutely ruling it out, Mulcair has done nothing but complain about it and has come closest to declaring an NDP government would not sign on, either in a majority or minority situation.


Because ALL the polls … from even before the start of the campaign until now … have indicated a majority of Canadians from coast to coast believe the ECONOMY is the most important issue facing our country, our government and our voters.

With less than two weeks to go, we’re going to hear a LOT about that TPP … from every perspective, from every leader, from every party, from pundits,  from economists, from unionists … maybe even from the Pope!

Even though all the fine print won’t likely be revealed and/or dissected until well after our ballots are counted.

Personally, I don’t think Canada has any choice but to sign on.

I fully expect … as was proven with  NAFTA … the pluses for Canada will massively outweigh the negatives. NAFTA (which the NDP opposed) gave our industries much larger duty-free access to 310 million US consumers (at that time) … and a HUGE trade surplus with the US ever since.

The cost and harm to our economy of rejecting TPP and staying out, in my opinion, would be substantial.

Would negotiations be re-opened to accommodate a new Canadians government?


If massive economies like the US or Japan do not approve TPP, I could see the whole negotiation process being re-opened,  but Canada … no. We’re either in or watch from the outside as the others expand their huge trade relationship.

NO country gets everything it wants out of any international deal these days and let’s keep it real: Canada’s import market, with our relatively small consumer population,  gives us little real power to dictate to the US and Japan with a we-want-it-all or else stance.

Frankly, I was expecting Canada to yield more concessions than we apparently actually did for the preferred global export access we gain.

The TPP does give Canadian companies and producers PREFERENTIAL access to a 12-nation industrial, commercial and consumer market of more than 800 million people and $28 TRILLION in annual trade …. 40% of the global economy.

Should we really say No … stay out and give Australia, Mexico, Chile etc. the duty-free or reduced-tariff advantages over us to sell into the Japanese and the US  and many other Pacific rim markets?

The voters will, of course, decide … and at last, there IS a least now a MAJOR issue that will make … or break … this election campaign for the parties running.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · National

55 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Internet Stranger // Oct 6, 2015 at 8:59 am

    “TPP Will Break the Campaign Open”

    Let me fix that for you…

    ‘TPP SHOULD Break the Campaign Open’

    In other news: Harperman says TPP will KILL jobs in *Canada – pledges $1B to make to make you forget.

    * Cars would be allowed into Canada without tariffs as long as they have 45 per cent content from the TPP, lower than the 62.5 per cent threshold under the North America Free Trade Agreement. –

  • 2 Gilbert // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:06 am

    The TPP is a very good deal and will help the Conservatives. The NDP can say that it rejects the agreement, but if it ever formed government, it would pass it just like the Liberals passed NAFTA even though they said they would tear it up. Tom Mulcair was previously in favour of the TPP, so I think he’s just trying to re-energize the left wing of his party. As for Justin Trudeau, he doesn’t want to congratulate the prime minister on this historical deal, so he’ll sit on the fence for now.

    (Response: I can’t help but wonder whether Mulcair’s NO on the TPP will be his/NDP’s Achilles heel in this campaign. h.o)

  • 3 ISLAND LOOKOUT // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:17 am


    The NDP is a classically Socialist party, which is to say a trade protectionist/local-only booster of economic activity.

    It fears and shuns “business outsiders” because they are “bad” for workers and their families.


    Because they are different, and the NDP doesn’t like different.

    Their so-called party elites can’t think beyond what their organized labour stalwarts/money lenders/ lobbyists/ keepers and so on, want and believe.

    Throughout the last few decades, in Canada, the NDP has failed to make any kind of meaningful contribution to Canada’s international trade needs.

    So the NDP goes with that very narrow band of so-called “progress” which is to say, “No!” to every little economic reorganization that may result in some kind of change that COULD see fewer “good union jobs” and “job security.”

    Without international trade this country is done comme le diner. So, Harvey, you’re right about the TPP. We need it or else.

    But the NDP is right about one thing there ARE fewer good union jobs and job security since the 1970s as an example.

    However, look at every other Western country: same story.


    Part of the reason is the high cost of labour, fluctuating raw materials prices (oil and iron ore come to mind), technological “progress” and other really gut level and meaningful changes.

    The NDP’s ideologically-driven elites simply can’t cope with such rapid changes so they don’t.

    Instead, they lose elections (in campaigns funded by union dues) then sit on the sidelines and stew and gripe and bitch, after which they head off into some West Coast yuppie comfy retirement, paid for by their public sector pensions, pensions which are paid for by THE REST OF US!

    Damn the NDP to Hell.

    The Tories will be winning this one.

    (Response: This will no doubt play into the hands of those who portray the NDP as chronic naysayers … wouldn’t even be surprised to soon see Tory … even Liberal ads on that. h.o)

  • 4 Ron Wilton // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Were India and China not invited to participate or are their respective economies self sufficient?

    (Response: Have no idea if they were approached …but my impression of both is they like to export, but they put up all kinds of regulatory blocks and tariffs to keep other producers, manufacturers out (but they love resources!) …. so joining a pact that would lower their import fees, tariffs, rules would not likely be something their governments would approve. h.o)

  • 5 skidder // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I agree that Canada must be included in a trade deal this massive. The leaders comments were as expected. Without even knowing what it offers or not, NDP says “no way” and Libs say “Uh.. we.. the party will look at uh, the deal..uh and uh we will consult with Canadians ..uh, and then we will uh get back to you” If that is leadership, we really need help.

    (Response: This morning, South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia said they too want “in” … that would add economies serving another 400 million people. I just can’t see how Canada could say we’re out. h.o)

  • 6 Hawgwash // Oct 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

    There are two distinctly different topics here.
    One; is TPP good for Canada?
    Two; how many people even know what the TPP is?

    Based on two, the headline is probably meaningless.

    (Response: I don’t think Canadian VOTERS are as dumb as you seem to believe. Watch the polls. h.o)

  • 7 BMCQ // Oct 6, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Lookout – 2

    Well said!

    Each and every Voter and Resident in/of Canada and B.C. should read your Post very carefully!!

    How in the World could TM comment on any of the TPP Agreement without being thoroughly familiar with the content?

    Give JT some credit. At least he stated that the Libs would like to look at the Agreement before commenting.

    Although that is most likely because he was not sure which the “Wind was Blowing”. It is quite possible that Skidder makes a good point.

    Ron – 3

    Good question.

    China and India are really not great “Free Traders”. H.O. makes a good observation.

    Nor is Japan but they have experienced some very serious Economic difficulties over the past decade and then on top of the Fukuhima Disaster the philosophy of Japanese Governments and Politicians is gradually evolving.

    Trade Deals like this are never perfect but it is clear to me that Canada needed to take part.

    It is the job of Government to ensure that the Deal overall benefits Canada and Canadians while at the same time they must also ensure that the People that are going to suffer because of the new Trade deal are assisted with either re-education or some sort of Subsidy if workable and if it lives up to the spirit of the TPP Agreement.

    Going forward this s a positive deal for Canada.

    Full disclosure here, my company is an Exporter of Canadian Made Union Product!!

  • 8 BMCQ // Oct 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Gilbert – 2


  • 9 Gene the Bean // Oct 6, 2015 at 11:49 am

    TPP is a really good deal for the big multi-national pharma corps….does anyone support that?

    If it was a free and open process, I may support it.

    But when they keep the “details” secret and start obfuscating everything, I get nervous.

    Harper cant be trusted.

    (Response: Actually, I heard one provision of the TPP is that it would LOWER the protected period for new drugs to 8 years from the current 10 or 15, depending on the country. That would allow other companies to manufacture generic equivalents a lot faster and a lot cheaper. But I agree ..we should see all the details …NOW. h.o)

  • 10 JR // Oct 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t trust Harper!. The details will undoubtedly come out AFTER the election but we will be fed small snippets to make it look great. The devil is always in the details and even if TPP was the best thing since sliced bread I still do not trust Harper to do anything good for the common man. His past history of hiding things deep within omnibus bills springs to mind. Lets see the entire thing NOW and not after the election so we can make an informed choice. As it sits right now I will vote anyone but Harpers Conservatives. That said not one leader inspires me with confidence.

    (Response: I’d bet that, in every signing country to the TPP deal, there are industries saying the deal is terrible …. every one of them trying to protect their own industry from competition … and others saying this will be great … every one of them looking to export to other countries signing on to the deal. The truth is a little of both … and the question the voters will answer is whether they think Canada will be better off IN (vote Tories/Libs) or OUT (vote NDP/Greens). And if history holds true, this will be another LOSING position for the NDP. h.o)

  • 11 Scotty on Denman // Oct 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    NAFTA cost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in Ontario—and Upper Canada’s been moribund ever since. Obscured by the replacement of various manufacturing taxes with the GST, and relying on typical Canadian provincial myopia and parochialism, the downside of NAFTA has been generally unacknowledged. However, we in BC are aware that NAFTA was about fuckin’ worthless when it came to the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Remember: NAFTA stands for “Nearly Always Favours The Americans.”

    As predicted, thousands of manufacturing jobs moved first to the US, then to Mexico, then to Asia— wherever it was good for profiteers. Meanwhile, real incomes in Canada have since stagnated or regressed, and inequalities between ordinary workers and global profiteers increase daily. It has left our country with some very serious deficits in terms of demographics: the majority of retirees have not been able to save enough for retirement—at least at age 65 (“freedom 55’s” turned out to be a soothing joke), the medical system upon which most stake their wellbeing is almost ready to collapse under even the initial boom of patients, let alone the rapid increase soon coming, and the younger generation can’t afford to buy a house (although renting is fine, the lost savings vehicle of home ownership will exacerbate Canada’s general decline since NAFTA).

    Mulcair’s right: negotiating the TPP during an election, and not divulging the details to voters to weigh in on, is a wonderful opportunity to pull the wool over Canadians’ eyes—again. The problem always remains: trade agreements are made for profiteers, not workers. The promise of jobs, jobs, jobs has been pretty hollow up till now—no reason to expect this agreement to be any different.

    Thank goodness Mulcair is openly attacking this “deal,” otherwise Harper could simply don a hard hat and rote-repeat the JJJ mantra—it worked in BC only because Dix refused to parry with the corrupt BC Liberals (the idea that he lost because of his last minute flip-flop on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline has been subsequently refuted by the consistent cross-party-line unpopularity of pipelines in BC; self-interested Big Oil had initially suggested the BC election was a de facto endorsement, since disproved).

    That being said, I don’t believe “No, no, no!” resonates with voters as well as “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” Even when the “no” is correct, and the “jobs” are false promises, the average Canadian voter’s mind is too distracted and reactionary to comprehend it.

    If I had one wish, it wouldn’t be to get rid of Harper (even though he’s been the worst, and has driven our nation to existential crisis), it would be for something far more enduring than any Harper could ever be: I wish voters would just learn how to think about things a bit more instead of taking an intellectual pass whenever brains are required. Use ’em or lose ’em.

    (Response: I believe more and more manufacturing will be done outside Canada with or without TPP … it’s all about cheaper labour, lower taxes and subsidized resources and power etc. And frankly, I’m not so sure that’s bad: after all, do we just offer lip service or do we really want poorer parts of the world to improve? Low end low cost manufacturing is a good way for them to do that… while we can excel and contribute in high tech, agricultural, food production, resources etc. Meanwhile, your absolutely right that no,no,no (which some voters no doubt think is more often than not the NDP slogan) won’t likely sell either. h.o)

  • 12 e.a.f. // Oct 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I guess it comes down to, how much do we get to sell. does it simply exploit our natural resources? do the foreign companies get to bring their workers into Canada and Canada looses out on the jobs. (remember the coal miners from China)

    How will it impact our health care. Do these countries get to bid on our health care contracts and bring in their own workers?

    I don’t need to buy New Zealand dairy products. I’ll make sure I’m reading labels. I do want the Canadian family farm protected. If Ontario looses any more auto manufacturing jobs, where will it leave them. Its not like they really recovered from the NAFTA thing.

    Everyone thinks NAFTA was good for Canada, but there were Canadians who lost jobs? Wonder how they are doing to day.

    Who really benefited from NAFTA? Corporations or people?

    I see this as a big win for some corporations and not so much for the average worker. Some of these countries are not going to be buying anything from us. who really wants to be in a trade deal with Mexico. I know we’re in one with them now, but really. Mexico has a long history of political corruption, do we want to be tied that closely with them.

    What does Chile really have to offer us, as taxpayers, workers. I know Canadian mining companies might like it, but the rest of us, perhaps not so much.

    we already get Australian beef and it is cheaper but if they get to flood our markets where does this leave our ranchers.

    Vietnam isnt’ going to be buying much from us. Its a poor country, but you can bet they will be exporting a lot of manufactured goods to Canada from workers who are in conditions like those in Bangledish. Do we really need that? More low quality goods flooding the market. It will work well for Wal Mart and Super Store, but for the rest of us? How many dollar stores do we need?

    Will this trade deal permit corporations to bring in their “specialized workers”. We have seen cases of this already. American firms bringing in “specialized workers” who weren’t so specialized. No restrictions on their criminal records either. All the corporation has to say is they’re ‘specialists’ even if we have our own.

    I haven’t seen trade deals do much for the average Canadian and I don’t see this one doing much for us either. Lets at least hope harper and his cons were smart enough to have an escape clause shorter than 15 years this time.

    What does this trade deal do for our water supply? What does this trade deal do for our environmental laws, such as they are? Do we give up some of our sovereignty?

    Let the games begin. I wonder if those opposed to it will find themselves being called terrorists by the cons. they did refer to environmentalists as “terrorists”.

    Really, none of us can say its good or bad for us or the country as a whole until we get to read the documents or the readers digest version of it. Don’t trust the Cons, too many of them convicted of fraud and such, so why would I trust anything they say. I like Trudeau’s position. No out right yes and no out right no. Lets all wait and see when the Cons print the deal and let us read it. Well I’m not doing anything, I’m retired. I’ve got all the time in the world to read the thing. if the cons don’t make some it public well, we ought to be careful. they haven’t been the most honest bunch or do we forget so soon about their senators, Arthur Porter, Del Mastro, Paul Sona, etc.

    (Response: You’re absolutely right … we won’t really know how good or bad it is until we see the details. But free trade deals like NAFTA (despite the NDP/unions dumping on it at the time) have OVERALL been very good for Canada .. increased Canada’s exports to the US by BILLIONS and I do believe for Canada to be absent from the TPP table or to have walked away from a deal that 11 other countries representing 40% of the world economy all concluded would be good ….. would have been worse. h.o)

  • 13 larry Bennett // Oct 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Papal encyclical directed to Mulcair and Trudeau (Via Dr. Johnson) entitled: Lex non recipit majus et minus – You can have a law, or you can have no law, but you cannot have half a law.
    You’r either for it, or against it, you can’t be for this, and not that. There are other countries involved.

  • 14 Ron // Oct 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Why aren’t they trotting out the PARTICULARS of this agreement. I have heard this agrwwment, like the Cons omnibus has hidden in it items that curtail more of our rights and gtive more rights to business (can no longer criticize ANY company lest you get charged with defamation and that is broad whjen speaking about companies).
    I can see ppl going to jail, or paying huge fines just for calling a feeble item produced as “garbage”.
    Herr Harpler has toally sold out Canada.

    (Response: I agree the FULL details of the agreement should be made public NOW: after all, the negotiations are over and the deal has been signed …if not yet sealed and delivered. However you complain about the lack of details and then say it’s a total sellout: have you seen the details secretly? Or just showing your bias? h.o)

  • 15 Gene the Bean // Oct 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Some great observations in comments 11 and 12.

    I just returned from voting at the Elections Canada office. A little disorganized but that’s OK. A couple of observations…

    – Had a nice chat with two young ladies registering to vote for the first time. Both genuinely excited, full of enthusiasm and vigor. A great quote “I finally get a chance to have a say and make Canada great again” – wow.

    – Had another chat with a driver of some folks with some physical issues and she was saying how excited all the residents at the facility where she works were to vote this time. She said the residents were pumped about the election.

    – Briefly chatted with what I would describe as a ‘street person’. Very soft spoken and gentle man, he was trying to provide enough info to get onto the voters list. The staff were quite helpful but as he didn’t have a passport, drivers license or utility bill (he actually laughed at that one) he was given some more information on how he might obtain what is required. I overheard him say “It is very important for me to vote this time…” Inspiring….and I am pretty sure we all know who these folks ARE NOT voting for.

    Just as I exited the office where I cast my ballot (a slightly different process than on voting day at your assigned polling station) there was a heated exchange going on at the reception desk. Two older grey haired fellows were complaining about the wait times, complaining there wasn’t enough staff and complaining that they didn’t have “the time” to wait like (as they pointed to the street person) “some of these people…”

    My guess is we all know who they WILL be voting for.

    Such a shame we have been divided this way, but I think it is purposeful. Not very Canadian if you ask me…..

  • 16 nonconfidencevote // Oct 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I find the Conservative announcement that they will set aside 4 billion dollars for dairy farmers quite an eye opener….
    Methinks the price of milk ,cheese and eggs( yup, the Canuck govt considers eggs as “dairy”) will plummet to more realistic standards now that the subsidized dairy farmers and their lobbyists actually have to compete.
    One wonders just how much cheaper cheese from New Zealand will be with the Kiwi dollar but I, for one , cant wait to see this play out.

  • 17 Marge // Oct 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    “as I exited the office where I cast my ballot (a slightly different process than on voting day at your assigned polling station) there was a heated exchange going on at the reception desk. Two older grey haired fellows were complaining about the wait times, complaining there wasn’t enough staff and complaining that they didn’t have “the time” to wait like (as they pointed to the street person) “some of these people…”

    My guess is we all know who they WILL be voting for.”

    Typical NDP comments – so judgemental and so demeaning. Were you trying to portray Conservatives as mean spirited? Guess what… it only made you look mean spirited.

    Will you report the same kind of drivel next week when perhaps “you” vote again under a different alias for this site??? Just wondering what limits the Dippers go to in order to support their agenda. I’ve noticed that the Conservatives at this site don’t name call the way you folks do…. sad sad state of affairs.

  • 18 nonconfidencevote // Oct 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    All that being said about the TPP.
    I dare say that if you asked 90% of Canadians about the TPP you would recieve a blank stare in response…

    (Response: It’s not 90% of eligible Canadians who vote …only about 60% …and I’d like to believe that most of those who do take the time and effort to vote wouldn’t respond with “a blank stare” if asked. h.o)

  • 19 Marge // Oct 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Just wondering why the NDP supporters here are so negative about everything that isn’t about themselves? Everything they say borders on the nasty side of things. Do they really believe the stuff that they write or are they just trying to be so objectionable that it’s over the top??? Whatever happened to polite Canadians respecting each other’s political beliefs?

  • 20 Hugh // Oct 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Mr. “Good to go” says the TPP will be great. So….

    TPP will cost taxpayers $billions in payments to farmers etc.

    What about ISDS, is it in the TPP? Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $500 million under ISDS in NAFTA. Do we expect more cases like this? I guess so.

    How can they sign an agreement, then debate it later in Parliament?

    (Response: All kinds of international agreements are signed … but are not ratified until approved by the Parliament and the legislation authorizing it is signed by the Gov General … which makes the coming election results …if a minority …really interesting! h.o)

  • 21 larry Bennett // Oct 6, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    The usual suspects here, would have us believe that the evil old Harper only wants to deny us our rights. Meanwhile, back in Obama’s Land of the Free, we hear that the last gun store in San Francisco is closing because the city fathers (and, no doubt, mothers) have decided that anyone now buying a hand gun, must be video-taped, doing so, and all purchases of ammunition be kept on record. In this Land of the Free, the 2nd amendment in its constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. We should keep in mind though, that San Fran is a ‘Sanctuary City’ which is to say, it will accept illegal immigrants w/o question. In Canada of course, I am made to purchase and carry a license with picture I.D., but … soon I may be able to buy dairy products produced outside of Canada – say, Washington State? Of course, it will be perfectly legal, not to, either!

  • 22 13 // Oct 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I think that concern over job losses due to trade agreements is akin to closing a barn door after all the animals walked away. The only reason we have any manufacturing left in the true north strong and free is we are starting to compete with third world wage rates. (public sector workers need not read this). The good old left and enviro bunch want to stop all of our resource development. I wonder how the good people of alberta feel these days as they look for jobs at walmart?

  • 23 Hugh // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    It’s now a total of $5.3 billion (taxpayer money) promised to the Canadian dairy and auto sectors, to offset losses from the TPP. What a crock.

    This is the TPP deal, which they sign, and then debate later. Huh?

    This deal is coming from the Conservatives, the worst government in the history of governments. Maybe not such a great idea!!??

    Good grief.

  • 24 morry // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Hilary Clinto is “looking into” the TPP deal. Mulcair is not in favour, and Trudeau is cautiously optimistic.

    But t’s rough road to travel over for both Harper and Trudeau over this TPP deal. Harper has pledged 5billion to buy off the Dairy Farmers and the Auto unions

  • 25 DBW // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Marge @19

    You said, ” Everything [NDP supporters] say borders on the nasty side of things. Whatever happened to polite Canadians respecting each other’s political beliefs?”

    I don’t know Marge, but maybe you could ask Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff or even Justin Trudeau.

    “In his memoirs, released in 2013, Ignatieff wrote that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper didn’t just attack what he said, but his “right to say anything at all.”

    “You no longer attack a candidate’s ideas or position. You attack who they are,” Ignatieff wrote.”

  • 26 markerbuoy // Oct 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    In the absence of the negotiated details or a copy of the SIGNED agreement, we are left with sheer speculation on what the TPP may mean (or not) for Canada. The fact that no real, meaningful discussion was held in public during the three year plus negotiating period, raises alarm flags. Talk about transparency. Ha.

    For better or worse, Mulroney fought an election over “Free Trade” with the US, the final text of which was made available before Canadians went to the polls.

    The PM’s eleventh hour announcement of the “successful” TPP deal is electioneering, Harper style, writ large. Tonight, Ed Fast, the federal trade minister told CBC that TPP details would be released by Oct 19th. Does no one smell a huge dead rat??? Funny that Fast was cleared to chat when Conservative MP’s & even ministers have been largely muzzled during the interminable campaign. Control the message.

    This election should not be about the economy, or any of the other issues MSM or pollsters have trotted out; it should not be about what Harper says he does, or will do, but about what he ACTUALLY does.

    Scientists have been totally muzzled. The highest levels of the judiciary have been attacked. Harper, as prime minister, has been found in contempt of parliament. Elections have been sophisticatedly gerrymandered, and proven so. Our injured troops have been betrayed…and the list goes on. Don’t get me started on the niqab non issue or other dog whistle techniques orchestrated by the “Lizard of Oz”.

    Sorry to bend the thread somewhat, but can no one talk about the real threat Harper poses to our democracy? Stephen Harper: “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it,”

    Another Con majority and even Stevie will prove prophetic.

    (Response” You raise a major issue that I think explains why so MANY voters are still undecided There are so many issues now before us …some evoking very strong reactions, so for the undecided … it’s easy to agree with each of the parties on a lot and disagree on other matters …and then there’s the Harper record, dictatorial style etc. It’s almost coming down to which DIRECTION people want the country to go …regardless of leader or past policies. That bugs me, because I believe politicians should be held accountable at election time for their record …but I’m getting the sense many others are prepared now to forgive if not forget, while others say never: election day will tell which side’s selling job was best. h.o)

  • 27 morry // Oct 6, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    No one knows the details of the TPP and yet we are all choosing sides:

    Is there a BIG BROTHER in the details?

    The “biggest global threat to the internet”

  • 28 Hawgwash // Oct 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Associating “dumb” with Canadians because they don’t know what the TPP is came from your keyboard not mine.

    I’m simply giving the opinion that most Canadian voters do not know what TPP is and therefore TPP will not “Break the Campaign Open.”

    Scotty and e.a.f. have shown an advanced level of understanding of the TPP and have articulated their concerns very well. They are way ahead of the pack because they try to be informed, just as most of the other dozen or so regulars here.

    Scotty and e.a.f. are not representative of the 60% you say will vote.

    I know many, not so dumb people, who will be voting. Most of them are eager to vote.
    Most of them know little or nothing about NAFTA, TPP, CSIS, F-35, IPP, LNG or H. O.
    Most of them will be casting a vote one way or the other for the wrong reasons.

    In fact, over the last week or so I have come to think most voters have decided where their vote will go, are not saying and nothing much will change their minds.

    Forget the polls.

  • 29 Gilbert // Oct 7, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Is it just me or does the prime minister seem to have more energy, more enthusiasm and more confidence than before? Maybe he senses that the wind is blowing in his direction. My concern, though, is the collapse in support for the NDP. I hope we don’t seem to many NDPers switch to the Liberals.

    (Response: He does seem buoyed: wonder what their private polls are saying! Trudeau also seems to be a bit more chippy and Mulcair seems to be elongating his frozen smile: like to see their private polls too. h.o)

  • 30 nonconfidencevote // Oct 7, 2015 at 5:23 am

    @#19 Marge
    “Just wondering why the NDP supporters here are so negative about everything that isn’t about themselves?”
    And conservatives are soooo much more objective.Everything they say borders on the nasty side of things. Do they really believe the stuff that they write or are they just trying to be so objectionable that it’s over the top??? Whatever happened to polite Canadians respecting each other’s political beliefs?”


    Apparently you havent heard of this guy.,d.cGU

  • 31 Marge // Oct 7, 2015 at 7:07 am

    @GenetheBean Just thought I’d relate this “story” to you. A middle aged friend of mine was at the advanced polls just like you were. In front of her was a kindly old gentleman in a suit wearing a poppy. He looked behind and held the door open for her. Behind her were two scruffy young men reeking of pot. They wanted to get their voting done as quickly as possible as they had their welfare money to spend on drugs and booze . They pushed in front of her, calling her various names as they went – none of them complimentary. Guess which party they were voting for??

    As you see Gene there are several versions to every story. Yours is not the only one!!

  • 32 BMCQ // Oct 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

    DBW – 24

    First a quick question.

    Just where is your Hero and Great Canadian Patriot Ignatieff today?

    For someone that care so much about Canada and it’s “Great Unwashed” it seems rather odd to me that Ignatieff spent almost every day of his life from the mid 70’s to about what 2006 in the UK. After that he moved to Harvard and came home in time to get elected in a VERY safe Liberal Riding eventually becoming Liberal Leader.

    Just after that he lost the Federal Election. And then what? Believe it or not he is back at Harvard I believe.

    Yes, a Great Canadian!

    Hell, my 4 Year old Golden Doodle has spent more time in Canada than Ignatiefff over the past 40 Years!! Yikes!!

    As a matter of fact my good friend “Buck” may have had a better chance of being Elected PM than Ignatieff!!

    Yes, Ignatieff is entitled to his views but you surely could have quoted someone that at least resided in Canada for a little longer!

    Of course no one Left of Centre here criticize PM Harper for his Hair/Rug, Dead Evil Eyes, or any other petty little thing do they?

    Look, I am probably more sarcastic than most here but please do not attempt to paint those Posters here that support Libs or NDP Politicians as virtuous.

    H.O. – 25 – Response

    I am only speaking for myself here but I always Vote for the Party that is best for my Business , the Employees, and my Family in that order.

    That does not mean I agree or support 100% of the Conservative Policies and Legislation in this case. I fully recognize they have their warts but I look at the alternatives and what they would legislate.

    I also believe other Voters view it that way.

    I am sure there are NDP Voters that do not support everything that TM offers but they make their choice based on who they can live with as opposed to the Libs or Cons.

    Hawg – 27

    You make a very valid observation. There is probably a lot of truth to it when you say we do not really know enough about TPP at this point.

    From what I can see to this point Canada had no choice and overall I believe Canadians overall will benefit.

    I can honestly say there are 25 Good Canadians in my Company that will benefit from the Agreement!!

    Just so you feel better I did not include myself in that comment.

    One last comment here.

    Everyone that Reads and Posts here should keep in mind that the TPP talks were not Designed and Planned to be finalized to coincide with the final week or two of the Canadian federal Election.

    No “Conspiracy Theories” here Folks!!

    Fact is the TPP Talks had to be held sometime and very well could have concluded in Election Campaigns for any of the Countries involved.

    For anyone to think otherwise is nothing less than just silly.

    Marge – 30

    You have Great Spirit and I admire that!!
    Not enough Canadians today speak up for what they believe in!!!

    Even if one is mistaken from time to time we must ALL speak up for what we believe in!

    It is a shame that you and I will more than likely not be in agreement during the next B.C. Provincial Election.

  • 33 Ron Wilton // Oct 7, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Why is Brunei a player in this?

    The population is barely over 400,000 and there only commodity is oil. Average weekly income $250.00, religion Muslim, law Sharia.

  • 34 G. Barry Stewart // Oct 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Marge, “Welfare Wednesday” was September 23. If you’re going to spin a story, it should be at least plausible.

  • 35 harry lawson // Oct 7, 2015 at 8:58 am


    the reality is as we expand in to the global economy. we will have trade deals. some sectors win some have to change.

    what i did find interesting is , the Canada reaches a agreement on tpp at the same time Mr harper talks about banning niqabs . great timing the niqab manufactured issue is now getting more discussion then the trade agreement. a well timed diversion.

    (Response: You say “Canada reaches a agreement on tpp at the same time Mr Harper talks about banning niqabs”. You make it sound like Canada was running the show…. and CHOSE the timing. ALL 12 nations reached agreement … after YEARS of talks, negotiations, meetings. Let’s keep it real: Canada is a bit player among some of the others involved …no way would they delay such a huge agreement until after our election or niqab discussions. h.o)

  • 36 Gene the Bean // Oct 7, 2015 at 9:11 am

    comment #31 – now that’s believable (insert eye roll here)….just a reminder, this blog is titled Keeping It Real.

    I left the conclusions in my comment to the reader, insert whatever party you chose, I don’t care.

    Marge, biases are like a bad dye job though – everyone can see them.

  • 37 david hadaway // Oct 7, 2015 at 9:19 am

    “A kindly old gentleman wearing a poppy”

    A bit early, considering that the poppy campaign doesn’t start until the last Friday of October. One of last year’s perhaps?

    (Response: Some veterans wear them all the time to remember dead comrades …and I would NEVER mock or question them for that. In fact, travel to Russia and you’ll see old Russian veterans wearing all their ribbons and medals every day: God Bless them all. h.o)

  • 38 ISLAND LOOKOUT // Oct 7, 2015 at 10:18 am


    Ever since the CBC Rosemary Barton interview, with the Prime Minister, on Tuesday the network has been flogging it’s latest anti-Harper confabulation.

    Until this morning.

    She asked the PM about the niqab issue and thought she had a barn burner of a yarn when Mr. Harper said he would look into the issue further if re-elected.

    Looking further meant what he had been saying for days, namely: that the Quebec National Assembly was in the process of considering legislation to ban face coverings of public service office employees province-wide.

    Sounds sensible since taxpayers are paying those civil servants and have a right to know with whom they’re doing business…duhh..

    But on the Peter Mansbridge roundelay, last night, this niqab issue rocketed into deep space and this morning the CBC was pounding on this issue as if it is becoming an impending great civil liberties travesty organized by those evil Harperites.

    It reached its pinnacle mid-morning, and seconds later its nadir, after a CBC reporter asked Mr. Hrper once more about the issue. In English and French he stated solidly that the government is looking at the Quebec situation and will consider further action. Period. That was it. And now the issue is a gonner.


    The public, everywhere in Canada, has a basic human right to know with whom they’re doing business, at the face to face level, in dealings with their tax dollars.

    The CBC needs to be covering the news without fear or favour.

    Instead it insists, at taxpayer expense, to STILL continue playing its dubious role as the chief nanny-state-in-waiting school hall monitor: to make sure that Mr. and Mrs. Canada and their kidlets are all properly dressed and scrubbed in time for the next Liberal/NDP lessons of Political Correctness 101 and various anger management programs (all government-funded of course) that would, naturally, follow.

    (Response: I watched the CBC news this morning and found the coverage of Harper’s remarks distorted: here’s what Harper said in answer to a question by Rosemary Barton:
    RB: But a public service worker, for instance, in the civil service, someone who has a public position. Should they be allowed to?

    SH: That’s a matter we’re going to examine. Quebec, as you know, has legislation on this. And we’re looking at that legislation. But as I say, we’re a society of openness and of equality and this is what we want to promote. And look, the vast, vast majority of Canadians understand our position on this and are behind it. The other parties have made a decision to make this an issue because they are frankly offside on public opinion, but that’s their choice.

    RB: You haven’t made this an issue?

    SH: We’re on side with public opinion on this, and I think Canadians understand this very clearly. It’s not by any means the biggest issue of this campaign. The biggest issue is the economy, but I think our position is widely understood and supported.”

    This morning a CBC reporter said Harper was PROPOSING” expanding the niqab rules. Any reporter should know the difference between saying, a government will LOOK AT something or “PROPOSING” it. Viewers can decide whether it was bad reporting or deliberate. h.o)

  • 39 r // Oct 7, 2015 at 11:21 am

    perscription coverage would be a vote earner.

  • 40 DBW // Oct 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    LOL @32. Not my hero, BMCQ. I was just providing an answer to Marge’s question by linking an article about Conservative attack ads. Then you continue the attack proving Ignatieff’s point.

    If you disagree that Conservative attack ads are not responsible for the lack politeness then argue that. Don’t attack me or Ignatieff for providing a possible answer.

  • 41 Jay Jones // Oct 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Stay here in this igloo and sell blubber to the 4 neighbours every few months, or move into that new shopping mall a few towns over and have thousands of hungry shoppers pass by Eskies Blubber daily.

    No-brainer decision if only a few minor negatives are involved.

    The announcement doesn’t change where I stand on the Cons though. I still have the Libs and NDP ranked far ahead of them. Ability to process a payment for a donut doesn’t suddenly turn a counter clerk into God’s gift to a business community.

  • 42 david hadaway // Oct 7, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    ‘Some veterans wear them all the time.’

    Well, that being the case I take back any implied criticism of the gentleman, although that was not where it was intended to be directed.

    If there’s any doubt that I mean it I can only add that both of my parents received decorations from the Second World War and I’d always assumed, wrongly, that their attitude to wearing the poppy was universal.

  • 43 larry Bennett // Oct 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Re: e.a.f. – There are poeple who really think it would be better for Canada if it were not a part of what most of the more successful countries on the pacific rim are scrambling to be a part of?
    Excellent response Harve, @ 37. Say what you like, the Russians suffered huge losses on the eastern front, and despite what occurred afterwards at the behest of Stalin, they are no less heroes, to my mind.

  • 44 Hugh // Oct 7, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    “unlikely the TPP deal will make a big dent in Canadians’ grocery bills or car purchases.?”

    But it will cost taxpayers $5.3 billion to aid dairy and autoworkers affected by the deal. Why, it keeps getter better and better!

  • 45 Crankypants // Oct 8, 2015 at 1:35 am

    I have to wonder why there is only rumor and innuendo regarding the contents of the TPP. Now that the TPP has reached finality one must assume that they know exactly what concessions Canada made and what rewards Canada will reap. There is no need to wait for an official copy of the deal to be translated and distributed to us as well as the other signatory countries.

    This may one of the rare times in Canada’s history whereby the electorate can use their voting power to weigh in on whether they feel the government of the day did their due diligence on behalf of Canada and its citizens. If the Conservative Party is truly the best at dealing with the economic welfare of Canada then shouldn’t they be chomping at the bit to share their perceived successes with the rest of us? Anything less just fuels skepticism and the feeling that all is not as portrayed by the government.

  • 46 BMCQ // Oct 8, 2015 at 6:33 am

    harry – 35

    As H.O. pointed out and I stated at – 32, there were 12 Countries involved in The TPP Negotiation Talks.

    An Election and Campaign of any of those Countries could have fallen within the conclusion of the talks.

    I doubt very much that Japan, The U.S. and the others conspired with that “Dead Eyed” PM Harper to manipulate Canadian Election results.

    Although many here will still believe that.

    DBW – 40

    My apologizes if the word “Hero” is problematic for you.

    I always use the name Hero, sometimes in a sarcastic comment, I plead guilty.

    At about 8:00 AM this morning someone that works here will arrive with her two Dogs. Each and every morning when they rush into my office I say to them, “How are My Two Little Heroes Today?”

    Two of my life long Friends are in business together. One of them called me earlier in the week about something. Part way through the conversation I asked him, “How’s my other Hero doing”?

    Just an expression DB!

    Look, I am not too Politically correct and I think that is OK.

    As to attacks, let’s be honest here, all three Parties are guilty of producing critical adds of their opponents.

    Yes, it appears that the Cons are responsible for more critical adds, but is it illegal? Honestly I do not even think it is unethical.

    As to my Ignatieff comments. I re-read them and really I do not believe I was incorrect about anything stated.

    As to the Ignatieff comments about the adds?
    Politics is a tough game DB.

    IF you do not have a tough Skin and you cannot compete with the “Big Boys” a person is probably off Teaching at Harvard!

    As to Attacks.

    Is it any worse than both of “The Muldeau Twins” quoting a false and untrue quote by PM Harper regarding The Niqab taken out of context dozens of times?

    Hell, even when I was on my way home last night the NW Newscast who I had left on from the McComb Show was reporting the false statement taken totally out of context!!

    Is that any better?

    As a matter of fact when I posted yesterday morning I was going to state that I was very disappointed with PM Harper concerning the quote wrongly attributed to him.

    I then thought that it did not make sense and there must be more to it. Very pleased I did not comment.

    As you are more than likely now aware the quote was “False and Not True”!!

    Please see Island Lookout and Harvey’s response – 38.

    I got my clarification and the TRUTH from Harvey in that response, not MSM!!!

    Does anyone else that Posts hear appreciate that Harvey took the time to clarify the false reports and the repeat of the false comments from JT and TM? I wonder.

    I would not be surprised to hear that false report dozens of times over the next week and a half.

    Shouldn’t that bother all of us just a little bit?

    david – 37

    Adrienne Clarkson, Prince Charles, Idi Amin,, Muammar Quaddafi and many other Pretenders have been well known for their Love of wearing Medals.

    I think we can forgive REAL Heroes like War Vets wearing their Poppies and Medals 24 – 7 if they wish!

    Unlike those I mentioned all of those Vets Russian or otherwise have earned that Right!!!

  • 47 RS // Oct 8, 2015 at 7:18 am

    What? Milewski has a copy of the TPP – AND a crystal ball?

  • 48 e.a.f. // Oct 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    After these trade deals are all signed and done. Within 20 yrs, I expect countries to start retracting from them.

    When we think NAFTA has been good for Canada, and Canadian firms exported billions, was NAFTA as good for the average citizen. We know globalization has worked for corporations, but what of the average worker and their family.

    there currently is a list circulating which lists the top tax avoiders in the world, No.1 is Apple. Globalization has worked for them. They avoided $60 billion or some such figure in American taxes. How did that impact life for the average American? Did Apple do the same with their Canadian arm? How did that affect the Canadian tax system.

    Globalization works well for corporations and share holders. This much I do know. What hasn’t been demonstrated to my satisfaction is what the average person got out of it all. Ontario, in my opinion, has not benefited. On the other hand, might it have been worse had there been no NAFTA.

    It would be nice to see a chart which lists some facts and figures. Of course we don’t know how things would have gone, had we not entered into the agreement, but I never thought it was good idea for a mouse to crawl into bed with an elephant. It could get crushed.

    If Canada goes into the TPP, then at least lets hope it has a quick express exit, like NAFTA. not like the trade deal with Communist china, stuck for 15 years.

  • 49 BMCQ // Oct 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    e.a.f. – 48

    Obviously there are many different opinions on the success of Trade Deals.

    There are many good things about Trade Deals and in the case of NAFTA and Canada there are more Pro’s than Con’s.

    One that might be important to you is the fact that virtually every single Pension Plan in Canada is invested in those Evil Corporations.

    Yes e.a.f., even Union Pension Funds! Just ask one of the best run Pension Funds in the World, The Ontario Teachers Pension!

    The success of Corporations is important!

    Many other Companies like the one I run benefit from same. By making some of the Products we Manufacture and ExportDuty Free to The US, we have increased the Labour and Office number of Employees in that section from 6 to over 20.

    As it stands now with the TPP in place the total number of Employees may go from about 25 to 30′ just here in B.C.

    Many of the large Corps you are concerned about and have criticized actually do Employee Millions of Canadians.

    Canadians cannot ALL work for the various levels of Government!

    if we did, who would pay The Tax that contributes to The Pension Funds of the various Public Sector Workers?

    Yes Canadians must informed of and be educated on the contents of The TPP Agreement and all Trade Deals. But it is not practical or wise for Negotiators to disclose strategy, planning, and content during sensitive discussions.

    Also keep in mind the fact that the New Canadian Parliament must Vote on the TPP Agreement.

    Again. Give JT credit for not jumping like “Wide Mouth Bass” Thomas Mulcair did to denounce the TPP when he knew nothing about it.

    Canadians will plenty of time to learn about and make an informed opinion about how they want their local MP to vote.

    Yes, even those “Low Informations” Conservatives will understand what the content consists of!

  • 50 Hawgwash // Oct 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    You stated at 48 “It would be nice to see a chart which lists some facts and figures.”
    Perhaps the answer lies beneath your nose at 49 where BMCQ claims his employees grew by over 300% after NAFTA and stand to grow another 20% after the TPP.

    Just taking a really wild guess here that if you are in business and you increase your payroll six fold you are more than likely to expect a proportional increase in your bottom line and profits.

    Maybe BMCQ can do you a chart showing how much his standard of living changed versus his employees over the same period.

    Hopefully they were not asked to make sacrifices in order to grow the company and keep their jobs.

    Small corporation like that, should be an easy chart to draw up and who knows, maybe he would invite you down to get the good news directly from his employees.

    Oh, and by the way BMCQ, I see your hero Hillary is steadfast against the TPP. Can you offer up an expletive less comment?

  • 51 Hugh // Oct 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    According to this article, the TPP would put new constraints on the conduct of state-owned enterprises, such as BC Hydro, CBC.

    What does that mean? Shouldn’t Canadians know, before the deal is signed, not after?

  • 52 BMCQ // Oct 9, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Hawg – 50

    What a way to start the Day!!

    In my Office at 5:00 AM and I open up The Harvey Blog to see a Post from My Good Friend Hawgwash asking me to explain myself!!

    Profits are based on the Sales minus Costs.

    My Business here in YVR is an oddity today in this part of the World. We are a Manufacturing Business that Exports Manufactured Non-Ferrous Metal Products World Wide.

    The Costs of Raw Materials such as Zn, Al, Pb, Cu, and others are all based on LME Pricing. Purchase Price of those Metals are heavily influenced by CAD and USD differences.

    The Sales Price of those products is also be affected by the Currency used in the selling Price. USD or CAD.

    Then of course you have all of the other costs involved before one would see a Profit.

    The actual number of Employees or an increase in the number of Employees in a Company does not necessarily reflect in profit. Carly Fiorina could certainly confirm that.

    Full disclosure here, the reason we have and will experience an increase in Employees is not all because of Nafta and TPP. We have invested heavily in many pieces of CNC Equipment and other newer Technology over the years and that has assisted greatly in our ability to not only compete but that investment has also allowed us to offer a greater range of Product Line which should benefit any company.

    Please keep in mind that when making large investments like expensive Equipment and Technology it almost always involves a hefty Bank Loan that must be paid back each month and sometimes the end of that month arrives far too soon. Especially the first few years when you sometimes question if you did the right thing.

    There were times in the first 10 years that I would have re-considered if I was not so far in debt. Not Fun Hawg!!

    FYI – The Company is a Union Company and the Wages are competitive with other similar type work. There is a competitive Benefit Plan that seems to satisfy the Employees and the Vacation plan is far superior to most. The reason the Vacation Plan is generous is because of the very simple fact that the Employees have earned it.

    Depending on the task, Employees here earn between $ 40K and $ 120K each year. Almost all have Spouses that have employment with good incomes.

    Over 80% of the Employees here are long term of over 10 years. Two of them are Individuals that helped pioneer the start of the Marine side of the Business in 1987. That should give evidence of something, I would think.

    There is also an Industrial side of the Business that sells locally and exports to Provinces and States in The Pacific Northwest.

    All of those 10 year plus Employees are very proud owners of their own Homes.

    As to the question about Sacrifices.

    Everyone here had to make sacrifices, especially at the start of The Marine Business, including me.

    The Company is not perfect and neither am I, but we are Fair, Honest, and genuinely care abut the People I work with.

    And Yes I fully understand that not all Companies are that way and that is not good.

    e.a.f. or anyone else for that matter is welcome to come and have a look around.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and speculate that the Employees might Lie for me and say I am not such a bad Guy.

    My standard of living is good, but not silly and over the top considering.

    My Wife and I are both very fortunate that we were brought up by Parents that had Blue Collar Values and taught us to be generous if possible.

    They also taught us to “Do Unto Others”!! Can I say that today?

    “My Hero Hillary”!! YIKES! I cannot stand “Elites”!!

    I suppose she feels she now needs to distance her self from the current Disengaged, Impotent, Incompetent, President “O”.

    I think she also feels that she needs to be a little more :Left” to offset some of the popularity of Bernie Sanders.

    Who knows, Biden could throw his hat into the ring as well.

    Six Months ago I would have “Bet the House” on Hillary being a “Shoe In” and being impossible to beat by the Republicans. Can’t say that now!

    I would actually like to say more here but Bean would be upset and John would be totally “Aghast”!!

  • 53 RS // Oct 9, 2015 at 7:03 am

    #38 (Response…H.O.)
    We should all know that everything, said, promised, proposed, promoted, put forward, suggested, aspired to, looked at, etc. during an election campaign ain’t worth a pinch o’ coon shit.
    Could Harper’s public ambiguity around the niqab issue be calculated? Nahhhhh!

  • 54 Hugh // Oct 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    German protest over TTIP deal, between US and EU:

  • 55 Hugh // Oct 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Govt lies about showing TPP deal to Canadians:

    And from the article:

    “The Globe and Mail reported this week that the TPP would exempt international companies in Canada from requirements to offer jobs to Canadians first.”

    Oh great, wonderful!