A Bad Deal for Freedom of Expression: Comments on Canada and the TransPacific Partnership

By Centre for Law and Democracy, April 2016


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is more than just a trade deal. It is a comprehensive agreement to establish common economic structures among countries which, together, make up 40 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product and one third of its trade. It is, in the words of the United States Trade Representative, an attempt to “write the rules for global trade”. Ratification of the TPP will have an enormous impact on a wide range of areas, including digital development, the arts, environmental protection and healthcare. It is crucial that Canadian policy-makers think carefully about the positive and negative ramifications of the agreement, both for Canada and for the rest of the world.

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has prepared these Comments in response to an invitation by Canada's House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade for Canadians for submissions on whether the TPP, if implemented, would be in the best interests of Canadians. CLD is a non-governmental organisation whose mandate is to promote foundational rights for democracy. As such, our analysis focuses on the potential impact of the TPP on core human rights, particularly freedom of expression.

There is significant cause for concern. The TPP will require Canada to implement highly problematical changes to our copyright framework, and it poses a threat to data protection and global principles of Internet governance. Against these negative impacts, the TPP includes only very weak protections for net neutrality and digital security. 

Read the full report at the link below.

Support the Voices-Voix coalition

When the government tries to silence advocacy and dissent, free speech, transparency, equality and democracy are compromised. Speak up for our democratic rights and freedoms. Raise your voice!