July 2, 2016 - No. 27

149th Anniversary of Confederation

All Out to Give Canada a Modern Constitution and Definition of Rights

A Modern Constitution Is a Historic Necessity

North American Leaders' Summit
Activists Hold Vigorous Picket Against Summit Agenda
New Phase to Entrench the United States of
North American Monopolies
- Enver Villamizar -
Statement of CPC(M-L)
Condemn Mexican Government's Criminal Repression of
Teachers and Students!

Say No! to Canada Post's Attacks on Workers and the Public Interest
Postal Workers on the Front Lines Defending
Their Rights and the Public Post Office

Trudeau Government's Agenda for Rollbacks and Privatization
- Louis Lang -
Dangers Posed to Public Post Office by
Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal

149th Anniversary of Confederation

All Out to Give Canada a Modern Constitution and Definition of Rights

July 1 marks the 149th anniversary of Confederation, the date on which the British North America Act, 1867 went into effect and united four separate colonies of the British Empire in North America into the Dominion of Canada. This included the all-unsurrendered Quebec nation and the Indigenous nations on the territory, which have been subject to the worst attacks and Divide and Rule from the Anglo-Canadian state to this day.

The British North America Act, 1867 remains the constitutional framework for Canada despite all the changes which have come about in life since that time, be it Canada gaining its formal independence, the extension of the franchise and other privileges from white men of property to other citizens, the development of a socialized industrial base, and a powerful, educated working class hailing from every corner of the world taking its place across the land.

This itself requires serious thought. After nearly 150 years, two world wars and the end of the bipolar division of the world, the Constitution and the definition of rights flowing from it need to be brought on par with the needs of the times. Far from recognizing this, the Trudeau Liberal government has launched a program for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 to "celebrate our common values, our achievements, our majestic environment and our place in the world." The official themes declared by the government are "diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, environment and youth." A private group called Celebrations Ottawa Inc. has been given $210 million in government funding and responsibility for organizing the official events. Through this organization the government will "invest strategically in activities that support the vision for the 150th anniversary and encourage the direct participation of Canadians," the government says. In other words, those who support "the vision" as espoused by the state institutions of 1867 will receive official support.

Who decided this vision? What about the activities of those who have another vision? Are they not entitled to receive government support? The government has decided that those who share the vision it espouses uphold "Canadian values." This suggests that those who espouse a different vision do not share Canadians' "common values." It is nonsense. If there is a common value Canadians share it is the right of all human persons to their conscience, to the vision of Canada they see fit to espouse. The government says that our strength lies in our diversity, by which it singles out various characteristics based on appearance, language, religion, skin colour, race, ethnic origin, ability, etc. In all of this, the right to conscience -- the very thing that distinguishes us as human beings -- is not considered a "common value." If this is the case, what does it tell us about the basis on which citizenship rights are being conferred today? The right of human beings to be must be the very basis of the definition of rights in the 21st century, but the government pays this no heed.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) has begun a year-long program to involve Canadians, Quebeckers, citizens and residents from all walks of life in the work for democratic renewal, and to modernize the Constitution based on the principle that rights belong to us by virtue of being human and the need for a free and equal union between Quebec, the Indigenous nations and the rest of Canada.

CPC(M-L) emphasizes that this is an historic task, not a matter of a policy choice. It is required so that the working people who produce all the wealth can take the centre stage of history and carry out the changes required to overcome the problems facing the society in the sphere of the economy and the natural and social environment.

To be kept informed about the activities and writings of CPC(M-L) in the coming year, email office@cpcml.ca.

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A Modern Constitution Is a Historic Necessity

Canada Day 2016 marks the beginning of one year of preparation to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 1867. All the developments in the recent history of Canada point to the urgent need to provide Canada with a modern constitution that vests sovereignty in the people instead of a foreign monarch, gives expression to democratic renewal, provides equal rights and duties for all, and which emanates from the people themselves, instead of being imposed on them by a privileged few who hold power. Recent history also points to the need to renew confederation on the basis of the sovereign will of the people to stop the nation-wrecking of those who have submitted the country to the decision-making power and empire-building of global monopolies, supranational trade and U.S.-led military alliances and accords.

A modern constitution for Canada must end the colonial injustice suffocating the Indigenous peoples and implement the principles of nation-to-nation relations. It must recognize Quebec's right to self-determination, provide guarantees for citizens and residents of the rights they possess by virtue of being human, and set the stage for the democratic renewal of the political process so that the peoples of Canada can directly decide the matters that concern them and affect their lives.

History calls on the peoples of Canada, Quebec and the Indigenous peoples to establish modern arrangements amongst themselves based on a free and equal union of sovereign entities. On this basis they can face the challenges of the 21st century with the people recognized as sovereign and in control over decision-making, the institutions of the state and the direction of the country.

Where Sovereignty Is Vested

The Constitution of Canada based on the 19th century arrangement of the British North America Act still considers the Queen of England to be the sovereign of Canada and its head of state. The document A Consolidation of the Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982 provided by the Department of Justice stipulates, "The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen." When the BNA Act, an act of the British Parliament was patriated to Canada in 1982, then-Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau along with the provincial Premiers did not see fit to remove this anachronism from the fundamental law of the land. Again, during the talks that led to the Meech Lake Accord of 1987 and in the report on the consensus between the Prime Minister and 10 Premiers that led to the Charlottetown Accord of 1992, no recommendation was made to repeal this clause.

A change from sovereignty residing in the monarch to sovereignty residing in the people is not a minor one but a radical departure from the rule of the few in their narrow interests over the many, to the rule of the many in the broad public interest. It is not possible to have a modern constitution consistent with the aspirations and demands of the people at this time in history without a clear affirmation and definition that the people are sovereign. The sovereign power sanctions everything fundamental in terms of the law of the land and everything that emanates from it.

This anachronism has not been removed because the sovereign power of the state has been transferred to the Prime Minister and Premiers as Queen in Parliament, the Legislatures and National Assembly of Quebec. Keeping the Queen of England as the formal titular head of state allows the ruling elite to hide this fact. The authority of the prime minister and premiers is absolute in the English tradition of concentrating power in the Crown-in-Parliament.

When the Prime Minister or Premiers say they have a mandate to rule for an allotted time frame, legally the Canadian Constitution allows them to do so in an absolutist manner within the separation of the federal and provincial powers. Were the Constitution to declare that sovereignty resides with the Canadian people, then it would have to stipulate the rights and duties the people grant their governments, and how the governments are to be chosen by the people. A change in this regard would necessarily mean recognizing and establishing in law that the people are sovereign and creating the legal means to enable them to be so. This formidable epoch-changing modernizing of the Constitution is not something the present ruling elite are either willing to accomplish or capable of doing.

A democracy that does not provide the citizens of the country with the means to exercise control over the policies and decisions of the elected bodies according to the fundamental law they themselves have enacted, is a form of authoritarian and absolutist rule.

The constitutional arrangements of the last 149 years have never vested sovereignty in the people. On the contrary, Confederation in 1867 was a power-sharing arrangement between Britain and the local ruling elite and concerned itself mainly with the division of powers between the central government and the provinces. The promise to submit the agreement that united four provinces into a dominion for the people's approval was quickly abandoned when it became clear that it would have been rejected. Neither the 1982 repatriation of the Constitution and addition of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms nor any of the changes made since have overcome the fact that the Constitution of Canada does not emanate from the people and that Confederation did not permit a free and equal union of sovereign peoples.

Quebec Is Said to Be One of Two "Founding Nations" of Canada But Is Not a Signatory to the Constitution Act of 1982

Quebec is not a signatory to the Constitution Act of 1982 as a result of the obstinate refusal of the ruling elite to recognize its right to self-determination. Attempts to sort out Quebec's place in Confederation have failed time and again because all have sought to maintain the anachronistic Anglo-Canadian state arrangements which refuse to recognize this right.

One of the main obstacles to the resolution of the place of Quebec in or out of Confederation and a practical means used to deprive the people of Quebec of their rights over this entire period is the following: from the outset, the aspirations of the people to take control of decision-making has been eclipsed by the imposition of divisions based on considerations of origin, language or religion. It began with the Durham Report of 1839, which declared that the problem in Canada was the emergence of a "mortal hatred" between "two races, the French and the English."

Durham's assertion was a deliberately false representation of what had taken place during the Rebellion of 1837-1838 against British rule in Lower Canada. It was an application of the famous British empire-building strategy of divide and rule. The same was done a few years later in India. The British empire-builders proclaimed that the problem in India was that the Muslims and Hindus hated each other. In actual fact Indians of all origins and religions had united against British rule in the War of Independence of 1857. The big lie of hatred amongst the people permitted the British colonialists to present themselves as the peacemakers and spread the empire-builders' doctrine of tolerance. Justin Trudeau invokes tolerance in a similar manner today to stigmatize anyone contesting the present constitutional arrangements as intolerant and backward.

To ensure that the Canadian colonies were seized by resentments based on ethnic and language differences, the Durham Report openly recommended the assimilation of French Canadians, whom it called "a people with no literature and no history." From this self-serving and anti-people perspective, the British empire-builders imposed a legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada and a factional system of party government. This set the stage for institutionalized politics of fomenting antagonisms amongst the people and dividing them along party lines.

The Liberal Party of today is born out of a division of the Parti Rouge created by the Patriots to pursue their cause following the crushing of the Rebellions. Some in the Parti Rouge were enticed into the politics of division while those who opposed the division and continued the republican ideas of the Patriots were persecuted, isolated, imprisoned, left stranded and even ostracized by the Church, their writings forbidden to be distributed and read. The champions of the politics of division went on to create the Liberal Party of Canada following Confederation.

The fight for a republic in Lower Canada against the undemocratic rule of the colonial power and its local ruling elite of the Chateau Clique comprised of rich and powerful merchants had united all democratic-minded people whatever their origin. Their struggle was accompanied by a similar uprising in Upper Canada led by William Lyon Mackenzie directed against the privileges and stranglehold of the ruling clique called the Family Compact.

The politics of division has been used ever since to weigh down the people of Quebec and act as an instrument of oppression of the Quebec nation, with adherents both inside and outside Quebec and even inside and outside the nationalist movement. The motion adopted in 2006 by the government of Stephen Harper "recognizing the nation of Quebec" asserts, "This House recognizes that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada." The motion confines the nation of Quebec to an ethnic group whose language is French. The motion does not include people speaking other languages and of other origins as part of the nation of Quebec or the Indigenous peoples. The motion introduces a diffuse notion of Québécois without a defined territory but rather one comprising separated communities across Canada of French Canadian descent. In this convoluted framework, the "nation of Quebec" can never be conceived as sovereign and having the right to self-determination up to and including the right to secede from Canada.

To confine the notion of Quebec to an ethnic group of Québécois was also the strategy used by Pierre Elliott Trudeau to deny the existence of the nation of Quebec and the people of Quebec their national rights. In the 1960s, Pierre Trudeau proclaimed nationalism to be "backward" and an enemy of the modern state, on which he imposed his own self-serving irrational definition of a nation. He claimed the nation of Quebec did not exist but was simply a large ethnic group within Canada. "Biculturalism" was introduced as the official policy of the Canadian state as a means to circumvent and undermine the demands and aspirations of the nation of Quebec and Indigenous nations and to weaken the unity of all the peoples of Canada and Quebec and their demand for new arrangements capable of resisting the empire-building of U.S. imperialism.

After the October 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau applied a similar conceit to Canada saying, "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values -- openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice."

As concerns Quebec, Justin Trudeau said on several occasions that "nationalism is an old idea from the 19th century" and is based on "a smallness of thought." He further claims that Canada is "the first postnational state." This desire of Trudeau the younger that Canada be a "postnational state" can be set within the perspective of Trudeau the elder with his assertions of "backward nationalism" in the 1960s and 1970s and his prejudice equating nationalism with small-mindedness. The attack of father and son Trudeau on what they call narrow-minded nationalism boils down to an attack on the right of the people to build their decision-making power at their level against the concentration of power in the hands of the privileged few. This extends from the rebellion against colonial control and iron grip of the rich merchants of the Chateau Clique in the 19th century to the supranational economic and military decision-making bodies such as NAFTA and NATO in the hands of the most powerful global monopolies and empire-builders of today.

The people are aware that the deliberate silence of the Justin Trudeau Liberals on the issue of Quebec is the seed of tomorrow's hysteria and crises because it originates in the obstinate refusal to recognize Quebec's right to self-determination and the people's right to be and to govern themselves with modern institutions. The ruling elite are incapable of providing Canada with a modern perspective of a free and equal union of the peoples of Canada, Quebec and Indigenous peoples. In the Canadian federalism based on liberal notions of empire-building, people are subjects and the sovereign power resides in the monarch, which today is a front for the concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister's Office acting on behalf of the most powerful monopolies centred in the U.S.-led imperialist system of states.

The movement for the affirmation of Quebec's sovereignty, whether in the form of a referendum on independence or in the form of a refusal to adhere to the colonial Constitution, contributes to opening the door to the progress of Canada and Quebec. It calls into question the outdated and self-serving constitutional arrangements of the empire-builders of 1867 and how those arrangements oppose nation-building today. The movement to affirm Quebec's right to be is joined by the movement of the Indigenous peoples to end colonial injustice, guarantee their rights and establish nation-to-nation relations so as to solve their own problems of nation-building, and by the people all across Canada demanding their rights that belong to them by virtue of being human.

The Necessity to End Colonial Injustice and Negation of Rights and to Establish Nation-to-Nation Relations with the Indigenous Peoples

The Canadian Constitution does not recognize the inherent hereditary rights and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples and the sovereignty of their nations. The hereditary rights of the Indigenous peoples are their rights to be and live on their traditional territories according to what their own thought material teaches them, how they define their needs and what they require in the twenty-first century to concretize their rights and give them full expression. The colonial invasion attempted to negate the hereditary and other rights and development of the peoples who have inhabited the Americas -- Turtle Island -- since time immemorial. This negation of rights must be negated if justice is to prevail and nation-to-nation relations established in practice, allowing the Indigenous peoples to flourish.

The Constitution does not recognize the fiduciary obligations of Canada as a country that was built through the colonial seizure, occupation and exploitation of Indigenous lands and labour and the genocidal attempt to wipe them out as peoples. The fiduciary obligations must ensure that the highest standard of living is guaranteed to the Indigenous peoples and that all services are provided to them at the highest possible level. Renewing on a modern basis the relationships amongst sovereign Indigenous nations, sovereign Quebec and sovereign Canada -- the sovereign peoples as individuals and collectives -- is critical to the renewal of Confederation and the modernization of the conditions of life itself.

The unprincipled pragmatic liberal line stands against the necessity to recognize the hereditary rights of the Indigenous peoples. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Treaties and Aboriginal Government Joe Wild expressed this line on June 4. He was discussing ways to "breathe new life" into the Canadian Constitution regarding Canada's relations with First Nations and their sovereignty. Wild said, "There is a notion of sovereignty that can still exist in a way that doesn't threaten the fabric of the nation. There may be a few areas where you've got to be a little bit careful, like raising an army, the border of the country versus other countries, but the rest of it? You could probably figure out ways in which it kind of works out and it doesn't actually do anything that would threaten the standing of Canada as Canada." Wild also said his government will deal with each Indigenous community or nation as a separate entity to try to reach an agreement with each one of them.

Wild's comments indicate the continuation of an oppressive colonial relation. The fight of Indigenous peoples for sovereignty on their lands and in all decision-making does not have to answer to a greater power that decides for them and claims that it represents the fabric of the nation. Sovereignty means that the Indigenous peoples decide and their relations with Canada are relations between sovereign entities with the modern relationship enshrined in the Constitution. The renewal of the Constitution must eliminate any vestige of colonial relations and the catch-phrases such as "collaborative approach" etc, which mean in practice the continuation of the status quo.

The demand for a modern constitution is yet another struggle bringing Indigenous, Canadian and Quebec peoples into closer united action for their rights. The struggle of all the peoples is at heart one fight -- the fight for political and constitutional renewal so that the rights of all can be guaranteed in a modern constitution that recognizes, upholds and guarantees the rights of all. The 19th century colonial racist Canadian state and its retrogressive Constitution are blocking the forward movement of society for which all the peoples as individuals and collectives aspire.

The time is now for women and youth, together with all the working people and their allies in other strata and classes across Canada and Quebec to work together with the Indigenous peoples for a profound renewal of the political arrangements in the society and to deprive the authorities of their power to deprive the people of their rights. The peoples themselves must be empowered to take control of their economic, political and social affairs. Constitutional and political renewal is a precondition for true reconciliation amongst the Indigenous peoples, Canada and Quebec.

The Constitution of 1982 Does Not Provide the Rights of Citizens and Residents with a Guarantee

The recent history of Canada has witnessed an all-sided offensive against the rights and freedoms of citizens and residents in the name of "national security" and the "fight against terror." This has occurred under the bankrupt notion of a need to balance rights and security when in fact people have rights by virtue of being human under all conditions and the state is obligated to guarantee those rights.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was incorporated into the patriated Constitution in 1982. The Charter contains the provision of "reasonable limits [on rights and freedoms] prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." The Charter has fallen into crisis and disrepute, as reasonable limits have been overtaken by the arbitrary powers of the state known as police powers, which dictate those rights the people may or may not have, just as Lord Durham representing the colonial police power dictated in the 19th century. This has resulted in an endless arbitrary process of criminalization of conscience and attacks against the struggles of the people who oppose the anti-social offensive and the war agenda of the ruling elite on the side of the U.S. imperialists and U.S-led NATO.

Attacks on rights under the hoax of exceptional circumstances have become the norm, and communities such as the Muslim community are being profiled and targeted with a vengeance and without a right to recourse. The absence of a constitution that prescribes inalienable rights and makes them enforceable and justiciable is acutely felt all across the country.

Furthermore, the arrangements at the base of Confederation are being destroyed as governments at all levels, whether federal, provincial or municipal, have been taken over by global private monopoly interests. They have become instruments of decisions made on a supranational basis.

The ruling elite no longer consider the old arrangements of power-sharing between the federal and provincial governments useful for the drive of the most powerful global monopolies. They do not recognize any jurisdiction or limitation on their monopoly right and striving for domination and empire-building. The contradictions over federal/provincial power-sharing agreements have degenerated into dogfights amongst governments serving definite global monopoly interests. This can be readily seen in the fight over energy, health care payment transfers, monies for infrastructure spending and many other issues.

The need to renew the Constitution to vest sovereignty in the people and guarantee their rights as the basis of Canadian sovereignty has never been greater. Political and constitutional renewal, far from being outdated or what the ruling elite call "a divisive issue," is central to opening the path to the progress of society. In this regard, the Canadian working class and other social classes and strata should seize the occasion of the preparations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation to examine the evolution of the democratic institutions in Canada, the interests they serve, in what direction they are being taken and what needs to be done to give form and content to the people's aspirations for sovereignty, empowerment and enlightenment, and the right to decide and control those political, economic and social affairs that affect their lives. This initiative is most timely and necessary to chart our destiny in a way that is beneficial to the people.

Constitutions and constitutional matters must not be a monopoly of a ruling elite that use them for their own narrow self-serving private interests. They belong to the people fighting to defend their rights. Canadians want to enshrine and codify in a constitution the modern definitions to which they aspire and which are in conformity with the concrete conditions. The fight to renew Confederation on a modern basis is an instrument in the hands of the people to further the public interest, open a path forward and block the arbitrariness, backwardness, anarchy, violence and wars that the ruling elite have unleashed.

Let us put the vestiges of 19th century empire-building in the dustbin of history and organize for a modern constitution and a free and equal union of sovereign peoples whose rights are recognized and guaranteed.

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North American Leaders' Summit

Activists Hold Vigorous Picket
Against Summit Agenda

Activists from Ottawa, Gatineau and Montreal gathered at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa on June 29 to protest the summit of "North American Leaders."[1] The summit came with an unprecedented level of police forces with all of downtown Ottawa on "security lockdown." Demonstrators rejected the plans of the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to exploit the land, resources and labour of the three countries in the service of North American monopolies.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) issued a statement on the occasion which was distributed throughout the picket and called on Canadians to say No! to Fortress North America and the war plans of the leaders (see below). Activists from CPC(M-L) denounced the U.S. imperialist doctrine of targeted assassinations espoused by President Barack Obama and Canada's support for U.S. striving for domination.

The picket spoke out against neo-liberal free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Protestors from Montreal with the Réseau québécois sur l'intégration continentale presented the demand for an end to the government's austerity measures and to take action on climate change. The Council of Canadians and Canadian Labour Congress joined to call for Canada to not sign the TPP. Participants brought a 10-metre tall inflatable Trojan horse to symbolize the destructive effects of the TPP once ratified.

A militant contingent of Canadians demonstrated in support of the people of Mexico and said loud and clear that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was not welcome in Canada and must be held to account for the vicious oppression and police violence of the state against the Mexican people. Activists pointed out that we can never forget the numerous violations of human rights in Mexico. Those responsible for the mass graves and the disappearances of hundreds of social activists must be found and prosecuted, they said.

From the Human Rights Monument, activists continued to the National Gallery of Canada where the three leaders were meeting, to ensure the criminal agenda of the summit was opposed.


1. The main agenda of the leaders' summits since their start in 2005 has been to promote full continental integration to serve the needs of North American monopoly corporations and to back the U.S. imperialist striving for world domination. A task force report issued by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in October 2014 outlined the agenda of the U.S. political elite. Titled North America: Time for a New Focus, the report asserts that "elevating and prioritizing the US-Canada-Mexico relationships offers the best opportunities for strengthening the United States and its place in the world."

(Photos: TML, B. Powless, V. De Luz, G. Campbell)

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New Phase to Entrench the United States of
North American Monopolies

The North American Leaders' Summit took place in Ottawa on June 29. The Summit was preceded by an official state visit to Canada of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto from June 27 to 28 and followed by an addresses by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama in the House of Commons to MPs, Senators and invited guests. As announced prior to the Summit by various officials, the three days of events were used to make public "more than one process designed to tighten long-term co-operation over multiple areas."

The official statement of the Summit only highlighted cooperation in the field of clean energy and reduction of emissions with emphasis on a commitment by the three leaders to reach the goal of 50 per cent clean energy production by 2025. This goal is for the three countries as a single entity rather than for each country individually. According to reports, Canada already meets this target. This illustrates the manner in which important decisions concerning the environment have been usurped by this supranational imperialist body, making a mockery of the prerogatives of national legislatures and governments. Targets are set by a trilateral institution called the North American Leaders' Summit, a name which itself is misleading since it is not a "trilateral" but a unilateral supranational institution established by the most powerful U.S. imperialist monopolies that have seized control of the states of the three countries. These decisions are said to be regulated by each country as if the national entities exercise any control whatsoever over the regulations. It is suggested that there is no choice on this because the individual countries have to abide by international commitments and ensure "North American" competitiveness.

In addition to the official statement issued by the Summit, the Prime Minister's Office released a number of fact sheets which outline a broad array of new arrangements that have been worked out and set in motion among the three executives. Most of these new agreements have been reached since the election of the Trudeau government. Since Trudeau's election there have been high level meetings of North American Foreign Affairs, Energy and Defence Ministers to put these various arrangements in place.

The new measures include embedding Canadian and Mexican customs officials in U.S. Customs headquarters to pre-screen cargo; mutual recognition of "trusted trader programs" and other "trusted traveler" arrangements in which those who agree to be pre-screened by U.S. Homeland Security can get expedited security clearances at airports and other ports (while those who do not, are not "trusted"); a pilot project to have security agencies in all three countries track down "foreign fugitives;" the launch of the "2016 North American Competitiveness Work Plan" including "fourteen new initiatives that will reduce costs for business, improve supply chain efficiency, advance innovation and economic development, and engage stakeholders through consultation and outreach;" an initiative to have the RCMP work more closely with Mexican federal police under the guise of fighting transnational crime; and a "North American Caucus" on peacekeeping operations.

In all cases the approach to matters of great concern to the peoples of Canada, the United States and Mexico completely excludes the peoples themselves. Under the hoax that foreign affairs are an executive prerogative, the three countries have been integrated into a new state of North American monopolies which has been permitted by a cartel party system that keeps quiet about what is going on and facilitates such things taking place. It not only shows the necessity for the working class to inform themselves of what is taking place and the consequences of the new measures, but also to speak out at every opportunity. A crucial matter for discussion is that the existing democratic institutions permit decisions of great importance to be made behind the backs of the people, violating the demand of the people at this time to exercise control over the decision-making power.

The Leaders' Summit was held in Ottawa under the auspices of the Trudeau government, during the last days of the Obama presidency, at a time when the U.S. imperialists are calling for the election of a war president "to make the U.S. great again." It includes the participation of a man who has usurped power in Mexico and who, besides all the other crimes being committed in Mexico, is presiding over the wanton killings of courageous teachers standing up for the rights of the Mexican people. The main thrust of the Summit was to establish new arrangements for "governance and co-operation" between the executives of the three countries as a way to politicize private interests and further entrench the rule of the monopolies over all matters of importance in North America. This follows the previous phase of nation-wrecking which emphasized bi-lateral arrangements between Canada and the U.S. and U.S. and Mexico separately. The election commitment of the Trudeau Liberals to lift the Mexican visa requirement and host this new Leaders' Summit with the United States and Mexico were required to create the conditions for this current phase of annexation.

During the election, the Liberals presented themselves as "anti-Harper" -- that is, that they would not continue down the same road. It is now even more clear that the political and economic elite embraced the Liberals precisely to ensure that on the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Canada plays a "constructive role" to ensure that North American monopolies are number one on world markets and nothing interferes with the U.S. imperialist plans for world domination.

The task of the ruling elite in all three countries is to eliminate any blocks to monopoly right on a continental basis. It must not pass! All out for democratic renewal to vest sovereignty in the people! Our future lies in the defence of the rights of all!

(TML Weekly will report more on the new arrangements being put in place and their significance in future issues.)

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Say No! to Fortress North America!
No to War Preparations and Monopoly Rule!
Obama and Peña Nieto Go Home!

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on Canadians and Quebeckers to firmly oppose the presence in Canada of U.S. war president Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto. Go all out to oppose the 10th North American Leaders' Neo-Liberal War Summit taking place in Ottawa on June 29. The Summit aims to disarm the resistance of the people and step up the criminal activities that put all the human, material and natural resources of the peoples of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico at the disposal of the most powerful monopolies, concentrate their power and privileges on a supranational basis, destroy the anti-war public opinion of the people and mobilize them behind the criminal U.S.-led wars of aggression and occupation and Obama's politics of drone assassination.

Media reports are crowing that for the first time since the Summits began in 2005, all three governments "are ruled by centrist parties." The financial oligarchs are euphoric that they have such governments that can pull off war preparations, neo-liberal free trade agreements and an unprecedented sellout of the people under the noses of the people themselves.[1] This sentiment was expressed blithely by Canada's Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna when she said, "It's a great message to the world that we're working together, we believe in trade, we have progressive governments."

At a time when Canadians are organizing to intensify their opposition to U.S.-led wars and neo-liberal free trade including NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and CETA, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto have the arrogance to put on their agenda the creation of "a more integrated, sustainable and globally-competitive North American economy" and sanction Obama's politics of endless war and drone assassination. Leaks of the secret agenda reveal talk of a "union" of Fortress North America under the domination of the monopolies and to do everything possible to counter any contagion from Brexit and aspiration of the peoples everywhere for their own independent economies and politics under their control.

The Canadian American Business Council comprised of some of the biggest private monopolies in Canada and the U.S. has called for the leaders to strike a three-country "cabinet group," a new political executive for the United States of North American Monopolies to deprive the people of any possibility to control those affairs that affect their lives. This Fortress North America Cabinet would be an extension of existing mechanisms joining the ruling elite of Canada and the U.S., the High Level Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and Mexico, and the Canada-Mexico High Level Strategic Dialogue announced on June 28.[2]

Media report that "an official in one of the countries said the leaders will announce more than one process designed to tighten long-term cooperation over multiple areas." In other words, behind the backs of the people arrangements are being put in place whereby decision-making is further concentrated in the hands of a trilateral executive where the buck stops with the U.S. and the decisions they take are imposed on national legislatures and the people. The further concentration of decision-making power in a supranational executive led by U.S. imperialism makes a mockery of the Liberals' pledge to restore the credibility of the democratic institutions, whether through electoral reform or other means.

These matters are a serious concern to Canadians. The Liberal government is accelerating the restructuring of the state to pay the rich, further disempowering the people and increasing Canada's participation in U.S. imperialist war preparations. The neo-liberal war summit of Fortress North America points to an existential crisis facing Canada and highlights the grave dangers for the Canadian people should the U.S. imperialists succeed in embroiling Canada in missile defence, nuclear blackmail, its politics of assassination and stepped up preparations for world war.

The "processes for cooperation" are being installed in the twilight of the Obama war presidency precisely because the U.S. ruling elite are organizing for a Clinton war presidency to carry forward and drastically expand U.S. aggression in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

In this regard, war president Obama will address a special session of the House of Commons with MPs and Senators present on June 29 to give the final word on the meetings most likely in an atmosphere of blind euphoria. Before the House adjourned on June 17 for its summer break, the Liberal government introduced two bills to further integrate Canada with the U.S. national security apparatus in information sharing and border pre-clearance and set the stage for the next phase of "cooperation."[3] The Liberal government's actions and this neo-liberal war summit underscore the serious dangers for the people. Organize to bring into being a pro-social alternative to neo-liberal globalization and war!

Say No! to Fortress North America! Sovereignty, Yes! Annexation, No! Down with Obama's Politics of Drone Assassination! Oppose U.S. Preparations to Install a Clinton War President! Canada Needs an Anti-War Government! One Humanity, One Struggle!


1. This is the first summit to be held since February 2014 in Toluca, Mexico. The summits began in 2005 as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a name that was discarded after the meetings were met with the militant resistance of working people in all three countries, including at Montebello, Quebec in August 2007.

2. The Canadian American Business Council (CABC) promotes strengthening monopoly right throughout North America by attacking the public authority and removing and "harmonizing" national regulations and standards that limit in any way the exercise of control by the biggest monopolies. It also promotes integration on security and defence matters.

Its Board is made up of main owners and executives of Air Canada, Barrick Gold, Baxter Corporation, Bennett Jones, Bombardier, Borden Ladner Gervais, Campbell's Soup Company, Canadian National Railway, Capitol Hill Consulting Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Contextere, Dickstein Shapiro, Enbridge, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Google, Harley-Davidson Canada, Johnson&Johnson, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard, Motion Picture Association-Canada, Revolution Organics, Rio Tinto Canada, Shell, Spectra Energy, TD Bank Group, and UPS.

The CABC Advisory Board is chaired by the current Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. and is composed of all former Ambassadors to Canada and the U.S., as well as former Congressman John LaFalce, former Senator Jack Austin, P.C., Q.C., and former Minister Barbara McDougall, P.C., O.C.

3. Bills C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act and C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States (Preclearance Act, 2016).

(June 29, 2016)

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Condemn Mexican Government's
Criminal Repression of Teachers and Students!

Ottawa, June 29, 2016

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the ongoing state terror against teachers and students in Mexico as well as the support and open arms of the Trudeau Liberal government and Couillard Liberal government in Quebec for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto during his state visit to Canada June 27 to 28.

As many as 12 striking teachers and their supporters were shot to death on June 19 by federal and state police near the town of Nochixtlan, northwest of Oaxaca City, Mexico as they protested the government's neo-liberal education reforms. Up to 100 more were injured and arrested. Instead of negotiating with the teachers' union and respecting their rights the government had earlier jailed several of its leaders and announced its intention to fire several thousand teachers for participating in the strike actions. A number of teachers are now being held in maximum security prisons. The harsh repression against teachers, particularly those from Indigenous communities is meant as an example to the entire Mexican people if they dare resist.

The latest killings follow the state-organized disappearance and presumed murder in 2014 of 43 Mexican students, many of them student teachers at the Ayotzinapa normal school in the state of Guerrero. Two years later, no justice has been provided, and far from the government being held to account, disappearances continue with impunity.

Since May, teachers, education workers, students and their families have been waging ongoing strike actions to oppose the government's reforms in education. The reforms specifically target teachers and education workers' working conditions and the very existence of their unions as a block to restructuring the Mexican education system on a neo-liberal basis. The reforms are part of a broad restructuring of the Mexican state being undertaken by the Peña Nieto government which is opening more of the country's public assets, in particular its energy resources and roads, to privatization.

The Mexican working class and people are standing with their teachers. The killings and repression have sparked massive demonstrations by students, parents, the country's doctors and others in support of the teachers. Tens of thousands marched in Mexico City on June 27 led by the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) teachers' unions. They are calling on the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to stop its brutal attacks and to engage in dialogue with the teachers over their proposals for a new model of education that meets the needs of their students and Mexican society instead of the private business interests driving the government's education reforms. In Canada, teachers' unions such as the BC Teachers' Federation and Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation have strongly denounced the repression and called for justice and the release of political prisoners.

Protest at the entrance to Casa Loma in Toronto, where an official dinner was held for President Peña Nieto on June 27 as part of his state visit prior to the North American Leaders' Summit. A large contingent of Canadians denounced his government's actions of giving impunity to those who perpetrate massacres of students and teachers, as his motorcade entered the grounds.

It is telling that under such circumstances Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, whose claim to fame during the federal election was being a former occasional teacher himself, will sign agreements with President Peña Nieto during his state visit on "educational exchanges," and share "best practices" on what media described as "ending the social isolation and exploitation of Indigenous people in both countries." Canada is also offering "intelligence and training" to Mexico's murderous security agencies under the guise of combating drug violence.

In this way, the Canadian government is assisting to whitewash brutal violations of human rights of workers and Indigenous peoples in Mexico the same way it arrogantly praises its own human rights record to divert from problems facing the people.

This is also the meaning of Quebec Premier Couillard's statement on June 27 that Mexico is "moving in the right direction" as concerns human rights. Couillard called for support for the "very ambitious program of reforms" undertaken by Peña Nieto. Trudeau, for his part, said, "It is important that we move forward towards greater respect and defence of human rights, and that's... part of the things that friends work together on well... Obviously, as a teacher, I had a good conversation with the president on this..."

CPC(M-L) pledges its support for the fighting workers and people of Mexico and calls on Canadians and Quebeckers to not permit the murder of workers and Indigenous peoples to be covered up by those who claim to speak in their name.

June 26 protest against Peña Nieto in Quebec City condemning the
disappearance of 43 students in 2014.

(June 29, 2016. Photos: TML, B. Powless, A. Diaz. V. De Luz)

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Say No! to Canada Post's Attacks on Workers and the Public Interest

Postal Workers on the Front Lines Defending
Their Rights and the Public Post Office

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) announced on July 2 that it would not file a 72-hour strike notice that day, meaning that the workers will not take strike action before Thursday, July 7. This is despite the fact that as of July 2 postal workers have been in a legal position to strike against the Canada Post Corporation, while Canada Post is permitted to lock out the workers, shutting down the post office and depriving postal workers of their livelihoods to force them to accept the harsh concessions demanded by the company.

On June 29, CUPW informed that Canada Post refused to extend the July 2 lockout deadline for two weeks to allow negotiations to continue. During the last collective agreement negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW in 2011, the workers were locked out with no notice and subsequently ordered back to work through a law passed by the Conservative government. Canadians are concerned that Canada Post will do the same on July 2. They have been bombarded by monopoly media announcements warning them to prepare for an interruption in mail service.

Postal workers across the country voted throughout June to authorize the union to call a strike "to achieve our demands, stop the employer's rollbacks and improve service to the public." Urban postal workers voted 94.19 per cent in favour and rural and suburban mail carriers voted 91.26 per cent in favour.

The contract between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers expired on January 31, 2016 and right from the first discussions between the two parties to work out a new contract the corporation has demanded major rollbacks. Its position has not changed since that time and referring to the process as "negotiations" is a misnomer because no negotiations worthy of the name have taken place.

On January 27, 2016, when Canada Post presented their "opening remarks and proposals," they listed a series of demands for significant rollbacks in job security, working conditions and benefits, as well as drastic changes to the pension plan. Their remarks also contained clear threats against the union and all postal workers. A note at the end of the corporation's presentation said:

"While we possess a sincere desire to reach a tentative agreement expeditiously, we must also ensure that the corporation's interests are protected. The corporation will not sit idly by if its business declines or is threatened or negatively impacted by pressure tactics or work disruptions; we therefore reserve the right to pursue different solutions to the issues that are brought forward. Also, while we will tentatively agree to solutions on individual issues, these won't crystallize until a tentative agreement on an overall settlement is reached."

Even before "negotiations" could begin, the corporation was threatening the union with actions outside the negotiations process if the union did not capitulate. The arrogance of the corporation exposes their intention to continue robbing postal workers of hard-won rights and benefits with "different solutions," like lock-outs, legislation and blackmail, as has been the practice in the past. What can "negotiations" possibly mean when such threats are bandied about right from the start?

Since the first meeting, Canada Post has maintained all its demands for rollbacks and has refused to consider any of the demands of the workers for improvements. At the first opportunity provided by the Canada Labour Code, the corporation ended negotiations by applying for the conciliation stage. This is a farce since the intention of conciliation is to assist two sides who are actually engaged in negotiations and need a third party to reach a final agreement.

This clearly does not apply. There has been no movement by the corporation on any of its major rollbacks, so the request for conciliation is a move to end the negotiations, period, and to use the threat of lockout against the workers.

The demands of the corporation for concessions are a serious attack on postal workers' rights on wide-ranging issues that will affect all classifications. These include:

- attacks on defined-benefit pensions;
- increased premiums for the heath care plan;
- reduced annual leave (vacation leave);
- elimination of pre-retirement leave;
- attacks on seniority rights;
- more part-time work and elimination of full-time ratio;
- temporary employees hired to deliver parcels on weekends;
- increased length of workday for Group 3 workers (technical and general labourers);
- elimination of overtime bypass penalty;
- elimination of paid lunch periods;
- elimination of present contract clause protecting the remaining 493 Corporate Offices, which would permit Canada Post to close remaining retail facilities; and many others.

Canada Post is going to great lengths to use threats and intimidation against postal workers at every step. Jeopardizing their business, corporation spokespersons recently warned major customers to prepare for service disruptions and to make contingency plans. In other words, they are telling their customers to use other, private mailers while the corporation itself plans to create service disruptions.

Faced with the neo-liberal agenda of the Trudeau Liberals, postal workers are organizing to defend themselves against the attack on their wages and benefits and the right to have a say in their working conditions. Postal workers are actively mobilizing all Canadians to defend the Public Post Office. Organizers are also working full-time nationally and in each region to get maximum involvement in their campaign for Canadians to submit their views to the "Task Force" that is reviewing Canada Post demanding restoration of home-delivery and that Canada Post expand services like Postal Banking and other innovative proposals to strengthen a true public Post Office.

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Trudeau Government's Agenda for
Rollbacks and Privatization

Postal workers know from their experience that negotiations with the Crown corporation Canada Post are in fact negotiations with the federal cabinet and this round is no different. To support the vicious attack of the corporation on the wages, working conditions and benefits of postal workers, the Trudeau government has launched a diversionary "national consultation" on the mandate of Canada Post. Although the government claims that this review will give all Canadians a chance to be consulted about the kind of post office they want, it is clear that this exercise is timed to put further pressure on the workers to accept severe rollbacks.

The review began in May 2016 with a task force appointed to review what it defines as the issues and produce a discussion paper by September 2016. The "Task Force" will facilitate the involvement of monopoly corporations like UPS, FedEx, Pitney Bowes and others to step up their campaign to push for more privatization and deregulation of Canada Post. From September to November there will be "Consultations with Canadians," followed by a report tabled in Parliament in December 2016 and in Spring 2017 the "government announces decision."

It is the height of hypocrisy for the Trudeau government to claim that in this review "privatization is not on the table." The review has neither an explicit mandate to oppose privatization nor is it to be based on the principle of strengthening and defending the public post office. The mandate according to the government is "to ensure Canadians receive quality service from Canada Post at a reasonable price." In fact the privatization and deregulation of Canada Post has been on the agenda of all governments from Mulroney to Chrétien to Martin when plans were put in place for the massive closure of postal outlets across the country and the turnover of the lucrative retail business of Canada Post to private giants like Shoppers Drug Mart and others. These measures were continued and accelerated under the Harper Conservatives who deregulated outgoing foreign mail, giving away Canada Post's exclusive privilege to handle this mail to large private monopoly mailers. This was done with the stroke of a pen through a clause hidden in one of Harper's massive omnibus bills that was never discussed in Parliament or in the monopoly media.

Harper also appointed as head of Canada Post Deepak Chopra, a past President of Pitney Bowes in Canada, a major international monopoly corporation in the mailing industry. Chopra was appointed to continue the destruction of the public post office by a full-scale centralization of mail processing into a handful of large plants across the country. This led to the closure of important processing plants in Quebec City, Windsor, London and many other centres. The goal of this plan is to reduce mail processing to four or five main plants across the country, leading to the displacement of thousands of workers along with severe reductions of the workforce.

The plans to stop home delivery and eliminate 8,000 letter carrier and mail service courier positions were also hatched by Chopra under the direction of the Harper government. While Justin Trudeau promised to stop the elimination of home delivery during the last election, he has washed his hands of the need to restore home delivery to millions of Canadians by pretending to have a nation-wide consultation with the very people whose services have been cut.

This consultation, like others Trudeau initiated since he was elected, has fraud written all over it. The fundamental question which Canadians have been raising for many years is that they want a public Post Office. This issue is not even being addressed by the newly appointed "Task Force." Instead people are being presented with a fait accompli that the government's policies, on which no one was consulted, have resulted in the elimination of services, cutting of positions, ongoing privatization and deregulation of postal services that have led to a financial crisis in the post office. We are told that now Canada Post is unable to fulfill its obligation to provide universal postal service to all Canadians and the pension plans are in peril. But instead of admitting that it is the neo-liberal drive to privatize and hand over the most lucrative parts of postal services to private monopolies which is at the heart of the crisis, the government and Canada Post are blaming the workers and demanding that the workers give up all their rights to decent wages and any control over their working conditions.

In Canada Post's opening remarks to negotiations in January 2016, it said, "For every dollar Canada Post earns, about two-thirds goes to labour. While we intend to preserve high quality jobs, it is imperative that we look at the terms and conditions that were negotiated during a period when a strong exclusive privilege existed and ask what is appropriate for today's competitive environment."

Canada Post management refuses to accept responsibility for their actions which have resulted in the destruction of the public Post Office. While they claim that two-thirds of every dollar earned goes to labour which they characterize as a cost, they conveniently forget that every dollar earned by Canada Post comes from the value produced by the workers. It is turning truth on its head to claim that the workers, who produce all the value on which Canada Post operates, are the cause of the financial problems. Meanwhile the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue that are handed over to private interests like Shoppers Drug Mart and International Monopoly Mailers are not even discussed.

With the neo-liberal drive for privatization and deregulation and the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs, the financial crisis at Canada Post is self-inflicted and is part of the agenda of the ruling circles to eliminate the public character of the Postal Service and to destroy the ability of Canada Post to fulfill its obligation to provide a universal postal service to all Canadians. This obligation is a requirement of both the Canada Post Corporation Act [1] and the Universal Postal Convention.[2]

These are the most important issues which should be the main items on the agenda of the "Task Force" conducting the review of postal services. However, it is clear that the Trudeau government intends to continue its neo-liberal agenda and is using the review to further attack Canadian postal workers and the public post office.


1. Canada Post Corporation Act

Section 5:

2. While maintaining basic customary postal service, the Corporation, in carrying out its objects, shall have regard to;

(a) the desirability of improving and extending its products and services in the light of developments in the field of communications;

(b) the need to conduct its operations on a self-sustaining financial basis while providing a standard of service that will meet the needs of the people of Canada and that is similar with respect to communities of the same size;

(c) the need to conduct its operations in such manner as will best provide for the security of mail;

(d) the desirability of utilizing the human resources of the Corporation in a manner that will both attain the objects of the Corporation and ensure the commitment and dedication of its employees to the attainment of those objects; and

(e) the need to maintain a corporate identity program approved by the Governor in Council that reflects the role of the Corporation as an institution of the Government of Canada.

Section 14 -- Exclusive Privilege of Corporation

14 (1) Subject to section 15, the Corporation has the sole and exclusive privilege of collecting, transmitting and delivering letters to the addressee thereof within Canada.

2. Universal Postal Convention:

Article 3 -- Universal Postal Service

1. In order to support the concept of the single postal territory of the Union, member countries shall ensure that all users/customers enjoy the right to a universal postal service involving the permanent provision of quality basic postal services at all points in their territory, at affordable prices.

2. With this aim in view, member countries shall set forth, within the framework of their national postal legislation or by other customary means, the scope of the postal services offered and the requirement for quality and affordable prices, taking into account both the needs of the population and their national conditions.

3. Member countries shall ensure that the offers of postal services and quality standards will be achieved by the operators responsible for providing the universal postal service.

4. Member countries shall ensure that the universal postal service is provided on a viable basis, thus guaranteeing its sustainability.

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Dangers Posed to Public Post Office by
Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal

While the review of Canada Post is taking place, the Trudeau government is preparing conditions to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) neo-liberal trade deal. Studies show that the TPP will have serious implications for public postal services in Canada. It is misleading to say the least to tell Canadians that they will have a say in the kind of postal service they want while preparing to implement the TPP, which contains measures that will allow international monopolies to interfere in the activities and mandate of Canada Post.

In spring 2016 the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) sought a legal opinion about the potential impacts of the TPP on Canada Post. It was found that the rules contained in the TPP would interfere in the legislative and regulatory authority of the federal government concerning postal services and in the current and future activities of Canada Post in the following ways:

1) TPP rules concerning "Cross-Border Trade in Services" include a detailed annex on "Express Delivery Services." These new rules would not only limit the ability of Canada Post to expand current services such as Xpresspost and those provided by its subsidiary Purolator, but would threaten its ability to maintain its current business model of integrated express delivery and letter mail services.

2) TPP rules concerning "State Owned Enterprises" (SOEs) and monopolies also expand and make more explicit similar constraints in NAFTA and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on the conduct of Canada Post in meeting its mandate to provide universal postal services to Canadians while maintaining a viable business model that includes express delivery services.

3) The TPP expands the scope for investor-state dispute settlement ("ISDS") which has proven to be the most pernicious feature of new "trade" liberalization rules and one that many nations are now attempting to curtail. In so doing, the TPP raises the spectre of another protracted investor-state claim challenging the activities of Canada Post, like the UPS v. Canada case.[1] This time such a claim would be buttressed by TPP provisions concerning SOEs and monopolies and the Annex on Express Delivery Services, which oppose the integration of monopoly (letter-mail) and commercial (express delivery) services that is at the heart of the Canada Post business model.

4) TPP rules concerning postal services closely reflect the objectives of the private courier industry, notably Fedex and UPS, which committed substantial resources to influencing TPP negotiations. The objective of the industry is to curtail or even eliminate competition from public sector service providers, particularly in the market for express delivery services. In aid of that objective, the industry is seeking an enforceable right to take advantage of Canada Post's national infrastructure (sales, collection and delivery) -- without being encumbered by its public service obligations.

It is clear that the main role of the TPP in relation to the post office is to entrench a neo-liberal model that seeks, through deregulation and privatization to limit public sector postal services. The legal advice received by CUPW pointed out, "In large measure, these 'trade' rules reflect the agenda of large transnational courier and express delivery companies (the 'courier industry') that for over twenty years have been engaged in a campaign to limit the role of public postal services. While efforts to persuade governments to deregulate postal services as a matter of domestic policy have generally failed, the same objectives are being pursued through trade negotiations."

What is most revealing about the direction of the Trudeau government in promoting the TPP is that, following in the footsteps of the Harper government, they have failed to request to be exempted from provisions of the trade deal that specifically target postal services in favour of the international monopoly courier services. The legal opinion obtained by the CUPW points out that;

"This stands in stark contrast with broad reservations maintained by other parties that are designed to protect their own postal services."

For example, in its Annex II, "Japan reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure relating to investments in or the supply of... postal services in Japan." In its Annex II, "Singapore reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure relating to Public Postal Licensee(s)." In both cases, the substantive national treatment rules in Chapters 9 and 10 -- amongst others -- are expressly ousted from applying to their postal services."

It must also be pointed out that both the Harper and Trudeau governments' refusal to protect postal services defies logic since the following exemptions for Market Access were included in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.

"Sector -- Postal Services: Type of Reservation: Market Access

"Description: Cross-Border Trade in Services and Investment

"The sole and exclusive privilege of collecting, transmitting and delivering letters (as defined in the Letter Definition Regulations, SOR/83-481) within Canada is reserved for the postal monopoly.

"For greater certainty, activities relating to the exclusive privilege may also be restricted, including the issuance of postage stamps and the installation, erection or relocation in any public place of any mail receptacle or device to be used for the collection, delivery or storage of mail."

The legal opinion obtained by CUPW concludes with the following:

"Canada offered no explanation for why it declined to avail itself of the opportunity to list similar reservations. The failure to do so exposes Canada Post to the restrictive rules described above, which may give rise to state-to-state disputes under Chapter 28 or, in certain cases, to Investor-State disputes under Chapter 9."

For the full legal opinion, click here.


1. United Parcel Service (UPS) launched a NAFTA challenge against Canada Post in April 2000 alleging "unfair competition." UPS contended Canada Post had an unfair advantage because its services such as XPress Post and Priority Courier draw on an infrastructure of sorting facilities, mailboxes and post offices that private firms must provide for themselves. The challenge was dismissed in 2007.

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