Trade agreements could be tools to enhance people's well-being and raise environmental, social and labour standards. However in recent practice, governments including Ontario have negotiated trade agreements in an undemocratic manner behind closed doors. These agreements tie the hands of present and future governments in ways that thwart the democratic aspirations of their people.
Trade agreements are often merely deregulation agreements that put commercial interests ahead of the public interest. Too much is at stake. Trade negotiations must be carried out with transparency and subject to public consultation and scrutiny. No agreement should restrict the ability of democratically elected governments to regulate or act in the public interest. Creating Vibrant Communities means investing in our people, in our health, in strengthening our democracy and our public services. We know this can be achieved with political will, strategic planning, and appropriate allocation