TPP poses risk to Ontario jobs, health care: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath questioned the Premier this morning in the legislature on her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal which could significantly impact the manufacturing and farming industries in Ontario and hinder the establishment of a national pharmacare program.

“The Premier should be standing up for good jobs and strong health care in Ontario, instead of endorsing sight-unseen Stephen Harper’s secret trade deal. The TPP has significant consequences for the province, yet the Premier seems more concerned with getting her federal leader elected than looking out for the best interests of Ontarians,” said Horwath.

The TPP is expected to cause perpetual losses in revenue for Ontario’s dairy farmers and put approximately 20,000 jobs in the auto industry at risk. In September, the Prime Minister admitted the auto sector may not benefit from the TPP trade agreement despite making an election promise of more money for the auto industry. Horwath said the TPP also puts healthcare at risk and prioritizes big pharmaceutical companies over the health needs of Ontarians.

 

“The TPP threatens the possibility of creating a national pharmacare plan in Canada. And the CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario said that the TPP will kill pharmacare. Yet the Premier and her federal leader have endorsed Harper’s secret deal. Why is the Premier choosing big American pharmaceutical companies over the health needs of Ontarians?” Horwath asked.

Horwath said the deal, that was signed by Harper’s Conservatives in the final days of the election, will limit the government’s ability to control drug prices, thereby jeopardizing a national pharmacare plan. 

“The Harper government signed a secret deal that will make it harder to meet Ontario’s future healthcare challenges and the federal leader that the Premier has been campaigning for is signing on. The TPP will limit the government’s ability to control drug prices which could put a national pharmacare plan out of reach. “

“We know that this deal sells out the public, consumers and patients, not just in Ontario, but in countries around the world and yet this Premier is, quote, ‘excited about the TPP’ and has endorsed Harper’s secret trade deal so that she can remain in step with her federal leader. Why won’t this Premier listen to the people on the front-lines and do the right thing for Ontario families and demand changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Canada signs on?” Horwath asked.