Open Letter to Jati Sidhu, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon

I’ve just sent the following using OpenMedia’s ‘Let’s Talk TPP’ tool (https://letstalktpp.ca/), to my local Member of Parliament, Jati Sidhu:


 

Hi,
I’ve been following along over the past year or so with the way the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been proposed and handled, and I am extremely concerned with its content.  Dr. Michael Geist, a well-respected law professor at the University of Ottawa, and recently elected to the board for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (that handles all ‘.ca’ Internet domains), has gone through the effort of putting together some very deep and thoughtful analysis on many points of the released TPP text, that I would urge all MPs to review as part of their decision making process:
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/tech-law-topics/tpp/

To summarize, however, there are so many issues, ranging from Digital Rights Management (DRM), the environment and our ability to chart our own path to combat Climate Change, effects on our health care system and jobs in our economy, that I can not in good conscience support ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  I strongly believe it should be abandoned, despite us being signatories, because of the extremely US-centric nature of the agreement.

There are a number of areas where I personally feel our existing Canadian laws strike a better balance of protection for rights holders, content creators, technology businesses, and environmental protections than what the TPP proposes to change to align to the current US systems.

I’ve only recently moved to Mission from Metro Vancouver this past year, even voting in our most recent election, but I was able to do so because of my tech job for a Vancouver company – it’s afforded me a decent salary, extended health benefits, and the freedom and flexibility to both purchase my first home (before I turned 30! No small feat for my generation), *and* telecommute almost full time.  That tech job, however, could be in jeopardy with the ratification of the TPP.

Not only that, but I am an eternally grateful recipient of some of the best health care – I have Crohn’s disease, and unfortunately have spent a number of weeks over the past few years in and out of hospitals.  I’ve just recently begun treatment for the disease using a biological immunosuppressant that’s quite new and cutting edge, and I have high hopes that it will be able to help – the patent for that drug (Humira) expires this year, paving the way for companies to offer generics to our government, saving them money.  My injections, without insurance, would currently cost around $3,100 a month, while in India, where they already have a generic, that figure is closer to $200.  My fear is that the TPP could extend these patent terms and allow other loopholes for pharmaceutical companies to deny Canadians access to these generics, and expensive medications are surely things the government reviews for eligibility; the last thing I would want is to then be denied access to medication because of its cost – particularly if it then increases once we’re ‘locked in’, so to speak, to the original supplier.

I believe that supporting the original TPP process under the previous government was a mistake, however, one that we still have a chance to correct by not ratifying the agreement.  I implore you to urge your fellow MPs to not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Thank you kindly for your support and service in government!
– Gary Carter, Mission BC