Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Actress Evangeline Lilly Joins Protest against Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Actress Evangeline Lilly Joins Protest against Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

Article excerpt

Evangeline Lilly joins protest against trade deal

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TORONTO - A Canadian star is adding her voice to a chorus of advocacy and labour groups in denouncing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, teaming up with punk rockers and hip hop artists in an effort to reach an audience that might not otherwise care about international trade.

Actress Evangeline Lilly, best known for her role in the hit TV series "Lost," will be speaking at the Rock Against the TPP show in Toronto on Friday, the touring event's only Canadian stop.

Lilly, who is Canadian but lives in the U.S., called the TPP a "backdoor way for multinationals to squeeze things into law" without the usual public scrutiny.

The Alberta-born actress said the deal affects everything, from fair wages and labour rights to Internet freedom and health-care costs.

She echoed some of the more common criticism levelled at the TPP -- such as the risk of large corporations suing governments over legislation that indirectly curtails their profits -- in calling for residents on both sides of the border to rally against the deal.

While international trade agreements aren't on most people's radar, Lilly said she hopes Friday's event -- which includes the punk band Anti-Flag -- will capture the public's attention.

"If the average Canadian knew what the TPP was and knew that it was in the process of needing to be ratified by Parliament... they would be up in arms about it," she said in an interview.

The TPP is the most significant regional trade agreement that Canada has negotiated since NAFTA, which concluded nearly two decades ago. The wide-ranging accord covers 40 per cent of the world economy and, if ratified, would set new international rules for sectors beyond trade.

Last week, a government study projected that Canada would generate more than $4 billion in long-term GDP gains if it ratified the agreement, but stands to take a $5-billion-plus hit to its economy if it opts out.

But the analysis, conducted by the Office of the Chief Economist at Global Affairs Canada, only considered the impact if Canada is the lone holdout. …

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