From the inbox, courtesy Ellen Gould and the Council of Canadians.
This is incredible, a clear example of what happens when a government’s right to try to protect health comes up against the private investors right to profit, the private investors profits win. This is exactly why we need to be very concerned about the TILMA, and very clear about the ideological roots of it.
Rick Sawa, Council of Canadians
From: Ellen Gould
The BC government has been proposing that junk food be “banned” in
schools and hospitals as part of the province’s preventatives health
However, at a meeting on February 14 of the Education Advisory
Committee, a BC committee of school board and teacher representatives
who meeting periodically with the Minister of Education it was revealed
that because of TILMA, BC will only be seeking voluntary compliance from
companies like Coca Cola.
A CUPE representative asked how the proposed initiative on junk food
could be done under TILMA. The following are his notes.
The question was:
Given that BC has signed the TILMA agreement with Alberta scheduled to come
into effect in April and that
. Bans and restrictions on junk food sales would offend provisions
regarding the limitation of investment, and
. Even if the promotion of student health were accepted as a
legitimate objective on the part of government, the province would still be
obliged to pursue the least intrusive method of implementing
this objective, (such as providing junk food info to students and letting
them make their own food purchase choices.)
Has the MOE given any thought to how it would deal with a TILMA challenge
along these lines, and is there any contingency plan for dealing with such
an eventuality in presumed efforts to salvage this part of the government’s
stated health promotion agenda?
The deputy Minister stated the following.
The Ministry of Education has already held talks with companies like
Coca-Cola and others who market offending products like soft drinks,
chocolate bars and chips within our public schools and is seeking their
voluntary compliance in reducing the volume of such products sold, so as to
meet the MOE/MOH food guidelines.
At this point Ken Denike (of the Vancouver School Board but who is at the
EAC representing the BC Public School Employers’ Association) weighed into
the discussion by reporting a conversation he recently had with former
Education Minister Christy Clark. Denike said that Clark told him the
provincial cabinet had discussed the broader implications of the trade deal
on provincial policy in a number of areas (including the ban on junk
food) and had decided that _seeking voluntary corporate compliance_ with likely TILMA
infractions was the way to go, as opposed to passing laws and regulations.