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Trudeau government criticized for lack of transparency over TPP trade deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The Trudeau government is facing criticism for its lack of transparency on what exactly Canada agreed to this week by joining a huge Pacific Rim trade deal.

A day after committing to a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Liberals are under pressure to release more details about any potential economic consequences at home.

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Critics of the deal, including Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff, argue that the Liberals’ tight-lipped manner is reminiscent of the secretive approach taken by their Conservative predecessors a couple of years ago in negotiating the original TPP deal.

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Yussuff says it’s particularly troubling because the Liberals criticized the Tories at the time and vowed that transparency would underpin their government.

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A spokesman for International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the full details of the deal and side letters will be made public once the translation of thousands of pages has been completed.

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Joseph Pickerill says the government relied on information it collected from 41,000 emails and letters from interested Canadians as well as from consultations with more than 530 stakeholders from a wide range of sectors over the past two years.

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