The Stephen Harper government, contrary to his election promise for openness and transparency, has negotiated the most sweeping trade deal since NAFTA, with China, and he is about to commit Canada to it, without a single debate or vote.
If the Canada-China FIPA passes, without massive protest, his party faithful will vote for it, and it will pave the way for China’s massive companies to spend billions buying out Canada’s natural resource companies.
Under FIPA, China’s companies can sue Canadian governments, federal, provincial or municipal, in secret tribunals outside the Canadian court system, if any of our governments do anything that would limit the companies’ profits in Canada.
The FIPA would tie our hands for 31 years, making it possible for China’s companies to challenge Canadian laws that create jobs, and protect our environment with billion-dollar lawsuits that would cost us taxpayers. Wondering where we got such a huge deficit? Canada has already spent hundreds of millions on penalties from lawsuits launched under the North American Free Trade Agreement. As a foreshadow of what we can expect if this agreement is passed, Belgium is currently facing a $3 billion suit from one of China’s companies because of a similar foreign investor agreement.
Why would our prime minister lock us into such a secretive and extreme deal — short-term gains, which will result in long-term pain if we don’t manage to have this agreement defeated.
Time to write Mr. Harper and your member of Parliament and let them know you do not support this agreement.
Anna Banana, Roberts Creek