Thursday, October 25, 2012

Canada-China Investment Treaty (#FIPPA) Information Round-up

The Canada-China FIPPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act) was quietly tabled in the House of Commons on September 26th. This was the first time anyone got a chance to see the full text of an agreement that will be automatically ratified after 21 sitting days without any parliamentary debate or vote. 

Check out this great new website: FIPA FACTS.

FIPPA will bind municipal, provincial and federal government for the next 15 years to terms that have been shown to favour Chinese investors rights in ways that infringe on Canadian sovereignty and democracy. Even if a future government wanted to cancel the treaty, a one-year notice is required, and then after the cancellation the treaty guarantees another 15 years of treaty benefits to Chinese operations in Canada. 

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, requested an emergency debate take place, since this is the biggest free trade deal since NAFTA and we ostensibly still live in a democracy. The Speaker for the House has refused. No real reasons were given. Instead, the Conservatives merely repeat the age-old red herring that any concerns raised to the constitutionality or the actual benefits to the Canadian people (and not just “the investment community”) is isolationist, anti-trade, and anti-investment. Surely the time has come for all of us to stop taking the government’s insistence that its free trade deals are good for Canadians and job growth at face value.
The following articles and resources lay out reasons why every Canadian should be shaken into action by the terms of the Canada-China investment treaty and the undemocratic and rushed process it has taken so far. 
-       Open Letter to Stephen Harper—14 reasons the Canada-China FIPA needs a full public review.
-       Stand Up Against the Sell out to China—Info and petition from the Green Party

-       “Harper must tear up the Canada-China Investment Treaty”—Action Alert from the Council of Canadian.

-       Investment trade deal expert sounds alarm in a letter to Stephen Harper­—Article in the Tyee.

-       “Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sellout”—Opinion article in the Tyee.

-       David Suzuki’s thoughts on the investment treaty, published in

-       “Canada-China FIPPA agreement may be unconstitutional, treaty law expert says”—article published in the Vancouver Observer.

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