Secretive Canada China Trade Deal Worries Green Party
THUNDER BAY – OTTAWA – NEWS – Ever since September 2012, when news of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hu Jintao of China witnessing the signing of the Canada-China Investment Agreement in Vladivostok Russia, Green Party MPs Bruce Hyer and Elizabeth May have been raising the alarm about the threat to our sovereignty, implicit in any such agreement.
In a media statement from MP Bruce Hyer, “This agreement, also called FIPA (Foreign Investor Protection Agreement), was tabled in the House of Commons on September 26, 2012, quietly and without any briefings or news release. The treaty was never subjected to study in any committee, other than one hour before the trade committee”.
Ratification involves a vote of Cabinet, not Parliament
“My fear is that the events of this summer, specifically the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) charging that China had hacked into the National Research Council database, created new pressures to repair the damaged relationship with Beijing in advance of Prime Minister Harper’s visit to China,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “Rewarding the Peoples’ Republic of China for hacking into our national research database is a double betrayal of our national interests.”
“Cabinet’s signing of this deal behind closed doors, instead of giving Parliament a say, is not just undemocratic in itself,” said Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer. “It is also a profound attack of Canada’s sovereignty as a nation, and an erosion of the rights of all Canadians to make democratic decisions about our economy, environment, and energy. The Conservatives have now allowed for secret tribunals that will work to re-write our laws in order to protect Chinese interests.”
“Once ratified, the Canada-China Investment Agreement will bind Canada, including future governments, for a minimum of 31 years. Unlike NAFTA, with an exit clause of 6 months’ notice, this agreement, also called a cannot be exited for the first 15 years,” May said. “The only way to exit the treaty would be through negotiations with China in which the government in Beijing agrees. Unilateral withdrawal would trigger a multi-billion dollar claim by the People’s Republic of China against Canada, with damages open to collection in one hundred countries around the world.””This agreement will permit state-owned enterprises (SOEs) of the People’s Republic of China to bring claims for damages against Canada for decisions taken at municipal, provincial or federal levels if those SOEs believe the decisions will harm their profits,” May said. “I am certain no Canadian company will ever benefit from this agreement. Canada will lose — not once but over and over again. If ratified this cements our relationship to the People’s Republic of China as a compliant resource colony. I call on every Conservative MP to block this sell out.”