Bruce Hyer Denounces Harper Government on China Deal
OTTAWA – Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada denounced Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unprecedented move to ratify the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). Ratification of the international accord by Cabinet was made without debate or public consultation. Hyer says that the deal is ‘insane’ and sells out Canada and Canadian corporations and gives unfair advantages to Communist Chinese companies.
The deal could have direct impact on future business opportunities in Northwestern Ontario. Hyer states that under the agreement reached by the Harper Conservatives that Chinese companies could override Canadian federal and provincial legislation.
That could impact the Bombardier Plant and any Ontario Content legislation as well as impact the Ring of Fire and mining in Northern Ontario.
“Cabinet’s signing of the deal behind closed doors, instead of giving Parliament a say, is not just undemocratic in itself,” Hyer said. “It is also a profound attack on Canada’s sovereignty as a nation, rights of all Canadians to make democratic decisions about our economy, environment, and energy. After approving the sale of strategic Canadian companies like Nexen to China, the Conservatives have now tied Canada’s hands behind its back for decades.”
“The Conservatives have now allowed for Chinese interests to sue in secret tribunals if they don’t like our laws. In effect, Stephen Harper has allowed for a foreign state to rewrite Canadian law in order to protect their interests,” Hyer said.
Since news came of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hu Jintao of China witnessing the signing of the Canada-China Investment Agreement on September 9th, 2012 in Vladivostok Russia, Hyer and May have continued to raise the alarm about the threat to Canada’s sovereignty.
“At no time since 1867 has the sovereignty of Canada been so significantly undermined,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said. “This deal is one-sided and will never benefit Canadians. Stephen Harper has now committed this country and future governments to an agreement that has locked us in for a minimum of 31 years – more than a generation.”
Details of the agreement were kept secret from the Canadian public and Parliament until September 26th, 2012, when it was quietly made public and tabled in the House of Commons. The treaty was never subjected to study in any committee, other than one hour before the trade committee.
In a recent article in the Tyee entitled, Harper Gov’t ‘Conceded to China under Pressure, associate professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and an expert in investment treaties, Gus Van Harten, was quoted saying that “FIPA is practically a one-way deal in favour of China.”
Andrew Weaver, Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, also expressed his concerns, stating, “The consequences of this decision will reverberate down to the provinces. Why did the federal Conservatives not consult with the provinces and why has the BC government not been asking the tough questions as to whether this is in the province’s interest?”
“This agreement is one that Canadians will come to regret for generations,” May said.
Backgrounder: What is an Investor-State Agreement?