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Another so-called ‘Free Trade’ Deal FIPA
Elizabeth May on Harper, China & Canadian Tar Sands May 30, 2012
On Friday, September 12, 2014 the Harper government announced the ratification of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. The announcement came almost exactly two years after the agreement was signed and first announced to the Canadian public.
That's the way the Harper government, by way of a release quoting Trade Minister Ed Fast, announced that it had decided to ignore widespread public opposition: http://canadians.org/node/9070 , parliamentary opposition from the NDP: http://petition.ndp.ca/stop-fipa , Greens: http://www.greenparty.ca/en/content/stand-against-sellout-china-0 and even lukewarm Liberal criticism: http://www.liberal.ca/newsroom/blog/fipa-vote-tuesday-april-23rd/ , an ongoing First Nations legal challenge: http://www.westandtogether.ca/ , and even division at its own cabinet table: http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/1.2611129 and grassroots membership: http://dogwoodinitiative.org/blog/china-canada-treaty and proceed with the ratification…
The Canada-China FIPA Controversy
Another so-called ‘Free Trade’ Deal [Agreement] for Canada called: ‘FIPA - The Canada-China (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act) and Conservative Govt Bill C-45, now a law that took away even more of Canada’s sovereignty!:
Canada Under Siege - Part 1 - The Tar Sands, Free Trade, & Government
Hidden in Conservative Govt Bill C-45 is a law that allows Corporations a free hand to destroy Canadian rivers and lakes which are the source of life, and our drinking water. AND when you add agreements free trade agreements like FIPA which allows Chinese companies a free hand and not be held accountable, we have a very serious breach of Canadian sovereignty!
Canada Under Seige -- Why the Tar Sands in Alberta, FIPA, Bill C-45, and the Sale of NEXEN should have Canadians on the streets in revolution
2012 -- July 23 -- CNOOC announces the buyout of NEXEN
2012 -- Sept 20 - NEXEN Share Holders Approve Sale to CNOOC
2012 -- Oct 07 -- FIPPA agreement with China Signed by Harper
2012 -- Dec 07 -- Harper Government gives full approval of sale of NEXEN to CNOOC
2012 -- Dec 14 - Senate Passes Harper Government Bill C-45 that will allow Corp destruction of the environment.
The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPA) , went into effect in October of 2012 and is Canada's biggest foreign trade treaty since NAFTA.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Sold a piece of Canada to the Highest Bidder and changed Canadian Law to ensure that the Chinese State Owned Company could not be challenged by anyone through Bill C-45. This bill Destroys Canadian Sovereignty and the protection over its lakes and rivers.
Under Chinese Law, Corporations are not held accountable for environmental disasters, and now in Canada the same destructive governance will apply.
However let’s not let all the others off the hook. Oil Corporations the World Over are “MASSIVE POLLUTERS” but Canadian environmental laws have held them back from running rabid over Canadian land and waterways…well no more because Bill C-45 destroyed the environmental protection of all our lakes and rivers.
The FIPA treaty will absolve China of any environmental disasters committed in Canada meaning our own courts cannot prosecute the owners for negligence or environmental crimes.
In essence, Stephen Harper has allowed a foreign government to do what it pleases on our land and we wont have any recourse to stop them. Bill C-45 was the last remaining hurdle to stop China from coming in and poisoning the people of Canada…and that Bill is now law.
What does this all mean?
Foreign governments, Corporations, and Banks control the decision making in Canada and Harper is their enforcer.
The Harper Government knew EXACTLY what they were doing when they destroyed Canadian sovereignty and signed free trade with China (FIPPA), rubber stamped the sale of NEXEN, and passed Bill C-45.
Oil Corporate Executives sit in Government, and Past Government officials sit on various Boards of Directors in the Oil Corporations operating in the Alberta Tar Sands. Not only is this a conflict of interest, it is a Crime to allow these maniacs to continue making decisions.
Certainly the poisoning of our lakes, rivers, and land should be considered as crimes against humanity since the people will meet with a horrific slow death by carcinogenic Tar Sands sludge poisoning.
Isn’t it time we put an end to the Alberta Tar Sands and its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people? Isn’t it time to stand up and put the brakes on this out of control freight train called greed?
In “My Opinion”, everyone that voted to pass Bill C-45 or agree to FIPPA have committed treason of the highest degree.
Citizens of Canada, it’s time to wake up! Don’t let Stephen Harper and his government destroy the land, poison the people, and allow corporations to plunder our natural resources. Now is the time to stand up and remove these traitors from office or it will be too late to stop the destruction of our country.
Scientists Silenced over Oil Sands
Federal scientists muzzled on oilsands
Photo by Ed Kaiser/Postmedia News:
Environment Canada scientists have confirmed results published by researchers from the University of Alberta showing contaminants accumulating in the snow near oilsands operations, an internal federal document has revealed. (…)
But the federal researchers were discouraged from speaking to reporters about their findings, presented at a November 2011 conference in Boston of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, says the document, released to Postmedia News through access to information. (…)
To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
By Mike de Souza, Postmedia News, the Montreal Gazette, 5 November 2012: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Information+commissioner+investigate+muzzling+federal+scientists/8180142/story.html - -
Environment Canada scientists are no longer allowed to talk to reporters (or anyone) regarding the Oil Sands. Reporters will now be given a phone number to call, where the appropriate spokesperson will be assigned to give them a scripted response to their questions (more of Harper's "transparency".)
Of course the Oil Sands (or Tar Sands) are nothing to be ashamed of in these days of "ethical oil". It's ethical because...well, Harper says so. Of course he also says there is no such thing as global warming and his party is centre-right. Am I the only one getting sick of his deadpan humour?
Note: I guess I was pretty tired when I recorded this and at times talking too closely to the mike. I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things.
Links and sources:
Tar Sands Oil Extraction - The Dirty Truth
Crude Awakening (CBC Documentary (2007)
Choking the Oil Sands (Maclean's article)
Lung Association report on Oil Sands air
Lodging in luxury in an oilsands' labour camp
Oil Sands (wiki article)
What is Harper Afraid Of? (an entertaining, illustrated outcry)
by Franke James
In fall 2012, Prime Minister Harper quietly announced that he wanted to pass the biggest international investors’ deal in a generation, without a single vote in Parliament. Together, the Leadnow.ca community raised the alarm about the danger of FIPA’s secret investor-state courts. We united hundreds of thousands of Canadians, making national news, and divided Harper’s caucus forcing him to pause and think twice about ratifying this secretive and binding investor deal.
How do the secret tribunals in FIPA undermine our democracy?
Investor-state lawsuits undermine our democratic control. Right now, an American company called Lone Pine Resources is using a similar measure in NAFTA to sue Canada for $250 million dollars. Why? They are suing because Quebec placed a temporary hold on gas fracking to study the controversial practice’s impacts on health and environment. 10
Similarly, if BC tries to regulate or block Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline, Sinopec, another of China’s state-owned oil company with investments in Canada’s natural resource infrastructure, may be able to sue for damages, and we may never even hear about the case or the details of the results. 11 / 12
What are other countries doing?
Other countries like India, South Africa and Australia are moving away from this kind of investment deal. Last year Australia rejected investor-state arbitration due to concerns that it would “constrain the ability of Australian governments to make laws on social, environmental and economic matters”.13 / 14
Can our provinces and territories stand up against FIPA?
We live in a democratic federation, and our provinces should have to consent to any major federal decision that would undermine their authority. Our provinces and territories can defend their constitutional powers from FIPA. 15 / 16 If our premiers and provincial leaders act now to defend our rights, they can help stop Harper from locking us into FIPA for 31 years.
Has there ever been broad provincial consultation on an investment deal like FIPA?
Yes, our provinces have defended our rights before. In the 1990s, the B.C. government played a leadership role in the successful fight against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). The B.C. government established a special committee to examine, inquire into and make recommendations respecting all aspects of the MAI. The committee considered key issues – implications of the agreement for Canada and British Columbia, how to represent the interests of British Columbians with respect to the agreement, and the most effective means of increasing British Columbians’ awareness and knowledge of the issues arising out of the agreement. It held 8 days of expert witness hearings, followed by public hearings in 8 cities. An educational video was produced and shown through various television outlets, and released to other media.
The committee recommended that:
“When negotiating the MAI or any future investment treaty, the federal government must ensure that the agreement does not apply to matters within provincial jurisdiction, including local government measures, without the express consent of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia … If the federal government fails to provide for such consent, then the provincial government should explore all means, including legal action, to defend vigorously its own jurisdictional rights and those of local governments to represent the interests of British Columbians.” 17
How are First Nations helping to lead the fight against FIPA?
Under Canada’s constitution, the Government of Canada has a duty to consult First Nations before entering into any deal that affects their Aboriginal Title, Rights, and Treaty Rights.
The BC Union of Indian Chiefs has written an open letter to Prime Minister Harper condemning the Canada-China FIPA. They begin their letter: “On behalf the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, we are writing to firmly express, advise and direct the Government of Canada to reject the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China as the Government of Canada has breached its fiduciary duty to consult First Nations on our respective constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.” 18
The Chiefs of Ontario have also written to both Prime Minister Harper and China’s Ambassador to Canada advising that the Canada-China FIPA investment deal violates First Nation Treaty rights and international law, and should be postponed indefinitely, pending nation-to-nation discussions between Canada and First Nations. 19 / 20
The Hupacasath First Nation have even taken the Federal Government to court over FIPA, supported by over $380,000 crowd-funded by the Leadnow community and allies. By challenging FIPA in court, the Hupacasath First Nation are buying time that we can use to rally Canadians to stop this bad deal for good, and we are deeply grateful for their leadership on behalf of all Canadians. 21 For more information about the legal challenge, and to donate to support it, see http://www.leadnow.ca/fipa-legal
1. Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty (The Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/
2. Battle over CNOOC’s proposed Nexen Takeover Heats Up In Ottawa (The Financial Post) http://business.financialpost.com/2012/09/17/battle-over-cnoocs-proposed-nexen-takeover-heats-up-in-ottawa/
3. Canada-China Investment Deal Allows for Confidential Lawsuits Against Canada (The Toronto Star) http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1264290–canada-china-investment-deal-allows-for-confidential-lawsuits-against-canada
4. Chinese Companies Can Sue BC for Changing Course on Northern Gateway, says Policy Expert http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert
5. Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out (The Tyee) http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/print.html
6. Trading our way to more jobs and prosperity (Government of Australia) http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/trade/trading-our-way-to-more-jobs-and-prosperity.html#investor-state
7. Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty (The Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/
8. Chinese Companies Can Sue BC for Changing Course on Northern Gateway, says Policy Expert http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert
9. Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out (The Tyee) http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/print.html
10. Multiple Countries Rejecting Investor State Dispute Settlement (Janet M Eaton, PhD) http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/main-page/multiple-countries-rejecting-investor-state-dispute-settlement
11. Chinese Companies Can Sue BC for Changing Course on Northern Gateway, says Policy Expert http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert
12. Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out (The Tyee) http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/print.html
13. Trading our way to more jobs and prosperity (Government of Australia) http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/trade/trading-our-way-to-more-jobs-and-prosperity.html#investor-state
14. Multiple Countries Rejecting Investor State Dispute Settlement (Janet M Eaton, PhD) http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/main-page/multiple-countries-rejecting-investor-state-dispute-settlement
15. Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty (The Globe and Mail) http://dev4.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/
16. Battle over CNOOC’s proposed Nexen Takeover Heats Up In Ottawa (The Financial Post) http://business.financialpost.com/2012/09/17/battle-over-cnoocs-proposed-nexen-takeover-heats-up-in-ottawa/
17. Open Letter: Canada – China Agreement Abrogates Rights of Indigenous People (The Union of BC Indian Chiefs) http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews10311201.html
18. Open Letter: Canada – China Agreement Abrogates Rights of Indigenous People (The Union of BC Indian Chiefs) http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews10311201.html
19. China Canada FIPA – Chiefs of Ontario Letter to PM Harper http://www.scribd.com/doc/112459570/
20. China Canada FIPA – Chiefs of Ontario Letter to China’s Ambassador http://www.scribd.com/doc/112459565/
21. Ottawa extends it review of CNOOC’s nexen bid (The Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ottawa-extends-its-review-of-cnoocs-nexen-bid/article4604093/
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Elizabeth May: Canada-China FIPPA Press Conference
- World Freeman Society
- World Freeman Society Chapters
- Study Group
- VNTT Study Notes
- Another so-called ‘Free Trade’ Deal FIPA