Heather Conn Blogs

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It’s not too late to stop ratification of the Canada-China Investment Treaty

Two days past its ratification deadline, Prime minister Stephen Harper’s Canada-China Investment Treaty (FIPPA) remains unsigned. That’s good for Canadians.

Harper will soon arrive in India, touted as the largest democracy in the world, to wrangle more business deals. While there, maybe he can pick up some democratic principles of his own, rather than ignoring parliamentary procedure in his home country and the views of thousands of Canadians in how he handles Chinese investment.

As Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May has stated on her website, 32,000 Canadians signed her party’s petition against this treaty. Her office received more than 75,000 emails against the deal and 5,000 used her website to send their MP letters to warn of the danger posed by dealing with the Communist government in Beijing. And the organizations Leadnow.ca and Someofus.org had more than 70,000 signatures on their petition against FIPPA.

I won’t recap here the many dangers related to this treaty, from security threats to China’s non-reciprocal powers and legal clout, because they’re amply covered across the Internet. Instead, I’ll quote from journalist Terry Glavin’s recent commentary in The National Post: “It’s the sudden emergence of the most powerful criminal enterprise in world history suddenly establishing itself as the most powerful capitalist entity in Canada by securing its place as the critical and irreplaceable component of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s sole economic strategy, which is to transform Canada into an ‘energy superpower.’”

Glavin points out that China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)’s $15.1 billion pending bid for Calgary’s Nexen Inc. is the biggest-ever overseas acquisition move by a Chinese state-owned enterprise. Petro-China, meanwhile, pumps more oil than Exxon-Mobil. And the annual revenues of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec, exceed the entire sum of the annual federal tax revenues of the Government of Canada.

Surprisingly, for a deal that gives the Chinese sweeping control over key Canadian resources and the right to sue any level of government that doesn’t go along with its business ventures, the NDP has done little to condemn this agreement. So far, Elizabeth May is the only politician to take a strong vocal stance against this treaty.

Canadians have made it clear that they don’t want their federal leader handing unprecedented powers to a corrupt, foreign country that will gain massive control over this country’s resources. At the very least, this issue needs to be debated in Parliament in a process that includes provinces, territories and First Nations. Let’s stop FIPPA now.

Click here to read Terry Glavin’s opinion piece. To receive updates on this issue, join the Facebook page of SomeofUs and LeadNow.

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November 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm Comments (0)