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Hupacasath challenge of FIPA to be heard tomorrow

Hupacasath logoTomorrow (Tuesday June 10), the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver will hear arguments regarding the Hupacasath First Nation’s legal challenge of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Act (FIPA). The Canada-China FIPA was signed in September 2012 but has not yet been ratified.

The Hupacasath, a 300-member nation located on Vancouver Island, argues that the Harper government failed to consult First Nations before signing FIPA as required by law. They say that FIPA, notably its investor-state provision, could be used to override Indigenous rights and give the balance of power in questions of resource management to corporations rather than affected communities.

In June 2013, the Hupacasath First Nation presented arguments to the Federal Court of Canada saying FIPA was an infringement on inherent Aboriginal Title and Rights. In August 2013, a federal judge ruled that their case was too speculative. In January 2014, the Hupacasath filed papers for the appeal of that ruling which will be heard tomorrow.

The Council of Canadians has supported the Hupacasath First Nation court challenges by participating in solidarity rallies across the country, supporting speaking tours to raise awareness about this court challenge, and contributing more than $17,000 to the legal costs.

The Hupacasath have asked for support and solidarity in packing the court room. Please join them from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at 701 W Georgia St at the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. See Facebook event »

For more, please read Council of Canadians trade campaigner Scott Harris’ blog Appeal of Hupacasath challenge of Canada-China FIPA to be heard June 10.