Stephen Harper has signed a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China that will give Canadian corporations investing in China the right to sue the Chinese government if there is an attempt to improve existing human rights, labour or environmental standards (A Leap Forward By Canada – editorial, Feb. 9).
The Canada-China FIPA will, in fact, provide yet another barrier to badly needed reforms in China.
The same deal will give Chinese investors in the Alberta tar sands the right to sue the Canadian government if any new standards are introduced to reduce the current level of environmental damage to water, air and local communities of that industry. It will also give Chinese investors the right to stake a claim to the water they use in these operations.
This investment deal threatens human rights and environmental stewardship in Canada and China and makes it clear that Mr. Harper will put both on the backburner in his role as chief salesman for big business.