The Globe and Mail reports, “The Conservative government is poised to adopt a sweeping new investment treaty between Canada and China without a single Parliamentary vote or debate. …The Conservative government is of the view that adopting the treaty does not require it to introduce legislation in Parliament.”
Apart from process, “Questions are already being raised over the treaty’s provisions for resolving disputes. It allows companies to file claims for financial damages against other firms or against Canadian or Chinese governments for failing to abide by the agreement. The claims would be resolved by a tribunal, but the hearings would only be open to the public if both sides agree that it is ‘in the public interest’.”
Council of Canadians Maude Barlow says, “Canadians need to know that as Harper considers selling off Canadian energy firms to foreign investors in China and elsewhere, he’s also signing investment pacts that let these firms sue the federal government when delays or environmental protection measures interfere with profits. The terrible flip side of this latest ‘Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement’ (FIPA) is that it will let Canadian firms do the same in China where democratic, and not corporate, rights need to be enhanced.”
The Globe and Mail article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/. Our media release from yesterday is at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2012/27-Sep-12.html.