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Canada-China FIPA: Solidarity with Hupacasath as B.C. First Nation considers next moves in court challenge to investment treaty

Indigenous, labour, environmental, human rights, faith-based and public interest organizations reject a federal court decision on Monday to dismiss a First Nations court challenge to the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and are vowing to stand by the Hupacasath First Nation as the community decides its next moves in the high-profile case.

A growing number of communities, individuals and organizations in Canada are rallying behind the Hupacasath First Nation as it challenges the federal government’s power to sign over-reaching investment treaties like the Canada-China FIPA without first consulting with Indigenous communities who will be affected by the rights the deal gives to foreign investors to challenge local decisions. Investment treaties like the FIPA are criticized globally for undermining the democratic rights of communities to set environmental and public health measures, or to decide the scale and pace of often controversial oil, gas and other resource projects.

The undersigned* vow to stand with the Hupacasath should the First Nation decide to appeal the decision. We urge the federal government to refrain from ratifying the FIPA until the Hupacasath First Nation and its counsel have had the opportunity to consider the court’s decision and whether to pursue an appeal. We commit to continuing to oppose ratification of the Canada-China FIPA and other trade and investment treaties that put corporate profits before the interests of communities, Indigenous or otherwise.

Endorsed by:

Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Common Causes – Peterborough 
Common Frontiers
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP – UNIFOR)
The Council of Canadians
Forest Ethics Advocacy
Idle No More
Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
National Farmers Union
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
Polaris Institute
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Ottawa and District Labour Council
Sierra Club Canada
United Steelworkers (USW)
TankerFree BC
Trade Justice Network
West Coast Environmental Law

* Individuals and organizations who want to endorse the statement should write to westandtogether4Canada@gmail.com. The statement will be posted at www.westandtogether.ca.