. . . except those blessed CEOs on the golf course.
Here we go, another original blogpost:
Today our Canadian Sell-Out to China Moment begins with the starting of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) which many Canadians, including myself, adamantly oppose. Not that I don’t like China. In fact, I love China, because it is a place full of many wonderful people. I thoroughly enjoyed working there for a few years, and I now work with Chinese people every day in my current job.
However, the Canada-China FIPA gives away our nation’s sovereignty to China, and giving this precious commodity to any foreign nation is . Plus, this agreement gives our hundreds of Canadian mining companies the opportunity to abuse Chinese mining workers. Workers and citizens rights are equally important, in both countries.
I’ve copied here an excellent synthesis of the Canada-China FIPA’s drawbacks from the Financial Post’s Diane Francis, reworded by me:
- FIPA offers Chinese companies “enclave legal status,” meaning that once they are let into Canada, they would have more power than our own companies. For example, Chinese companies can take any disagreement they have with our governments or courts outside of our legal system to another arbitration process, which, unlike the Canada-US NAFTA Agreement, are carried out in secret. These arbitrations can award unlimited damages. Three arbitrators, Canadian, Chinese, and a third from the World Bank, will oversee the process. This means that we are giving Chinese companies carte blanche authority to settle their disagreements with Canadian authorities in secretive fashion by three mediators, two of which are not from Canada.
- Ottawa’s lazy negotiators didn’t bother adding transparency as a main feature of this arbitration dispute- settlement process. FIPA lets the Canadian federal government withhold documents if it so wishes, which is unheard of in all other international treaties involving such dispute mechanisms.
- FIPA opens a huge “Trojan Horse” loophole: Chinese investors or companies already here can challenge all government or court decisions and also bypass Investment Canada. Once they are here, they can buy whatever they like, without any foreign investment review. In other words, Chinese companies already here will have the ability to act as proxies for their compatriots who have not yet been approved to enter Canada. Thus, they will have open-ended access to have control over anything and everything without scrutiny. All these Chinese companies have one beneficial owner, the Chinese goverment.
- FIPA lets Chinese companies to challenge and go around, or receive compensation regarding compliance with Canadian standards, requirements to use Canadian labour or materials or suppliers. They can contest or be compensated if they disagree with resource projects’ scale or timing.
- FIPA appears unconstitutional due to its Article 4: Chinese companies can bypass and contest provincial, territorial, First Nations, municipal or successive federal government decisions on resource and commercial management. The provincial governments must collectively challenge this treaty in our Supreme Court. Otherwise, we’ll run into situations like the following example: if the National Energy Board green lights the Northern Gateway Pipeline through B.C., but B.C. red lights it, Sinopec, the Chinese mega-corporation listed as the 6th biggest earner in the world, can sue. Any resolution would come from behind closed doors as two lawyers from outside Canadian arbitrate.
- Canada has undone every other country on the planet: we have locked ourselves in for 31 years. NAFTA only has a six-month exit clause.
- The most shocking part of FIPA is that it’s based on the wrong template, that is, Canada’s past deals with America and other nations that respect reciprocal rule of law, market access and transparency. China offers us none of these. This un-level playing field is enshrined in Articles 22, 4 and Annex D34 of the agreement, according to international treaty expert Gus Van Harten with Osgoode Hall.
And check out this awesome video:
Yours for sticking it to Harper and his Conservative Fascists,