Agreeing to secrets
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will soon sign a trade agreement with China that ties Canada’s hands for 31 years.
This Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA) will go through without a debate, a vote, or any community consultation. Few Canadians even know it is happening yet it will give China the right to claim damages against any level of Canadian government for anything that results in a reduction of their “expectation of profits.”
Canada has already paid hundreds of millions of dollars for lawsuits under NAFTA.
Under FIPA we could face billion-dollar lawsuits that would be decided by secret tribunals outside the Canadian justice system.
We could be sued for trying to protect our environment, our drinking water, our wildlife habitat or Canadian jobs, and we would not even know it was happening. Belgium is currently facing a $3 billion lawsuit from a Chinese company under a similar agreement.
Why the secrecy, Mr. Harper? And why the rush to sign? Let’s have a full public disclosure first.