How much did Harper imprison the next seven Canadian governments? This is how Diane Francis described it – hardly an anti-market left — in an article published in the Financial Post: Fipa is essentially a soft deal for business, but it endangers public order through costly and secret lawsuits. (Belgium is currently facing a $3 billion complaint from a Chinese company for a similar foreign investor deal.) As the Council of Canadians says, this undermines fundamental conceptions of democracy. While the agreement is indeed an important step forward for Canada`s relationship with China, it is difficult to understand why it was hidden, why it has not been ratified for almost two years and why there has been no attempt to answer questions with something that goes far beyond air assurances that it is a good thing. Scott Harris is a trade activist for the Council of Canadians and publishes a blog in which he first appeared. “After the announcement of the complementarity study, China immediately made an offer to negotiate a free trade agreement, but Canada has not yet agreed,” said Sarah Kutulakos, Chair of the Canada-China Business Council. In September 2014, the former Harper government already ratified another agreement with China, the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. The announcement came almost exactly two years after the agreement was signed and was first announced to the Canadian public. In trying to get by, Chinese diplomats often invoke the “century of humiliation” and “unequal treaties,” referring to defeats, occupations and unilateral agreements imposed by foreign powers, beginning with the first opium war of 1839-42. The Harper government ratified the agreement two years later, in October 2014, despite warnings from experts and advocates for labour, human rights and the environment that the agreement was detrimental to Canada`s interests. Late Friday afternoon, Witch hour, which was favored by the spinal masters with secret announcements that they hope everyone will be forgotten by Monday, a press release revealed that the mysterious undemocratic agreement reached for nearly two years with China had been approved by the cabinet. It will come into effect on October 1. When details of the contract were published in 2012, Kronby wrote in The Globe and Mail that evidence from agreements between China and Canada with other countries supports the government`s view that FIPA is a virtuous agreement that protects Canadian investors in China and Chinese investors in Canada. The government unveiled the text of the FIPA agreement and signed it shortly after the trip to Beijing in Vladivostok and gave a briefing to the parliamentary committee on trade in October 2012 for an hour.
Then the cone of silence came down. Not to mention the two-year delay. Harper made the surprising announcement of a Canada-China Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection, as it is known, during a trade mission to Vladivostok, Russia, in 2012. China quickly concluded the agreement, but Canada insisted. Steps have been taken to ensure the integrity of personal data and to protect it from abuse, loss or change. All information provided to The Tyee is only available to employees or subcontractors who, in agreement with The Tyee, are required to keep the information secret. Email addresses are only used for the purpose of correspondence or comments related to Tyee. The Council of Canadians sincerely thanks the tens of thousands of our supporters who have spoken out on FIPA and those who have generously supported the legal challenge of Hupacasath. Thanks to your joint efforts, the Canada-China FIPA became a major responsibility for Stephen Harper in 2012 as he prepares for the next general election.
But the deeply undemocratic way in which the Harper government decided to finally ratify the agreement is equally disturbing. Although he has had the opportunity for two years since the signing of FIPA, there has been only one hour of discussion in the Committee on Trade, no vote in Parliament and p