It has been two weeks since the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act was to be ratified. I don’t think this delay is simply circumstantial. The light concerned citizens have shed on this terrible treaty has had an impact in the news and on Parliament Hill. We may not be done yet.
Thanks to generous gifts from supporters, ForestEthics Advocacy was able to publish more newspaper ads in the BC ridings of three vulnerable Conservative MPs—Moore, Lunney and Duncan—and in the Abbotsford News, the hometown paper of Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast.
We asked these MPs to stand up to Harper and oppose this bad deal for Canada. With a recent Forum Research poll showing that support for the Conservatives in BC has plummeted 16 points to just 27%, I know these parliamentarians are feeling the heat from our message.
Nikki Skuce, my colleague at ForestEthics Advocacy, also submitted comments criticizing the environmental assessment that was conducted by the feds for this treaty. That assessment is pure rubbish. It lacks any scientific basis whatsoever and blatantly ignores the impacts from Harper’s rollback of environmental laws in his two 2012 omnibus budget bills.
I know many people are hungry to learn if there is anything more that can be done to derail this binding agreement. My candid answer is I don’t know. We have explored whether some action between ratification of the treaty and when it actually goes into effect is possible, but our findings don’t look promising.
As for a lawsuit challenging the treaty—again, it is too soon to know whether that’s an option since there’s been so little time to study the deal and weigh the odds of prevailing in a court of law.
What I can say with absolute certainty is that supporters' actions have triggered alarm bells across the country. I am deeply grateful for their courage and tenacity in fighting the Harper government’s end-run around democracy. If there is more that can be done on FIPA—we haven’t given up—our supporters will be the first to know.