The Root Word: ForestEthics Blog

Urgent Action: Stop Harper's "Bad for Canada" trade treaty, FIPA

Oct 25, 2012

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper raises a toast with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

UPDATE: Thousands of you have contacted Parliament--great work! Now, we're taking our request to the top—to Prime Minister Harper. Sign the Open Letter >>

If you think the proposed takeover of Nexen by China’s national offshore oil corporation (CNOOC)1 is controversial, you’re in for a shock – it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Harper is about to sign a trade treaty with China that places foreign corporate profits above our own democratic laws and policies2. He plans to sign the treaty into law on November 1st with NO public or parliamentary debate. 

We can’t let this happen. Send a message to Conservative members of the International Trade Committee now! Tell them that you oppose enactment of the China Canada Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPA). Demand that they contact the Speaker of the House of Commons and request a debate on this treaty.

This trade deal is the most significant foreign investment pact since NAFTA and the Harper government quietly released it with a mere twenty-one days notice before enactment. It would give Chinese companies invested in Canada the right to sue us for making decisions that impact their profits - be they for labour, health, banking, human rights or environmental protection.

For example, if British Columbia says “no” to the Northern Gateway pipeline, then Chinese investors in Enbridge can sue Canada for limiting their profits—an amount that might well total hundreds of millions of dollars. Pulled out of our taxpayer pockets and without our knowledge.

How is that possible? Because any Chinese lawsuit filed won’t be brought before a Canadian court of law. Not under this treaty. Instead, a three person arbitration panel decides the outcome. Behind closed doors. Without any recourse to Canadian judicial review or appeal.

Please help me stop this outrageous treaty from becoming law on November 1st. Send a message to members of the International Trade Committee right now and tell them “NO DEAL”. Let them know they have a responsibility to protect Canada’s sovereignty and demand a full review and debate of this treaty.

Stay tuned for more updates.


Headshot of civil rights lawyer and board member, Clayton Ruby

Clayton Ruby, C.M.

Board Chair, ForestEthics Advocacy
B.A., LL.B, LL.M., LL.D. (honoris causa)

P.S. I am investigating whether we can challenge this treaty on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. It will be tough to make that case. That’s why I need you to contact members of the International Trade Committee immediately and urge them to debate and suspend this deal.

1) Calgary Herald article: Hasty Nexen deal bad for Canada; Lack of debate in House, across nation

2) The Tyee article: China Investment Treaty: Expert Sounds Alarms in Letter to Harper

By Clayton C. Ruby, C.M., Board Chair, ForestEthics Advocacy

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