Flabbergasted by secret international trade pact

Dear editor,

I applaud the letter of Ellen Rainwalker in which she lays out the appalling situation that Mr. Harper has headed Canada into.

Dear editor,

I wish to applaud and second the letter of Ms. Ellen Rainwalker (Record, Oct. 17) in which she lays out the appalling situation that Mr. Harper has headed Canada into, and which he refuses to discuss in our democratically elected Parliament.

She lays it out very clearly. “Expectations of profits” to Chinese companies can trump every action of elected bodies in Canada. The decisions will be made in secret.

What kind of responsible Canadian government would enter into a that kind of agreement?

Well, the Conservatives did that sort of thing before in the NAFTA, but at least there the lawsuit claiming loss of expected profits is held openly, not in secret.

That is why we know that Canada had to pay Exxon $18 million because we objected to an additive they proposed to use that did not meet our health standards.

And in NAFTA there is what I think is an obnoxious clause that says, in essence, that we have to keep selling as much of a product to the U.S. as we always did, and if supplies of that product start to fail we have to cut our own consumption.

Mr. Harper and his party, instead of learning from what seem to be the anti-Canadian aspects of the NAFTA and making sure they were not repeated, have made things considerably more anti-Canadian in my opinion in this undiscussed Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. Looks as though the Chinese get all the protection. We are to be tied into this agreement for 31 years, it seems.

Many of us could live the rest of our lives paying higher taxes to a Canadian elected government so they can make payments to China because some decision which happens to suit those Canadians results in some Chinese company saying to this secret tribunal that their “expectation of profit” has been reduced by these decisions.

I am flabbergasted. Secrecy is not what the Canadian taxpayer needs in this situation.

Mr. Harper has said that the decisions relating to the Northern Gateway pipe line will be made on science, not on politics. I have significant reservations about his commitment to that statement, in the light of this protection plan.

What kind of a Canadian government have we got stuck with?

A perfect example of why we should have proportional representation, but it will come too late. As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Roy Mills,

Comox

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