Trade deal ‘further retreat … from democracy’

Dear editor,

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement changes Canada's long-standing policy of ensuring public disclosure.

Dear editor,

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement (FIPA) deal changes Canada’s long-standing policy of ensuring public disclosure and transparency in arbitrations and could have negative effects on the ability of Canadian governments to set policies in the public (i.e. the people of Canada) interest and exposes Canadian taxpayers to expensive litigation and damages.

It also fails to achieve full reciprocity for Canadian investors.

Despite repeated calls for a public debate and study of this agreement, the Conservative government has refused to expose this deal to any public scrutiny. This is not a deal that will benefit Canada (and the Canadian people); this is a deal agreed to by a few for the benefit of a few.

All of a sudden, I feel as though I’ve been transported to one of the corrupt sham government countries of this world … yet frighteningly, this is the country that once was a great democracy.

Treaty terms of 31 years? Really?

You are not a government of Canada — you are a government intent on a huge sellout and I can only ask why.

This is not good for business. This is not good for the people of Canada. This is a strike against public debate and a further retreat by this government from democracy.

There should be a full study on this deal by the Standing Committee on International Trade (at the very least).

The government must postpone ratification of this agreement until Canadians have heard from a broad cross-section of witnesses.

Selling out Canada and making our country and my home province vulnerable to lawsuits for China’s business interests is wrong. Just plain wrong.

Do the right thing. Now!

Catherine Hill,

Denman Island