I believe the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) that our government is in favour of is an unconstitutional agreement that will allow our nation to be substantially influenced by China. According to The Council of Canadians Acting for Social Justice (2012), this agreement will allow Canada to be sued for compensation, if the way we democratically decide to run our country does not benefit or suit the needs of China’s foreign investments in Canada.
FIPPA is designed to attract more Chinese investments in Canada, and to help Canadian businesses operate in China, but experts say Canada stands much to lose. Our federal and provincial governments will be bound to China for the next 31 years, bringing us to the year 2043.
As a fourth year nursing student this agreement concerns me for many reasons. The impact FIPPA may have on our public health, or better yet, our global health, could be detrimental. This agreement could impact our workplace standards and environmental regulations. British Columbia has highly regulated workplace safety guidelines currently in place, and as a future nurse, this is an environment I hope to continue to be able to work in. As for the environment, some of China’s biggest investments are in the oil sands that will soon be trafficked through our natural environment, inevitably having a tremendous impact on the health of our population, possibly affecting our drinking water, farming, wildlife and more.
As a province, we can request an injunction in the BC Superior Court, asking the government not to carry forth until this agreement follows the Canadian constitution (Van Harten, 2012). We can do this by writing letters to our local MPs and provincial government. It is a nurse’s professional responsibility to create and change policies that negatively affect public health. I believe speaking out against FIPPA is a step in the right direction. I hope that our local and provincial governments will help take a stand for our community, and our nation’s health with me.