Common Sense Canadian
 

How You Can Help Stop Ratification of Canada-China FIPA

Posted November 5, 2012 by Common Sense Canadian in Politics
Stephen Harper shakes hands with China’s President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Feb. 9, 2012 (photo: Chris Wattie, Reuters)
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The FIPA Environmental Assessment is an important, official avenue to request the delay of the FIPA Order in Council

The vast implications of the now highly controversial Canada-China trade deal known as FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) are mind-boggling and Canadians have not had the time to fully comprehend what we are being entered into by our federal government.

Numerous campaigns have been launched to bring attention to the issue and prevent ratification of the agreement – most involving online petitions.

Yet there is an official avenue for public opposition that has been largely missed and presents a clear path to delaying FIPA or even preventing its ratification.

The Conservative government must pass an Order in Council in order to facilitate ratification. This is done at the cabinet table.

If you act now and submit your feedback outlining the grave concerns and serious shortcomings in the FIPA Environmental Assessment process, which is still active and open, we may be able to convince cabinet to delay the Order in Council until the pivotal Environmental Assessment is properly undertaken and completed.

You have until Remembrance Day, November 11, 2012, to file your letter with the FIPA EA and we encourage you to copy all Federal Cabinet members and BC Conservative MPs with your submission.

YOU MUST ACT NOW.

We have provided below a short form letter including some key FIPA concerns for your consideration.

We have also provided below a list of the Conservative members of Cabinet who will be deliberating the enabling Order in Council and their email contacts – as well all BC Conservative MPs and their contacts, for our readers in British Columbia.

Simply copy and paste them into your email to ensure they are copied on your submission, and email to EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca by Nov. 11.

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Sample FIPA EA Submission

To Environmental Assessments of Trade Agreements,

I am copying Conservative MPs and Cabinet Members on this brief submission to the Final Environmental Assessment of the Canada-China FIPA.

I am submitting these comments to the Final EA before the November 11th deadline to request an extension for this important process, while urging cabinet to delay the FIPA-enabling Order in Council until the serious concerns outlined in this letter and by many other Canadians have been properly addressed.

It has been confirmed that no public input has been received over the 11-year FIPA EA process, including two separate month-long periods requesting feedback from stakeholders and the general public.

The conclusions of the Final EA and its public consultation and engagement practices reveal a great number of shortcomings – which draw into question the need for this agreement, while raising dire concerns of how it came about and grave reservations with respect to its recommendations.

It is stated in the Final EA analysis that FIPA will not result in any investment, nor will it impact the environment.

Given these conclusions, and the lopsided risk-benefit analysis provided by credible independent analysts, I am requesting that the FIPA EA process be extended to include a review of these contradictory analyses and conclusions.

I also believe the domestic consultations and engagement were not properly conducted, resulting in no feedback or input. The recent outpouring of public concern clearly suggests this lack of EA submissions does not accurately reflect the level of public concern about the issue. Therefore, I also request the opportunity to revisit and extend this vital component of the Environmental Assessment.

The Canada-China FIPA is of concern for a number of reasons, which have been raised through recent independent, expert analysis. These concerns include:

  • FIPA works to ‘lock in” the much diminished environmental regulatory regime recently ushered in by the Harper Omnibus Bill C-38, the full impacts of which have yet to be seen or understood
  • FIPA potentially negates the ability of government to legislate changes in environmental regulations, royalty rates, subsidies and any other laws that impact profitability
  • FIPA has serious constitutional implications which could have grave impacts on the environment, economy and Canadian sovereignty
  • The FINAL FIPA EA was to be included and available at the end of negotiations in February, yet no public comment has been included during the entire 11 years of negotiations
  • FIPA may have serious ramifications on the Treaty Process and on constitutional obligations to consult and accommodate First Nations where their traditional territories, resources and cultural practices are at risk from industrial development

I would like these issues addressed before Cabinet considers the FIPA OIC. Therefore, a delay in Cabinet deliberation of the OIC is imperative.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

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Send your letter to this address: EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca

It is important that you also copy Cabinet – in addition, you may wish to include your MP or the full list from BC:

Cabinet (full list):

diane.ablonczy@parl.gc.ca,leona.aglukkaq@parl.gc.ca, rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca, keith.ashfield@parl.gc.ca, john.baird@parl.gc.ca, maxime.bernier@parl.gc.ca, steven.blaney@parl.gc.ca, ron.cannan@parl.gc.ca, michael.chong@parl.gc.ca, tony.clement@parl.gc.ca, john.duncan@parl.gc.ca, julian.fantino@parl.gc.ca, ed.fast@parl.gc.ca, diane.finley@parl.gc.ca, jim.flaherty@parl.gc.ca, steven.fletcher@parl.gc.ca, gary.goodyear@parl.gc.ca, Bal.Gosal@parl.gc.ca, stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca, laurie.hawn@parl.gc.ca, jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca, peter.kent@parl.gc.ca, mike.lake@parl.gc.ca, denis.lebel@parl.gc.ca, peter.mackay@parl.gc.ca, ted.menzies@parl.gc.ca, rob.merrifield@parl.gc.ca, james.moore@parl.gc.ca, rob.moore@parl.gc.ca, rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca, gordon.oconnor@parl.gc.ca, Joe.Oliver@parl.gc.ca, christian.paradis@parl.gc.ca, Peter.Penashue@parl.gc.ca, lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca, gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca, andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca, gail.shea@parl.gc.ca, vic.toews@parl.gc.ca, tim.uppal@parl.gc.ca, Bernard.Valcourt@parl.gc.ca, peter.vanloan@parl.gc.ca, alice.wong@parl.gc.ca, lynne.yelich@parl.gc.ca

BC MPs:

Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca, ron.cannan@parl.gc.ca, john.duncan@parl.gc.ca, ed.fast@parl.gc.ca, Kerry-Lynne.Findlay@parl.gc.ca, nina.grewal@parl.gc.ca, richard.harris@parl.gc.ca, russ.hiebert@parl.gc.ca, randy.kamp@parl.gc.ca, james.lunney@parl.gc.ca, colin.mayes@parl.gc.ca, cathy.mcleod@parl.gc.ca, james.moore@parl.gc.ca, andrew.saxton@parl.gc.ca, Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca, mark.warawa@parl.gc.ca, john.weston@parl.gc.ca, David.Wilks@parl.gc.ca, alice.wong@parl.gc.ca, Wai.Young@parl.gc.ca, Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca

By riding:

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Common Sense Canadian


18 Comments


  1.  
    Why Bother

    NO FIPA without Public Debate to see if Canadians are interested in this deal.

    The Canadian government works for it’s Citizens, not corporations or other governments and it’s high-time *this* government remember that.




  2.  
    Ro

    No free trade agreement with China!




  3.  
    Kevin Logan

    Sjardine.

    Later in that paragraph it also reads.

    “…as there are no specific investments known to be dependent on the FIPA’s conclusion ”

    Therefor we are confident the “paraphrasing” language we have used in the letter is adequate.

    Thanks for your support.




  4.  
    Mariegold Rondeau

    I wish politicians would stop being stupid so I could just rest after work and not need to be an activist also!!!
    dang!




  5.  

    In your sample letter you write
    “It is stated in the Final EA analysis that FIPA will not result in any investment, nor will it impact the environment.” However, this is what is written
    “In the Initial EA, it was found that significant changes to investment in Canada were not expected to occur as a result of the Canada-China FIPA. In addition, it was found that no significant environmental impacts were expected as a result of the Canada-China FIPA. In this Final EA, the claim that no significant environmental impacts are expected based on the introduction of a Canada-China FIPA are upheld; however, over time, Chinese investors have shown greater interest in investing in Canada, and this trend is likely to continue, if not increase with the introduction of a FIPA.”
    http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/china-chine/finalEA-china-chine-EEfinale.aspx?lang=eng&view=d
    I still think that the agreement is questionable. The term likely is not scientific, but predictive. It could be true but it was hard for me to get through the info to draw a conclusion,
    It is important that the info in our letters of protest are correct.




  6.  
    Kevin Logan

    John Casadr,

    Today Leadnow and Some of Us used the exact language in these bullets in their FIPA campaign that you take issue with here.

    They put up a website for this issue alone and used the EXACT language we have here. They copy and pasted it.

    They also claim that a “legal expert” confirms the validity of them.

    See here.

    http://action.sumofus.org/a/fipa-letter/?akid=1007.1007561.DXlk35&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=1

    I hope this addresses concerns.




  7.  
    Kevin Logan

    John Casadr,
    You can rest assured that the points have been thoroughly researched and are accurate.

    The primary focus of the mail in campaign is to shine the light on the fact that we have a solid case proving the FIPA EA is severely jeopardized. We have reams of supporting data for this conclusion.

    The bullet points provided in the sample letter are supporting argument for the primary premise that the FIPA EA, as a legislated enabling mechanism for the trade treaty, is compromised to the point of illegitimacy.

    Therefor ratification should not occur at this time.

    That said, you have not provided specific concerns, but rather a wholesale smear job with no substantiating evidence.

    The bullet points are thoroughly researched, carefully worded and provided for the ease and access of those who may not have had the chance to research this exhaustive trade agreement in the last couple of weeks since its release.

    That said, do feel free to alter the bullets to reflect your concerns upon submitting your letter. We provided a sample to assist people in this regard however they are free to do as they wish and submit the language they deem fit.

    Thanks for your concern and support




  8.  
    Jim Edmondson

    How about a temporary boycott of goods made in the People’s Republic of China? Temporary until the Canadian Government comes up with a trade deal that doesn’t sign away our sovereignty and the democractic procedures we uphold to govern ourselves. Faced with a successful boycott, the Conservatives who still support this deal can then call themselves what they really are: extreme and rather stupid, corporate radicals.




  9.  
    John Casadr

    whoever wrote the bullet points about the problems with this FIPA appaently never read the agreement – it is public you know – in my view, anyone signing this petition will look foolish




  10.  
    Damien Gillis

    Our readership is primarily British Columbian, Dianne – and we don’t have the resources to parse and supply every MP’s email. That said, the important ones are the EA process email we provided and Cabinet – it’s they who will make the decision. But, by all means, include every MP if you like – here is the list in its entirety: http://www.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=current




  11.  
    Kenneth John McCrank

    “I think if China wanted our Democracy as the first export from Canada maybe we should not have stopped maybe even encouraged it. Let China try it out for six months then the People of China not the government of China decide they want to grow their own Democracy lets talk more trade . We may need need Provisions In the New Chinese Charter of Rights and Freedoms imported into our own battered Democratic rights which will been neglected and ignored by Stephen Harper as long as he clings to Power over not only the government but members of the Conservative Party of CANADA. Just thinkin..”




  12.  

    Apart from members of the cabinet, why have you cc’d only BC MPs?




  13.  

    folks were very unhappy about the Goods and Services Tax which went ahead with 80% of Canadians opposed and the senate refusing to pass the legislation – Her Majesty created new senate seats which Mulroney filled with conservatives so that the Goods and Services Tax was implimented. And you still believe we live in a democracy and that Harper will withdraw the treaty? Its all smoke and mirrors so that the intelectual class can pretend that we live in a democracy. – http://canadiancommonsenserevolution.ca/




  14.  
    KWD

    Sent a slightly modified version of the sample submission to EAconsultations, all cabinet members and bcc’d it to my contact list.

    If others do the same the number of “letters” reaching cabinet should grow exponentially and hopefully they’ll get the message that folks are very unhappy with the proposed Canada/China agreement.





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