Stopping FIPA: Follow-up Action You Can Take to Halt Canada-China Trade Deal
Call to Action to support Our Follow-up Correspondence with Lead Negotiator and Cabinet
We have been overwhelmed with your support for the Common Sense Canadian’s effort to prevent the ratification of FIPA and want to extend our thanks to the many readers who have participated so far.
Since November 1, the Common Sense Canadian has been reporting about the significant FIPA Environmental Assessment (EA) process not yet completed. Our reports have detailed how the FIPA Environmental Assessment offers us a clear path for an effective action to prevent ratification.
Our detailed reporting has uncovered many serious shortcomings that we have worked to bring to your attention and we have therefore encouraged people to submit some of these concerns to the FIPA EA committee through a public hearing process that is open until November 11, 2012 for the General Public.
Now we are going to communicate our closing argument and we need your continued support.
This is our final call to action in advance of the closing of this public comment window – Only 3 Days Left to send this crucial message. We will, however, continue to stay on top of the FIPA file and explore and share other means by the public can work to prevent this disastrous treaty.
We have drafted the letter below as our closing correspondence regarding the EA process to FIPA’s Lead Negotiator, demanding ratification of FIPA not occur at this time and detailing our reasons.
We are requesting that the Lead Negotiator of the FIPA Treaty, who is also the Chairman of the EA process, take into account the obvious facts we present in this letter which prove that the treaty-enabling EA is severely compromised and no longer relevant or even applicable, and therefore cannot be completed at this time and must be extended or reopened.
This is a crucial requirement for the ratification process and an enabling mechanism of the FIPA Treaty. We are confident that sending this message loud and clear will have an impact.
In a nutshell, we are arguing that the entire decade-long process was done under laws and processes that no longer exist as a result of Harper’s Omnibus Bill which occurred after the negotiations were officially completed and before the Final Treaty is to be ratified.
This move of Harper’s is unconscionable and fatally detrimental to the Treaty Process.
The FIPA EAC has concluded that no increase in investment is expected from the Treaty and therefore no appreciable environmental impacts were anticipated as a result. Yet, plainly, under Canada’s new, severely-lacking environmental regulatory regime and the stated policy of the Harper Government to advance Canadian hydrocarbon development through this and other trade initiatives, the original conclusions of the FIPA EA are no longer valid and that a new process must be undertaken to ensure the best interests of the Canadian public and environment are properly protected.
If we ratify the Treaty now, we effectively lock in the new, much-diminished environmental laws and regulations he ushered in with the highly controversial Bill C-38 for up to 31 years, according to independent trade experts. Contrary to the FIPA EAC’s conclusions, this would have profoundly negative long-term impacts on Canada’s environment and thus must be prevented.
What You Can Do to Help One More Time – It’s easy!
We are asking those who agree with the findings and recommendations contained in the following letter to simply copy and paste the letter and send it to the e-mail addresses below.
We urge you to do so even if you have already submitted comments.
Doing so will send this definitive message, loud and clear, that the FIPA Ratification CAN AND MUST BE STOPPED as a result of the information clearly laid out in this letter that proves the EA process is defunct and void of legitimacy and therefore needs to be revisited BEFORE Cabinet moves to ratify the agreement or deliberate any enabling measures, including Orders in Council.
To the Lead Negotiator of the FINAL FIPA EAC,
It is our understanding that the Canada-China FIPA Environmental Assessment Committee (EAC) is chaired by the Lead Negotiator of the entire treaty process.
The Environmental Assessment is a significant, enabling component of FIPA. Its Guiding Framework, established in 2001, explains that the lead negotiator/chairman oversees the entire FIPA EA process which involves, at its very core, a “detailed analysis including ways in which the GoC’s current analysis could be strengthened.” The EA Framework goes onto outline that, “It is important to keep in mind that the assessment is focused on the possible positive and negative environmental impacts in Canada.”
The EAC specifically points out that the EA process and analysis is largely based on the fact that, “…investors, whether they are Canadian or foreign, are bound by environmental protection regulations and projects resulting from these investments are subject to applicable environmental assessment legislation.”
This is a pivotal point because the legislation referred to here, for which this detailed analysis and related conclusions are based upon, is the same legislation the Harper Government recently gutted and replaced with an entirely new and much-diminished legislative framework – through its Omnibus Bill C-38, which was introduced mere weeks after the FIPA negotiations were officially completed in February of 2012.
Moreover, even more changes have just recently been introduced in the second Omnibus Budget Bill.
This means the EAC conducted its “detailed analysis” on a legislative framework that no longer exists and is no longer relevant to the FIPA process, which clearly renders this key conclusion contained in the FIPA EA final report baseless and therefore irrelevant and invalid:
The Initial EA of the Canada-China FIPA concludes that significant changes to investment in Canada are not expected as a result of the Canada-China FIPA negotiations as there are no specific investments known to be dependent on the FIPA’s conclusion or no direct known causal links between FIPAs and expansion of investment. As such, the environmental impacts on Canada are expected to be minimal.
Quite the contrary, the new reality is that this FIPA and the industrial hydrocarbon development and trade it is clearly designed stimulate under Stephen Harper’s direction present grave threats to Canada’s environment. Given that the final conclusions (in bold above) are therefore no longer of any practical use or application, it is an absolute imperative that the Final FIPA EA be extended or re-opened to allow for proper analysis in light of the wholesale changes that have occurred since the EAC came to those conclusions.
Furthermore, throughout the entire FIPA EA process it is apparent that there was no stakeholder feedback, as two, month-long stakeholder input periods – one in 2005 and another in 2008 – passed without a single submission from anyone, including the general public.
Therefore, we are calling on the Lead Negotiator of the FIPA and chair of the FIPA Environmental Assessment Committee move to extend and/or reopen the Environmental Assessment process in order to perform the required detailed analysis and undertake the consultative stakeholder engagements necessary to properly assess the environmental impacts resulting from the ratification of FIPA under an entirely new legislative framework.
We are also insisting that Cabinet recognize the necessity of the Lead Negotiator to undertake this crucial extension of the FIPA EA in order to properly fulfill the legislated mandate of the FIPA EAC by delaying any Order in Council related to the enabling of the Chinese FIPA. The same should apply to any and all enabling legislation, acts or approval by the Governor General of Canada.
Under Canada’s new, severely-lacking environmental regulatory regime and the stated policy of the Harper Government to advance Canadian hydrocarbon development through this and other trade initiatives, it is clear that the original conclusions of the FIPA EA are no longer valid and that a new process must be undertaken to ensure the best interests of the Canadian public and environment are properly protected.
Common Sense Canadians
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):
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bal.Gosal@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe.Oliver@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, Peter.Penashue@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bernard.Valcourt@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Kerry-Lynne.Findlay@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, David.Wilks@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, Wai.Young@parl.gc.ca, Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca
- Albas, Dan – Okanagan—Coquihalla: Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca
- Cannan, Ron (Hon.) – Kelowna—Lake Country: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Duncan, John (Hon.) – Vancouver Island North: email@example.com
- Fast, Ed (Hon.) – Abbotsford: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Findlay, Kerry-Lynne D. – Delta-Richmond East: Kerry-Lynne.Findlay@parl.gc.ca
- Gewal, Nina – Fleetwood-Port Kells: email@example.com
- Harris, Richard M. – Cariboo-Prince George: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hiebert, Russ – South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale: email@example.com
- Kamp, Randy – Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lunney, James – Nanaimo-Alberni: email@example.com
- Mayes, Colin – Okanagan-Shuswap: firstname.lastname@example.org
- McLeod, Cathy – Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo: email@example.com
- Moore, James (Hon.) – Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saxton, Andrew – North Vancouver: email@example.com
- Strahl, Mark – Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon: Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca
- Warawa, Mark – Langley: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weston, John – West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country: email@example.com
- Wilks, David – Kootenay-Columbia: David.Wilks@parl.gc.ca
- Wong, Alice (Hon.) – Richmond: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Young, Wai – Vancouver South: Wai.Young@parl.gc.ca
- Zimmer, Bob – Prince George-Peace River: Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca