Stephen Harper

‘Chairman Harper’: Andrew Nikiforuk on Secretive Canada-China Trade Deal


Read this story by Andrew Nikiforuk on Stephen Harper’s secretive Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) and its implications for our resource sovereignty through deals like the proposed purchase of Nexen by Chinese state-owned CNOOC. (Oct. 11, 2012)

By Nov. 1 three of China’s national oil companies will have more power to shape Canada’s energy markets as well as challenge the politics of this country than Canadians themselves. And you can thank Prime Minister Stephen Harper for this economic treason.

The new agreement will not only support more foreign takeovers of Canada’s natural resources, but pave the way for CNOOC’s dramatic $15-billion purchase of Nexen.

That controversial deal, which the majority of ordinary Canadians oppose, represents the largest-ever overseas takeover of any firm by a Chinese national oil company.

Both the trade deal and Nexen sell-off prove that no one betrays Canadian interests better than a right-wing prime minister beholden to the interests of Big Oil and the myths of free trade.

Now every literate Canadian recognizes that Harper, the libertarian economist, has been flying kites with pipeline lobbyists funded by China’s national oil companies as well as the one-per-centers now ruling China for some time now.

Given that oil consumption in the United States is steadily dropping and that the incompetent petro state of Alberta has flooded the market with bitumen due to bad planning, low royalties and sheer stupidity, Harper is frantically trying to save his Tory cohorts and their special petroleum interests by peddling bitumen to Asian refiners at any cost. He’s prepared to sell out Canada in the process.

They call him Chairman

In fact “Chairman Harper” (and that’s what members of his own party are calling him) crafted an Omnibus Bill last spring that cancelled federal science programs, gutted critical environmental legislation, made it easier to pollute water, centralized federal power, diminished protection for endangered species and attacked environmental groups. The bill not only makes it easier to build Northern Gateway but to serve some of the least transparent and most corrupt corporations in China: Sinopec and CNOOC.

But Harper’s Omnibus Bill, which declared Canada’s formal entry into the ranks of dysfunctional petro states, was but window dressing for the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA). It’s the most significant trade deal since NAFTA, but you won’t read much about it in the national press. Given its deplorable content Harper appropriately inked the massive give-away in Vladivostok last month and then quietly tabled the deal in Ottawa without so much as a press release.

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About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.