Check out this press release from Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May, raising concerns over a new trade deal with China quietly signed by Stephen Harper last month. May rose in the House this week to state her objections to the deal and call for an emergency debate in the House. (Oct. 1, 2012)
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands, will rise today in the House of Commons following the conclusion of Routine Proceedings to request an Emergency Debate on the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). This follows the delivery of a notice of her intention to Speaker Andrew Scheer on Friday.
In her notice, May stated that the “grave and sweeping implications for Canada’s sovereignty, security, and democracy” posed by FIPA – signed by Stephen Harper on September 9, but kept from the public and Parliament until quietly tabled on Wednesday last week – warrants much greater transparency and debate.
According to the Policy on Tabling Treaties in Parliament, FIPA must be tabled in the House for 21 sitting days before it can be ratified. Then, the Privy Council can, without any public or Parliamentary consultation or review, sign it into law.
“I pointed out in my notice to the Speaker that this isperhaps the most significant trade agreement since NAFTA,” May stated, “and the fact that it can be negotiated and ratified behind closed doors is very corrosive to our democracy.
“I also realize that an emergency debate is far from sufficient under the circumstances, but it might be the only opportunity Parliamentarians have to review and discuss FIPA before we are bound to it for the next 15 years, especially if neither the NDP nor the Liberals focus on it during their Opposition Days.”