First Nation taking on Canada-China trade deal needs your help

First Nation taking on Canada-China trade deal needs your help


A legal challenge underway by a BC First Nation may hold the last, best hope in the battle to protect Canada’s resources, environment and democracy from the Canada-China trade deal, known as FIPPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement). But they need the public’s support in order to see their costly court case through.

The Hupacasath First Nation from Vancouver Island is heading to court this month in an attempt to block the controversial trade deal by asserting its infringement on the nation’s tile and rights. The Hupacasath’s representatives argue their constitutional rights to consultation have been violated by the deal and the manner in which it is being brought in. FIPPA would have a detrimental effect on this and other nations’ title and rights, as it entrenches the rights of Chinese investors above and beyond Canada’s First Nations and citizens.

FIPPA would mean Canada’s environmental laws and the concerns of the public are trumped by access to resources for Chinese companies –for a 31 year period once it’s ratified.

For instance, for the Hupacasath, a proposed coal port in nearby Port Alberni would be built by Compliance Energy, a Chinese company, thus, receive special protections from environmental or public health concerns. The same applies to logging, mines, private hydro projects, roads and any other Chinese-driven industrial development “promoted and protected” by FIPPA.  Inevitable oil spills from tankers destined for China would also impact the Hupacasath and other nations’ traditional way of life on the land and water.

To help fund their $150,000 legal bills, the Hupacasath are running a crowd-funding initiative, which you can support here.


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.

1 thought on “First Nation taking on Canada-China trade deal needs your help

  1. Sunday, 14 April 2013 10:36 posted by Juan Casador

    Before anybody puts their hard earned dollars into this effort, they might actually want to read the draft agreement – this “secret document” is publicly available on the DFAIT website. As Mike Morell points out on one item, you will if you read it find that most claims about FIPPa by the lefties are nonsense, as are most of their claims about NAFTA and FTA.

    Saturday, 13 April 2013 10:32 posted by Mike Morrell

    Fact check: Compliance Energy is not a Chinese company; it is Canadian. The coal port proposed for Hupacasath Territory is part of the Raven Underground Coal Project based in unceded Aboriginal territory in the Comox Valley. The Raven Project is a joint venture involving Compliance and two Asian trading companies: Itochu (Japan) and LG (Korea). Exported coal from Raven would be sold on the international market, and Compliance must hope that China would be a customer.

    All that said, FIPPA is a serious threat to the sovereignty of Hupacasath and all other First Nations. It also undermines the ability of all Canadians to defend the public interest in environment, health and sustainable economies. The Hupacasath deserve the thanks and financial support of all Canadians for their initiative in challenging FIPPA on the basis of their Aboriginal Rights and Title.

    Mike Morrell, Denman Island, BC

    Friday, 12 April 2013 12:15 posted by Kelly M

    Miigwetch Hupacasth First Nation… on behalf of all Canadians… 😀

    Friday, 12 April 2013 11:42 posted by Sarah Chesterman

    Fully support you! In fact i find it hard to believe this flippin FIPPA ‘deal’ with China (which Harper initially attempted to put straight thru with minimal public awareness) is still on the table… if Canadians are STILL in the dark about this, that means our national media must be as CORRUPT as our federal government… That’s right bro’s & sis’s: CANADA IS GETTING ROYALLY SCREWED BY ITS OWN!! Are we so pathetic that we just sit back & take it? I think not… {Come ON!!}

    Friday, 12 April 2013 09:15 posted by Bev Walker

    I am so happy that someone has the backbone to fight this. What right do other nations have to come here to our Turtle Island and destroy it the way they have in Africa??? It not only destroys the earth, it also breaks families and makes them fight amongst themselves.

    I am happy to have found this site.

    Miigwetch for all you do to fight in the name of our nations.

    Thursday, 11 April 2013 18:04 posted by Maureen Kennedy

    I support your Chief and Nation completly.
    Our other relatives need support . the ones who have no voice.
    Thank you for taking a stand

    Maureen Kennedy,

    Wednesday, 10 April 2013 15:30 posted by Emil BELL

    We need to back up the Chief of the Hupacasth First Nation on her endeavour to have an injunction against the FIPPA agreement.

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