On September 12th, 2014 the Harper administration quietly ratified the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) by a Cabinet vote. This treaty is bad for Canada, bad for the climate and bad for democracy.
Through an investor-state tribunal, FIPA allows state-owned Chinese investors to sue Canada for any government action (municipal, provincial,First Nations', federal) that could impede their capacity to make a profit. Suits are decided in secret tribunals, and the decisions apply to all levels of government. These secret tribunals are inherently biased in favour of the larger economic power.
Elizabeth May is an outspoken critic of Canada’s loss of sovereignty implicit in FIPA, speaking against it since the treaty was first signed in 2012. She supported the Hupacasath First Nation’s legal challenge. You can help re-elect Elizabeth May by making a donation to her re-election campaign here.
No Canadian company has ever won a Chapter 11 (investor state) case under NAFTA against the US. A recent example happened in March 2015 in Nova Scotia. A U.S. company sued for damages when a construction of a gravel quarry was rejected after environmental review and widespread community objection. The company now may be awarded US$300 million in damages. The FIPA agreement with China is even worse - we won’t even know that we are being sued until an award is issued.
These treaties create far more costs than benefits. FIPA offers little in the way for Canadian business, delivering no new market access, reciprocity, or opportunities for Canadian investors.