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FIPA is Not Ratified

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Here is what Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party, had to say in a statement she released at midnight on November 2nd:

Prime Minister Harper, the countdown is over: you can legally, as of now, ratify the Canada-China Investment Treaty. This is what you wanted from the beginning: enforce the biggest trade deal since NAFTA without any debate in our nation’s Parliament.

You can legally do it. Politically, it’s another story. The Green Party of Canada and its partners gave Canadians a chance to speak out. And they did. Our online petition against the deal was signed by 32,000 citizens. and had more than 62,000 signatures on their petition. My office received more than 75,000 emails against the treaty. Five thousand Canadians used our website to send their MP letters to alert them of the danger posed by this deal with the Communist government in Beijing.

A lot of comments from citizens begin by ‘I don’t normally pay too much attention to politics, but the things that are happening now must be questioned by every Canadian.’ Prime Minister Harper, I think it is clear people say ‘No’ to your way of doing politics.

We need to debate this issue in Parliament. We need to include provinces, territories and First Nations. Prime Minister Harper, do not ratify this treaty.

November 2nd has come and gone and the controversial (and that’s an understatement) FIPA free-trade agreement with China is still not ratified.  As representative May mentioned, a variety of groups, both political and environmental, worked tirelessly to inform the Canadian public about the incredibly flawed trade agreement and encouraged them to have their say.  Hopefully, the message got to Parliament.
But, the fight isn’t over.  This was only a delay.  FIPA could be ratified in the near future.  That is why it is important to keep contacting your local representatives and letting them know what you think.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 2012/11/03 10:42 am

    Harper only seems to listen when the Cons base starts to speak – this deal has got Canadians of all political stripes concerned (and for good reason). Let’s hope the momentum against the HarperCons builds from here until we’re rid of them for good.

    • 2012/11/03 11:10 am

      I have a hard time understanding how the Conservative Party can still have so much support despite the way it has run this country. I can understand how the hardcore economy-obsessed conservatives like it because they are getting what they want, but what about the rest of them, the ones that sometimes vote Conservative, sometimes Liberal. How can they accept this FIPA and the last two budgets?

      • 2012/11/03 11:37 am

        Lots of people don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what goes on in Ottawa, and they believe the CPC sound bites. Sad but true.

  2. Thelma permalink
    2012/11/04 3:35 am

    Shock, secrecy, complexity, and speed of change has paralysed effective democratic
    response to the Canada-China Investment Treaty. On top of the two back-to-back OMNIBUS Bills, and Nexen, the timing has been overwhelming for MP’s, MLA’s, the media and the public.

    Twenty-one days, without: a parliamentary debate; the timely publication of the text; a press release, is UNACCEPTABLE for a treaty of this magnitude. Knowledge is essential and our elected representatives, and media, have not been given the required time, or legal analysis to respond to FIPA.

    No doubt, the neo-con propaganda pundits have a public messaging strategy. I note that they are name calling protesters “extremist” (sounds like “terooists”) and they are eye-rolling that this trade deal is “no different from the many other trade deals Canada has signed”, and that “many other countries have signed similar treaties with China”.

    I am not a lawyer, but I understand that FIPA is unique in many ways. In particular, that it holds the potential for the Republic of China to coerce and interfere with the evolution of our laws at all levels of government.

    If businesses want to trade in the sometimes corrupt business environment of China – they should take out insurance. The canadian public should not have to take unprecedented risks to our democracy and sovereignty.

    The public and the media need international treaty lawyers to better explain the treaty point-by-point: it’s potential ramifications within Canada; it’s variances; and the experiences of other country’s with China trade agreements.

    With knowledge the public can better challenge the treaty…sort of a citizen’s education handbook to FIPA.

    ok, I’m a retired teacher. Knowledge is Power.

    • 2012/11/04 11:58 am

      Welcome Thelma, and thank you for your comment (edited as requested!). Great to hear form a retired teacher. I’ll be a retired teacher soon as well… in 2036 🙂

      You’ve pointed out many ways in which this Conservative government manipulates in order to get its way. For me, the most destructive is the labelling of opposing groups as “radicals”, “extremists” and such. It creates a polarization which, as you can see in the USA, leads to the paralysis of productive government and a very unhealthy public debate.

      As for the issue of the media, maybe there are facts that I do not know, but I feel like they are failing the general public. Whether it is FIPA, how our government is throwing its weight around to get its way or climate change. There is wrong and there is right. There is scientific fact and there is science fiction. The media should be there to help us clear that up. Just look at coverage of Hurricane Sandy and how little “climate change” showed up. Sigh.

  3. Thelma permalink
    2012/11/04 4:56 pm

    Many mainstream media papers are owned by Conservative supporters – their editors get their wrists slapped if they don’t pull the line. Even the CBC staff are afraid of getting their budgets cut. So, they throw us a few crumbs and skim the surface.

    I now get most of my news from independent, or co-operative media. Democracy Now (US news), Al Jazerra (world news), the Tyee (canadian news) come to mind. As well as follow a few blogs. The conservative, liberal, NDP and Green websites can also give interesting positions/perspectives.

    Yes, opposition groups are being labelled as “hysterical” and “racists” as well as other obvious directed messaging – delivered in a US style. I found the word rhyming with “ist” particularly clever as it evokes certain image that the public have been brainwashed to deeply despise. Media education/study is an important component in school citizenship curriculums. An enlightened youth are not so easily fooled.

    I have to believe that the ‘Sandy’ crisis may cause some small c thinkers and leaders to re-examine the long term implications of climate change. It is disappointing that Obama is avoiding the topic that he fully understands – his handlers must have polled the topic and told him to stay away from it. they did with Al Gore.

    Also, I was thinking last night about what a certain canadian politician wrote in his younger days. In effect, that “the control of information is power”. Keep your intentions and information secret then overwhelm with shock and speed.

    Pivotal times! Thanks for providing this forum and informative links.

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