Harper could pass the secretive and extreme Canada-China FIPA deal on Thursday, at the last cabinet meeting before the holiday.
Prime Minister Harper is telling Canadians that this deal will be good for Canadian business owners and investors. But we know a secret that could ultimately stop this bad deal in its tracks -- there are thousands of business owners all over Canada who are against this deal. With days to go before FIPA could pass, if we can show Harper that his traditional base and the people that make the Canadian economy work are actually against this deal, he’ll be given no choice but to stop this deal for good.
Add your name to our open letter to the Prime Minister:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
I am deeply concerned about the implications for Canada of the Canada-China FIPA. Because of the impacts of this FIPA on Canadian businesses like mine, I urge you to not ratify this treaty.
As a business owner, i count on the Government of Canada to make sound economic decisions. This deal is very clearly not in our interests because the FIPA deal won’t protect Canadian investors from discriminatory treatment in China. On the issue of market access, investor protection, and leveling of the playing field, the treaty favours China. FIPA's liabilities and constraints are much greater for Canadian business.
The deal also clearly impacts our ability to make decisions on our natural resources, on taxation, and on land and property rights. These will have far-reaching impacts for Canadian businesses and their competitiveness.
To sue under the treaty, a Chinese company requires only a minority share in any Canadian enterprise or other asset in Canada. This means that a Chinese investor could obtain, or may already have obtained, ownership in Canadian assets via a holding company in a jurisdiction such as the Cayman Islands, without losing its right to sue under the Canada-China treaty. This poses a serious fiscal risk for Canadian business.
Canadians and Canadian businesses are concerned that the legal consequences of this treaty will be irreversible by any Canadian court, legislature or other decision-maker for 31 years. FIPA has a 15-year minimum term, requires one year's notice prior to termination, and adds another 15-years of treaty coverage for assets that are Chinese-owned at the time of termination. FIPA’s heavy constraints on Canada will hurt Canadian business, yet the government has limited Canadian business owners with little notice, and opportunity for scrutiny and debate.
Why would we go ahead with a deal that does nothing to support businesses like mine, provides no security for Canadians investing in China, and could potentially undermine Canada's ability to make democratic decisions that create jobs or protect our families' health and environment?
I urge you to not ratify the Canada-China FIPA.
cc: The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister for International Trade and as Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway