Oct 30 2012
Posted by CHLY News as BC, Campbell River, Chemainus, Courtenay / Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Gabriola Island, Government, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Nanaimo, Nanoose, News & Updates, Parksville, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, Victoria |
October 30, 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Leadnow.ca and SumOfUs.org take China investor deal fight to Canadian Parliament.
People-powered campaign delivers 60,000-strong petition to NDP, Liberal & Green MPs at press conference in parliament.
OTTAWA – This morning at Parliament in Ottawa, civic advocacy group Leadnow.ca and corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org presented a 60,000 Canadian strong petition calling on Prime Minister Harper to reject the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA).
The two organizations used the press conference to launch an accompanying radio advertising campaign, crowd-funded by SumOfUs.org and Leadnow.ca members and calling for MPs to put the brakes on this deal.
“Prime Minister Harper is planning to approve one of the most important investor agreements in a generation without serious public examination or scrutiny,” said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. “It is ridiculous that Parliament has not openly debated or voted on this secretive investor deal.”
“The agreement has far-reaching implications for all levels of government and, barring legal challenges, locks us in irreversibly for 31 years. Yet the provinces have not even been consulted.”
The organizations say their greatest concern is that the Canada-China FIPA gives foreign corporations sweeping powers to sue Canadian governments for unlimited damages in secret tribunals if the governments implement legislation which affects the corporation’s expected profit.
“Over 60,000 Canadians have joined our campaign to stop the secretive agreement,” said Emma Pullman, Canadian Campaigns Director for SumOfUs.org. “Canadians don’t want to give foreign corporations sweeping powers to sue Canadian governments.”
“Canada should be able to implement common-sense environmental protections, invest in Canadian jobs or stop dangerous projects without being sued by a massive multinational.”
“Countries like Australia are moving away from processes that allow corporations to sue governments outside of traditional legal channels. Why is Canada making itself vulnerable to massive lawsuits that threaten our jobs, rights and tax-dollars?”
The petition represents the 60,000 Canadians who sent emails to Prime Minister Harper, Opposition Leaders and their MPs. Representatives of the leadership of the New Democratic Party, Liberal Party and Green Party have all responded with concerns about the Canada-China FIPA, and MPs Peter Julian (NDP), Geoff Regan (Liberal) and Elizabeth May (Green) attended the press conference this morning to receive the petition on behalf of their respective parties. Leadnow.ca and SumOfUs.org are yet to hear from a representative of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Leadnow.ca and SumOfUs.org joint campaign against the Canada-China FIPA is at http://leadnow.ca/not-for-sale and the radio ads are available on request.
[Editor’s Note: The complete text of the proposed Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) is available at: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/fipa-apie/china-text-chine.aspx?lang=en&view=d.