Letters: Bad deal for Canada

Letter writer concerned about trade deal with China

 

I am writing this as I am shocked to learn Prime Minister Stephen Harper has approved the takeover of Nexen by CNOOC the Chinese state owned oil company. This announcement was deliberately made at 5 p.m. on Friday last in an attempt to stay below the radar of news media and the Canadian public.

At one level this is a terrible step to take by itself, as if CNNOC decides to exploit all the resources they now have access to, they will contribute significantly to global warming.

Much more dangerously, if Harper signs off on FIPA next, the Nexen takeover represents something far worse, as we Canadians will be powerless to stop CNNOC doing absolutely anything they like. This proposed FIPA Agreement will bind Canadians to some unbelievably  stringent conditions for a generation (up to 31 years). These conditions include the likelihood of huge fines if any level of government passes laws which affect China’s “future expectation of profit.” We could expect CNNOC to sue Canada in secret tribunals for billions if we passed any law or took any action to prevent or reduce exploitation of the tar sands for environmental  or health reasons.

Similar trade legislation in Belgium has already led to demands on their government by China to the tune of $2 billion.

To enable such draconian clauses to abrogate our sovereignty and effectively hand a veto to China over all Canadian health and environmental legislation is bad enough. To do this over the heads of all Canadians without debate is unconscionable and tantamount to a dictatorship.

I urge everyone to contact their local MP immediately and ask them to support a call for debate in Parliament. This dangerous and destructive legislation must be stopped and every Canadian should demand the right to be heard on this sinister, binding legislation which is designed to turn Canada into a medieval vassal state paying tithes and tributes to China for the right to pass our own laws!

Dr. Roland M. Alcock

Sooke