Trade deal must be examined

British Columbia should be demanding a detailed analysis and full discussion of provisions in a proposed investment treaty.

Dear Editor:

More than any other province British Columbia should be demanding a detailed analysis and full discussion of provisions in a proposed investment treaty that has already been signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and which was scheduled to come into force by Oct. 31.

This document may well be the Trojan Horse that gives the Chinese government an unprecedented level of access and control over resource industries in Canada — industries which China sees as being of critical importance to its burgeoning economic future.

Article 7, Clause 3 gives anyone “in a capacity that is managerial, executive or requires specialized knowledge” the right to “enter and remain temporarily” in the host country where an investment is made.

Provisions in the agreement similar to “expectation of profits” language in NAFTA, will give Chinese investors the right to sue the Canadian government if they feel their interests have been adversely affected by decisions of any level of government: municipal, provincial or federal.

This will make it difficult if not impossible for the Government of Canada to regulate and manage resources in our national and environmental interest.

Surely these are issues that need to be examined before we sign on to a treaty that will be in place for at least 15 years, and whose special treatment of Chinese investors and corporations will be grandfathered for another 15 years if the treaty is cancelled after that. I urge our provincial party leaders, MLAs and MPs to make their concerns about this ill-considered treaty known before it’s too late.

Jane Sterk

Green Party of BC Leader

Esquimalt

 

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