On September 9th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed an agreement with China, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA). The agreement was kept from the Canadian public and Parliament until September 26th, when it was quietly made public, tabled in the House of Commons. No press release. No technical briefing.
Given his extreme attempt at secrecy, it is possible that the Prime Minister could have succeeded in quietly passing this dangerous treaty into force without the public knowing had Elizabeth May not been waiting and watching for the treaty to surface.
This treaty would give China the unacceptable power to secretly challenge Canadian laws that infringe on its business interests, and Prime Minister Harper planned to ratify it without any public consultation, meaningful debate, or vote in the House.
Although he could have ratified the Agreement months ago, huge public opposition from Canadians of all political stripes and walks of life has caused many Members of Parliament, including many Conservatives of good conscience, to reconsider the wisdom of turning over this much power to a foreign government. We suspect that it is precisely this massive public outcry that has succeeded in forcing Prime Minister Harper to reconsider ratifying this treaty for the time being.
Thankfully, Members of Parliament will finally have an opportunity to vote on this secretive and dangerous Agreement, and we need your help to make sure that all MPs stand with the majority of Canadians who do not want this treaty ratified.
On Monday, there will be a vote on an NDP motion to demand that Canada not ratify the Canada-China FIPA. We strongly support this motion and believe that it represents the will of Canadians.
Currently, both the Conservatives and Liberals have promised to vote against the NDP motion. However, the Liberals have proposed a compromise motion, which we also support and which we believe could represent a starting point for real dialogue and consultation on the Canada-China FIPA across party lines.
Please take a few minutes of your time to call or write to your NDP and Liberal Members of Parliament ask them to reach a compromise to prevent the ratification of the Canada-China FIPA without ANY public consultation.
Most importantly, please call or write to your Conservative Members of Parliament and ask that they stand up for Canada and vote to prevent Prime Minister Harper from ratifying this Agreement behind our backs. We only have a few days left.