Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am astonished by the parliamentary secretary’s presentation. Let me quickly clear up one thing. There is no misinformation in the following statement: The treaty itself does not require transparency, only Canadian policy in place. So it is a discretionary decision by either China or Canada to decide to make the proceedings transparent. There is no requirement for transparency in this agreement, and that is a departure from previous treaties.
This agreement does not open a single new market with China. It can still refuse Canadian investors’ interests in its energy sector or its IT sector. However, we are wide open to investments from the People’s Republic of China, and if this agreement is ratified we will be sued for billions of dollars if we improve our laws to protect the environment, health or labour standards.
Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, as I have said, this investment treaty will fundamentally help protect the interests of Canadian investors. I also point out, and we so assert, that it is our government that brought greater transparency to the treaty review process. It was our Conservative government that, in 2008, introduced a formal tabling policy that requires international treaties to be tabled in the House before their ratification or coming into force. In this case, the opposition parties simply chose not to debate it, despite having had several opportunities to do so.
The Canada–China FIPA is similar to the 24 other investment treaties Canada has signed with key trade and investment partners. This is yet another demonstration of how our government is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and protecting their interests.