Canada-China Treaty Legal Challenge: “Hupacasath First Nation Should Be Praised”

Federal Court Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton made public his judgment yesterday, which dismisses the Hupacasath First Nation’s (HFN) claim it should be consulted before Harper’s Conservatives can ratify the Canada-China Investment Treaty.

“I want to praise Brenda Sayers and the HFN for their courage in fighting this devastating deal. They fought for all of us,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Green Party supporters contributed $28,000 to the legal fight last May. “We will support the HFN in whatever decision is reached by Chief and Council relating to an appeal,” said Elizabeth May.

“Despite the loss, the fight against ratification of the Canada-China Investment Treaty must continue. The court in essence said that the causation between damage to the HFN and the Treaty was ‘speculative.’  Anytime one challenges the threat of something that has not yet occurred, one could consider it speculative,” said May.

“But there is nothing speculative about the fact that, once ratified, Canadians will be subject to the terms of the treaty for a minimum of 31 years. This will allow state-owned behemoths, enormous corporations, the right to sue Canada if those enterprises believe actions by any level of government in Canada will reduce the expectation of profits by a company owned by the Peoples’ Republic of China. This is not in Canada’s interests,” concluded May.

On September 9th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed an agreement with China, the Canada-China Investment Treaty. The agreement was kept from the Canadian public and Parliament until September 26th, 2012, when it was quietly made public, tabled in the House of Commons. Since November 2nd, 2012, the treaty has been open to ratification by a decision of the Harper Cabinet, without the requirement of a vote in the House.