Greens maintain support for Hupacasath First Nation’s legal challenge of dangerous FIPA treaty

The Green Party of Canada maintains its strong support for the Hupacasath First Nation as they present their landmark legal challenge of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) in Vancouver today.

The Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver will today hear arguments in the Hupacasath’s appeal of the October 2013 BC Supreme Court ruling that the Canada-China FIPA was not a breach of the Canadian Government’s fiduciary duty to consult First Nations on constitutionally enshrined treaty matters.

Minister of International Trade Ed Fast signed the Canada-China FIPA on September 8, 2012, at a meeting between Prime Minister Harper and China’s President Hu Jintao. If ratified, the treaty will grant Chinese state-owned corporations extraordinary powers to sue Canadian governments in secret tribunals for profits lost as a result of Canadian laws, including any environmental protection measures.

“Surrendering control of Canadian energy to any foreign power is worrisome,” said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “The fact that the Harper Conservatives are proposing to do so with corporations controlled by a dictatorship with a horrible human rights record should be of great concern to every Canadian.”

“If ratified, the Canada-China FIPA would bind future governments, protecting the right of China’s State-owned enterprises to sue Canada for a minimum of 31 years. We can opt out of NAFTA in six months,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “FIPA is profoundly anti-democratic. We must not allow this treaty to become law.”

In May 2013, the Green Party of Canada donated $28,000 to the Hupacasath First Nation’s legal challenge of FIPA – an unprecedented move for a Canadian political party.