NAFTA lawsuit should be an eye-opener for Harper

On November 15th, 2012, US-incorporated firm Lone Pine Resources announced its intentions of suing the Government of Canada under the North American Free-Trade Agreement’s infamous Chapter 11. Over what? Quebec’s decision to impose a moratorium on all oil and gas exploration activities in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

By announcing the moratorium, Quebec not only made the right decision (the GPC is the only federal party calling for a moratorium on any oil and gas exploration and/or development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence), but it set the standard for every other province. The decision was made by elected officials and with overwhelming support in the population. Every Quebecer still had the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in mind. Lone Pine argues the decision was “arbitrary”. I say it was not.

This case should be an eye-opener for Harper’s Conservatives in their zealous promotion of the Canada-China Investment Treaty. Thanks to citizens like you, the Treaty has not yet been ratified. If it were, it would allow Chinese companies (including state-owned enterprises) to sue Canada over decisions that can limit or reduce their expectation of profits. China could claim damages against Canada for decisions at the municipal, provincial, territorial or federal level. Even decisions of our courts can give rise to damages.

This is not theoretical. This is happening now with private US corporations. We don’t want to know what would happen if Harper allowed Chinese Communist Party-controlled enterprises this kind of power over our democracy.

I know you already took part in our campaign against the Canada-China Investment Treaty. I invite you to maintain the pressure on Stephen Harper. You can do so by using our new Email Your Friend button on our Action page.