Oral Questions – Foreign Investment

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, 16 sitting days to go until the Canada-China investment treaty is automatically approved without a debate or a vote in the House. It will bind Canada for the next 15 years, giving Chinese state-owned enterprises, indeed the Communist Party of China, the right to sue Canada in secret arbitration hearings.


Was the decision to approve this deal by order in council in order to keep it from the Canadian people or to avoid having to force Canadian Conservative MPs into voting for something they do not believe in?

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member’s question is way off the mark. The agreement, which is intended to protect Canadian investors, Canadians who are seeking to do business so that their investments in China are actually protected, was tabled in the House of Commons. We have rules that allow it to be debated in the House of Commons should the opposition parties decide among themselves to have it debated. They have already had two opportunities this week and they chose not to have it debated.

We have the most open process any government in Canada has ever had for agreements of this type, unprecedented openness and an unprecedented democratic process, but that will not stop us from moving forward to help Canadians invest and create prosperity.