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. No press release. No technical briefing. The deal is set for automatic approval. No vote or debate will take place in the House. Once tabled in the House, the clock started ticking. 22 sitting days from September 26th (November 1st), this treaty will bind Canada.
So what is the Canada-China Investment Treaty? Simply put, it is the most significant trade agreement signed by Canada since NAFTA. Only this time our “partner” is the communist government in Beijing, an authoritarian regime with an appalling record on human rights –and it isn’t getting better. This deal requires that Chinese government-owned companies be treated exactly the same as Canadian companies operating in Canada. Once in force, it lasts a minimum of 15 years. If a future government wants to get out of it, a one year notice is required – and even once the treaty is cancelled, any existing Chinese operations in Canada are guaranteed another 15 years of the treaty’s benefits.
Given the urgency and gravity of what is at stake, and the obscure and undemocratic means through which it is poised to be carried out, Canadian Parliamentarians must have an opportunity to discuss this agreement before it is too late.
Please visit Elizabeth’s new web page about the Canada-China Investment Treaty and take action against it while we still have time. (22 days, 1 hour and 9 minutes left, give or take.)