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Information about Fipaslideshow
News & Politics

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: andreapalframan


>Aredesignedto givereciprocal protectionsfor investorsoperating inoneanothers countries. >Allowclaims to be settled by unelected, private arbitrators in offshore tribunals >Give foreign companiesthe right to claim damagesiflaws arepassthatharm corporateprofits Unlike NAFTA, which we can leave with six months notice, the FIPA treaty has a 15-year minimum term, requires one year's notice prior to termination, and adds another 15-years of treaty coverage for assets that are Chinese-owned at the time of termination. This FIPA would lock us in for Under NAFTA’s Chapter 11, Lone Pine Resources brought an arbitration against Quebec when the province declared a moratorium on new fracking projects. Citizens’ choice— to take the time to study fracking carefully —may cost Quebec taxpayers Stephen Harper signed the Canada China FIPA agreement in Vladivostok, Russia. Cabinet could have ratified it as early as November 2012. The fact that it has still not been ratified indicates that there are concerns within the Conservative Party about the wisdom of signing on to this deal. "When I wake up at night and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign states have agreed to investment arbitration at all ... Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament." — Juan Fernández-Armesto, arbitrator from Spain. A slow-down or policy shift in the oil sands or in infrastructure such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline could trigger billions of dollars in claims . These damages would be payable to Chinese State Owned Enterprises by Canadian taxpayers. CANADA-CHINA FEDERAL INVESTMENT PROTECTION & PROMOTION AGREEMENT FIPA= A FIPA IS AN INVESTOR-STATE TREATY. THESE TYPES OF AGREMENTS: CONCERNS ABOUT TRANSPARENCY: “The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) has profound implications for Canadian labour law, environmental regulations and democratic standards.” GUS VAN HARTEN, OSGOODE LAW SCHOOL In the Canada-China treaty, Canada reserved a right for the federal government to keep trade arbitration documents secret if our government deems it not "in the public interest" to do so. There is a concern that FIPA could have a chilling effect on legislators’ ability to pass progressive legislation. The knowledge that a law could potentially trigger millions or billions of dollars in lawsuits could have an influence on legislators’ decision making, even if legislation is evidence-based, sound, and popular. In August 2013, the federal judge ruled in favour of Canada and ordered the Hupacasath to pay $100,000 to cover the federal governments court costs. Most of those costs were for the expert testimony of an investment trade lawyer whose testimony was coloured by the fact that his career is dependent on investor-state arbitration arrangements. Investment trade lawyers typically make between $1,000 to $2,000 an hour. The Hupacasath are currently appealing the ruling at the Supreme Court with support from crowdfunding through Lead Now and the Council of Canadians. In June 2013, the Hupacasath First Nation took the Federal Government to court over the failure to consult First Nations on matters that would affect their sovereignty over their traditional territories. Brenda Sayers has led the Hupacasath campaign, which has attracted support from the Council of Canadians, the Federation of BC Indian Chiefs, West Coast Environmental Law, Lead Now, UNIFOR, and the BC Teachers Federation. As land stewards with a bold plan to achieve sustainability in energy, forestry, and mining sectors in their Port Alberni territory, the Hupacasath are concerned that decisions they take to direct the pace and scale of development could trigger lawsuits by Chinese investors. In June 2013, the Hupacasath First Nation took the Federal Government to court over the failure to consult First Nations on matters that would affect their sovereignty over their traditional territories. Also under NAFTA Chapter 11, Eli Lilly plans to take Canada to a NAFTA arbitration panel. The pharmaceutical company is asking for $500 million after Canadian courts invalidated two of its drug patents. Canada has paid out $170 million in compensation under NAFTA to date. Even though Australia does not have an investor-state treaty with China, they lead the globe in Chinese investment. NO: AUSTRALIA RECENTLY UNDERTOOK A COST-BENEFIT STUDY OF INVESTMENT TREATIES, WHICH SHOWED THAT THESE TREATIES CREATE FAR GREATER COSTS THAN BENEFITS. SINCE THIEN, THEY HAVE DECIDED NOT TO ENTER INTO ANY NEW FIPAS. CONCERNS ABOUT DEMOCRACY: CONCERNS ABOUT ECONOMIC IMPACTS: CONCERNS ABOUT DURATION: Though FIPAs are meant to be reciprocal, Canadian investors have never won compensation in any of their 16 known lawsuits against the U.S. or other countries under NAFTA and FIPAs. THE CANADIAN ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE $250 MILLION NAFTA-RELATED CONCERNS: Is an Investor-State Agreement necessary to pursue trade? CONCERNS ABOUT NECESSITY: 31 YEARS 28% OF OIL SANDS INVESTMENT IS CHINESE Concerned? : If you are concerned about the FIPA, and have friends, colleagues, and relatives in other ridings across the country who can collect signatures and write letters, please go to this link to download a pdf Petition and Letter Writing Kit. MPs pay attention when their constituents phone, write, and present them with petitions. Let’s keep FIPA, and the concerns citizens have about the deal, as part of the conversation in the House of Commons. {{ It is important to bring this issue to a wide variety of ridings so that MPs of all parties hear their constituents’ positions on FIPA. Only 25 signatures are needed on a petition before a constituent can request that it be presented in the House of Commons.

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