Colin Mayes says don’t worry, the Conservative government is looking after things.
In fact there is plenty to worry about regarding the Canada-China Foreign Protection Investment Agreement or FIPA. NAFTA could be cancelled with six months notice. FIPA is a 31 year agreement that could only be cancelled with 15 years notice. Most troubling is the arbitration process. The Chinese government could sue Canada if it feel a new law impacts the potential profits of its companies. This would severely undermine the ability of municipal, provincial or federal governments to pass laws to protect our environment and resources. Arbitration decisions could be made behind closed doors, outside the Canadian legal systems and courts, making it completely unacceptable. Entering into such an agreement with the repressive, totalitarian government of China is, to me, unthinkable.
The recently passed omnibus bill, Bill C-38 is also worrisome, as it has already undermined our ability to protect the environment. Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which Mr. Mayes mentions, give the National Energy Board full power to approve the construction of pipelines over navigable waters. Short-sighted changes to the Fisheries Act limit protection of fish habitat to commercial, recreational or aboriginal fisheries. Amendments to the Species at Risk Act. put the habitat of species at risk in jeopardy. These are just three of the many, many ways environmental protection has been undermined by Bill C-38.
I’m very worried that protecting Canadian resources and the environment are not a priority for this Conservative government.