Expert says treaty gives Chinese corporations powers to override Canadians' self-determination.
China's powerful state-owned enterprises including fossil fuel giants Sinopec, the Kailuan Group and CNOOC to control pace and scale of resource development in Canada, says Van Harten.
"The deal in effect gives risk insurance to Chinese companies borne by Canadian taxpayers. Taxpayers assume major liability for business losses of Chinese investors due to legal or regulatory changes in Canada,"
"Ottawa should be seeking provincial consent and I've written to all the premiers and urged them to stop the rushed ratification of this agreement."
If the National Energy Board, for example, approved the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which is largely funded by Chinese state-owned enterprises, and the British Columbia government was to impose new restrictions or reject the project, Chinese investors could sue under the treaty.The issue would then be resolved in a quasi-secret arbitration court administered by corporate lawyers and other arbitrators."The Chinese could say we got approval and it's not right to change the rules now they've invested their money," explains Van Harten.
"The mere threat of such a suit, which can lead to an award for hundreds of millions of dollars, can have a 'chill effect' on governments looking to raise regulatory standards or consider new policies in the public interest."
"This agreement with China ~ the world's second largest economy ~ will provide stronger protection for Canadians investing in China, and create jobs and economic growth in Canada."
~ removed the protection of fish habitat from the Fisheries Act;~ curtailed the scope and breath of environmental assessments and
~ even changed the Navigable Waters Act to make it easier to build pipelines.
"Chinese investors will say you can't change the rules after we've put our money in. We made these investments on the understanding that those environmental rules won't be there.""The Chinese have a very clear strategy. They want to vacuum up all value-added from resources extracted from Canada from top to bottom."
"We are not giving up transparency. Those who are suggesting otherwise are anti-investment and anti-trade. We have gone through this agreement with a fine-toothed comb to ensure it promotes Canadian interests."
"The treaty states clearly that it allows the government to withhold documents from the public, when Canada is sued by a Chinese investor, where the government consider this 'in the public interest.'"
The Canada China Business Council, founded by the Montreal-based Power Corporation of Canada, unwittingly describes Canada's trade relationship with China as that of
WITH A MASSIVE TRADE IMBALANCE".
"They will process and manufacture these products in China because they have the cheap labor and they have a strategic plan to develop competitive industries. They are playing the same game other industrial powers have played."
"Canada is being asked to play the role of peripheral supplier of raw materials and this treaty locks us into that role and stops us from making decisions or exercising sovereign authority to move away from that role," says Harten. "It's a win for China."
ECONOMIST MAGAZINE SLAMS CHINA’S STATE-OWNED CORPORATIONS
"It’s one thing to deal with companies that come from the same regulatory environment but it's another to deal with companies that don't and then give them special protections for potentially massive investments in this country."
"Money that could be much more efficiently allocated is instead reinvested into SOEs, reinforcing their strength and their bosses' fortunes. These vested interests are, in turn, some of the most strident opponents of political and economic reform, since they are the ones with the most to lose."
In Africa and New Zealand such investments have sparked bitter debate about land sovereignty and food security.
"If so, the current absence of policy in most provinces and territories regarding foreign ownership of farmland merits discussion, debate and reformulation, if necessary."