Posted: Friday, 26 October 2012
OTTAWA – The President of the Canadian Labour Congress wants a full public debate on an investment deal that the federal government has negotiated with the government of China.
“This deal could have a huge impact on Canadians and our ability to determine our own future, but there has been little or no public debate on it,” says CLC President Ken Georgetti. “We want to see that debate occur.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) on September 8 and it will go into effect on November 1. There has been no formal debate in the House of Commons and Conservative MPs voted down a motion that would have had parliament’s Industry Committee call expert witnesses to scrutinize the deal.
“We would tell the Industry Committee that FIPPA can have a huge impact on labour markets and labour rights. This agreement will last for 30 years and we should have some input into its terms.”
Georgetti adds, “Provinces and municipalities in Canada should be very worried about this deal because it could have a big impact on their ability to use local materials and suppliers on their projects. The premiers and mayors should demand a thorough debate.”
Georgetti also has concerns about the mechanisms used to settle disputes when they arise under FIPPA. “This deal includes a dispute resolution mechanism that gives foreign firms more rights than national firms. The tribunals will operate in secret, their decisions will be final and subject to judicial review on only narrow procedural grounds. This is an affront to our democratic values and practices.”
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour
Contacts: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: Tel. 613-526-7431.
Cell-text: 613-878-6040. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org