Secret trade deal will cost taxpayers dearly

A trade deal with China will allow Chinese companies to challenge decisions of all levels of government in Canada.

Editor: Has anyone else heard of FIPA? This is the most disturbing trade deal in a generation. What happened to democracy in this country?

In one week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper could commit Canada to the most sweeping trade deal in a generation, without a single debate or vote.

If the Canada-China FIPA passes, it will pave the way for China’s massive companies to spend billions buying out Canada’s natural resource companies.

Under FIPA, China’s companies can sue Canadian governments, federal, provincial or municipal, in secret tribunals outside the Canadian court system, if those governments do anything that would limit the companies’ profits in Canada.

The FIPA would tie our hands for 31 years, making it possible for China’s companies to challenge Canadian laws that create jobs, protect our environment and build healthy communities with billion-dollar lawsuits that would cost us, the taxpayers, dearly.

Canada has already spent hundreds of millions on penalties from lawsuits launched under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and right now Belgium is facing a $3 billion suit from one of China’s companies because of a similar foreign investor agreement.

Why would Prime Minister Harper lock us into this secretive and extreme deal? It’s short-term gains for long-term pain.

This is one of a long list of Harper’s bias and backstabbing. As of late, he’s bending over backwards for foreign investors, rather than protecting Canadians’ best interests.

I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by this government’s blatant “venal political tendencies.”

Jenefer Smalley,