Canada-China Investment Treaty Threatens Canadian Security, Sovereignty, And Democracy


What Stephen Harper has proven in his six year tenure as Prime Minister of Canada, particularly during his 18 months leading a majority government in the House of Commons, is that Canadian democracy is not as healthy as Canadians have assumed. In fact, it is clear that our democracy is only as healthy and vibrant as the Prime Minister of Canada allows it to be. And Stephen Harper, who exerts absolute control over his group of whipped-to-submission MPs, has taken our democracy by the neck and is strangling the life out of it in front of our eyes. The China-Canada Investment Treaty (FIPA), signed by Prime Minister Harper in Russia (!) last month, is set to be made into law next week, yet there has been no debate in the House of Commons, no public consultation, and almost no media coverage.  Like a criminal,  this Prime Minister prefers to conduct his business (which now happens to be the nation’s business) under the cover of darkness.

Elizabeth May, the only Green Party MP in the House of Commons, is working hard to shine the light on this treacherous treaty. This 60 second clip tells you all you need to know about it:



It confirms that Chinese state-owned enterprises would have the right to complain and charge for damages for decisions in Canada by municipal, provincial, territorial or federal governments. It confirms this treaty will apply till 2027 for a minimum, and potentially till 2042, and China can complain of anything it feels is arbitrary.

It will be of greater benefit to Chinese investors in Canada than to Canadian investors in China.

No province has been asked if it approved of this agreement.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister asked that members of this place should acquaint themselves with the treaty. I have. It threatens our security, our sovereignty and our democracy. Yet this 60 seconds will be the only briefing this House gets.

Today in the House of Commons, NDP International Trade Critic Don Davies’ motion to postpone ratification and study the treaty further will be debated. To read the motion in full and to see other actions the NDP has taken on the FIPA issue, click here to go to Don Davies’ website.


Go to to sign their petition – over 54,000 Canadians have already signed it.

Email or telephone the Conservative MPs on the Standing Committee On International Trade to urge them to support the motion to postpone ratification and further study:

Rob Merrifield
Ron Cannan
Russ Hiebert
Ed Holder
Gerald Keddy
Bev Shipley
Devinder Shory

Write Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, to demand that he postpone the implementation of the Agreement until there has been a proper study and input from Canadians.

Hon. Ed Fast: House of Commons Office: 613-995-0183.  If you are in Mr. Fast’s riding of Abbotsford. B.C., go down to his office and let him know how you feel.

More links:

China Investment Treaty: Experts Sounds Alarm in Letter To Harper

Canada-China Investment Treaty: Elizabeth May’s Blog

Canada And China, BFFs: Are We Ready For This?

Chinese Companies Can Sue B.C. For Changing Course On Northern Gateway, Says Policy Expert

Hope Is A Verb With Its Sleeves Rolled Up

Sometimes it feels like the forces working against a sustainable future for humanity – vested interests like Big Oil, Coal, & Gas, and the politicians they’ve bought, as well as an overall apathy among the general population – are too formidable to be overcome. We are so close to losing the battle, as Bill McKibbon’s brilliant article in this week’s Rolling Stone underlined; it’s easy to lose hope in the face of this overwhelming problem and dysfunctional political system. What we all need is a vision of what the future could be like, if we wrestle the fossil fuel demons to the ground and make our politicians work for us the citizens, instead of those with the biggest bank accounts. Here’s a video that gives us a glimpse of that future, a future that is happening right now:


*Thanks to Elli Sparks, fellow Citizen Climate Lobby volunteer and climate warrior extraordinaire, for sharing this video.*


One of my favourite quotes on hope is from Professor David Orr , “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Do you have your sleeves rolled up?

Transition Network: Supporting community-led responses to the challenges of climate change shrinking supplies of cheap energy while building resilience and happiness.

Post-carbon Institute: Leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world.

Geography of Hope: Book Review

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

TED Talk Thursday: The Wisdom Of Cradle To Cradle Design

I’m still up to my ears in hugelkulturing, and hope to share my photos and experience soon. In the meantime, here’s architect William McDonough, co-author of Cradle To Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things, discusses what our buildings and products would look like if designers took into account “all children, all species, for all time”, from a 2005 TED Talk. I’m posting this TED talk even I’m perturbed by the news that TED officials have made the decision not to post wealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer’s recent TED talk on inequality, because they felt it was too politically controversial. Hanauer discusses the fallacy that it’s the top 1% (of which he is a member)who creates the wealth in America (and elsewhere). In fact, he states, it’s the middle class which does – and its decline threatens everyone in America, from the innovators on down. You can read the transcript of Hanauer’s talk here.   But here’s William McDonough, who also has “ideas worth spreading”:


More links:

William McDonough: Cradle to Cradle

The Product Life Institute: Cradle to Cradle

Climate Change-Related Food Shortages Becoming a Reality

This summer has been devastating as China, Pakistan, and Russia reel under extreme weather events. Pakistan in particular is in need of humanitarian  yet “donor fatigue” is cited as one of the reasons for the less generous aid responses so far. Food crops have been affected both in Russia and in Pakistan, with Russia responding by cancelling this year’s grain exports. In Pakistan, the floods have damaged wheat and rice crops as more than 17 million hectares of arable land lies under water. We already live in a world where one billion people go hungry every day. In a world experiencing climate change, food instability will only grow. According to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, more than 75% of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas, and most of these are small-scale farmers. These are the people most at risk of increased hunger from climate change.

Donor fatigue is not an option for those of us in the richest parts of the world who are directly responsible for the increased suffering around the globe. And let’s not stop with aid relief – take time to send a message to your government that it’s time to address climate change NOW, before it’s too late. And join’s 10-10-10 work party and make a difference in your community that will send ripples around the globe.

More links:

Go to The Humanitarian Coalition (Oxfam, CARE, and Save the Children) to donate to Pakistan Flood Relief.

Click here to tell world leaders to begin to address climate change by putting solar on their residences.

If you are Canadian, go to Canadian Foodgrains Bank climate change page to send a postcard to your MP commending the government for setting aside $400 million to help developing countries adapt to and fight climate change, and to ask that it goes to where it is most effective, and is given in the form of grants and not loans.

To get an idea of the stark reality of food shortages that climate change will bring about, view this slide show prepared by Dr. Peter Carter: Hello. This is the map to the end of our world. Goodbye.

credit: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Climate Change Has Arrived: Drowning Today, Parched Tomorrow

The Earth leads the news again. Fire & flood across continents. The nation-states are only supporting actors. What matters is people and our relationship with all of life. The nations and corporations and religions are losing their position. The Times says “Climate change has actually arrived.” No, at long last the Earth takes over completely.

The paragraph above from Reverend Billy Talen’s Facebook page today. Talen, founder of the Church of Life After Shopping, is a modern-day prophet, visionary, and performance artist who has been pointing out the dangers of the North American over-consumptive lifestyle in creative, attention-grabbing ways since 1996.

My scientist husband compared this summer’s weather to an experiment done in Chemistry class. Supersaturation occurs when a solid is added to a liquid and appears to be dissolving without visibly changing the liquid until the liquid becomes so saturated that, just by lightly tapping the side of the flask, the dissolved solid immediately crystallizes and sinks to the bottom. The earth is close to her “supersaturation point”, as the extreme weather events demonstrate. This analogy can also be extended to include the possibility that the number of weather catastrophes around the globe this summer, combined with the ecological and economic disaster of the BP oil mess in the Gulf of Mexico, could crystallize in people’s minds the reality of climate change and the limits of our finite planet. This shift in understanding needs to happen now, before we are any further down this planet-destructive, and ultimately self-destructive, path. Could this be the summer? Or, as someone commented on Rev Billy’s page, “I think we are being voted off the planet”.

credit: Doug Grandt

More links:

Four Years Go

In Weather Chaos, a Case For Global Warming

Reinventing Repower America: Our Only Hope For Winning the Climate Battle in America

Sonnenschiff Solar City Produces 4 Times The Energy It Consumes

Drowning Today, Parched Tomorrow