Harper's Sneaky, Undemocratic, Terrible Deal with China - 2014-09-15
In the world of official government announcements, a two-paragraph media release sent out in the late afternoon on the Friday before Parliament resumes sitting is the best way for a government to admit, "We know this is really, really unpopular, but we're doing it anyway."
That's the way the Harper government, by way of a release quoting International Trade Minister Ed Fast, announced that it had decided to ignore widespread public opposition; parliamentary opposition from the NDP, Greens and even lukewarm Liberal criticism; an ongoing First Nations legal challenge; even division at its own cabinet table and from grassroots membership; and proceed with the ratification of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
With China's ratification of the deal long since signed, sealed and delivered (and, really, when you can convince another government to sign a deal this lopsided in your favour, wouldn't you ratify as quickly as possible too?) Canada's ratification of the deal means it will enter into force on Oct. 1. And once that happens, we'll be locked into the terms of FIPA for a minimum of 31 years. That's right, even if a new government is formed after the election next year and they choose to back out of FIPA, the next seven Canadian governments will be bound by the consequences of Harper's poor negotiations.