She ended her letter to the minister with a call to action: "It is vital for open and accountable government that, whatever the form of the entity, if it is carrying on public business, it should be subject to the [Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act]." Two and a half years later, there is still no sign of action from the government.
According to our poll, 54 per cent of Canadians said they oppose giving special protections to EU firms, "similar to the protections American investors in Canada have as part of free trade with the U.S. [that] let them sue Canadian governments if they feel a government policy, including an environmental policy, unfairly affects their investment or profits in Canada."
The ID Card, known as the BC Services Card, has been rolling out since February, and it combines both the drivers license and the provincial health care card, with lots more to come. If you are concerned about the implications for our privacy and our pocketbooks, you should definitely put your opinions to the consultation panel -- but hurry: the deadline for submissions is Nov. 27.
Should the "right" of a foreign corporation to make a profit trump governments' attempts to create local jobs, improve environmental regulations or establish laws that raise royalty rates? Most Canadians would say no. But that's what the Conservative government is pushing poor countries to accept if they want Canadian investment.
I'm proud of my country and would fight for her again, body willing. I know my brothers and sisters in arms feel the same way. Canada has never been conquered by a foreign power, but if this FIPA trade deal is ratified, it will commit us to sacrifice our precious resources without even having the right to fight.
On December 7, Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved the first two complete takeovers of Canadian-owned energy firms by foreign state-owned companies in our country's history. The Prime Minister used sleight of hand to trick Canadians into thinking these were "exceptional" cases, to be repeated only cautiously in the future. He appeared to close the door to ownership of the tar sands by companies controlled by foreign governments. But he didn't close it at all. He left it wide open and signaled to China, Malaysia and other countries that Canada's strategic energy resources were entirely for sale, not just to the highest bidder but to any bidder at all.
Because countries often have differing political and economic systems, agreements are needed to protect those invested in trade. Canada has signed numerous deals. Treaties, agreements and organizations to help settle disputes may be necessary, but they often favour the interests of business over citizens.
This Thursday a new treaty is due to come into effect between Canada and China without debate or public discussion. It is called an Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. his agreement will allow both countries to go to binding arbitration at an international tribunal. Under this agreement, "unreasonable" attempts to stop foreign takeovers could be brought to this very arbitration board and either mandated to be allowed or incur huge fines against Canada. Unsurprisingly, a lot of Canadians, especially in the West, don't like the sound of that