Seeking more information on the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA), I e-mailed our MP Dick Harris Saturday afternoon to ask how the treaty would benefit Canadians. Much to my surprise an answer came back within a few hours.
The release said his government “is committed to creating the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete globally.” FIPPA will provide “stronger protection for Canadians investing in China, and facilitate the creation of jobs and economic growth here at home.” Both countries will have “the right to regulate;” Chinese investors must obey Canadian rules and regulations; Chinese investments will be subject to the Investment Canada Act (ICA); and Canadian decisions are excluded from challenge under the Act.
I should have asked why FIPPA is being bullied through in such a rush with little chance for debate. If Mr. Harper has given up too much of Canada in this treaty, and many think he has, we’ll have its 31-year lifetime to repent at leisure.
Meantime, JBS, the world’s largest meat packing corporation, is eyeing XL Foods, the humungeous but troubled meat processing company. If the sale does proceed, JBS and Cargill, both foreign owned, will control more than 80 per cent of Canada’s beef processing. Cattlemen are OK with the possible sale but the National Farmers Union is concerned over who controls our food. Our largest grain company, Viterra, is owned by the Swiss company Glencore.
If we lose control of our resources and our food, what’s left? Us?
On a happier note, my two Mountain Ash trees are gorgeous at the moment, even in the drizzle. Their leaves are a dozen shades of green and orange with the red berries as accent. One morning eight crows spent time drifting through the branches. They were so black, the contrast was stunning.
Sure, winter is a’comin, but that picture will stay in my mind’s eye for awhile.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.