First Nation Takes on FIPPA: Fighting Canada-China Trade Deal Needs You!

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First Nation Taking on Canada-China Trade Deal Needs Your Help
by Damien Gillis - The Canadian.org
 
A legal challenge underway by a BC First Nation may hold the last, best hope in the battle to protect Canada's resources, environment and democracy from the Canada-China trade deal, known as FIPPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement). But they need the public's support in order to see their costly court case through.

The Hupacasath First Nation from Vancouver Island is heading to court this month in an attempt to block the controversial trade deal by asserting its infringement on the nation's tile and rights. The Hupacasath's representatives argue their constitutional rights to consultation have been violated by the deal and the manner in which it is being brought in. FIPPA would have a detrimental effect on this and other nations' title and rights, as it entrenches the rights of Chinese investors above and beyond Canada's First Nations and citizens.
 
 
 
FIPPA would mean Canada's environmental laws and the concerns of the public are trumped by access to resources for Chinese companies - for a 31 year period once it's ratified. 
 
 
For instance, for the Hupacasath, a proposed coal port in nearby Port Alberni would be built by Compliance Energy, a Chinese company, thus, receive special protections from environmental or public health concerns. The same applies to logging, mines, private hydro projects, roads and any other Chinese-driven industrial development "promoted and protected" by FIPPA. Inevitable oil spills from tankers destined for China would also impact the Hupacasath and other nations' traditional way of life on the land and water.

To help fund their $150,000 legal bills, the Hupacasath are running a crowd-funding initiative, which you can support here.


Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon.
 

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