Conservative MPs such as Mike Lake continuously claim that they are acting in the best interests of Canadians, but his constituents see his actions and are doubting the authenticity behind those statements. At a recent roundtable discussion he hosted, a number of constituents of Edmonton Mill Woods-Beaumont pushed him and questioned his party’s direction on the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). The public voiced their concern and doubts, and I couldn’t agree with them more. Mr. Lake do you represent your constituents or your party’s ideology?
See, FIPA is much like NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Like NAFTA, the Canada-China FIPA will continue to challenge Canadian sovereignty and negatively impact us as citizens. How exactly? Chinese investors would be able to sue for billions of dollars in potential damages if they claim they were treated unfairly by any of the three levels of government; federal, provincial or municipal. That means if any of our policies, including environmental protection policies, inhibit them from making a profit, Chinese firms will be able to sue. In short, FIPAs will protect foreign interests, rather than the interests of the Canadian people. The Canadian taxpayers have been in this predicament before, many times over in fact. In lawsuits filed by US companies under NAFTA, you, and the rest of the citizens of Canada have had to pay out approximately $157 million dollars. However, the Conservatives don’t care, it’s not “big business” that has to pay for it, it’s the average Canadian family that shoulders the burden!
Although Mike Lake and his fellow Conservatives claim to have our interests in mind; the truth is they are protecting the interests of corporations and large investors. Not us. The Canada-China FIPA focuses on safeguarding Canadian investors in China, and then stating that Canadians are getting a bigger piece of the pie, which is not the case. According to Ian Lee, a trade expert at Carleton University, “Canadian businesses have been pushing for years for a FIPA agreement with China to reduce the risks of investing in a country where opportunities are boundless, but corruption is rife. This is to protect Canadian capitalists when they go into China.” I couldn’t have stated it any better or more honestly myself.
It’s obvious that Mike Lake supports and protects big business investments in foreign lands, and is fine with allowing them collect unlimited profits (I’ll leave Canada’s track record regarding foreign investment and human rights for another time). He falsely argues that some of those dollars will trickle down to hard working Canadians like you and me. Don’t be fooled though, an economy that drips is nothing compared to an economy that flows and Conservatives like Mike Lake have always catered to those that line their pockets at election time. Conservatives allow and encourage big business and foreign investment to control our economy and it’s time we said, “Enough is enough.” As Canadians, we currently work for their economy, when in fact the Canadian economy should work for all of us.
We can change this, and create an economy that represents the best interests of Canadians -not corporations and not foreign investors. It’s what you deserve, and what we should demand. Join and work with me and the NDP to take this message to Ottawa on behalf of all constituents in Edmonton Mill Woods-Beaumont.
Always at your service,