A First Nations filing for judicial review is the latest manifestation of concern about the Canada-China investment agreement. The Harper government agreed to the FIPPA with China last year, but, following widespread public opposition, it has yet to officially ratify the deal.
Earlier today, a press conference was convened at the Vancouver offices of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). The organizers released the following statement.
I want to add my name to those who have written to you expressing our concern about the possibility that the NDP might endorse the CETA agreement.
This agreement is primarily about limiting the public policy options of government. It is not fundamentally about lowering tariff barriers as these are already quite low. Rather it is about enhancing investor rights. It is also about further entrenching the intellectual property regime that has led to such major increases in Canada's pharmaceutical prices since Brian Mulroney abolished compulsory licensing in 1987 and 1992 with Bills C22 and C91.
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In recent days, Indigenous rights protests have taken place across the country under the slogan of 'Idle No More.' These protests were sparked in large part by the Harper government's Bill C-45, but also reflect ongoing issues around land and title rights, as well as the constitutional duty of the government to consult with First Nations. Today the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, in partnership with LeadNow.ca and the Council of Canadians, put out this statement demanding consultation in the matter of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA).