Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Canada-China FIPA Environmental Assessment

Prior to the enactment of the Canada-China FIPA, the Canadian government pushed two omnibus bills through the HoC which included provisions designed to substantially weaken environment policies and regulations, some of them at the behest of a pipeline lobby group : 

G&M : Pipeline industry pushed environmental changes made in omnibus bill
"The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association met with senior government officials in the fall of 2011, urging them [...] to streamline environmental assessments but also to bring in “new regulations under [the] Navigable Waters Protection Act. ... 
In the end, they got almost everything they wanted."
Now we can't put those protections back again for 31 years if they happen to irritate China. But let's look at the "streamlined" environmental assessment done on the FIPA two years ago.  It's a stunner.

There are three stages in conducting an environmental assessment for a trade negotiation like Canada-China FIPA to determine what impact it will have on Canada: 
1) an Initial EA, 2) a Draft EA, and 3) a Final EA.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)
Final Environmental Assessment of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA)  October 23, 2012
"An Initial Environmental Assessment of the Canada-China FIPA was completed in January 2008. The Government of Canada opened the Initial EA for public comments from February 20 to March 21, 2008. No public comments were received."
So if, like Arthur Dentyou were sitting round in your dressing gown and you didn't happen to know about your one month window of opportunity to comment on a government website about the selling out of your country in 2008, whose fault is that exactly?
"In the light of the Initial EA’s conclusions regarding the unlikelihood of significant environmental impacts in Canada, preparation of a Draft EA was subsequently deemed to be unnecessary.... In this Final EA, the claim that no significant environmental impacts are expected based on the introduction of a Canada-China FIPA are upheld."
Wait. What? "No significant environmental impacts"? 
According to the same EA, there was a 92.4% increase in Chinese investment in Canada from 2008 to 2011. How do you figure there's no accompanying environmental impact from promoting an even greater influx of capital? 
* "As new flows of investment from China into Canada (or Canada into China) cannot be directly attributed to the presence of a FIPA, there can be no causal relationship found between the implementation of such a treaty and environmental impacts in Canada. It is for this reason that the claim made in the Initial EA, that no significant environmental impacts are expected based on the introduction of a Canada-China FIPA, is upheld." *
Wha?  Ok, let me try this one on my own.
If it can't be proven that the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement successfully achieves the goal stated right there in its title of promoting and thereby increasing investment, then FIPA can't be blamed for any environmental impacts.
Therefore there won't be any.

I think the Vogons must have written up this particular EA.

Putting FIPA in context :

Also ... Gus Van Harten in The Tyee : Breaking Down the Harm to Canada Done by Treaty with China 
and at DeSmogBlog : China Investment Treaty "a Straitjacket" for Canada

And I'd missed this angle previously. Canadians thinking of opening a business in China, take note...

In the G&M, a senior fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and special adviser to the Alberta government says Steve's sudden ratification of FIPA in advance of his visit to China in November is connected to needing a barter chip to free two Canadian Christian missionaries jailed in China. 
Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt, who have operated a cafe in China for three decades, were arrested for spying in retaliation, he suggests, for "Ottawa publicly blaming Beijing this summer for the hacking of Canadian government computers". 

"Kevin Garratt is a devout, active Christian who says that God called him to open a cafe in Dandong."

Previously : Clampetts clownshow distracts from FIPA


Anonymous said...

Newsweek - New Treaty Allows China to Sue Canada to Change its Laws

Big media fail in Canada on this.

Boris said...

It occurred to me today that Steve's FIPA ratification might be as simple as a salt-the-fields and burn the villages fuck-you to Canada before pick-your-scandal or next year's elections bin his government. The man is spiteful, afterall.

Kim said...

I think the deal is the final solution to Harper's "Indian Problem". He will finally have his license to sick his new RCMP counter-terrorism unit, along with E Division, to round up all the potential resistance on the west coast, replacing the workforce with FTWs, warehousing us in for profit prisons for use as slave labour.

One of the many tactical problems with this is the simple probability that China will import its own army in its workforce. The US will take defensive action and assimilate Canada to defend its border security. Canada will become the next battleground and the victor will have our water, world domination over water.

It's giving me a headache.

Alison said...

Kim : Did you see this brilliant piece from Boris?

Boris : The bluster and lying around his very public tiff with the Supreme Court over Nadon pretty much revealed the extent of how deeply he can be motivated by spite.

Anon@4:17 : Newsweek's somewhat hysterical and overly simplistic account is not really very helpful here.
Big media fail. Yes I believe CBC did mention it 5 days ago.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll byte. Why is Newsweek's account hysterical?

Boris said...

Alison, I think I wrote one or two TGB pieces years ago about his spitefulness. His entire reason for entering politics, I reckon, comes from a pathological hatred of the society he was born into. He intends to radically change its direction or destroy it if it fails to cooperate with him.

Kim said...

Yes, I should have credited him with the original thought, he painted such a vivid scenario! Thank you Boris!

I truly believe that Harper is hell bent on assimilating native cultures, as brainwashed by the American Prof who considers himself an expert on the "Indian Problem", as well as the man boy love thing...

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