That one hour trade committee meeting in 2012 that comprised the entirety of public and parliamentary interaction with the Canada-China FIPA provided only a single witness -- Ian Burney, assistant deputy minister for DFAIT’s trade policy and negotiations branch, and some support staff.
Ian Burney is the son of Derek Burney, former Mulroney chief of staff/ NAFTA negotiator and former head of Harper's transition team in 2006, former Canadian ambassador to the US and former Vice Chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
A tireless plumper for increased North American economic and security integration, Derek Burney is also a director at TransCanada and Chairman of International Advisory Board at GardaWorld, "one of the world’s largest privately owned security companies" with operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Haiti, Kurdistan, Libya, and Yemen.
Burney père has recently been writing editorials in Canadian media in support of FIPA although CCCE enthusiasm for increased trade with China goes way back.
Burney fils, during his brief Canada-China FIFA briefing to the 2012 trade committee, was obviously proud of both the deal made - the biggest in Canada since his dad worked on NAFTA - and the wide support it enjoyed. Ian Burney :
"There have been public expressions of support from the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, from the CCCE, from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, from the Canada China Business Council, and the list goes on, including a number of the larger companies that have investments in China now.
I'm not aware of any negative commentary that's come from the business community in Canada."So we're all good then. Anybody who was anybody liked it.
Except for recent complaints in the G&M two days ago from Chinese state-owned businesses (SOEs) operating in Canada that "Canadian labour costs are too high so they should be able to import their own workers" and also that the "regulatory approval process for resource projects takes far too long and could almost certainly be streamlined and made more efficient", something the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association had already done for them. G&M :
“Most of the executives we polled expressed dissatisfaction with what they saw as unfair treatment of Chinese SOEs in Canada,” Mr. Zhang wrote, noting that they thought the media did not portray them fairly and that the Canadian public seemed to dislike their investments here, even though they received government support."Funny thing, that.