Aboriginal Rights, British Columbia, Canada, Canada resources, environmental protection, FIPA, First Nation rights, Hupacasath, Hupacasath appeal, Lack of Transparency, NAFTA, NAFTA impacts, no parliamentary debate, Stephen Harper, Treaty Rights, Treaty violations, undermining democracy, US NAFTA unemployment
(Note that noon on 10 October in Sydney Australia, 2 am, 10 October, London is still 6 pm, 9 October, in British Columbia. Check your date and time compared to British Columbia here: http://time.is/UTC )
By the Assembly of First Nations ( http://www.afn.ca ):
“The Hupacasath First Nation in British Columbia is seeking your urgent support to continue their legal challenge against the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) to protect Aboriginal title and rights.
On August 27, 2013, the Federal Court of Canada dismissed the application by the Hupacasath First Nation for a review of the Canada-China FIPA, an investment treaty that will affect Canada’s resources and environmental protection. The Hupacasath First Nation has agreed to appeal the judge’s ruling, and has raised $190,000 in under two weeks. They must raise an additional $110,000 for legal fees by Friday October 11th, 2013 to meet the appeal deadline.
Visit the following links for information on the court challenge and how you can donate to this most important issue. https://leadnow.netdonor.net/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1694&ea.campaign.id=19897&ea.tracking.id=donate-single
This is a call for First Nations and all Canadians to stand together with the Hupacasath First Nation to protect our rights and territories, including lands and waters, from any incursion by domestic or foreign governments“. By: http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/news-media/latest-news/urgent-call-for-support-by-friday-october-11-2013 (bold added by us)
According to this they are up to $205,989 of $300,000 https://leadnow.netdonor.net/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1694&ea.campaign.id=19897&ea.tracking.id=donate-single
Here is an earlier information sheet:
“JUST THE FACTS: Countering Government Spin about the Secretive and Extreme Canada-China FIPA Investor Deal” http://fipafacts.ca/
“Any day now, Prime Minister Harper could ratify the secretive and extreme Canada-China FIPA investor deal. The agreement, which would bind Canada for 31 years, would let foreign corporations sue Canadian governments for huge amounts of money if our government did anything to limit their profits. Worse yet, these lawsuits would be decided by unaccountable arbitrators in secret tribunals outside of Canada’s court system.
Thousands of Canadians have already come together across political lines to tell their MPs to stop this terrible deal. Conservative MPs have started responding by sending out identical misleading talking points. Let’s counter the spin.
FACT NO. #1 Our government has not been transparent and accountable to the public.
There has been no real debate in Parliament and no reports on the risks. China is just as important as the US, and there was a whole election fought over NAFTA. If this is such a good deal, why don’t they want us to hear about it?
FACT NO. #2, FIPA would let foreign corporations sue Canada if we limit their profits.
We will be at the whim of unaccountable arbitrators with a record of putting corporate profits before democratic control. NAFTA has showed us that bigger countries have the advantage in this unfair system. Canada has lost every case brought against us by a US company, costing us millions and changing our rules.
FACT NO. #3 The lawsuits will be settled in secret tribunals outside Canadian courts.
Unlike all other international treaties, this FIPA lets the Canadian and Chinese government keep the public in the dark about the facts and arguments of the cases. So we will not know how these lawsuits are undermining our democracy and economy. There’s only one guarantee: we will find out how many millions (or billions) of taxpayer dollars we’ll have to handover to foreign corporations.
The Canada-China FIPA is bad for our democracy and economy. Tell your Member of Parliament not to lock us into this terrible deal for 31 years. Add your name @ leadnow.ca/stop-fipa
http://s3.amazonaws.com/fipafacts/FIPA-Fact-Sheet-Printout.pdf http://fipafacts.ca http://www.leadnow.ca/
A recent article:
“Hupacasath First Nation prepares to appeal FIPPA decision”
By COLLEEN KIMMETT
Published September 25, 2013 12:57 pm
“It’s taken just two days for B.C.’s Hupacasath First Nation to raise $50,000 in a fundraising campaign aimed at defeating an international trade deal between Canada and China.
The Hupacasath claim that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrongly failed to consult it, and other First Nations, before signing the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA). The agreement was signed on Sept. 9, 2012, by Harper and then-Chinese president Hu Jintao but has yet to be ratified.
The agreement, which was not debated in the House of Commons, has been criticized for it’s lack of reciprocity” – See more at: http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/09/25/FIPPA-Appeal/ (bold added)
30 September Donor Update with more explanation:
“Donate to help the Hupacasath First Nation continue their legal battle against the Canada-China FIPA
Update: September 30th — What a phenomenal response! In just 10 days we’ve reached over $150,000! Based on this incredible outpouring of support, the Hupacasath First Nation have now filed the initial legal documents with the Federal Court of Appeal, securing their right to appeal!
The Hupacasath are prepared to fight this case to the end, but they may be forced to withdraw the application for appeal unless we reach our fundraising goal in the next four weeks. Please make your donation today, then share this with everyone so we can reach our goal, fully fund the appeal, and make sure the Hupacasath don’t get stuck with a major debt for this historic legal challenge.
Thank you so much.
Together, you’ve made it possible for the Hupacasath First Nation to take the Harper government to court to challenge the Canada-China FIPA – a reckless investor deal that would expose Canada to unlimited risk from costly lawsuits in secretive tribunals and undermine the rights of our democratically elected governments for the next 31 years.1
Thanks to your generous donations, the Hupacasath’s legal team were able to make their case in federal court in Vancouver on June 5, 6 & 7th.
Unfortunately, after just 3 days in court, the judge sided with the government. But this fight isn’t over yet. The Hupacasath’s lawyers believe they have grounds for an appeal, and the Hupacasath are prepared to take this case to the next level to stand up for all of our rights.
The Hupacasath are ready, but they can’t do it alone – especially now that the Harper Conservatives have asked the courts to force the Hupacasath to pay over $100,000 in costs for the government’s legal team and expert witnesses.
Historically, Canadians have not been forced to pay the government’s costs in constitutional challenges where the public interest is at stake. What does it say about the state of our democracy that our government would refuse to bring a sweeping investor agreement before Parliament, and then force Canadians to pay punitive legal fees to challenge them in court?
The Hupacasath are refusing to be intimidated by this new hurdle. Their band council has agreed to appeal the judge’s ruling, but the appeal can only go forward if we can raise $300,000 to pay the costs and legal fees.
If we can raise $110,000, we can cover the draconian fee that the government has imposed on the Hupacasath. If we can raise $300,000 then we can fully fund an appeal and ensure the Hupacasath will not be saddled with debt and take the fight to the next level.
If we raise more than $110,000, but less than $300,000, and the Hupacasath are forced to withdraw the appeal, the remaining money will go to turn up the pressure against FIPA online, in the media, and on the ground in key Conservative MP’s ridings.
When this fight started a year ago, no one would have ever thought that we would get this far.
They’ve taken on this David and Goliath battle not only to defend their own rights and title, but to protect the rights and interests of all Canadians.
We can do amazing things when we stand together. By sharing the load, Canadians from coast to coast to coast already raised well over $150,000 to cover the costs of injunction. Now, it’s up to us to stand with the Hupacasath.
This statement from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, covers some of the central problems with the judge’s ruling:
” The Union of BC Indian Chiefs refuse to accept the Government of Canada’s argument that there is no ‘causal link’ or ‘potential adverse impacts’ on our constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal rights and the ratification of FIPA. The Court wholeheartedly accepted Canada’s argument. First Nations leadership across this country are facing a federal government who stated in court that they do not need to nor ever intend to ever consult any First Nation regarding any trade agreement. The Court responded this total lack of consultation ‘would not contravene the principle of the honour of the Crown or Canada’s duty to consult'”2
 The most secretive and sweeping trade deal of a generation: http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-fipa
 Hupacasath Disappointed with Federal Judicial Review of Canada-China FIPA: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews08271301.html
First Nations have constitutionally protected rights – including the right to be consulted on deals like FIPA, something Harper has failed to do. The Hupacasath are ready to go to back to court to stop this terrible deal. The premise of HFN court challenge was based on Section 35 of the Constitution of Canada, the duty to consult with First Nations.
In partnership with:
Hupacasath First Nation
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Chiefs of Ontario
The Council of Canadians
Idle No More
Canadian Unitarians for
Social Justice” https://leadnow.netdonor.net/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1694&ea.campaign.id=19897&ea.tracking.id=donate-single
Some additional information from Canadian Broadcasting Corp.: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/first-nations-loses-bid-to-block-canada-china-fipa-treaty-1.1344065
As for NAFTA impact on US workers see:
“U.S. Economy Lost Nearly 700,000 Jobs Because Of NAFTA, EPI SaysThe Huffington Post Maxwell Strachan First Posted: 05/12/11 01:45 PM ET Updated: 07/12/11 06:12 AM ET” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/12/nafta-job-loss-trade-deficit-epi_n_859983.html (Although not discussed in this article many Detroit auto industry jobs went across the border to Canada under NAFTA. This article mentions Mexico. Look at Detroit now — bankruptcy).