If you don’t like the way things are going in Canada, here’s your chance to make your voice heard in a better way than complaining to your friends. The following are five letter campaigns being conducted by Leadnow.ca. Take some action and make your voice heard. I have included links to the online letters at the end of each campaign.
Leadnow.ca is an independent advocacy organization that brings generations of Canadians together to achieve progress through democracy.We're working together to build a stronger democracy that protects our environment, creates economic opportunity while increasing equality, and guarantees that everyone receives the care they need.
This deal would pave the way for a massive natural resource buyout and allow foreign corporations to sue the Canadian government in secret tribunals, restricting Canadians from making democratic decisions about our economy, environment and energy.1
Most Canadians have never heard of FIPA, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, because Prime Minister Harper is trying to sneak it through without a single vote or debate in Parliament.2,3
Canadians have a right to determine our future, but this agreement will undermine our democratic rights and lock us into an inescapable path of foreign-ownership and resource extraction until at least 2040.
The Canada-China FIPA is set for automatic approval on October 31st unless we get the word out now that the Harper Conservatives are trying bypass Parliament and sneak this deal by Canadians. That’s why we partnered with SumOfUs.org on this campaign – if enough of us raise our voices now, we can create a massive public outcry to stop this devastating deal in its tracks.
Send a message to Prime Minister Harper and your MP: Canada is not for sale, stop the Canada-China FIPA and the Nexen takeover. When 30,000 sign, we will deliver your messages to Ottawa.
Alongside this deal, the Harper government is trying to speed through the sale of Nexen, a major Canadian oil and gas company, to the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of China’s massive state-owned oil companies.4 The $15 billion-dollar Nexen takeover will open the floodgates to a wave of foreign buyouts of Canada's natural resources.
If FIPA passes, a Chinese company can take over Canadian resources and then sue Canadian governments – provincial or federal – in secret, if the government does anything that threatens the company’s profits.
Any Canadian law or government decision – even ones that protect Canadian jobs, our environment, our economy and our families – could be fought in secret tribunals outside of our legal system. Arbitrators unaccountable to the Canadian public would have the power to award billions in damages to foreign corporations if we do anything that hurts corporate profits, like improve environmental standards or slow down the export of cheap, unprocessed resources.1,5,6
Time is running out. We have two weeks before FIPA is set to pass into law, and the Nexen takeover could be approved at any time. Canadians, including many Conservative MPs, oppose the Nexen takeover, and Prime Minister Harper has just asked for a 30 day extension to regroup. We need a massive public outcry now.
Additional InformationThe ability for corporations to sue foreign governments in private courts, called “investor-state arbitration,” is a controversial practice built into many trade deals like NAFTA that has cost Canada millions and over-ruled democratic decisions, but none impose the level of secrecy in the Canada-China FIPA.
Incredibly, if BC tries to regulate or block Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline, Sinopec, another Chinese state-owned oil company with investments in Canada’s natural resource infrastructure, could sue the BC government for damages, and we may never even hear about it the case or its results.5,6
Other countries like India, South Africa and Australia are moving away from this kind of trade deal. Last year Australia rejected investor-state arbitration due to concerns that it would “constrain the ability of Australian governments to make laws on social, environmental and economic matters”.7,8
Why is Canada moving backwards?
Sources:1. Canada-China Investment Deal Allows for Confidential Lawsuits Against Canada (Toronto Star)
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1264290--canada-china-investment-deal-allows-for-confidential-lawsuits-against-canada2. Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty (Globe and Mail)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/3. Battle over CNOOC’s proposed Nexen Takeover Heats Up In Ottawa (Financial Post)
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/09/17/battle-over-cnoocs-proposed-nexen-takeover-heats-up-in-ottawa/4. Ottawa extends it review of CNOOC’s nexen bid (The Globe and Mail)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ottawa-extends-its-review-of-cnoocs-nexen-bid/article4604093/5. Chinese Companies Can Sue BC for Changing Course on Northern Gateway, says Policy Expert
http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert6. Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out (The Tyee)
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/print.html7. Trading our way to more jobs and prosperity (Government of Australia)
http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/trade/trading-our-way-to-more-jobs-and-prosperity.html#investor-state8. Multiple Countries Rejecting Investor State Dispute Settlement (Janet M Eaton, PhD)
http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/main-page/multiple-countries-rejecting-investor-state-dispute-settlementTell Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Canada is NOT for sale.
An Open Letter to the Next ParliamentIt's time to move beyond today's political division and short-term thinking, and get to work on the shared challenges of our time.Across geographies and generations, in local communities and online, thousands of Canadians are coming together to create a new kind of politics. This is our agenda for the new Parliament.
We call for political cooperation to build a stronger democracy that protects our environment, creates economic opportunity while increasing equality, and guarantees that everyone receives the care they need.
We commit to support action on the following key priorities and vote for the politicians who will best:Democracy
- Create an open government plan to increase transparency and accountability
- Initiate a citizen-led process for a referendum on electoral reform
- Make it easier for people to participate directly in government decision-makingEconomic Opportunity and Equality
- Establish a plan with clear targets to reduce poverty and provide affordable housing
- Improve access to high quality post-secondary education and reduce student debt
- Ensure access to affordable quality child care and early childhood educationEnvironment
- Establish climate legislation to meet international and science-based targets
- Invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and home retrofits
- End subsidies to fossil fuel companiesHealth
Where there is overlap with provincial jurisdiction, we call for action to be defined in collaboration with the provinces and implemented according to jurisdiction.
- Ensure universal access to high quality and publicly administered health care
- Invest in programs that prevent illness and promote wellness
- Create a national strategy to increase mental health support
We, the undersigned, call for political cooperation to build a stronger democracy that protects our environment, creates economic opportunity while increasing equality, and guarantees that everyone receives the care they need. Declaration for Change
Cooperation against Harper
In the last federal election, 61% of voters cast ballots for change, but the vote split and our broken electoral system gave Stephen Harper a majority of seats in Parliament.Now, if we work together, we can make sure our next government represents a majority of Canadians and fixes our broken electoral system. Here’s how we can do it:
During the next election, the NDP, Liberals and Greens can cooperate in key ridings to defeat Stephen Harper’s government, and then pass electoral reform to make Canada’s democracy work better for everyone.
The Liberals are preparing to choose their next leaders. We need to show the leadership candidates that thousands of Canadians are willing to take action to support cooperation for electoral reform.
“I call on the opposition party leaders to support political cooperation for electoral reform.During the next federal election, I call on the NDP, Liberals and Greens to work together in key ridings to defeat Stephen Harper's government. After the election, I call on them to cooperate to pass electoral reform and make sure our government better reflects the values and priorities of all Canadians.” Cooperation
The Budget Omnibus Bill