There's been a lot of reading involved, coming to this decision - scrounging up what I can in order to learn more about what we're being signed up for.
(not unlike the TPP, oddly enough -- our Prime Minister has gotten deep into the habit of signing things without, you know, informing Canadians what he's up to -- or letting us see what he did until the ink's dried).
But in the end, I have to stand here and say that I am strongly opposed to Canada's Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China.
Why? Well, the most simple and basic question we need to be asking is this:
What does Canada gain from this agreement?
In fact, it seems that this agreement will actually leave us holding up the larger end of the deal, suffering under more constraints and taking on far more of the risks than is even remotely fair.
My biggest question boils down to this:
If this deal was so good for Canada, for Canadians, why was it negotiated in secret?
Why did our Prime Minister prevent it from being examined by Parliament and having a fair Environmental assessment done?
Politicians love to talk about the great things they're doing, Harper is especially fond of crowing about all of his fantastic strides forward, all of his accomplishments for us.
So why is this deal being done behind closed doors? Why are we being kept out until the ink has dried?
Even if we must sign this agreement, why are we not insisting on reciprocity? Why aren't we insisting that Canadians have just a fair shot inside Chinese markets as they will have in ours?
We, my fellows -- my children -- will be on the hook for the next 31 years.
And Canadians don't get to know the full ramifications of what we're signing onto before hand?
We don't get to debate the pros and cons and have proper independent assessments?
Look, I get that there's a lot of vested interest out there all of the sudden trying to calm the seas, trying to tell us how 'great' this is going to be for us. And yet Canadians are being brought to the table in the short bus, kept away from anything that might actually inform (or incense) us.
I must stand against this process, against this secretive agreement that -- from what I can see -- will do more harm than good for my nation.
And that's why I ask that you stand with me in bringing the truth to light on this FIPA and also in demanding a new, full Environmental Assessment of it's impact.
Understanding FIPA in under 1,000 words
5 things to know about the Canada-China investment treaty
Harper must tear up the Canada-China investment treaty