Election 2015: Green Party vows to battle investor-state deals

The Green Party of Canada is speaking out against investor-state agreements as part of its 2015 election campaign.

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May

The Green Party of Canada is speaking out against investor-state agreements as part of its 2015 election campaign.

Foreign Investor Protection Agreements, such as a 31-year deal with China signed in 2012 and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership with Pacific Rim countries, threaten Canada’s ability to govern itself, said Elizabeth May, party leader.

May, along with members such as Paul Manly, Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate and party international trade critic, made a stop in Nanaimo Tuesday, and unveiled an action plan to combat such agreements.

“We’re now in a situation where Beijing can bring arbitration cases in the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars against Canada, if something done by a municipality, a province, a territory, or First Nation’s government, or a court decision, interferes with the expectation of profit of an investor from [China] operating in Canada, said May.

There must be legislation demanding transparency, she said.

“The [China] deal with Canada has no trade provisions,” said May. “It’s all about investment. We need to make sure that any complaints from Beijing to Canada be made public immediately, even diplomatic communiques short of an arbitration suit.”

There need to be protocols that ensure future Canadian governments defend the country’s sovereignty and the right to pass its own laws. If the Fisheries Act is strengthened and environmental assessment is brought back, Canada may face challenges from China, May said.

“We need to know that the other potential leaders understand that we will fight these agreements and if we lose an arbitration, every step be kept public and we be prepared to write a cheque to Beijing rather than allow [it] to dictate to a democracy, what laws we’re allowed to pass,” May said.

Manly said the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe, which is being ratified, has similar provisions.

“It also has provisions in it that allow for … blocking our municipal governments, our regional districts from being able to use local businesses for procurement, that’s a direct attack on our own economic sovereignty, our ability to make decisions locally,” said Manly.

May said he Greens aren’t against foreign trade, however.

“Trade is an important part of our economy. We’ve seen a trade deficit growing … and it concerns us,” said May. “We’re concerned to ensure that Canadian products manufactured here are exportable with fair trade that ensures that we’re not facing tariff barriers.”

Just Posted

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read