Letter RE: Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)

Dear Prime Minister Harper,


The Steelhead Society of BC is a British Columbia-based grassroots organization who advocate for the conservation, protection, and health of all wild salmonids and wild rivers in British Columbia. Considered to be one of the most important conservation organizations in North America, the Steelhead Society consists of 400 members from across Canada, including current and former Ministry of Environment staff, fisheries biologists, scientists, analysts and anglers in our membership.

Our members' support, as well as private donations and monies raised through fundraising campaigns, funds advocacy actions and awareness in the public spectrum, and acts to encourage positive change in government and private enterprise.

It has come to our attention that in approximately one week from now, your government will institute a 31-year binding treaty, better known as the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, without a single debate or vote. The fact that you plan to advance this agreement with your own volition, without any parliamentary review or oversight is Orwellian.

Entering into this agreement will effectively pave the way for China’s oil giants to buy out Canada’s natural resource companies. Entering into this agreement purports only to protect the rights for foreign nations to benefit off of Canada’s national resources. As you know, FIPA will give China’s companies the legal grounds to sue Canadian governments – federal, provincial or municipal, in secret tribunals outside of Canada, if such governments block the profits of any Chinese companies, in any way. Preventing the Northern Gateway pipeline from being built, would give China, under this agreement, grounds to sue the Province and/or the Federal government.

Canada has already spent hundreds of millions on penalties from lawsuits launched under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and it would be a dire waste to spend even a penny more of taxpayer money on such lawsuits when you can stop the FIPA dead in its tracks, right now. Evidently, drafting up legally-binding rights and obligations in favor of foreign investment in Canada’s natural resources is not in the interest of Canadians nor British Columbians. Moreover, it is irrational for one man to be able to unilaterally lock our country into such an extreme deal for such a long period of time, risking potentially billions of dollars of taxpayer money over the 31-year life of the agreement.


We the SSBC strongly believe that us Canadians have the right to have a say in such a deal that will shape a good portion of our lives, and urge you not to sign the FIPA on November 1st, or at the bare minimum, open up the FIPA to the adequate discussion and debate it deserves from the Canadian public.



Brian Braidwood, President of Steelhead Society of BC

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