There is a lot of spin about the Canada-China investment treaty (or FIPA). Canadians should not be fooled into the deal. They should insist on an independent review of the government’s claims, before the treaty is locked in for 31 years.
Recently, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne analyzed the treaty and pronounced it safe. However, Coyne missed key elements of the treaty, did not compare it to other agreements, and failed to appreciate the record of arbitration awards. Here is a more accurate overview of the treaty’s significance for Canada.
As Prime Minister Stephen Harper leads a high-powered Team Corporate Canada to China, there’s justifiable speculation that the PM will not question China’s appalling human rights record. At least not publicly. Once, powerful western democracies placed human rights at the centre of their international relations. In fact, human rights were once the cornerstone of Canada’s foreign and other policies. But times have changed. In the Harper Conservative majority era, Canada coddles dictatorial regimes that persecute their own populations. For example, China, our new best friend.
But now that the Asian powerhouse is fast emerging as the next global “super power”, is it far-fetched to suggest that Chinese President Hu Jintao quiz Harper on Canada’s human rights record during the visit? The Yinka Dene Alliance, a group of five First Nations that represent several thousand people in north-central B.C., doesn’t think so.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it clear his government will not reopen the abortion debate. But Stephen Woodworth, the Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre wants to reverse course. And force Parliament to enact a law that supposedly extends “human rights” to unborn children.
In a statement released to the press yesterday, Woodworth claims:
“Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth. This means that in Canada a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or she is breathing.”
The emotive language of human rights, again. Of course there’s no better way to force open the emotive abortion debate. Before we succumb to this attempt at mass political emotional manipulation, the truth: This is about Conservatives and their pro-life, anti-women position. Period.
The late comedian, George Carlin, saw it coming:
Pro-life Conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t wanna know about you.