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October 30th, 2012

NDP calls for take note debate on Canada-China treaty

Unprecedented trade agreement could be in force November 1st

Faced with an urgent need to review the deal, New Democrats are calling on the government to hold a take note debate on the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Canada and China (FIPA).

“We suggested numerous times that the agreement’s ratification be postponed to give us time to study the deal,” said Official Opposition deputy House Leader, Sadia Groguhé. “Time is running out and the government must recognize its mistake and agree to study this crucial trade treaty.”

The Conservative government signed the FIPA with China on September 9, but kept its content a secret until September 26. The Conservatives then tabled the document in the House for a 21-day period, October 31st being the last day, but refused to schedule a debate or a vote.

“It’s inconceivable that such an important treaty would be adopted without parliamentarians being able to debate it on behalf of all Canadians. It took 18 years to negotiate this agreement which will be in effect for 31 years. A few more months would allow us to study it thoroughly,” said Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar.