In his Nov. 4 letter to the North Shore News, Citizens' Ignorance a Dire Threat to Trade Deal, David Fung laments the fact that citizens' ignorance may jeopardize the Canada-China trade deal (FIPA).
Mr. Fung is correct that Article 33 states that no claim would be allowed if the host government enacts legislation and/or regulations for the public good, including environmental protection, cultural industries, national security and resource conservation. Such legislation cannot be overturned by an arbitration tribunal.
What Mr. Fung does not tell us is that the host government is the Canadian federal government. In other words, federal laws in the public interest cannot be overturned by tribunals, and Chinese companies will not be able to sue our federal government for laws detrimental to their bottom line.
No such exemption exists for provincial or municipal laws. If this trade deal is signed, there is nothing in it that would prevent Chinese companies from suing Canadian provinces and municipalities if they have passed laws interfering with the profitability of these companies.
Reimar Kroecher North Vancouver
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