Canada-China trade treaty ‘speculation’

It’s no wonder Hupacasath petitioned Canada’s court about the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China.

To the Editor,

Since they were not adequately consulted and accommodated, it’s no wonder Hupacasath First Nations petitioned Canada’s court prior to government ratifying the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China.

Incredibly, it seems colonial attitudes still reign.

First Nations know, as history teaches, that “most treaties have been characterized by insufficient compensation for land conveyed” (A Layperson’s Guide To Treaty Rights in Canada, Daniel J. Kuhlen, University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre, 1985).

Example: the Toquaht First Nations experience with the Toquaht Bay marina campground and boat launch which, even though acquired through treaty negotiations …. turned out to be a raw deal with contaminated soil.

With all due respect, Chief Justice Paul Crampton’s Aug.26th ruling against the Hupacasath Nations’ legal challenge—stating how “the potential adverse impacts (of FIPA) are speculative in nature” (Alberni Valley News, Aug.29)—makes no sense.

As a “business risk in hope of gain”, FIPA is the very definition of “speculation” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which means any potential positive impacts are just as “speculative in nature” as any negative ones.

Business and development is speculative, which is why all parties affected must be consulted and accommodated.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni