The Prime Minister of Quebec is currently in China to support the investor rights protection agreement signed by Mr. Stephen Harper. This agreement goes against the interests of Quebecers since it grants an absolute right of protection to private investments that will have the effect of compromising public policies on environmental issues.
It is therefore in Quebec’s interest to stand up against these counterproductive rapprochements between the Canadian and Chinese governments. Protecting the rights of private investors interferes with Canada’s sovereignty. Many members of the Conservative caucus have criticized this dubious agreement.
Chinese corporations will now be able to sue the Canadian government for any form of regulation imposed on them in the course of their operations in Canada. It will therefore be difficult for provincial governments to adopt more robust environmental protection laws at the risk of being sued in court.
The provinces were not consulted on this issue. The management of natural resources is a jurisdiction that must be left to the provincial or indigenous authorities. The federal government therefore acted unilaterally and did not consult the provinces on this agreement.
At a time when the Couillard government should be standing up to Stephen Harper, he has only one thing in mind, the increase in hog sales, which have decreased with the Russian embargo imposed as a sanction following the provocative rhetoric of the Canadian government.
We must ask ourselves questions about the harmonization of the political agenda of the Quebec Liberals and the Conservatives in Ottawa and whether these two levels of government are acting in the best interests of Quebeckers and Canadians.
Philippe Couillard has become Harper’s right-hand man and is already laying the groundwork for Jean Charest’s candidacy for the Conservative Party of Canada next year. In this process, the best interests of Quebec are set aside to advance partisan priorities.
As for the Green Party of Quebec, we believe that the Chinese Investor Protection Agreement runs counter to our interests and presents a major obstacle to Quebec’s autonomy in the management of natural resources.
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec
Sources and information
Couillard in china: http://bit.ly/1zFt9oC
Couillard is unable to sell more Quebec pork to China: http://bit.ly/1tGzywp