Aboriginal leader considering legal action over Canada-China FIPPA

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, photo: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca

Criticisms of the Canada-China investment treaty, or FIPPA, may seem misguided to members of the trade law Bar, but for Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the agreement is a threat to First Nations rights.

Phillip is considering legal action against Ottawa, according to a report by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

“There is a duty to consult on the part of the government of Canada with respect those matters that may impact or infringe on our Aboriginal title and interest,” Phillip said.

In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Phillip wrote that the lack of consultation was an affront, and that specifically:

The agreement provides far superior protection for Chinese investors’ interests than for our First Nations’ Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights. The agreement prohibits the Government of Canada from offering special treatment to any Canadian investor that it does not offer Chinese investors. We believe the agreement would enable Chinese investors to challenge Canadian regulations, policies and/or legislation designed to protect the environment as well as current reconciliation negotiations, accommodation measures and treaty negotiations.

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