Monday, January 21, 2013

Hupacasath First Nation of Vancouver Island Files an Injunction Against Canada's Conservative Government

Ms. Brenda Sayers, the Band Councillor for the Hupacasath First Nation, initiated the court action against the Canada-China FIPPA
On Friday January 18, 2013, the Hupacasath First Nation of Vancouver Island filed a notice of application for an injunction against the ratification of the Canada-China FIPPA, which has been pursued by the Canadian Conservative government. This government which received a majority of the Canadian parliament with just 39.6 percent of the popular vote due to loose federal election laws, has a track record of pursuing neoliberal policies.

Neoliberalism refers to an economic ideology centered around the values of a global economy, or globalization: free market, free trade, and the unrestricted flow of capital. Neoliberals advocate minimal government spending, minimal taxation, minimal regulations, and minimal direct involvement in the economy. Neoliberals believe market forces naturally fill many areas of jurisdiction for the highest overall gain (Urban Dictionary, 2012). Neoliberalism has been linked to crony capitalism, gross social inequities, corporatocracy, and globalization.

The notice of application for an injunction by the Hupacasath First Nation may lead to a court order to cease ratification of The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) between Canada and China, in order to allow time to address the legalities of the Agreement. 

Analysis of the Canada-China FIPPA


Press Release by the Hupacasath First Nation: 

Hupacasath First Nation Files Notice of Application Against Canada – China FIPPA
(Port Alberni, B.C. – January 21, 2013) On Friday January 18th, the Hupacasath First Nation, located in Port Alberni B.C., launched a legal challenge of gigantic proportions. The challenge: The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) between Canada and China.

Brenda Sayers, Hupacasath Councillor stated, “This deal will pave the way for a massive natural resource buyout and allow foreign corporations to sue the Canadian government in secret tribunals, restricting Canadians from making democratic decisions about our economy, environment and energy.”

Steven Tatoosh, Chief Councillor of Hupacasath, added “We will argue that the Government of Canada breached its fiduciary duty to consult First Nations on our respective constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.”

The Chiefs of Ontario and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs will file supporting affidavits in support of the
Hupacasath legal challenge. Leadnow.ca is lending its considerable online presence to the Hupacasath legal challenge.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs declared, “To recklessly disregard our Title, Rights and Treaty Rights is an outrage. Our inherent rights are our fundamental human rights. Canada repeatedly violates our human rights when our inherent rights are totally ignored in agreements such as the Canada-China FIPPA.”

"The Leadnow community is proud to play a part in supporting this important legal challenge. The Government has tried to pass this deal behind closed doors, and they have breached their constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations before entering into a 31-year agreement that locks Canada into a path of foreign-ownership and raw-resource export," said Julia Pope of Leadnow.ca.

Hupacasath has advised China's Ambassador to Canada that the Canada-China FIPPA investment deal violates Title, Rights and Treaty Rights as well as international law, and should be postponed indefinitely, pending nation-to-nation discussions between Canada and First Nations.

For further information contact:
Brenda Sayers, Councillor, Hupacasath First Nation: (250) 731-4147 or brenda@hupacasath.ca
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (250) 490-5314
Matthew Carroll, Campaigns Director, Leadnow.ca: (289) 244-9930

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