Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pacific Gateway

Through the Pacific Gateway Strategy, investments in multimodal transportation — air, roadways, ports and rail — as well as in human resources, will ensure that Canada is the first choice where economies meet to do business with the world's fastest growing markets. At the same time as this new srategy comes into play Canada is apparently negotiating secret agreements with China and India behind the scenes. Virtually no public debate. Shades of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) of the late eighties. Remember Maude Barlow and the fight to counter that secretive world economic strategy? Here is a quote;
"For instance, granting national treatment and most favoured nation status to foreign investors eliminates the ability of any level of government to prefer local businesses over foreign investors.....Foreign investors who believe their rights have been violated through the use of performance requirements or some other violation, are authorized by the MAI to directly sue the government. For example, if company land was expropriated or standards to protect Canadian citizens were imposed that negatively affected corporate sales, a law suit could be launched for millions of dollars in damages." In that case multinationals were seen to be making incursions into the ability of national governments to legislate as they saw fit. Now it may be China and India will dictate to Canada regulations and policies in fields such as banking, telecommunications, public utilities, natural resources and the environment. Here we go again.
Sources: Luke Eric Peterson, Embassy, April 12th, 2006 and Major Issues, Transport Canada website.