Chinese handcuffs

Chinese handcuffs Open letter to MP Ryan Leef: I am writing in response to your Nov. 9 letter to the editor regarding the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement. In it, you state: "In Yukon, it does not detract from legislati

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef:

I am writing in response to your Nov. 9 letter to the editor regarding the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement.

In it, you state: “In Yukon, it does not detract from legislation that already exists, such as the Environment Act, Waters Act, land-use regulation, Heritage River Systems, Territorial and National Parks, protected areas, YESAB process, Yukon Water Board, First Nation settlement lands, Intergovernmental Agreements Act, Fisheries Act, etc.”

That is a very misleading, albeit clever, response. While that statement may be entirely accurate, it does nothing to assuage our concerns.

If the potential repercussions of day-to-day democratic process (i.e. the Yukon banning hydraulic fracturing) could see the territory being held liable for millions of dollars of perceived “lost revenue,” what’s to stop the Yukon government from then not enacting legislation?

Using the same example, what’s to stop the Yukon government from turning around and telling Yukoners that a hydraulic fracturing ban is not in our best interest, if only from a fiscal standpoint? How do you think the territory would proceed when faced with this predicament?

It seems to me, Mr. Leef, that the conservative argument regarding the above concern is that China won’t sue. Really?

The U.S. did it, just the other day, according to Green Party Leader Elizabeth May: “On Nov. 15, 2012, U.S.-incorporated firm Lone Pine Resources announced its intentions of suing the Government of Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s infamous Chapter 11. Over what? Quebec’s decision to impose a moratorium on all oil and gas exploration activities in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.”

The U.S. did it, and China won’t? I am less optimistic. How is this in Yukon’s best interest?

Rebecca Whitcher

Whitehorse