Tuesday, October 23, 2012

China's threat to Canadian soverignty looms large with natural resource takeover plans, coal miners from China to BC

China's Mounting Challenge to Our National Sovereignty
Trade Minister Ed Fast and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming sign "free trade" FIPA deal at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia on September 8 as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese President Hu Jintao look on. Photo credit: PMO.
Foreign-staffed mines in BC, Nexen on the block and the FIPA giveaway... wake up Canada!

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday October 23, 2012

By Bill Tieleman

"Let China sleep, for when she awakes, she will shake the world."

- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821

How will Canada deal with the China challenge to our national sovereignty?

It may be the most important question facing the country, with far more dire consequences than the election of a separatist provincial government in Quebec.
Is Canada sleepwalking towards a future day when a communist-ruled undemocratic China has significant control of key parts of our economy? The evidence is mounting.
This month we learned the BC Liberal and federal Conservative governments are jointly allowing up to 2,000 miners from China to operate as many as four planned coal mines, despite that country having the deadliest coal industry in the world.
The Canadian Dehua International Mines Group, which is planning all four mines, claims it cannot find any Canadian coal miners to fill the jobs, but the United Steelworkers union discovered that ads advertising the positions listed speaking Mandarin as a requirement. The jobs also pay as little as half the going Canadian pay rates for miners.
A spokesperson for one of the companies partnering in the mine, HD Mining International, said the ads were a mistake and have been withdrawn.
Then there's the proposed $15-billion purchase of Calgary-based oil and gas giant Nexen Inc. by Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation -- a deal the federal government must approve before it can proceed.
Nexen shareholders have already approved the acquisition and no wonder -- CNOOC is willing to pay a 66 per cent premium on its average trading price.
But will the Conservative government risk both Chinese government and Nexen shareholder anger by rejecting the deal as not having a "net benefit" to Canada?
The odds seemed strongly stacked against that.
Interest in resources, telecom
Conservative International Trade Minister Ed Fast was quick to say that the government decision last week to reject the $5.2 billion takeover of Calgary-based Progress Energy Resources by Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned company, doesn't mean the CNOOC acquisition of Nexen will be rejected.
"This decision does not set a precedent because every single application is considered on its own merits," Fast said. "Each application has its own specific circumstances that are being brought to bear."
That's hardly reassuring to anyone concerned about loss of Canadian ownership of key natural resources.
Yet key U.S. Democrats oppose the Nexen takeover by CNOOC, something that may affect Harper's decision.
Howard Dean, the influential former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential nomination contender, is warning Canada could face a U.S. backlash if it authorizes a CNOOC purchase of Nexen.
"I personally don't think that's a good idea for either Canadian or American assets," Dean told Tom Clark on Global News program The West Block.
There are also questions about the role of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies in Canada.
Earlier this month the Conservative government made an unusual comment about the possibility that Huawei might bid on rebuilding Ottawa's telecommunications network.
A U.S. Congressional committee alleged on Oct. 9 that: Huawei was "already known to be a major perpetrator of cyber espionage." Huawei "unequivocally denies" those claims.
The next day Andrew MacDougall, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's communications director, made this less than cryptic comment: "The government's going to be choosing carefully in the construction of this network, and it has invoked the national security exception for the building of this network.
"I'm not going to comment on any one company in particular. I'll leave it to you if you think Huawei should be a part of a Canadian government security system," MacDougall said.
Ironically, perhaps, many Canadians are the proud owners of Huawei cell phones.
The biggest threat
But perhaps the biggest threat is Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plan to implement the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) by Nov. 1.
Gus Van Harten, an Osgoode Hall law professor and global authority on international trade deals, says he is "deeply concerned about the implications for Canada" and urges the government to reconsider based on 14 different reasons.
"The legal consequences of the treaty will be irreversible by any Canadian court, legislature or other decision-maker for 31 years after the treaty is given effect," Van Harten wrote in a letter to Harper, adding that it has a 15-year minimum term.
Other key arguments against the China-Canada treaty include that in order to sue under its provisions, a Chinese company requires only a minority share in any Canadian enterprise or other asset in Canada and that "Chinese asset-owners in Canada will be able, at their option, to challenge Canadian legislative, executive, or judicial decisions outside of the Canadian legal system and Canadian courts."
In another analysis, The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk describes the agreement as "economic treason."
Napoleon Bonaparte eventually met his Waterloo -- is the Canada-China deal our fatal losing battle on national sovereignty?



Ron1 said...

Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have sole out our nation's resource industries.

Over 70% of the tars sands are owned by foreign firms.

Any Chinese miner who complained of health or safety conditions would be on the next plane back to Beijing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill.
Thanks for running the Red flag up the flag pole. We get it. Unfortunately THEY don't get it. Well I think they get it but they don't care what we think. We have 8 days to stop the implementation of this Chinese Free Trade agreement and short of doing something illegal I don't see anyway of stopping Harper and the rest of his CONspirators from actually going through with this traitorous back room deal.

We can run it up the red flag all we want but no one who has the power to stop the implementation of this treaty is going to do anything about. Maybe the Governor General is in a position to override the government but the GG is a political appointment of the PM.

We have seen how "free trade" protected us from the U.S. of A. vis a vis the Soft Wood Lumber wars. Well we could get out of that deal in 6 months. It will take 15 years to escape this little bit of wonder foisted upon us by the Harper CONspirators. 15 years of secret back door manipulations of our resource sovereignty.

People are getting sick over the thought of not being able to stop this sell out. Waiting until an election in 2015 ... out of the question. We have 8 more days to go until we lose control over our country.

Am I being over the top and everything will be OK? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"The Capitalists will sell us the ropes we will hang them with" . . . V.I. Lenin

Well, our Canadian and BC running dog leaderships are proving this old Communist line to be true.

Today all of the political parties pander to this political-correctness; in BC it doesn't matter if its Clark, Dix, or Cummins.

You wave some off-shore dollars under their cold-wet-noses, and they bark and beg on command.

Combine this with tainted ethnic political money and volunteers buying influence and our ON-THE-TAKE government, they are truly lap dogs.

In 1989 "we" all thought we had won the Cold War, far from it . . . as the "now for profit Reds" are invading via the backdoor.

The question for BC in 2013 is just how much rope will we sell them?


DPL said...

To answer The Great Satan with three words
"already too much"

Anonymous said...

And, people have jumped down my neck for saying, BC needs to get the hell out of Harper's Canada. This isn't Canada anymore anyway.

We need to take this province back, or we are lost to Red China. We need to be our own little country. Campbell thieved and sold everything of value out of BC, he got his dirty hands on. Campbell too, sold our resources to Red China.

CSIS warned of Red China's huge inroads into Canada. They specifically mentioned BC. But, no-one listened. We have been saying, watch out for BC, since Campbell's corrupt time in office.

Canada is Harper's garden of evil. I for one, don't want to be in Harper's evil garden. However, everyone squawks about, oh nooo! Split our country up, how terrible! This isn't our country anymore, it's going to be Communist China's, most of Canada already is lost to China.

BC shouldn't get out of Harper's Canada??? Convince me.

Bill Tieleman said...

I note that BC Minister of Jobs Pat Bell takes issue with my column in 24 hours and The Tyee. I am happy to give his views here. The letter can be found online at: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/jobs-tourism-and-skills-training/factsheets/letter-to-editor.html

Oct. 24, 2012

The Editor
The Tyee

In Tuesday's column, Bill Tieleman cited Napoleon Bonaparte's warning that China would wake and shake the world. This kind of outcry belongs to the 1800s, not 2012.

B.C. is not looking to Napoleon for advice on our province's economic growth strategy - and nor should we.

The fact is, China represents the world's most rapidly growing economy, and attracting investment from this country will lead to long-term jobs and greater economic prosperity for all British Columbians.

Doing business with China is not the same as ceding control of our economy, as Mr. Tieleman suggests. In addition, the contention that 2,000 temporary foreign workers from China will be operating up to four coal mines in B.C., taking long-term jobs from British Columbians, is false.

The mining company in question has approval to bring 200 temporary foreign workers - not the 2,000 Mr. Tieleman reported - to British Columbia to fill temporary, exploratory jobs (six to eight months) in a sector already experiencing a skills shortage. Assuming either mine becomes fully operational, it could create hundreds of long-term jobs, and qualified British Columbians will be first in line.

While many global markets are facing challenging times, China's economy continues to grow, and B.C.'s economy will grow with it. As long as the country remains one of B.C.'s most important social and economic partners, our province will continue to open its doors, not close them.

Pat Bell
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Anonymous said...

You can put a strong rope leash on BC Minister of Jobs (and payoffs) PAT BELL and run him past the Fraser Institute (another bunch of for profit tyrants) any day.


Gordon Trick said...

..."The fact is, China represents the world's most rapidly growing economy, and attracting investment from this country will lead to long-term jobs and greater economic prosperity for all British Columbians. "...

Why do people like Pat Bell, B.C.'s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skill Training, always trot out the 'jobs and prosperity' chestnut when they're trying to sell Canadians something we don't want or need? Let's cut the you-know-what - selling Canada's resources to China will NOT result in jobs and prosperity for Canadians. It will result in Canada becoming a colony of China. Does anyone really think that Communist China, with a population 30 times bigger than ours, will spend a nano-second being concerned about OUR economy, jobs and prosperity? Once this deal is signed, what China can't take legally, which will be a lot, they will take by force. Count on it. Anyone engaged in this kind of free-trade dealing with China is essentially a traitor to Canada. No doubt a well-off traitor, but a traitor nevertheless.