FIPA and Enbridge

A plausible answer is that our Prime Minister wants this complication

With reference to Robert Hall’s letter of December 12, under the heading “Harper slimes another one,” I would like to expand on Hall’s argument that the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement with China (FIPA) is dangerous for Canada.

About Harper’s approval of the sale of Nexen to China, Hall asks, “Why would we ever want to complicate things more by allowing a foreign company…a vested and far reaching interest in our affairs?”

A plausible answer is that our Prime Minister wants this complication.

One reason for wanting it is that too many of Harper’s subjects are being difficult about the Enbridge Pipeline and the prospect of giant oil tankers along the B.C. coast.

By now nearly all B.C. residents are aware that Harper wants the pipeline to go through because it is an important part of his “prosperity plan,” based on exporting as much as possible of our natural resources.

But B.C. residents love their province’s pristine forests, lakes, rivers, coastline, and they are alarmed at the thought of a pipeline carrying corroding, noxious dilbit across the mountains and over or under more than 700 rivers.

They hear Enbridge supporters talk about how foolproof and risk free the pipeline will be, but they worry about the might of rock slides and earthquakes.

They also worry about storms that can toss around dreadnought double-hulled giant tankers.

With their speeches, letters, marches, and demonstrations, the people are showing more resistance than Harper expected from a few “radicals.”

When you have an intractable population, from whom you need votes, you need a strategy to quell resistance without being seen to have a heavy hand.

Few people can match Prime Minister Harper at scheming.

Ostensibly for the sake of prosperity, on Dec. 7, 2012, Harper sold Nexen, an Alberta oil company, at the offered price, which was much above market value, to CNNOC, a state-owned Chinese company.

The Nexen sale complete, Harper has an ace-in-the-hole in his gamble to push the Enbridge pipeline through northern BC.

FIPA, signed in Vladivostok, is ready for a final signing whenever the time is right.

What a wonderful surprise it would be if Mr. Harper chose not to give final signing to FIPA!

Jean Mottershead

Quadra Island