By Mark Taliano
“Those skilled in war subdue the enemy’s army without battle. They capture his cities without assaulting them, and overthrow his state without protracted operations. Your aim is to take the opponent’s country intact. This is the art of offensive strategy.”
These are the words of legendary Chinese general and tactician Sun Tzu, thought to be the author of The Art Of War, written before the time of Christ.
They are also words which describe the brilliance of modern day China’s strategy to control what is currently Canada’s “economic engine”.
If the FIPA corporate empowerment treaty is ratified, and the CNOOC takeover is finalized, then China will have effectively “colonized” us on many important levels, and our federal government will have been a willing accomplice.
The first hint of the take-over was Omnibus Bill C-38. This Bill eviscerates our environmental laws by making significant changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and it repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, as well as the National Roundtable On The Environment Act.
Additionally, the bill repeals the Fair Wages And Hours Labour Act. This weakens our labour/social sphere in two ways. First, companies can hire foreign temporary workers, at low wages, and with few protections. Second, the resultant competition drives Canadian wages and labour protections downwards. MP Pat Martin explains it in detail.
The weakened legislative protections also impact foreign temporary workers. They are becoming easy prey for corrupt practices in their homeland.
Many reasonably suspect that the driver behind the bill, which abrogates our international responsibilities, and weakens our social and environmental sphere, is China.
More recently, another omnibus bill, this one Bill C-45, repeals the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and replaces it with the much weakened Navigable Protection Act. The NPA removes 99.7% of Canada’s lakes, and 99.9% of Canada’s rivers from federal oversight. In early December of this year, Canada had 2,000,000 protected lakes, and over 8,500 protected rivers. Now, Canada has only 97 protected lakes, and 62 protected waterways. Those few waterways that are protected with federal oversight fall overwhelmingly within Con electoral jurisdictions.
What this means is that if industry is looking to install bridges, pipelines, or dams on or over waterways near you, then they basically have a green light to do so. If you object, the federal government will not be there to protect your interests, unless of course, you happen to be in a Con jurisdiction that is protected by the NPA. Needless to say, launching a legal suit against a corporation the size of China is an expensive proposition.
Weakened environmental and labour laws have set the stage for the next assault on Canada’s integrity.
If the take-over of Nexen by China’s CNOOC occurs (the Harper government has given the green light to the transaction), and if the corporate empowerment treaty with China is ratified (FIPA), then the “conquest” is all but over.
The take-over of Nexen will add substantially to China’s already substantial Tar Sands holdings, which include Sinopec, Petro China, and others.
FIPA will lock Canada into a 31 year, binding trade treaty with China, which is an economic behemoth compared to Canada. Under this treaty, China will be able to control decision-making processes about our environment, our economy, and our energy interests, and the only legal recourse will be through secret tribunals.
The result of this “conquest” is that China gets the value-added refinery jobs, China sets petro prices, and Canada essentially becomes China’s unrefined fuel depot. What more could a colonizing nation ask for?
China will have effectively weakened our labour, social, and environmental spheres, all for the profit of their state-owned companies, without having fired a shot.
Sun Tzu would be impressed.
Mark Taliano is a Niagara resident and regular contributor of news and commentary to Niagara At Large.
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