Dear Editor:

On Friday, September 12th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the highly controversial Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). This strategy of sneaking in unpopular legislation on a Friday afternoon has become a habit with this prime minister. I was one of hundreds of thousands of Canadians who voiced my objection to this deal.

Following are some of the reasons why I was, and still am, very much against FIPA: The FIPA deal was brokered with no public input, provincial consultation or even parliamentary debate, making it undemocratic. Canadians, including many Conservative MPs, overwhelmingly oppose this reckless deal, but were never given the opportunity to debate it.

This is part of a disturbing trend to ignore democratic processes and rush policy and legislative changes that could significantly affect the protection of our natural environment as we have seen with the governments two omnibus budget bills.This agreement would allow Chinese companies to sue Canadian governments in secret tribunals if we make decisions that put Canadian interests ahead of their corporate profits, leaving little room for democratic oversight.

For example, if the B.C. government were to stop the Northern Gateway Pipeline, Canadians could be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages, and we might never find out why.

Canadians could be on the hook for millions or billions of dollars if our environmental, health, labour or other policies were deemed to harm the interests of those investing in or trading with Canada.The treaty will remain in effect for 31 years, even if it is challenged legally by any Canadian court, legislature or other decision-maker.

Isnt it time that we, the people of Canada, woke up to the realization that we have elected a dictator? The Prime Ministers Office appears to have unlimited power. Even his own Conservative MPs have little influence with Mr. Harper. He seems to have no concern for this country or its people. God help us!

Lynn Askey