Harper is still trying to ram through his secretive Canada-China FIPA trade deal. We’ve already delayed this disaster deal for months — but now it’s down to the wire in a crucial legal battle that could determine the future of our democracy.
Earlier this year, the Hupacasath First Nation took the Harper government to court to challenge FIPA, presenting a strong legal argument about its constitutionality — but the judge sided with the government. Incredibly, the judge discounted the testimony of the Hupacasath’s expert witness, internationally renowned Canadian professor Gus Van Harten — choosing to base his decision on testimony from the government’s witness.
But this legal battle isn’t over yet. The Hupacasath’s lawyers believe they have grounds for an appeal, and the Hupacasath are prepared to take this case to the next level.
The Hupacasath are ready to stand up for all of us, but they can’t do it alone — especially now that the Harper Conservatives have asked the courts to force the Hupacasath to pay over $100,000 in costs for the government’s legal team and expert witnesses.
FIPA is a reckless investor deal that would expose Canada to unlimited risk from costly lawsuits in secretive tribunals and undermine the rights of our democratically elected governments for the next 31 years.
Historically, Canadians have not been forced to pay the government’s costs in constitutional challenges where the public interest is at stake. But now, our government is forcing Canadians to pay punitive legal fees for challenging them in court. They know the public doesn’t want this law, and they’re determined to stop any challenge to their agenda.
But the Hupacasath is refusing to be intimidated by this new hurdle. Their band council has agreed to appeal the judge’s ruling, but the appeal can only go forward if we can raise enough money for the costs and legal fees.
Over 8,000 of our friends at LeadNow.ca have already donated for this legal challenge. Now its our turn to step up. If we all give just $1 today we can cover the costs and fully fund the appeal immediately.
For the past year, Canadian SumOfUs supporters have fought FIPA at every turn. And we have gone further than anyone ever thought possible — this secretive trade deal was expected to be passed months ago, but thanks to our support, it still isn’t law. But we need to step up again and stand with the Hupacasath to fight Harper’s secret deal. Any money that isn’t needed to fund the Hupascasth’s legal case will be spent running other campaigns to defeat Harper’s evil FIPA trade deal.
Thanks for everything you do,
Angus, Paul, and the rest of us at SumOfUs.org
Judge’s decision, Hupascasth Frirst Nation v Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General of Canada, (PDF) Federal Court of Canada. August 26, 2013.
Hupacasath Disappointed with Federal Judicial Review of Canada-China FIPA, Union of BC Indian Chiefs. August 27, 2013