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ISBN: 9781459410725-16

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The price tag for democracy

From: Sold Down the Yangtze


Chinese investors can use the FIPA to challenge anything that

a legislature or government or court in Canada does. They

may not win, but the ability to sue in this way is a powerful

tool by itself. It is also a special opt-out from the country’s

usual democratic process under the Canadian constitution.

And, if a Chinese investor does win, the cost to taxpayers could

be huge. It almost goes without saying that this is an important

development for the future of Canadian democracy.



Gus Van Harten

As an expert in investment deals and international law, GUS VAN HARTEN is uniquely qualified to explain what the Canada-China agreement means for Canada. He is currently a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, working previously as a tenured faculty member in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. He has written over twenty academic studies on investment treaties, and has provided commentary to governments, international organizations, and media such as Bloomberg, the CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Guardian, and the Toronto Star. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.