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Perhaps the Most Important Court Case in Canadian History

2014/05/18

UNION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA INDIAN CHIEFS
NEWS RELEASE

Federal Court of Appeal Sets Date for Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement

(Hupacasath Territory — May 14, 2014) The Federal Court of Appeal will hear arguments regarding the Hupacasath First Nation v. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada and the Attorney General of Canada, with respect to the pending ratification of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (FIPPA). The Federal Court of Appeal will hear arguments in Vancouver on June 10, 2014.

Brenda Sayers, a representative of the Hupacasath Nation stated “Hupacasath remains steadfast in our commitment to defend the people, the land and our constitutional rights for present as well as for future generations. We firmly believe the FIPPA will have a deep and profound impact on our inherent Indigenous rights and for all Canadians who cherish the environmental heritage we inherited from our grandparents.”

The Hupacasath First Nation presented arguments to the Federal Court of Canada in June 2013 stating the FIPPA was an infringement on inherent Aboriginal Title and Rights. The Hupacasath felt compelled to launch a legal challenge citing their title and rights as affirmed by Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.

“The Union of BC Indian Chiefs refutes the main thrust of the Government of Canada’s argument that there is no ‘causal link’ on our constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty Rights during the ratification process of FIPPA. If that is a fact why is Harper citing this case as a primary reason his government has not ratified FIPPA?” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

“We’ve heard from thousands of people across Canada who are deeply concerned that the Canada-China FIPPA would give China’s state-owned oil companies the ability to undermine democratic decisions about our environment, health and economy,” said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. “We’ve seen thousands crowd-fund the Hupacasath legal challenge because we stand together for our democracy and a renewed relationship between nations.”

Steven Tatoosh, Hupacasath Chief Councillor said “Hupacasath has heard the call from many Canadians of all walks of life expressing their concerns about FIPPA. It is an honour to answer the call. We graciously thank all of our supporters for trusting in Hupacasath to champion this important work”

The Hupacasath First Nation was supported at the Federal Court of Canada with legal affidavits from Serpent River First Nation and the Tsawwassen First Nation along with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Chiefs of Ontario. As well, Leadnow.ca, the Council of Canadians, Avaaz, BC Federation of Labour, BC Teachers Federation, Canadian Auto Workers, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union, KAIROS and ForestEthics fully supported the Hupacasath First Nation legal action.

For further information contact: Brenda Sayers, Hupacasath First Nation: (250) 731-4147 Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (250) 490-5314 Jamie Biggar, Leadnow.ca: 778-847-8205

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