The Chinese are coming, and other problematic Canadian sovereignty woes

Some analysts say a little bit of economic imperialism isn't all that bad. 

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The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA), slated to come into effect at the end of the month, will allow Chinese enterprises to sue the Canadian government for any measure seen as discriminatory to its operations, analysts say. 

If we have state-owned enterprises operating in Canada and if—on top of that—they get the same rights to sue Canada as the US and Mexico do under the Investor-State provisions of Chapter 11 of NAFTA, then we will have given away the store, lock stock and barrel,” May said.

Old friends 

China is only the new kid on the block when it comes to Canada's sovereignty woes. 

May noted in the same interview that “Under NAFTA, [Canada] is hard-wired to be the number one supplier of foreign oil to the US,” and the United States has, in its ongoing presidential debates [see Republican candidate Mitt Romney on what he considers a kind of domestic supply] and legislative documents repeatedly referred to Canadian energy as part of its domestic 'North American' reserves.

Questions of sovereignty have colored the debate on various multi-billion-dollar bids to funnel more Canadian natural resources into the US—Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline expansion and the Keystone XL pipeline.

And of late, Britain has entered the mix of allegedly nefarious super powers. Canadian commentators criticized a joint Ottawa-London initiative to collocate several Canadian and British embassies, saying the move, while economically sound in its gesture to cut back on public funds in the aftermath of a crippling global recession, would jeopardize “the ability of Canadian diplomats to act fully independently in certain foreign countries,” as The National Post writes.

The ebb and flow of the Canadian sovereignty woe

A sense of sovereignty under siege appears to be a kind of defining feature of Canadian national identity.

Fears about Canadian sovereignty are as old as our country,” UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison told The Vancouver Observer. 

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