Donate to help the Hupacasath First Nation continue their legal battle against the Canada-China FIPA

Update: May 21, 2014 — The Hupacasath First Nation’s legal challenge against the Canada-China FIPA has got a date in court! The Hupacasath’s legal team is getting ready to make their case on June 10th.

There’s just one catch: we still need to raise at least $50,000 to pay the legal fees necessary to take this appeal to court, and make sure the Hupacasath – a nation of just 300 people – don't get stuck with a major debt for this historic legal challenge.

We’ve got just a few short weeks to reach our goal, or the case could grind to a halt. Please make your donation today, then share this with everyone.

Thank you so much.


Together, you’ve made it possible for the Hupacasath First Nation to take the Harper government to court to challenge the Canada-China FIPA - 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.1

Thanks to your generous donations, the Hupacasath’s legal team were able to make their case in federal court in Vancouver on June 5, 6 & 7th.

Unfortunately, after just 3 days in court, the judge sided with the government. But this fight 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 to stand up for all of our rights.

The Hupacasath are ready, 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.

Historically, Canadians have not been forced to pay the government’s costs in constitutional challenges where the public interest is at stake. What does it say about the state of our democracy that our government would refuse to bring a sweeping investor agreement before Parliament, and then force Canadians to pay punitive legal fees to challenge them in court?

The Hupacasath are 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 $300,000 to pay the costs and legal fees.

If we can raise $110,000, we can cover the draconian fee that the government has imposed on the Hupacasath. If we can raise $300,000 then we can fully fund an appeal and ensure the Hupacasath will not be saddled with debt and take the fight to the next level.

If we raise more than $110,000, but less than $300,000, and the Hupacasath are forced to withdraw the appeal, the remaining money will go to turn up the pressure against FIPA online, in the media, and on the ground in key Conservative MP's ridings.

When this fight started a year ago, no one would have ever thought that we would get this far.

They've taken on this David and Goliath battle not only to defend their own rights and title, but to protect the rights and interests of all Canadians.

We can do amazing things when we stand together. By sharing the load, Canadians from coast to coast to coast already raised well over $150,000 to cover the costs of the initial legal challenge. Now, it’s up to us to stand with the Hupacasath.

Additional Information

This statement from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, covers some of the central problems with the judge’s ruling:

" The Union of BC Indian Chiefs refuse to accept the Government of Canada's argument that there is no 'causal link' or 'potential adverse impacts' on our constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal rights and the ratification of FIPA. The Court wholeheartedly accepted Canada's argument. First Nations leadership across this country are facing a federal government who stated in court that they do not need to nor ever intend to ever consult any First Nation regarding any trade agreement. The Court responded this total lack of consultation 'would not contravene the principle of the honour of the Crown or Canada's duty to consult' "2

Sources:

[1] The most secretive and sweeping trade deal of a generation: http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-fipa

[2] Hupacasath Disappointed with Federal Judicial Review of Canada-China FIPA: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews08271301.html

BACKGROUND

First Nations have constitutionally protected rights - including the right to be consulted on deals like FIPA, something Harper has failed to do. The Hupacasath are ready to go to back to court to stop this terrible deal. The premise of HFN court challenge was based on Section 35 of the Constitution of Canada, the duty to consult with First Nations.

In partnership with:



Hupacasath First Nation


Union of BC Indian Chiefs


Chiefs of Ontario


Leadnow.ca
 


The Council of Canadians
 


Avaaz.org
 


SumOfUs.org
 


Idle No More
 


UNIFOR
 


Canadian Unitarians for
Social Justice

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Thank you so much for donating to support this vital First Nations legal challenge to stop the Canada-China investment deal, FIPA.

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