Financial Post | Business

OTTAWA — After decades of talks and years of delays, the federal government has ratified a controversial, multi-year foreign investment agreement with China.

Cabinet approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), announced Friday, is the final hurdle for the pact — signed by both countries in 2012 — that contains sweeping measures that critics say are heavily weighted in favour of China and lacks reciprocal access by Canada in that country.

Also of concern in the FIPA document is what critics argue is the wide access provided to Canada’s natural resources sector and lack of acknowledgement of aboriginal rights.

FIPA will take effect Oct. 1. China ratified the agreement shortly after it was reached two years ago, but talks between the two countries leading to Friday’s announcement began in 1994.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast said the government is “committed to opening new markets around the world for…

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