Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • CCPA SK Annual General Meeting October 11, 2019
    Please join us for our Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon, 5:00pm, Thursday, October 24th at Station 20 West. (1120 20th St. West) Courtney Carlberg, author of Saskatchewan's Failing Report Card on Child Care, will discuss why Saskatchewan ranks the lowest for overall quality and rates of access to regulated child care in the country and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Corporate Mapping Project receives award for research excellence October 9, 2019
    The co-directors of the Corporate Mapping Project—CCPA-BC Director Shannon Daub and the University of Victoria’s William Carroll—are being celebrated in Victoria today as they accept a REACH Award for Excellence in Research. The REACH Awards recognize “research excellence” as demonstrated through scholarly contributions and societal impact. Since the inception of the Corporate Mapping Project, Shannon […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Unpacking the details of Manitoba Hydro September 9, 2019
    What would a long view of Manitoba Hydro all entail.  Read report here.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA submission to Treasury Board consultation on regulatory modernization September 6, 2019
    On June 29, 2019, the federal government launched a public consultation on initiatives intended to "modernize" the Canadian regulatory system. Interested Canadians were invited to provide input on four current initiatives: Targeted Regulatory Reviews (Round 2) Review of the Red Tape Reduction Act Exploring options to legislate changes to regulator mandates Suggestions for the next […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in November for the 2019 CCPA-BC Gala, featuring Nancy MacLean September 3, 2019
    Tickets are available for our 2019 Annual Gala Fundraiser, which will take place in Vancouver on November 21. This year’s featured speaker will be Nancy MacLean, an award-winning historian and author whose talk, The rise of the radical right: How libertarian intellectuals, billionaires and white supremacists shaped today’s politics, is very timely both in the US and here in […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers


Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Danny Chavez vs. NAFTA

I have generally been underwhelmed by media coverage of AbitibiBowater’s prospective NAFTA challenge of Newfoundland and Labrador’s decision to reclaim natural resources that the company previously used to operate paper mills in the province.

I watched a panel discussion on Mike Duffy Live (before his Senate appointment) that focussed entirely on NAFTA’s nondiscrimination provisions. But there is no suggestion that the provincial government discriminated against Abitibi because it is an “American” company (headquartered in Montreal, but incorporated in Delaware) or that it treated Canadian companies in similar circumstances differently.

Subsequent reporting and commentary has more accurately emphasized NAFTA’s expropriation provisions. But if the timber and water rights ultimately belong to the Crown anyway, it is not clear why the Newfoundland and Labrador government would be expected to pay compensation for them. Its legislation does appropriately envision compensation for expropriating hydroelectric facilities that Abitibi’s predecessor built.

As far as I know, the provincial government has made no decision about the amount of such compensation and the company is not saying how much it wants. Recourse to NAFTA seems very premature. Abitibi is clearly using the treaty to put pressure on Newfoundland and Labrador, rather than as a last resort to resolve an irreconcilable dispute.

Anyway, in contrast to my general disappointment with coverage of this episode, I was particularly happy to read Gus Van Harten’s fantastic op-ed in today’s Financial Post. He makes several excellent points about the Abitibi situation in particular and NAFTA’s Chapter 11 in general.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from NL_Expatriate
Time: February 18, 2009, 12:16 pm

some facts for clarification so you need not find yourself in the embarrassing position of being on the wrong side of a losing argument.
1. Abitibi Bowater expropriation of assets.
The NL gov’t didn’t unilaterally end the business relationship. AB did with their actions to close the Grand Falls Windsor Paper Mill.
As to the legality of taking back ownership of the Hydro assets, AB broke one of the covenants contained in the agreement itself with the mill’s closure, they have no rights in NL to provincial resources whatsoever.
They do however have an expectation to be compensated for infrastructure they built. That is fair and will be taken care of by NL is due course.
I’d suggest reading the following links:…/1216n07.htm…/AbitibiCharter.pdf

The Star Lake Power Plant cost Abitibi about 50 million to build in 1998.

Timber rights were given to them to produce paper…No paper, therefore no timber rights.

I guess the 250 million must be a good will payment!!

Write a comment

Related articles