Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Report looks at captured nature of BC’s Oil and Gas Commission August 6, 2019
    From an early stage, BC’s Oil and Gas Commission bore the hallmarks of a captured regulator. The very industry that the Commission was formed to regulate had a significant hand in its creation and, too often, the interests of the industry it regulates take precedence over the public interest. This report looks at the evolution […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Correcting the Record July 26, 2019
    Earlier this week Kris Sims and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun. The opinion piece makes several false claims and connections regarding the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), which we would like to correct. The […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    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