Lots of coverage has been devoted to Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip to Washington, D.C. last week and what that means for the future of NAFTA, however, little attention has been given to the dramatic NAFTA lawsuit here in Canada.
Lone Pine Resources is using NAFTA’s Chapter 11 to sue our government for more than $100 million, claiming that a temporary fracking ban under the St. Lawrence River hurts their profits.
These shady “investor state dispute settlement” provisions were envisioned to be used against protectionist policies, yet now are used to sue governments for anything that might cut into a multi-national’s profits, including labour protections and environmental regulations.
Canada is the most-sued country in North America thanks to these provisions.
The American trade negotiators offered Canada an opt-out from these ridiculous backroom lawsuits, however, the prime minister and his cabinet declined.
If the Liberal government truly was committed to evidence-based policy and representing what Canadians have to say, it would make removing ISDS a top priority in renegotiating NAFTA.
Sadly, it seems that is not the case and, per usual, they are more interested in protecting their friends on Bay Street.
It’s time to toss ISDS in the trash bin of history.
Fort Frances, Ont.