NAFTA dis­pute set­tle­ment clause be­longs in trash can

The Daily Courier - - LETTERS -

Edi­tor: NAFTA has been in the news re­cently, largely due to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threats to end it.

What isn’t get­ting cov­er­age is the se­ri­ous threat to Canada and Cana­di­ans from a lit­tle known clause in Chap­ter 11 of the agree­ment: In­vestor State Dis­pute Set­tle­ment (ISDS) rules.

ISDS gives in­ter­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions spe­cial rights to by­pass Cana­dian law us­ing shad­owy tri­bunals if gov­ern­ments make de­ci­sions that might re­duce their prof­its — even if those de­ci­sions would save Cana­dian lives.

Right now, in Toronto, oil and gas com­pany Lone Pine Re­sources is us­ing ISDS to sue Canada for $100 mil­lion over a tem­po­rary frack­ing ban un­der the St. Lawrence River, a pro­ce­dure that might threaten the drink­ing water of mil­lions of Cana­di­ans.

ISDS un­der­mines our democ­racy by let­ting cor­po­ra­tions put prof­its ahead of peo­ple.

NAFTA rene­go­ti­a­tion gives us a chance to end th­ese at­tacks on our sovereignty and safety.

Ottawa needs to make this a pri­or­ity in those dis­cus­sions and re­mem­ber that govern­ment is about peo­ple, not prof­its.

It’s time to toss ISDS in the trash­bin of his­tory. Gregg Gies, Kelowna

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