NAFTA dispute settlement clause belongs in trash can
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