Blog

February 19, 2009

This past Tuesday, Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow joined Professor Michael Byers, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Bruce Campbell, and Rideau Institute President Steven Staples for a media conference on Parliament Hill to speak about the visit of US President Barack Obama to Canada.

To see the A-Channel coverage of that media conference please go to http://www.atv.ca/ottawa/news_66869.aspx.

February 19, 2009

Jim Stanford writes in today’s Globe and Mail that, “Global trade flows are collapsing. But it's not because protectionism is raising its ugly head. Rather, it's the meltdown of the market economy, not anti-market intrusions by governments, that is behind the meltdown of world trade. This is a key distinction because it runs headlong against the long-standing myth that ‘protectionism’ caused the Great Depression (rather than the other way around).”

FREE TRADE HAS HURT THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

February 19, 2009

Embassy Magazine has recently reported on three NAFTA challenges - the Chemtura challenge that is currently underway, and possible challenges by Dow Chemical and the makers of Bisphenol A.

1. CHEMTURA
"(US chemical company) Chemtura is trying to recoup more than $100 million in future lost profits following Canada's move to restrict the use of Lindane as a pesticide seed treatment."

"Ottawa has responded fiercely to Chemtura's claim. In legal papers filed last autumn, the feds grouse that the U.S. company is trying to hold Canadian taxpayers responsible for the fact 'that it can no longer profit from the sale of a toxic chemical that has been internationally banned based on demonstrated health and environmental concerns.' Canada is asking arbitrators to dismiss the case, and to hold Chemtura liable for the millions of dollars that the government will spend to defend the arbitration claim."

February 19, 2009

The Canadian Press is reporting that, "Canada and the United States appear set to take an initial step towards a North American climate-change treaty Thursday during President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa."

DEAL WOULD PROMOTE CARBON SEQUESTRATION
"One American official said the leaders are expected to take a modest first step Thursday by announcing a clean-technology deal that would boost the practice of carbon capture and storage."

WHAT IS CARBON SEQUESTRATION?
"Carbon sequestration is an emerging, but still-embryonic technology that involves harnessing emissions and pumping them deep into the soil. The Canadian government has provided $375 million to help develop the technology in recent years, and also promised a five-year, $1-billion green technology fund in the recent budget."

CRITICISMS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION
"Critics question the technology itself — noting that the process burns additional energy while little is known about either the long-term impact on the soil or on the potential for leakage."

February 18, 2009

CBC reports late this afternoon that, "Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said Wednesday that AbitibiBowater will get less than it expects for assets the provincial government has moved to expropriate through legislation."

ABITIBI SAYS ITS ASSETS ARE WORTH $300 MILLION "The pulp and paper company recently put a price tag on those assets in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying while it still is evaluating the full impact of the expropriation, the assets are roughly worth $300 million."

ABITIBI WILL NOT BE COMPENSATED FOR ITS WATER RIGHTS "Williams said AbitibiBowater will be compensated for its physical assets, but not the timber and water rights — and the company should expect to get less than $300 million."

NAFTA CHALLENGE EXPECTED
"The company plans to challenge the expropriation under the North American Free Trade Agreement."

The full article is at
http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/02/18/williams-abitibi.html

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