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NAFTA award of $28 million highlights dangers of CETA and the TPP

Trojan horseThe Council of Canadians says a NAFTA tribunal decision to penalize Canada over a green energy policies in Ontario underscores why there is growing opposition to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on both sides of the Atlantic.

"This is another outrageous example of taxpayers having to fund foreign corporations who do not respect the democratic rights of governments to regulate in the interests of their citizens," says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "This challenge should have gone to a Canadian court and not to an arbitration panel that favours foreign investors over domestic companies. This is another reason to reject investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in NAFTA and other trade deals such as CETA."

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has increasingly come under fire because of the secretive nature of the tribunals, which give corporations special powers to challenge governmental policies.

"This is just the latest example of the outrageous nature of investor-state dispute settlement provisions, found in NAFTA’s chapter 11. Today’s target is green energy policies that encourage local economic development," says Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. "This is the same thing that we will be getting with the new deals Canada is promoting – CETA and the TPP. Canada is the most sued country in the developed world thanks to NAFTA. It begs the question: why are we signing up for more punishment?"