There's No Time Like Now

Posted on Monday, January 05 at 09:08 by NAUWATCH

Premier Danny Williams has done something the left in Canada has struggled to do in recent years - focus attention on trade agreements that rank corporate privileges over the rights of citizens.

The expropriation of AbitibiBowater's access to timber and water came at a time when citizens everywhere are questioning the world economic order and the lack of rules governing capital and corporations.

Threats by Abitibi-Bowater to sue the Canadian government because the province of Newfoundland and Labrador acted in the public interest have served to highlight the very real problems with trade agreements.

By taking back the "people's resources" - the water and timber leases that had been issued to the operators of the Grand Falls pulp and paper mill in exchange for industrial development - Williams acted to uphold the public interest over the corporate interest.

AbitibiBowater is claiming that its "investor rights" granted under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been violated.

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