Pipelines, Albertan tar and NAFTA

Premiere Rachel Notley of Alberta.

13th January 2018

 I was cruising CPAC the other day and I came across your address to the Economic Club of Canada from 21 November 2017 concerning amongst other things the need for pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to tidewater.

 You said and I quote:

 “…..we need to be able to sell that energy from that energy industry to more than just one client.

Right now, all our energy infrastructure is built for export to the United States.  They are a monopoly buyer.”

 I will not argue with that at all, but there is a catch to what you are saying.

 I am referring to NAFTA, and in particular Article 605 which I quote below:

 

NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

  1. a)the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

 

From this, it is clear from what you are saying that we are exporting 100% of the bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the US and we cannot reduce that percentage without the approval of the US.  As long as that Article of NAFTA, or indeed NAFTA itself, remain in effect there is no way that even a “barrel” of tar can be shipped anywhere except to the United States, which in essence owns 100% of your tar.

It is also clear that you are suggesting that the disputed Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby is to transport that diluted tar intended for export by super oil tankers to, amongst others, China.

Clearly, Minister Freeland, to whom I have written numerous times on this very Article 605 with absolutely no response, chooses to ignore this important NAFTA  article even if it must be clear to her that we have a serious problem.

What both of you are suggesting is that a claim in front of a quasi-legal trade tribunal is of no importance to you as the people of Canada will be happy to pay the millions in lost profit which the US importers of this Canadian tar will claim against us as soon as you ship so much as one kilogram of tar somewhere else.

Perhaps you have a way around this?

If so I would be very pleased to hear it.

What I personally hope is that President Trump does actually go ahead and cancel NAFTA and you can then at least contemplate exporting your tar elsewhere in the world and, I would suggest, through a port in Alaska.

Incidentally the concept that supertankers do not get into trouble, never accepted by the coastal people here in BC, is under a black cloud of smoke right now as there is one on fire in the China Seas after a collision, and there is no way that any spill of diluted bitumen in either the Vancouver Harbour, Georgia Strait or the Strait of Juna Fuca can be cleaned up any more than was that mess in Michigan. 

It is unfortunate that in your desire to make things better again for Alberta, you should choose to trample over British Columbians in the same way our original settlers did to the then long-time inhabitants of what we now call Canada. 

Strange how history repeats itself isn’t it Ms Notley?

Jeremy Arney

 

Ps,

We are a long way from this and getting further away each day

 

When the Landscape is Quiet Again.

Governor Arthur A. Link, October 11th, 1973.

We do not want to halt progress; we do not plan to be selfish and say North Dakota will not share its energy resources. We simply want to ensure the most efficient and environmentally sound method of utilizing our precious coal and water resources for the benefit of the broadest number of people possible.

And when we are through with that and the landscape is quiet again, when the draglines, the blasting rigs, the power shovels and the huge gondolas cease to rip and roar and when the last bulldozer has pushed the spoil pile into place and the last patch of barren earth has been seeded to grass or grain, let those who follow and repopulate the land be able to say, our grandparents did their job well. The land is as good and in some cases, better than before.

Only if they can say this, will we be worthy of the rich heritage of our land and its resources.”

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An open letter to Premier John Horgan of British Columbia

An open letter to Premier John Horgan of British Columbia   

12th January 2018

 

 Premiere Horgan.

 

 

A few years ago, I attended a screening of a movie called “Gasland” at the Edward Milne Community School in Sooke, BC and you were in attendance.

 

After the movie you spoke ardently and vehemently against fracking, announcing how you intended to fight it happening in BC.

 

Whatever happened to you that you could change so radically in such a short time?   Did your promise of that evening mean anything at all to you or were you just courting those in attendance for the viewing? 

 

During the previous regime I asked Rich Coleman numerous times to tell me where the water for the Petronas LNG plan was to come from and of course, he did not reply – no surprise there.   Then we hear that the answer he should have given was from hundreds of illegal and as environmentally unsafe dams as the infamous Mount Polley Mine tailings pond dam were being erected on almost every body of moving water in northern BC.   Are they still up?  I bet so as it appears you have been drinking the Petronas cool aid even after they pulled out claiming it didn’t make business sense to continue.  What makes LNG Canada think they can do what Petronas decided not to do, and I noticed that in announcing the joint venture between Shell, PetroChina Company, Korea Gas Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, Andy Calitz, CEO of LNG Canada, said the consortium would work closely with the provincial and federal governments but made absolutelyno mention of even considering the people of BC either aboriginal or settlers.

 

Of course not, we do not matter do we, Mr Horgan?

 

We are very used to BC politicians lying to us, manipulating us and flat out ignoring our wishes for decades, but particularly during the dictatorship of the Libertarian/Conservative government which you just replaced.

 

The vast majority of people in BC believed that you would be different.   How wrong we were!

 

Of course, we were happy that you asked the BCUC to hold public hearings on the Site “C” fiasco, and I was one of the presenters at the Victoria meeting.    Of all those who presented whilst I was there only three presenters who argued that this unnecessary and overpriced dam should proceed to completion. It was clear that they were representatives of the construction companies and therefore financially biased.

 

I read the reports from the BCUC and as they were not asked to make a clear recommendation they did not, but it was very clear to me that they and the vast majority of presenters thought this was a mistake from the start and should be scrapped as soon as possible to save billions of dollars being spent for an unneeded and yet limited amount of Hydroelectric power.

 

You have with your decision pandered to the corporate interests over the interests of the people of BC, put BC Hydro on a par with all those crooked power companies in the SE of the US where billions of dollars are being charged to their customers for power plants that have not been built and will generate no electricity.   Just as with BC Hydro future usage is being charged for now, and when that is gone without the increase in usage and no extra hydro available from an incomplete dam we can bet that you will approve yet more rate hikes to pay for a price overrunning and way behind schedule dam.  

 

This is not the way to start to mend BC from the years of BC Liberal (Libertarian) destruction Mr Horgan.

 

So, Mr Horgan, what price truth and honesty?   What is the value of your word and what makes you any different from the infamous Christy Clark who so diligently continued Gordon Campbell’s intentions to destroy BC by giving away all our carefully crafted commons to private enterprise?

 

I have difficulty in believing anything you have said recently as you have proved that you do not represent the people of BC.   I would like to think we could go back to the polls very soon, however, I happen to think that neither Rich Coleman or Andrew Weaver are any more interested in what the people of BC want to do with our once beautiful province than are you.   

What a mess.

 

Jeremy Arney

PO Box 52008, 

RPO Beacon

Sidney, BC

V8L5V9

250-216-5400

 

 

Actions, not words, are the ultimate results of leadership.

Bill Owens

 

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Winston Churchill

 

As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever:

Clarence Darrow

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Welcome to 2018.

So what was all that stuff about 150 years of Canada last year anyway?

 The politicians from four separate settler sections (provinces?) banded together and formed a corporation called Canada with the permission of the British monarch in 1867. 

 What?  Is that what really happened?

 So the politicians of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia figured out a way to fleece their people of more money through a different level of government taxation.   Did the people of those 4 “provinces” have a say in this?  Was there a referendum of any kind?   What part did the indigenous people of those areas have to say about this development of their traditional territory, or were they so subdued by the invading settlers and soo sick from introduced sicknesses that they didn’t understand what was happening?  What about the Royal Proclamation of 1763?

 Thus the corporation of Canada was formed, subject to the whims of the British parliament and their monarch.   Who actually owns that corporation now?   We know for sure that it is not the people of Canada, however, we are responsible for all the debts that this corporation accumulates. Has this changed at all in the last 150 years?  No, just more provinces assimilated thereby creating a larger tax base for the quasi-federal government which it can hardly be claimed was or is today totally legitimate.

 At what stage in those 150 years were the people of the expanding Canada asked if that was what they wanted?   Even today our dysfunctional federal government asks for opinions and then ignores them as if they were not made.  There has been talk about sovereignty, but I would argue that since our politicians swear allegiance to the monarch of a foreign country we are hardly a sovereign nation.  It would perhaps be more realistic to swear that allegiance to the Bank of International Settlements, an offspring of the IMF, which in fact own us lock stock and barrel through our national debt to them.   Or perhaps they should swear allegiance to the Pope as I understand that Canada still tithes to the Vatican, or maybe the State of Israel which tells us who to like, approve of, fight or even criticise (or not) and our politicians pay much more attention to them and their wishes than they do to the people of Canada.   The thought of our politicians swearing allegiance to the people of Canada is of course sacrilege to them.

 When did we the people of Canada ever agree to this?  When were we ever asked? And please don’t say that we give our approval every 4/5 years through an election and that we are a democracy.   A democracy means the people have a say and that does not happen in Canada as our so-called representatives simply do what they are told by their party caucuses (read leaders) or they will lose their jobs. Freedom to actually represent those who elected them does not exist with any real hope for a future in Canadian politics.

Did we consent to this treachery?  I know I did not.   Where is the mandate our politicians received from the people of Canada to do this? Did your MP ask you for your approval on this? When was a referendum held to give MPs that mandate to represent a dictator to you rather than you to a legitimate parliament? 

 When did we agree that our federal politicians should swear allegiance to a foreign monarch?

 Does my dissent on anything get listened to by our representatives? No it does not as they were and still are busy lining their future pockets with corporate board seats when they are thrown out of power to pay attention to any of the people.  Christy Clark of BC is a prime example of this.  Once she knew she could not form a government she could not wait to get out of politics and start getting her rewards for her part in the destruction of BC, started by Gordon Campbell, and who knows how much he has made, maybe as much as Mulroney with his FTA give ways.

 

 

Are we:

Still really a Dominion under the British monarch’s control?

A corporation listed on the stock markets?

A subsidiary of the BIS?

A lackey to Israel, the Vatican and Washington?

Or just another country without a people ratified constitution?  

OR maybe all the above.

What we do know we are not is a democratic country with a functional government working for us as the people of Canada.

 Recently in BC there was hope that a new premier would finally start doing things for the people of BC, and yet again our hopes have been crushed as he is binding our great grandchildren to years of indebtedness through a dam we do not want or need but the corporations of the world do.  It is amazing that once Horgan gave the approval to continue the Site C how quickly corporations around the globe jumped on board to take a piece of this pie, and no one (especially our politicians) is really objecting. 

Question:  Who is really paying for this dam?

 Clearly, those we elect have no desire to represent us, but every intention to do what they can to line their pockets at our expense and the whole thing is a sham.   Why are we still allowing this to happen?   Are we scared that we will be personally attacked by our national rent-a-cops (RCMP)? Are we scared that our “benefits”, paid for by our own labour, will be taken away?  Or are we really scared by the thought of freedom from tyranny?  Or perhaps we are still enamoured with the concept of “things” on the “never-never” scheme as we used to call it when I was still in England.   “Things” that show we are as good as the Joneses or Trudeaus, and yet just as useless.

 Back in the 1200s things got soo bad in England that the Magna Carta came into being to slap King John down;  the landowners of that time have been replaced by the corporations of today which have no compunction in owning a king or two. Maybe we need a peoples’ BC Magna Carta to take the new “King John” and his masters down now. 

 Maybe these last slaps in the face by Horgan will awaken the people of BC to just what we can be without puppets such as he.  Party politics of today doesn’t work for the people; both the National Party of Canada and the Canadian Action Party which wanted to work for the people, not big power were destroyed showing that people parties as such do not work either in today’s corporate political climate. So forget the BC “parties”; develop and support and vote for local independents in the next election, and maybe create a separate country called British Columbia, answerable only to the people of BC and free from the Ottawa shenanigans and dictates of very doubtful legality and free from corporate plundering. Let’s work with our First peoples here in BC to create a real, free and democratic country for all of British Columbia.

Food for thought?

Jeremy

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Canadian House of Commons farce call Oral Question Period

 

 

 

Anyone paying any attention to the last couple of weeks of QP would be painfully aware that this section of the House of Commons proceedings is becoming increasingly farcical every day.

 

The opposition, led by their attack poodle Poilievre, are barking up the wrong tree.

 

Even to me, a layman with no economic or real monetary training or expert knowledge in this field, it is clear that Poilievre really wants to accuse the Minister of Finance of insider trading.   I am not a fan of this Minister in any way as he clearly does not have the interests of Canadian uppermost in his mind. His concept of having private investors own our infrastructure through his Infrastructure Bank of Canada whilst refusing to borrow from our own bank at low straight interest rates instead of compounding interest being paid to privately owned international banks and investors cannot have the best interests of Canadians in mind.  In that, he is not alone as every Canadian politician seems to be afraid of those same bankers and investors.

 

However, it seems clear to me that when the Liberals took control they made no bones about increasing the tax rate on the wealthy at the end of December 2015.

I do not own shares or stocks in any company and so I did not have to make any decisions but anyone who was smart enough to have money invested would realise that in January of 2016 their tax rate would increase therefore to sell shares prior to then and pay a lesser tax rate would seem very logical.  There was never any doubt in my mind that this would happen on January 1st 2016, and not as Poilievre assumed on 1st April 2016.

 

However the Conservative attack poodle made the same sort of misheaded assumption that he made when his government increased the number of members by 30 while he set about decreasing the ability of thousands if not millions of Canadian to be able to vote would assure the re-election of the Conservative Party of Canada to power – were he and they ever wrong.   Very bad assumption Pierre.   Incidentally, the claim and assumption that more MPs would increase Canadian’s representation in the House was a blatant lie.   Firstly those 305 members already there were not able to have their say on behalf of their constituents on two counts, 1) they simply did not have the opportunity to express their constituents views due to the sheer number of them; and 2),  every bill introduced by the Harper government was closed to “debate” almost before it was introduced and no amendments were allowed either in committee or at report stage.  

 

To waste soo much time trying to trap a Minister over something so asinine and in fact so typically conservative in thinking takes away time away from real questions they should be asking about, for instance, the desertion of our moral and fiduciary duty to our wounded veterans and our aboriginal peoples’ abject living conditions.   Why the money is not flowing for infrastructure at the rate promised, and the waste of money on the celebration of 150 years since our mythical confederation could well be the subject of sincere questions.

 

It is all window dressings to hide their complicity in the myth of a sovereign and democratic Canada and frankly, I am tired of it.

 

Perhaps one of them could explain to me just how we are a constitutional monarchy when the last Queen we actually had was Queen Victoria.

 

Event: The year, 1901. With Queen Victoria’s death, the repeal of Section 2 of the BNA Act came into force, deliberately leaving the Dominion of Canada without a Monarch. To this day the BNA Act repeal of Section 2 has never been re-enacted.

 

http://www.nephalemfilms.com/themyth.html

 

Don’t hold your breath on that one.

 

Jeremy

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Remembrance Day 2017

 

The Canadian Forces and the Canadian Vets are being treated the same way as our aboriginal people – very badly.

 

So let’s go back a bit – not far though.   Canada got involved in Afghanistan because it was a UN operation, based on a false fag maybe but none the less a UN sanctioned event. We lost 158 men and goodness knows how many came home wounded both mentally and physically and that struggle is still going on so what we achieved may have been excellent at the time but is all lost now as the Taliban have regained control of their country.

 Regretfully we got a new Prime Minister in 2006 who hated everything that was human including Canadians and was VERY upset as the leader of the Opposition when we did not go into George Bush’s personal war in Ira

 As men and women eventually came back from the manufactured Afghanistan debacle showing signs of extreme stress they expected to get some help from the Canadian people through their government…not going to happen either then or now which prompted this:

When members of the Canadian Forces put on the uniform of their country they make an extraordinary personal commitment to place the welfare of others ahead of their personal interests, to serve Canada before self and to put themselves at risk, as required, in the interests of the nation. A veteran, whether regular or reserve, active or retired, is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to “the Government of Canada,” for an amount of “up to and including their life.”  

 Veteran’s group Equitas’ statement of claim against the government.

 

A class action was brought in the Supreme Court of BC, and this shows very clearly what our then PM stated on numerous occasions;   I have “bolded” the same relevant statements below from these proceedings;

 January 31st 2014

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA BETWEEN AND DANIEL CHRISTOPHER SCOTT, MARK DOUGLAS CAMPBELL, GAVIN MICHAEL DAVID FLETT, KEVIN ALBERT MATTHEW BERRY, BRADLEY DARREN QUAST, AARON MICHAEL BEDARD PLAINTIFFS

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA DEFENDANT

Canada’s Covenant to Service Members and Veterans

  1. With respect to paragraphs 227 and 228, the defendant admits the accuracy of the quoted statements but pleads that these statements were political speeches not intended as commitments or solemn commitments. ( Apparently, politicians can say what they want to get elected and it has no real meaning at all)
  2. As to paragraph 229, the defendant admits the content of the legislation referred to but denies that this reiterates or recognises any alleged social contract or social covenant with the attributes pleaded by the plaintiffs.
  3. As to paragraph 233, the defendant admits that items (a) to (e) are accurate quotes from the report entitled “Moving Forward: A Strategic Plan for Quality of Life Improvements in the Canadian Forces” but denies that they are an articulation of any alleged social contract with the attributes pleaded by the plaintiffs.
  4. As to paragraph 235, the defendant admits the accuracy of the quote but denies the allegation that ultimate responsibility belongs to Parliament and to public opinion not just to the government of the day

 From this, it is clear that the then PM and his Conservative Party did not believe that the Government of Canada owed anything to those who had put themselves in harm’s way at their behest, regardless of whether or not that action was really justified. The fact still remains that those women and men came home altered and in need of help.   That help was not forthcoming and thus the lawsuit.

So, you say to yourself, things are different now with a liberal PM aren’t they?   Wrong.   The lawsuit was put on hold during the election of 2015, and of course promises were made about how the veterans would be treated differently, but as shown above in #60, political speeches are not to be taken as anything other than empty promises, and sunny days and sunny ways do not apply to the Canadian people generally but especially to those veterans whose lives were and are forever changed.

And so from the CBC concerning the resumption of that case in the BC Supreme Court:

 “Ottawa’s legal maneuver on veterans benefits called ‘a betrayal’

Lawyer for injured Afghan veterans says court action turns ‘Liberal election campaign into a lie’

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: May 17, 2016 5:02 PM ET

“Moreover, all parties voted unanimously in favour of a motion introduced by NDP MP Fin Donnelly last May, (2016) which recognized a “stand-alone covenant of moral, social, legal and fiduciary obligation exists between the Canadian people … and members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been injured, disabled or died as a result of military service.”

So just why are the Liberals pursuing this case?   What is it about the Canadian people that they will allow their governments to abandon those they sent to fight supposedly to protect our mythical democracy and nonexistent sovereignty?

 Why is it that our puppet MPs all wore poppies and spoke in glowing terms in our House of Commons of the bravery of the Canadian forces? Why are they, for the most part, silent about this court case? How can the members of the dysfunctional government look themselves in the mirror knowing that they are challenging those vets in court? Just as important why are we allowing this to happen? Could it be that we are not heard by those MPs? That their proud yet empty words are simply a sham? Regretfully the answer to those last two questions is yes.

 As usual, I will sit beside the flagpole at Beacon Hill Park and listen to the guns firing their salute, and remember those I knew who gave that ultimate sacrifice in WW2 and the various skirmishes since then all at the behest of the international bankers and financiers who made money off those skirmishes, as I refuse to join the legions of people at various cenotaphs listening to the religious words about the current “war on terror” as if it was real, and beseaching some god or another to protect our brave men and women.

 We are better than that, or we should be.

 

Jeremy Arney

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Site C Dam

Here is my presentation to the BCUC on 11th October 2017:

 

My name is Jeremy Arney a resident of North Saanich.

Thank you for the opportunity to present to you and welcome back into the Site C fray.

I wish to acknowledge the Songhees upon whose territory we are meeting.

 

You have heard the financials for BC Hydro and I will not go into those except to say that I am well informed of them by Eric Anderson of Gabriola Island who I believe presented to you yesterday, and it is only by fancy and deceitful accounting that the 80:20 ratio is maintained in order for a yearly dividend to be paid to the province by a virtually bankrupt BC Hydro.

The question here is: Do we need Site C and if so why?

In my view, we do not.

Over the last few years, the demand for electricity in BC overall has declined in spite of BC Hydro forecasts that it would increase.   Dams built in conjunction with the Columbia River Water Control Agreement have served us well and it is my understanding that additional turbines could be fitted to these dams without affecting that agreement and of course more hydro could thus be generated should we require it.

We also have the environmentally disastrous and seasonal only operations called the run of the river projects from which BC Hydro has been obliged by the previous government to purchase their power at a higher rate than that for which they can sell that power either to Alberta or export it to the USA.

In that regard two points:

The State of California has designated our run of the river projects as environmentally unsound and “not green” and therefore will not purchase hydro from them.  On January 15th 2014 the California Energy Commission found that our Run of the River projects did not conform to the California Renewable Energy Resources Act.

Then there is the FTA and now NAFTA article 605 which states that we (Canada ) can increase our percentage of energy exported to the USA but we cannot reduce it and any price change upwards must be agreed to by both our PM and the US President.   This means that the promotional price set for 20 years by WAC Bennet of the Socreds is still in effect today as FTA was signed within that 20 years.   Our current Minister of Foreign Affairs who has taken the renegotiations of NAFTA away from our Minister for Trade has shown no signs of wishing to even consider this and so it will not change.

One of the stated needs for Site C was for more power to be transmitted to Petronas, which has now pulled out of the infamous LNG production, and for mining companies such as Imperial Metals at Mount Polley Mine and probably the Red Chris Mine as well. Since both are already operating why do we need more hydropower for them?

One question as to the actual safety of the Site C is that the banks which are supposed to hold the “lake” are not stable and should the worst happen and the Site C collapse will it take out the other 2 downstream dams and how far into Saskatchewan will the resulting torrent of water flow?

There is no proven need for this dam and the cost of refurbishing the area is lower than that of completion.

Now is the time to stop it, and I urge you to do just that.

Thank you.

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NAFTA renegotiations a joke? Maybe…

It really is time to get serious with what our ex-Trade Minister and now Foreign Minister has and is still doing about our investment agreements, misnamed Free Trade Agreements.

Right from the start, Ms. Freeland ignored all requests and pleas not to sign on with the TPP, or CETA with their crippling investor-state profits protection clauses.  She ignored all those and went ahead and signed both of them with those clauses in place.

Now she, not the International Trade Minister, is negotiating the revamping of NAFTA, which is an offshoot of the infamous FTA between a had been actor and a drunk.   This is where the investor-state clause came into play and has in effect greatly limited our ability to make and uphold the laws in Canada which will serve Canada and the Canadian people rather than foreign (and now domestic) corporations and their perceived profit losses if they run afoul of our laws.

 From the Toronto Star:

As reported by TONDA MACCHARLESOttawa Bureau reporter

Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

“Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Wednesday, “We believe that just as good fences make good neighbours, a good dispute settlement mechanism makes good trading partners.”

 It is comments like this that make me realise we have someone negotiating for us who has no idea what the difference is between a Trade Agreement and an Investment Agreement.   Chapter 11 of NAFTA is nothing to do with trade but everything to do with investments and perceived profit loss from those investments which run contrary to Canadian laws. 

 Further down in the article there is this about the $205 million paid out by Canadian taxpayers so far:

“….and most of that came when a panel awarded $130 million in damages in one case: AbitibiBowater’s $500 million claim against the Newfoundland government which expropriated its water and timber rights and hydroelectric assets in the province after the company closed its last mill in that province and laid off 800 workers…..”

I added the bold and explain why:

It should be pointed out that those water and timber rights were granted to Abitibi in early 1900 provided that they had a working mill employing Canadians. When that mill was closed and the Canadians were laid off their claim on those water and timber rights ended. How can you expropriate something which returns to you by default anyway? This claim by Abitibi was not presented before a NAFTA tribunal because Stephen Harper quietly paid them $130 million of our money to “go away”. That this was one of his first acts and that it exceeded the total cost of the “sponsorship” scandal (which, with the connivance of the RCMP, allowed him into power) by some 15 million dollars is an indication of the contempt Harper had for Canada and Canadians.

This is all very pathetic, but bear in mind that there is a claim for $250 million from a Canadian Company – yes you read that correctly – Lone Pine Power of Calgary, Alberta (incorporated in Delaware, USA) had their proposal to drill and frack the St Lawrence River in Quebec turned down because a proper environmental study had not been conducted by Quebec or the Federal Government.

This information is readily available on the Government of Canadian Website:

http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/topics-domaines/disp-diff/gov.aspx?lang=eng

We can also expect a claim from Enbridge (also incorporated in Delaware) for the rejection of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and most likely Kinder Morgan if BC stands by its citizens and the courts overrule Trudeau and refuse to allow this monstrosity to be constructed.

Chapter 19 of NAFTA is to do with dumping etc., and this is where we are constantly under attack for our softwood lumber.   I do not understand this at all.  If the Americans want to pay more for our lumber let them, and if they do not want to pay our price do not supply them.  Can it be simpler than that?    American protectionism is at play here again and the fact is that they do not have enough home-grown lumber to supply their own needs so they would be forced to get the extra from somewhere. Insisting on Canadian producers charging more through countervailing duties makes little sense to me.

Since I wrote the above I found a House of Commons Trade Committee hearing at which Ms. Freeland appeared before the NAFTA negotiations started this summer and frankly I was more puzzled, annoyed and concerned than ever.  The Trade Minister was nowhere to be seen so he is, I suppose, just male window dressing to her Cruella De Vil. 

The Liberal and Conservative MPs offered questions that were pure pablum, (it did not seem to matter that she waffled so much and didn’t answer those pablumatic questions anyway) leaving it to Tracey Ramsay of the NDP to ask about the investor dispute mechanism to which the reply was just as it is in CETA; that is to say nothing changes. There was some talk of there being a European court to deal with CETA disputes, so an undefined but new European court with no clear jurisprudence or base of operation would have decided on Canadian law?  Yeah right, Freeland, Right!   As it reads now same old same old tribunal of corporate lawyers with no actual court of any kind of law in sight to decide on the value of our laws against perecived corporate profit loss.

After a question about Quebec electricity charges and supply to New England states and New York was neatly sidestepped  Ms. Ramsay asked about the percentages of energy production not being able to be reduced even in an emergency.

From NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

 

  1. the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

So the real answer to that Quebec Hydro question should have been clear.  Not only can the supply not be lessened, but lack of payment for that hydro cannot be the reason for stopping the supply.  Ask BC, they have not been paid by California for about 20 years but are stuck with the supply, and the people of BC are paying for this.

Once again here is Freeland wanting to keep this when for nearly two years she has not been able to come to an agreement about our softwood dispute, so I can be forgiven if I state that I do not trust her at all, anyway why is she in charge of this not Champagne our actual trade minister?   Maybe it’s to keep her hatred of Russia under control…….

Since consultation have been held about NAFTA with Universities, think tanks, Chambers of Commerce and Labour and Corporations it is clear to whom Freeland feels responsible. “We are listening to Canadians” is the Liberal war cry and I know I have written to her about 19 times now and have not received any response at all.   It is abundantly clear to me that the Canadian people do not figure in her mind at all, and whatever the international corporations want she will do her very best to give them at our expense.

 “Sunny Days” Trudeau supports her completely and as we have learned those sunny days and sunny ways never did apply to those Canadians who voted for him but do to international corporations which so far do not vote.    Wonder when that will change?

Jeremy

Mr. Michael Marsh:

    I guess the argument is that democracy is not just about majorities; it’s about minorities. It’s about blending minorities to make political decisions, and that’s quite difficult if the minorities are not represented.

For the minorities read Canadian people……

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