Nov 262015

It’s very easy to follow – – good English sub-titles.  Just give it a minute.


Europeans are seeing Canadian experience with Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDSs) through German Public TV.

This is a very important and informative video.   Many thanks to people in Germany.  And to Janet Eaton – – her remarks below.   Also,  Osgoode Hall Law School professor Gus Van Harten makes very important contributions.  Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians has been a stalwart for years on the Trade Deals.  There’s a link below – – Bless Maude.

I think it’s left to us to forward the word to Canadians and Americans.   It just isn’t being discussed, how are people supposed to know?

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2015-01-14 FTA’s Chapter 11 Makes Canada Most-Sued Country Under Free Trade Tribunals, Huffington Post

2015-03-06 We Canadians get to gift Exxon/Mobil $17.3 million! (compliments of NAFTA)

2015-04-18 Hundreds of Millions of Dollars already paid out to corporations because of trade deals. It’s about to multiply many times over (TPP, CETA, etc.).    (Has a number of links to other postings.)

2015-10-16 Texas Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens’ $700-Million NAFTA Lawsuit Against Ontario Nears End, NY Times & Huffington Post

2015-11-22   Offshore Banking and ISIS.

(But click on the video at top from Germany – – it sets everything in an entirely new light.)

With thanks to Janet Eaton:

Dear All,

Here is the video prepared for German Public Television with English subtitles  made for  European citizens to understand the true nature of Investor State Dispute Settlement about which there has been such huge backlash in Europe and especially Germany. [An earlier version in German was released some time ago.]

By highlighting a Canadian case under NAFTA, the first major agreement between developed countries with ISDS included, the producers were warning Europeans about what could happen when saddled with NAFTA- like ISDS agreements with both Canada under CETA and the US under TTIP.

It could  also be useful for lobbying in Canada to have the struggles of a local community portrayed in situ with local interviewees who fought against a large American  quarry there only to lose under ISDS i.e.  the Digby Neck Nova Scotia Bilcon case which has become a lightening rod for critique of ISDS world wide.

Likewise for European cases – Vattenfall against the German decision, after Fukushima,   to phase out nuclear power and Spanish government’s decision to stop the subsidization of solar companies operating in Spain.

You will also see and hear analyses from many legal experts from various European countries as well as from Canada and the US as to what is transpiring politically and economically with what the majority see as an unfair attack on the public sphere and a violation of national sovereignty.

There is also significant documentation provided by Cecilia Olivet from the  Transnational Institute one of Canada’s Trade Justice Network’s  collaborators in bringing to  light the egregious nature of ISDS.

This video should also be useful for informing the public about the mechanics of ISDS and its private tribunals, behind the scenes machinations, and multiple impacts compared to public law courts hence giving an unfair advantage to corporations.

The Vattenfall case against the German decision to phase out nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster also reminds us of the Lone Pine Resources case against the government  of Quebec for placing a moratorium on fracking and how difficult it could be to enforce agreements on Climate Action made in Paris as Professor Gus van Harten well knows . He has called for a trade deal exemption clause in his new report, “An ISDS Carve-out to Support Action on Climate Change” a move championed by the Council of Canadians and Maude Barlow.

Please share this with colleagues and your lists.

all the best,


——- Forwarded message follows ——-

From:                         Pia Eberhardt

Dear all,

In October, the first German public TV channel broadcasted a pretty good 45 minute documentary on the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS), in TTIP and elsewhere: “Konzerne klagen – wir zahlen”.

The film goes in depth into the cases of energy giant Vattenfall vs. Germany, Bilcon against Canada as well as the numerous cases of solar investors against Spain.

It includes strong statements from people from the arbitration industry, politicians, NGO activists as well as academics.

CEO and TNI have now subtitled the video in English and Spanish (you have to activate the subtitles yourselves): Some quotes from the movie can be found below, to give you an impression. All the best, Pia

“It’s been a bonanza for the legal industry, that’s growing up around this treaties and it’s ultimate, it only exists, because at some point everyone expects: The public will have to pay.” Gus van Harten, Professor for International Law

We do see people essentially speculating on the outcomes of corporate attacks on governments.“ Ben Beachy, Sierra Club

The moment in which those standards as fair and equitable treatment have been applied in an extensive way, meaning that any legislative change which impairs or which brings with it as a consequence that a certain expected investment is not longer going to be possible – this is in my eyes a perversion of the system.“ José-Maria Beneyto, Professor for international law
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  5 Responses to “2015-11-16 YouTube: German Public TV tells Europeans re ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlements). Canada? U.S.? What are we seeing?”

  1. This is completly scary!!! It is 43 minutes long so allow enough time to see it all. Then the question is – how to act????

  2. This information is very important and I want suggestions as to how ordinary citizens can act.

    • Hi Joan,

      I went to the Council of Canadians website, and to “Trade Deals”. Found this article which has very good information:

      At the bottom of the article is a link to an action item. I added my name to it.

      Prime Minister J Trudeau and the Minister for Trade have committed to public consultations across Canada. When the dates and locations are known we can spread the word to everyone we know. I hope to attend (will have to travel, but it’s important enough to do that).

      There will be facebook groups to join – – if you find any, it will be helpful to others if you can share them here.

      Thanks. Your curiosity and passion help fuel me and others!

  3. Who is controlling this email? Why are you doing this?

    • RE your questions Who and Why?

      My birth name is Sandra Finley. I don’t use pseudonyms. I was raised in small-town rural Saskatchewan. I have more than 6 decades of experience on this Planet, now!

      The button “Home” at the top of this page tells you my motivation for doing this. The button “About the Network” may be helpful.

      I “control” the emails and the blog, but I am dependent upon input and support from others. Anyone is free to use the information as they see fit.

      I am suspicious that I was conditioned to do what I do! Most weeks throughout my childhood, I recited the Brownie and Girl Guide Promise which at that time was pretty onerous: “I promise on my honour, to do my best, to do my duty to . . . my country. And to help other people at all times.” Maybe I have no choice! Ha ha!

      But seriously, I believe that we have more power than we think we do, and we had better exercise it. If we don’t we will be leaving a much-degraded world to our children. This is a way in which I can contribute – – but my contribution only bears fruit if others use it in some small or large way. Whatever suits them.

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