NAFTA vs the British North America Act
NAFTA treaty may face constitutional challenge in Canada.Premier Danny Williams Of Newfoundland and Labrador, already famous for his immensely successful ABC (Anything but Conservative) campaign during the 2008 federal election, is terminating the forestry tenure of AbitibiBowater and expropriating its assets. This move came as a response to AbitibiBowater’s decision to close a newspaper mill.
This is about two things. First, it’s about government actually
enforcing resource contracts. Lumber mills and Aluminum smelters have
been closing all over Canada not because they’re no longer profitable
but because it became much more profitable to close the mills and sell
power from the hydro plants they were only allowed to build on an
implied or contractual agreement that required them to run a mill or
smelter. Even written contracts haven’t been enforced. Newfoundland is
finally doing something to put a stop to this trend that has made
resource companies buckets of money and put thousands of Canadians out
Secondly this is about the abuse Federal Law when it comes to
international agreements. Provinces are constitutionally guarunteed the
right to manage their own resources. Constitutionally, this decision
cannot be interfered with by the federal government. This has been
tested in the courts. But the federal government has the sole right to
make international agreements. The question is, can it bind provinces
to these agreements without their consent? Hypothetically it can’t. But
this has never been tested in the courts before.
Danny Williams has unanimous popular support. If he wins this one he
could probably run for Prime Minister and win by a landslide.
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