AbitibiBowater deal a precedent?

The federal government's $130-million payment to Montreal-based pulp and paper giant AbitibiBowater to offset seizures by the Newfoundland and Labrador government last year may set a NAFTA precedent, the St. John's Telegram reported. University of Toronto NAFTA legal expert Stephen Clarkson said on Aug. 31 that the payout means other provinces may now see it viable to challenge NAFTA rules because the federal government is providing a safety net. AbitibiBowater had filed a suit under NAFTA to challenge the government's takeover of its assets in central Newfoundland. The federal government announced on Aug. 24 that it would settle the suit.

Published: Wednesday, 09/01/2010 12:00 am EDT

The federal government's $130-million payment to Montreal-based pulp and paper giant AbitibiBowater to offset seizures by the Newfoundland and Labrador government last year may set a NAFTA precedent, the St. John's Telegram reported. University of Toronto NAFTA legal expert Stephen Clarkson said on Aug. 31 that the payout means other provinces may now see it viable to challenge NAFTA rules because the federal government is providing a safety net. AbitibiBowater had filed a suit under NAFTA to challenge the government's takeover of its assets in central Newfoundland. The federal government announced on Aug. 24 that it would settle the suit.

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