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With the NAFTA arbitration award against Canada in the controversial Clayton-Bilcon case finally being released – a mere $7-million – it seems timely to review these investor-state disputes and see where matters stand in the Canada-U.S. context. Canada has been the most frequent target (i.e., respondent) in these NAFTA investor arbitrations, all of which have been launched by Americans. Even though the system was designed to give U.S. investors recourse against Mexico, it’s turned out that U.S. parties were much more interested in chasing after Canada. Since the North American free-trade agreement began in 1994, there have been 18 claims by Americans against Canada that went all the way to some final resolution. Seven were dismissed...
China has sustained spectacular economic growth for nearly four decades and it has made a great leap forward in the living standards and personal ambitions of much of its population. However, a growing number of signs indicate the prolonged period of rapid growth is coming to an end, with consequences for Canada and the world. China’s growth miracle began in the late seventies with reforms led by Deng Xiaoping that recognized the advantages of private initiative and market forces – combined with massive continuing investment by the state and a gradual opening to the world economy. Growth rates began to take off in the eighties and soared into double digits at times. Chinese per capita income grew rapidly and is now approaching US$10,000...
  My flight back west was delayed at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, and I got talking to a Calgary banker, who was also homeward bound after a circuit around Bay Street. “Capital is thin right now,” she said. “Upstream investment for Canadian oil and gas is just a no-go: It’s not a matter of risk premium. No one knows how to price the politics.” Investment in Canada’s resource sector fell dramatically in the past four years and the outlook for new projects remains depressed. Ottawa has proposed an overhaul under Bill C-69 of the federal environmental assessment for major capital projects, and our Senate is now scrutinizing the legislation. In a report published on Thursday by the C.D. Howe Institute, Alberta’s former...