NAFTA tribunal rules Canada did not violate trade agreement in BC pulp mill case


Industry Forestry Government Manufacturing BC Hydro BC Utilities Commission electricity manufacturing Mercer NAFTA pulp tribunal

Mercer claimed competing pulp mills in the province received more favourable treatment over purchase/sale of power.

NEW YORK — A NAFTA tribunal has ruled against a US pulp company that claimed it was discriminated against by BC Hydro and the BC Utilities Commission.

Mercer International Inc. mounted a $250-million claim against the Canadian government in early 2012, alleging that BC Hydro and the B.C. Utilities Commission violated its NAFTA rights by discriminating against the power-generating operations at its pulp mill near Castlegar, BC.

The company said competing pulp mills in the province have received more favourable treatment in regards to the purchase and sale of power by the provincial government’s BC Hydro, costing Mercer $19 million per year between 2008 and 2012.

The tribunal determined there had been no violation of NAFTA, saying it does not have jurisdiction to decide some of Mercer’s claims, and that it would be inappropriate for them to re-determine some of the other claims, which they said required a specialist judgment.


The tribunal awarded Canada approximately $6.9 million in costs.

Mercer president and CEO David Gandossi says in a statement that the company believes it was important to bring its claims before the tribunal to “seek the fair treatment of its investments in Canada.”


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