Nova Scotians have a huge lawsuit hanging over their heads, but they can be forgiven for not dwelling on it in the summer of 2022, given the never-ending storm of crises swirling around them — COVID-19, the climate crisis, biodiversity collapse, runaway inflation and disaster capitalism run amok, and disintegrating democracy around the world.
Still, the lack of headlines and media attention shouldn’t lull anyone into complacency over the $450 million lawsuit that Northern Pulp and its owner, Paper Excellence, have filed in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
That lawsuit could cost every single Nova Scotian — already struggling with high housing, food and fuel costs — nearly $500. Or more.
Although media reports often describe Paper Excellence as a Canadian company, it is not. Paper Excellence is part of the massive Sinar Mas / Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) corporate empire of the multi-billionaire Sino-Indonesian Widjaja family, and Statistics Canada says it is controlled out of Indonesia.
The Widjaja family’s Asia Pulp & Paper still holds the record for the largest default in an emerging market — nearly US$14 billion. Despite prolonged legal battles by creditors — international banks, pension funds, and the US government — to recoup their losses, the Widjaja family reportedly “outsmarted” them, although Chinese banks were repaid US$700 million in the first year, after which Asia Pulp & Paper expanded into China.
The Environmental Paper Network, a worldwide network of over 150 civil society organisations, says this about Asia Pulp & Paper and the corporate family it is part of, which includes Paper Excellence:
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is one of the world’s largest paper companies, with an annual combined pulp, paper, packaging product and converting capacity of over 19 million tons per annum. Its name has been long associated with massive deforestation, with human rights abuses, harassment of local communities and massive emissions of greenhouse gasses.
APP is in reality a nebula of companies, linked by a complicated and un-transparent corporate structure. Some of these companies are included in the Sinar Mas conglomerate, while some of them are formally independent, but still controlled by the Widjaya [another spelling for Widjaja] family, and operating within a single commercial strategy. Actually, Asia Pulp & Paper as a company does not even exist. Some of the corporate associations with these companies are purposely kept hidden, possibly for commercial or fiscal reasons, but also to deny links with deforestation or to keep using the FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] certification after having been banned by that standard. This un-transparent structure has been also used to avoid the payment of its 13.9 billion USD of debt when it defaulted in 2001.
Commonly, APP is considered as the pulp and paper subsidiary of the Sinar Mas Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia, dealing with Palm Oil and Pulp and Paper sectors, also operates in Real Estate, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Telecommunications and Mining.
The Environmental Paper Network also advises caution when dealing with APP and Paper Excellence:
Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Canopy, WWF, as well as a number of Indonesian organizations and other members of the Environmental Paper Network encourage buyers and investors to avoid brands and papers linked to APP or Sinar Mas or Paper Excellence and their sister companies controlled by APP’s owner, the Widjaya family. [bold emphasis in original]
Imagine, then, a free trade agreement that could give the conglomerate even more legal leverage over governments in Canada, and reciprocally, give Canadian companies more legal leverage in Indonesia and its “deteriorating democracy.”
But just such a trade agreement is being negotiated now, unbeknownst to many people in this country.
Last year Canada launched formal negotiations with the government of Indonesia for what it calls a “Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA),” a euphemistic term for a bilateral free trade deal with another country that gives corporations and investors all manner of extraordinary protections and legal options to pursue their interests.
Nova Scotians’ experience with Paper Excellence began in 2011 when it acquired the Northern Pulp mill in Nova Scotia.
Since then, the company has gone to court against Nova Scotia no fewer than four times.
One was in 2015 over the terms of a new industrial approval that Northern Pulp, a Paper Excellence company, didn’t like. In the end, the provincial government caved and gave the company what it wanted.
Five years later, Northern Pulp was back in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, this time seeking a judicial review of the Nova Scotia Environment decision to require a full environmental assessment report for its proposed effluent treatment facility, which would dispose of massive amounts of treated pulp effluent into the rich fishing grounds of the Northumberland Strait.
Then in April 2022, Paper Excellence was showing its litigious colours yet again. Unhappy with the terms of reference Nova Scotia set for the environmental assessment of its latest proposal for a new effluent treatment facility and mill modifications, the Paper Excellence company Northern Pulp once again went to court to seek a judicial review.
And there is also that lawsuit, which Paper Excellence filed against the province (aka the people) of Nova Scotia in December 2021, for “indemnified losses” that are “expected to exceed $450 million.”
It’s worth remembering that last lawsuit came about because in 2015 the government of Nova Scotia finally did the right thing by legislating the closure of Boat Harbour, the stinking lagoon next to Pictou Landing First Nation, which had been used for pulp effluent treatment for 46 years, and was considered one of Canada’s worst cases of environmental racism.
Because the province refused to allow Paper Excellence to continue using Boat Harbour, the company sued for those “indemnified losses.”
Related: Northern Pulp says it is “insolvent” and can’t pay its pension obligations, but it’s got lots of cash to bankroll assaults on Nova Scotia’s government and laws
In other words, Paper Excellence is ready to go to court every time it decides it is not getting exactly what it wants from the provincial government. (And Northern Pulp has actually got a lot from the province, including access to Crown land and loans and lots of concessions over the years under its current and previous owners.)
Related: The Pictou mill: fleecing Nova Scotia for 53 years – and counting
Nor does the company have any problem using Canada’s legal system and court to get creditor protection, as Northern Pulp and six other Paper Excellence companies have done in the British Columbia Supreme Court, where the judge has given the companies just about everything they’ve asked for so far.
Related: The “weird” legal mechanism being used by Northern Pulp in its $450 million lawsuit against Nova Scotia
A pulp and paper powerhouse
In recent years, Paper Excellence has been snapping up pulp mills and large pulp and paper companies throughout North America, and now controls an extraordinary amount of the pulp and paper industry, and related forest allocations on the continent.
Even before Paper Excellence announced it would be acquiring Canada’s Resolute Forest Products on July 6, it was the country’s largest pulp and paper producer.
Related: An Indonesian company is increasingly controlling Canada’s pulp industry but regulators seem unwilling to act.
It owns mills and has access to huge areas of woodland in five provinces — British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia — and additionally in many US states, Brazil, and France.
That’s a massive presence, and a lot of corporate control.
And that’s just the Paper Excellence part of the Sinar Mas / Asia Pulp & Paper empire, which has a massive presence in Indonesia and China.
Here is how the Sinar Mas Group, parent to Paper Excellence, describes itself on a website detailing the grandeur of its Sinar Mas Plaza in Shanghai, China:
The Sinar Mas Group was founded in 1962 by Chinese Indonesian tycoon Oei Ek Tjhong [also known as Eka Tjipta Widjaja]. The Group now has hundreds of subsidiaries and 200,000 employees, with a total asset of over US$750 billion and ranked by Forbes as Indonesia’s largest consortium.
Sinar Mas Group investment scope from Asia, North America, Europe, Australia and other places, with the Pulp paper-making, real estate, finance, agriculture and food processing four core industries.
Sinar Mas Group, real estate business in Indonesia, Singapore, the United States and China, domestic Well-known project [sic] has the Shanghai Bund Center, Shanghai ARCH, Shanghai Sinar Mas Plaza and Ningbo Sinar Mas Plaza, etc.
In other words, the Sinar Mas Group is a massive corporate force to reckon with, even without a trade agreement that could increase its powers.
‘Free’ trade for whom?
The Halifax Examiner has sent several sets of questions to Global Affairs Canada about the negotiations and the proposed trade agreement between Canada and Indonesia, and also requested an interview with someone from Global Affairs. That request was not granted (or even acknowledged), and Global Affairs provided mostly generic responses to questions.
Here are some of them:
Canada is committed to expanding trade and investment with large, fast-growing markets, such as Indonesia.
A Canada-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has the potential to unlock new market access for Canadian goods and services to Canada’s largest merchandise market in the region, as well as create new opportunities for two-way investment . . .
The first round of CEPA negotiations took place from March 14 to 18 . The round was hosted virtually by Indonesia. The second round of negotiations is expected to take place from August 15 to 19 in Ottawa.
The warning that seems to have been forgotten
In 2003, two years after APP defaulted on US$13.9 million, the ambassadors to Indonesia from the US, Canada, Japan, and eight European countries wrote a letter to then Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri warning her that, “failure to reasonably satisfy the creditors of APP will affect the confidence of future potential investors into Indonesia.”
The vast majority of creditors never were satisfied.
The Halifax Examiner asked Global Affairs Canada if this letter and warning were being considered in the free trade negotiations, and if the proposed CEPA could open doors for more legal cases by Paper Excellence companies against Canadian provinces, regulators and Canada itself.
This is the reply from the Global Affairs spokesperson:
Canada does not speculate on the legal merits of individual cases or the applicability of our trade agreements.
Further, we are not able to speak to the issue of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) as this matter falls outside the scope of trade agreement negotiations.
On its website, Global Affairs Canada contends that the Canada — Indonesia CEPA is good for us:
A CEPA with Indonesia would help establish a more transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment, and create new opportunities for Canadian goods and services in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Global Affairs states that the agreement will uphold “labour rights and promoting environmental sustainability.”
Many oppose the deal
But in a recent editorial in Policy Options, Shane Moffatt, Greenpeace Canada nature and food campaigner, and Syahrul Fitra, senior forest campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia, warn that the trade deal poses enormous risks.
“This deal is likely to entrench reliance on chemical fertilizers, exacerbate deforestation and threaten the rights of local communities and Indigenous peoples. It will rely on bilateral trade in risky commodities like forest products, rubber and palm oil,” write Moffatt and Fitra.
“The Canadian government promotes potential benefits of the deal for ‘upholding labour rights and promoting environmental sustainability,’” they write. “But a closer analysis reveals looming commodity driven risks to communities, climate and nature.”
They note that more than 50,000 Canadians have already signed a petition opposing the Canada-Indonesia free trade deal.
Moffatt and Fitra also zero in on pulp, forestry, and Paper Excellence:
Chemical wood pulp was the third largest export from Canada to Indonesia in 2019, worth $155 million. Wood pulp is a key component in writing paper, which is then again one of Indonesia’s largest exports to Canada — the fifth largest, amounting to $45 million that year.
What’s more, the largest wood pulp producer in Canada — Paper Excellence — has been linked to the Sinar Mas Group, a palm oil, pulpwood and property empire, recently valued at U.S. $45.8 billion. The Sinar Mas Group has a long track record of deforestation, peatland destruction and social conflict in Indonesia, which has been well-documented by Greenpeace Indonesia and others on the ground.
The logging industry in Canada is itself under pressure for “some of the worst forestry in the world” responsible for tremendous loss of biodiversity and massive greenhouse gas emissions from unsustainable logging. Given this, it’s hard to imagine the deal will take pressure off some of the world’s last great forests, whether Indonesian rainforest, Canadian boreal or coastal temperate.
In April, Moffatt appeared at a meeting of the House of Commons parliamentary committee on international trade, and again warned about the trade agreement with Indonesia for a host of reasons, including the relationship between Paper Excellence and the Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas.
In an interview, Moffatt tells the Halifax Examiner that there is a need for more transparency. Whether it is forest products that Paper Excellence is exporting to Indonesia or to APP affiliates in China, Moffatt says it is crucial that the public can see if those products are coming from a place where they’re having a really high impact on species at risk, or a place where there is consent of Indigenous peoples.
According to Moffatt:
We need some traceability so we know who is producing them and how are they being produced, so that we can actually have much more transparency, both on the corporate ownership and the way that these commodities are being produced … whether it’s forest products that people are producing in Canada, or rubber, for example, that’s being produced in Indonesia, the vast majority of these products right now, unfortunately, are being produced in a very unsustainable manner.
‘A bit scary’
Speaking with the Examiner from Berlin, Germany, Sergio Baffoni, Indonesian forests campaign co-ordinator for the Environmental Paper Network, says Paper Excellence’s rapid takeover of pulp mills and associated forest allocations in North America and Europe is a strategic move by the Widjaja family corporate empire to continue expanding their control over the global pulp industry, and to secure supplies of the much-prized long fibre that comes from northern forests.
Baffoni says that Asia Pulp & Paper companies generally combine the pulp from longer fibres coming from Canada with shorter fibres coming from forests in Indonesia and places such as Vietnam.
APP’s Oki mill in Indonesia is going to be tripling its pulp production, Baffoni says, and there will be a need for a great deal of pulp to fill that production line. He says that while APP doesn’t acknowledge the fact, it is the largest pulp and paper producer in the world, and also one of the lowest cost producers, which, of course, says a lot about labour and environmental standards. Its vertically integrated system means it controls a great deal of the supply chain for pulp and paper.
Baffoni thinks it “a bit scary” how little attention Canadians and Canadian regulators are paying to Paper Excellence, which is part of the global Asia Pulp & Paper / Sinar Mas “machine.”
“Definitely, honestly, if I would be in a legislator in Canada, I would be a bit worried about penetration by a company, which is not just any little single company,” says Baffoni. “It’s a big, big, very powerful and very well organized company and which also has very close ties with a well-organized state.”
Baffoni is referring to China, which is where the Widjaja family corporations have a very large corporate presence.
Says Baffoni, “This is a very political, very efficient, and very well-organized and interconnected business group, which has showed itself to be very ruthless, historically. So I would be very concerned to give a big part of the economy and society in the hands of a group, which performs this way.”
He says the Widjaja family is “one of the most powerful families” in Indonesia, a country he believes is “experiencing a stepping down from democracy, which is quite worrying.” According to Baffoni:
There has been also a process of progressive emptying of democracy, this has been noted by all political observers. So, it’s a little bit scary because in this case, it is the families that have the political power, and the economic power, get more and more influence and more and undisputed power.
Yet this is the country with which Canada is negotiating a free trade agreement now.
Entrenching corporate rights … to sue
Nikolas Barry-Shaw, trade and privatization campaigner with the Council of Canadians, tells the Examiner it is no coincidence that the public is often unaware of agreements like the one being negotiated with Indonesia.
After the movement against corporate globalization and big free trade agreements gathered steam in the 2000s, says Barry-Shaw, there was a “pretty political conscious decision” made to move away from the big deals that attracted so much attention, and focus on many “little bilateral trade and investment agreements that could be negotiated and passed under the radar.”
However, he says, the bilateral agreements such as the one being negotiated between Canada and Indonesia are the same as the larger ones in that they “entrench corporate rights, including the right for corporations to sue governments” for any policy or law that they deem threatens their profitability.
“Much of what are our foreign policy does is about protecting corporate interests,” says Barry-Shaw.
He notes that Indonesia is where the first strong anti-globalization and global justice movement got started, when the world learned about the rampant abuse of child labour and workers at Nike factories there. This was about the same time that Canada was hosting Indonesian dictator Suharto for the 1997 Asia Pacific Economic Conference, which resulted in the RCMP pepper-spraying people protesting Suharto’s presence.
Suharto is long gone, but the Widjaja family that built its fortune under his ruthless dictatorial and corrupt rule, is not.
According to Barry-Shaw:
There’s a very strong oligarchy in Indonesia, it has a pretty terrible track record when it comes to labour rights or protection of the environment. At home within Indonesia, or with its corporate holdings abroad, signing a deal with them, where we’re increasing the power of those corporate interests and those oligarchic families, that’s not necessarily what we want to do if we supposedly have a federal government that wants to improve the inclusiveness and progressiveness of our trade relations.
Such agreements cause harm on both sides, Barry-Shaw says, because they generally include investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms that allow corporations to sue governments, often in a special tribunal set up as part of the agreement.
‘Infringement on democracy’
According to a May 2022 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canadian companies use these investment agreements to bully foreign governments using investor-state dispute settlements that it says are “included in nearly all Canadian international investment agreements.” The report states that these dispute settlements allow investors to “sue governments in private arbitration tribunals if the investor believes the terms of an international investment agreement have been violated.”
Barry-Shaw explains the problems he sees with such dispute mechanisms and trade agreements such as the one Canada is developing with Indonesia:
Canada is a big investor, especially in sectors like mining and forestry in Indonesia. So [the Canadian government is] pushing for the inclusion of this kind of mechanism, which is basically to give even more protection to those interests abroad, even if it means sacrificing the environmental protection of places like Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, it seems they [the Canadian government] are willing to do it. And so I think that’s a really big reason why people in Nova Scotia and across Canada need to fight against it.
Under NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] you had about two thirds of all the Investor-State Dispute Settlement cases that were brought concerned environmental protection or resource management, exactly the kind of case this company could bring if this trade deal with Indonesia is concluded with a dispute mechanism.
… they negotiate to create a kind of corporate-friendly tribunal where corporations like Paper Excellence can go to seek damages when their bottom line is impacted by governments protecting the environment. It’s precisely the kind of thing that ISDS has been used for around the world. It’s also being used by Canadian corporations. You know, there are certain treaties that include ISDS in Europe and Canadian corporations are using it to sue governments over climate change legislation.
And these trade deals give corporations the ability not only to sue governments, but to go forum shopping if they lose their case in the national court, they’ll seek an international body. And instead of facing judges appointed by the elected government, they’ll face a panel of three corporate lawyers, people who have the corporate outlook and not surprisingly, tend to favour corporations.
Barry-Shaw says the agreements harm the democratic process by “dissuading governments from doing things they might otherwise,” fearing there might be a $100 million or even a billion-dollar lawsuit down the road in one of the ISDS tribunals.
This, he argues, is not favourable to public regulation or public interest.
“I think these deals, and the clauses for ISDS in particular, can really work like a sword of Damocles over the heads of government policy makers,” Barry-Shaw says. “This is a really outrageous infringement on our democracy.”
Shane Moffatt of Greenpeace says there is need for much greater scrutiny of this deal as it proceeds.
When we think of Paper Excellence as an example is that it could further entrench those kinds of kind of corporate interests, and lead to less transparency, even less transparency that we’re seeing now, if that’s possible. The lack of transparency in Paper Excellence is astounding.
Moffatt thinks it worrisome and “an incredible turn of events” that provincial governments have been so “gung ho” to open the doors for Paper Excellence, “with so little public transparency and disclosure from the company of who their owners are.”
There’s 50,000 Canadians who said they have serious concerns with the deal. So what we’re trying to kind of say is that until there’s fundamentally much more transparency in this deal, draft negotiations text being shared with the public, both kind of evaluation of environmental impacts, much more transparency of the corporate ownership and much more focus on where commodities are coming from, traceability, alignment with climate of biodiversity commitments, all of those issues.
“Until those fundamental shortcomings are resolved, we’re going to be opposing this deal,” says Moffatt.
 Timothy Mapes, August 15, 2003, Tough workout: Asian paper giant survives debt saga as creditors fume; APP, owing $14 billion, gets help in Jakarta to put off big banks, governments; letter from 11 ambassadors. Wall Street Journal.
 The Environmental Paper Network lists the following as “APP and Sinar Mas related companies:”
APP, Arco Paper & Print, Asia Paper, Blue Ocean Printing, Bohui Group, Cathay Brasil, Charta Global, Chengdu Gold Hongye Paper, Collins Debden, Cottonsoft Ltd., CSI Paper and Pulp Industries, Debden, Diary Specialists, Dragon Paper, Eagle Ridge Paper, Elis China, EQBD Converting, Fibre Excellence, Global Paper Solutions., Gold Daio, Gold East Paper, Gold Hai Paper Products, Gold Hongye Paper, Gold Huasheng Paper, Gold Jinhai Trading, Gold Shengpu, Guang An Siping Pulp and Paper Industry, Guofa Forest & Paper, Guangxi Jingui Pulp & Paper, Hainan Gold Hongye Paper, Hainan Jinhai Pulp & Paper, Hangzhou Sinar Mas Paper Products Service, Hippo Paper Products, Hubei Sinar Mas Paper Products Service, IMPERIA Printing & Packaging, Inner Mongolia Jinxing Pulp & Paper, Jin Feng Yuan Paper, Jinguang Chuangli Paper, Jinmei Industrial Sdn Bhd, inxin Paper Industry, Jinyu Tissue Paper Industry, King Paper Source Trading, Kinno Limited, Kyokuto Associates, Lamican Oy, Lamipak, Liaoning Jinye Paper, Mercury Paper, Ningbo, Nippecraft, PAK 2000, Paper Excellence, Paper Force, Pty, Paper Max, Paperich, Phoenix Stationery Product, PT Ekamas Fortuna, PT Indah Kiat, PT Konverta Mitra Abadi, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industry, PT Mangium Anugerah Lestari, PT Marga Buana Bumi Mulia, PT OKI Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Purinusa Ekapersada, PT Sinar Dunia Makmur, PT The Univenus Company, Shenyang Jin Xin Pulp and Paper Co, Sichuan Jinan Pulp, Sinar Mas Paper, Solaris Paper, Synergy Paper, Tangyuan Yalong Pulp and Paper, TK Printing, Top Harvest Asia, Toprint Computer Supplies, Universal Paper, Yalong Paper Products, Yang Pu Sheng Li Paper.
Note, however, that these companies also have many individual complex corporate structures, and according to Statistics Canada’s Inter-corporate ownership record for Sinar Mas in Canada, there are 64 affiliated companies in Canada.
The Environmental Paper Network provides this list of APP and Sinar Mas brand names:
“APP sells products in 120 countries under a number of brand names, such as: Absolute, Allyking, Allyking Cream, Allyking Plus, Allyking Pro, Anchor, Animal Pop, Aone, Apport, Arcadia 2000, Art-tech, Asia, Asia Star, Astronaut, Avantourier, BEST, Bai Jue, Bai Yu, Benefit, Blue Flagship, Blue Snail, Bola Dunia, Breeze, Brilliant Laser Copy, Britex, Britex Plus, Caidie, Canary, Carbon Neutral, Changhe, Charta, Chieftain, Collins, Concorde, CopyMate, Corrugating Medium, CottonPosh, CottonSofts, Crosmile, Dayplanner, Debden, Delicio, Delicoa 38, Dengfeng, Digital Nevia, Dongfan, Dragon, EGIS, EKA-MAS, Ecto, Elis, Ellustra, Emporia, Encarte, Engrave, Enova, Enova Digital, Enova Facestock, Enova Flexpak, Enova Green, Enova Hi-strength, Enova Label, Enova Optima, Envova Heatset, Enza, Enza HS, Enza MF, Enza MG, Enza semi-MG, Eurostar, Exbarro, Exceedo, ExcelPro, Excelpro Recycled, Exkarro, Expert, Extra Art, Extra Preprint, Extraprint, FairPrice, Fancy, Filma, Fiora, Flagship, Foopak, Forerunner, Fountain, Four Roses, GHS Superior Pro, Galaxy Brite, Genesis, Glo, Gold Ball, Gold Bird, Gold Butterfly, Gold Flagship, Gold Mark, Golden Arrow, Golden Coin, Golden Eucalyptus, Golden Form, Golden Palm, Golden Pardus, Golden Plus, Golden Star, Good Fry Deep Frying Fat, Green Castle, H+O, Hanwei, Hello, Hi-Brite, Hi-Kote, Hi-Pack, Hoopoe, Huiermei, Hybrite, IK Copy Paper, IK Gold, IK Plus, IK X-Brite, IK Yellow, Imperia, Impression, Impression Lux, Impression plus, Impressions, Impressions Pindo 2000, Inspira, Inspira Premium Offset, Instant, Instant Pre Print, Instaprint, Integrite, Jin Cai, Jin Cai lan, Jin Die Lan, Jinbei, Jinou, Jolly, Kard, KiwiSoft, Kokoru, Kunci Mas, Kyokuto, Lamican, Lamicup, Lamipak, LiVi Basic, LiVi VPG, Likede, Little Star, Livi, Longtou, Lucky Boss, Lux Star, Luyun, Marigold, Masku, Maslino, Max Board, Max Kard, Menara, Mirage, Mitra, Mitra Margarine, Multi Copy, Natural Deli, Natural Hearty, Nevia, Nevia Cube, Nevia Plus, Nice, Ningbo Fold, Ningbo Gloss, Ningbo High Point, Ningbo Pack, Ningbo Poker, Ningbo Spark, Ningbo Star, Nireus, Nvi, Office Print, OmniStar, Optimum Partner, Ovation, PE/PET, PPC Grey, PRO-MAS, Palmboom, Palmvita, Paper Plus, Paperline, Paperline 2000, Paperline Color, Paperline Gold, Paperon, Paseo, Perfectionist, Phoenix, Pocket Week, PooPooPaper, Pro-Pack, ProPrint, Proxima, Pusaka, RAINBOW, RainbowMax, Record, Recycled, Red & Black, Red Flagship, Red Rose, Riviera, Sarasa, SavviBrite, SavviCoat, SavviPAK, Shendun, Shully, Sinar Color, Sinar Dunia, Sinar Lux, Sinar Royal, Sinar Spectra, Sinar Tech, SinarBoard, Sinarcard, Sinarfold, Sinarkraft, Sinarline, Sinarpack, Sinarplex, Sinarvanda, Smart Baker, Smart Recipes, Space Shuttle, Spark Star, Spectra Color, Stickiii, Summer, Sunbrite, Super-Pack, Test Liner, Texper, The Blues, Top Grade, Topgun, Toply, Trutone, Tuffy, Vector Lux, Virjoy, Whale King, White Top Test Liner, Willow, Winnow, Writeraze, X-Cote, XPLORE, Xx, Zenith, Zhenzhen, Zig Zag, chong ji bo, e-Paper, Enlivo, Fu gui, Hai shen, I-soc, Jin Niao, Jin qian bao, Li ke Dei, Ru jia, Si ji gui, Ya yi”
 Timothy Mapes, August 15, 2003. Wall Street Journal.
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Joan’s excellent article should be read by Christia Frieland. Surely she would understand that Oligarchs should not be managing our forest industry.
More great reporting by Joan Baxter. I’m sure she has mentioned this in earlier stories but I don’t understand why a B.C. court has jurisdiction over a dispute between the province of Nova Scotia and an Indonesian company running a business here. Even if their Canadian subsidiary is headquartered in B.C., isn’t there a strong argument against this case being heard there?
The Nova Scotia legal counsel are also perplexed that the British Columbia Supreme Court justice could coerce the province into mediation in that court, to try to settle a lawsuit from the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. It’s extremely complex, but what it seems to come down to is the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), which gives the Court Justice (advised by a court monitor chosen by the company declaring itself insolvent and thus seeking creditor protection under the CCAA) an extraordinary amount of power under Section 11. The Examiner reported on this perplexing question in this article: https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/province-house/the-weird-legal-mechanism-being-used-by-northern-pulp-in-its-450-million-lawsuit-against-nova-scotia/ (As for why Northern Pulp et al sought creditor protection in the British Columbia court, Paper Excellence would argue that it is “headquartered” in British Columbia, although I’ve also seen it claim it is headquartered in California. So who really knows?)
Thanks for adding as much clarity as possible to an extremely murky issue. Much appreciated.
Kudos for this excellent article. This trade deal should not be approved, nor should any international compact that allows multi-national conglomerates to extract fines from Canadians for impinging on their profits. What about our right to demand that environmental and labor standards be adhered to? These deals are designed to ensure that foreign corporations can plunder and exploit our land and people, while leaving us powerless to curb these abuses. Why should our government enter into such a deal when the only beneficiaries are the rich and powerful, both here and abroad?
Simply amazing journalism and I can’t think of any other source that could/would put this information into a Nova Scotia relevant perspective.