Canadian mining company in London targeted by protesters over EU-Canada trade deal
Last night activists obliterated the words ‘democracy’, ‘environment’ and ‘justice’ with gold spray paint outside the offices of a Canadian mining company, in a protest designed to draw attention to the corporate court system being proposed under the EU-Canada trade deal, CETA.
Gabriel Resources is a Canadian mining company that is using an existing trade deal to sue the state of Romania over the refusal to grant a mining permit for what would have been the largest open cast gold mine in Europe.
The mine was planned for the region of Rosia Montana, a beautiful town in Transylvania and a proposed UNESCO world heritage site. Gabriel Resources are demanding a payment of €4 billion to compensate for their lost future profits. They are using a UK / Romanian investment treaty through their London and Jersey offices to take this case.
Protesters say that the legal action should send alarm bells ringing throughout the EU, and in the UK. In February 2017, the European parliament is voting CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. It will expose European governments to more similar cases if those governments decide at any time to prioritise the interests of people, their rights or the environment over and above the future profits of Canadian corporations or 40,000 US companies active in Canada. If CETA is fully approved before the UK leaves the EU, the corporate courts will come into force in the UK for twenty years regardless of the decision to leave.
Jean Blaylock, trade campaigner at Global Justice Now said:
“At the heart of this toxic trade deal lies a whole legal system that would give thousands of corporations the option to sue governments for making decisions that might hurt their profits. The fact that this Canadian company is attempting to sue the Romanian government for billions of euros for daring to turn down an enormous open cast gold mine, should ring all sorts of alarm bells for what we would face if the EU-Canada trade deal comes into force.
“We now have two months to convince MEPs that this trade deal amounts to a massive corporate power grab at the expense of ordinary people across Europe and it must be stopped.”