NAFTA Tribunal Releases Text of Landmark Windstream Energy Award and Video of Hearing Testimony
An arbitral tribunal appointed under NAFTA (“the Tribunal”) today released the redacted text of the $28 million landmark ruling in favour of Windstream Energy LLC (“Windstream”). It also released video footage of the testimony and submissions made at the hearing.
The Tribunal’s ruling against the Government of Canada, the largest in Canadian history, found that the Government of Ontario treated Windstream’s investments in Canada unfairly and inequitably under NAFTA following the 2011 moratorium on offshore wind farms. This moratorium directly frustrated the $5.2 billion contract for a 300 MW offshore wind power project that Windstream signed with the Ontario Power Authority.
While the historic decision was announced in early October, the delay regarding the Tribunal’s text and video release came as a result of redaction disputes between Windstream and the Government of Canada. In an effort to commit to full transparency, Windstream challenged the Government of Canada’s many redactions. Windstream wanted to immediately release the fully unredacted award.
The Government of Canada was ordered by the Tribunal to make payment in full by October 30th, 2016. To date, no payments have been made and interest is accruing daily at an average cost to the taxpayer of approximately $1,500 per day.
“We are hopeful that we can sit down with the Ontario government and find a suitable path forward,” said David Mars, Director of Windstream Energy. “Contracts do not just go away, and to date, the government has refused to talk with us. We have invested in projects around the world and have never before experienced a government counter-party who has been unwilling to come to the table to find a mutually-agreeable solution. We are pleased that the NAFTA tribunal has formally recognized the inequity and challenges we have faced and we are committed to working with the Ontario government in a fair and reasonable manner.”