Sunday, December 9, 2012

High Court Says Newfoundland Can't Force Insolvent Firm To Clean Contamination


Mon., December 10, 2012
Newfoundland and Labrador called on the Harper government Friday to change corporate bankruptcy laws after it lost a major environmental appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Press reported. The province failed in its bid to force the newsprint giant, formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc., to pay for an environmental cleanup, as the Supreme Court sided with the company in a 7-2 ruling. The province's attorney general called for legislative changes after Friday's ruling, which acknowledged the so-called "polluter pay" principle. But that wasn't enough to give the province the legal victory that eluded it Friday for the third time. Tom Marshall, the attorney general for Newfoundland and Labrador, said the public would be upset that the Supreme Court equated regulatory orders designed to protect the public with the "ordinary claims of creditors." Marshall said the federal government must rethink insolvency laws that essentially leave taxpayers holding the bag for pollution caused by insolvent companies.

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