Last week the Ontario Court of Appeal began hearing a case where a group of Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples are suing Chevron’s Canadian branch in the hopes that a Canadian court will enforce a judgment made by the Ecuadorian government against Chevron’s American parent company.
The case has been dismissed by American courts, been denounced as the “legal fraud of the century” by The Wall Street Journal, and the lawyer behind it was found to have engaged in racketeering.
But it’s no wonder the case has wound its way up to Canada – the original Ecuadorian settlement is $9.5 billion, the largest of its kind. In the unlikely event that they manage to pull it off, that’s quite of lot of cash to go around for the plaintiffs, lawyers and investors who’ve been bankrolling this endeavour.
(This fascinating case goes back decades and there are books and documentaries on it, some backing Chevron, others against.)
There is one group that presumably won’t share in any of the spoils though. That’s Canadian First Nations. Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, was on hand last week to pose for photos with the Ecuadorians who had flown up for the two days of arguments in a Toronto courtroom.
For the rest of this article: http://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/furey-its-time-we-stopped-using-first-nations-as-anti-development-props