Windstream Takes Canada Govt to Ontario Superior Court

Windstream Energy yesterday filed an enforcement application with the Ontario Superior Court after the Government of Canada failed to comply with the terms of payment following a ruling from 2016, which awarded the company with more than CAD 28 million in damages for its stalled 300MW offshore wind project in Lake Ontario.

In its application to the Ontario Superior Court, Windstream requested an order recognising and enforcing the award issued by an arbitral tribunal under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The award required Canada to pay to Windstream CAD 28,095,332.00 within 30 days of the award.

The award began to bear interest at a rate of 2.7 percent, compounded annually, from 1 November 2016 to the date of payment.

As of 22 December 2016, the Ontario government has accepted the ruling of the arbitral tribunal under NAFTA.

“The Canadian government’s failure to pay the award granted to Windstream by the NAFTA tribunal is unprecedented,” said David Mars, Director of Windstream Energy LLC. From Windstream’s perspective, this investor-settlement dispute under NAFTA raises serious concerns if the Canadian government cannot fulfill its NAFTA treaty obligations to American companies. As interest continues to accrue, we hope that Canada abides and complies with the NAFTA award without further delay.” 

The CAD 28 million award is the largest ever NAFTA damages and cost award against Canada, but it is just a fraction of CAD 475 million compensation the US-based company claimed for damages for lost profit due to the Ontario’s moratorium on offshore wind farms in 2011.

Meanwhile, the government of Ontario, Canada, recently said it will keep its moratorium on offshore wind projects imposed in 2011 as it still does not have enough data to make an informed decision on whether to lift the ban.

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