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Commentary: Canadian judgment on Chevron oil pollution lawsuit was mix of good & bad for Ecuadorian community

"Can Chevron avoid paying clean-up costs by hiding behind shell companies? A Canadian judge seems to think that’s just fine...", 25 Jan 2017

The news that came out Friday from the Superior Court of Ontario, where Ecuadorian communities are trying to enforce an Ecuadorian environmental judgment against fleeing polluter Chevron Corp., was actually a mix of good and bad...Judge Glenn Hainey excused Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary (Chevron Canada) from the action, holding that it even though it is wholly-owned and controlled by Chevron...Judge Hainey essentially ruled that a multinational fleeing a valid court judgment that hides its assets in a maze of paper subsidiaries can completely insulate itself from paying its obligations, while losing nothing in terms of profit or control...Hainey allowed the case to proceed against Chevron...[R]ecognition of the judgment by Canada could provide a critical counterweight to the shameful interference in the process by U.S. courts...[T]he affected communities who won the judgment are actually celebrating the Ontario decision for its basic affirmance of their right to enforce their judgment in Canada...“[W]e are now one big step closer to our goal in Canada of forcing Chevron to comply with the rule of law...” said Carlos Guaman, the leader of the Amazon Defense Coalition...

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