A Losing Proposition: The Failure of Canadian ISDS Policy at Home and Abroad

Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

There has been a debate over Investor-State Dispute Systems (ISDS), a process for resolving settlement disputes between foreign investors and national governments. Many people argue that ISDS is used to challenge actions taken by the state to protect the environment, public health or other important policy decisions. This report provides background information on the ISDS process, conducts a quantitative analysis to identify trends in the use of ISDS by Canadian investors, explores ISDS through various case studies and discussed policy implications for Canada.

Myths and Omissions: Unpacking Obama Administration Defenses of Investor-State Corporate Privileges

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Investor-state dispute settlement system empowers foreign corporations to bypass domestic courts, challenge government’s public interest policies before extrajudicial tribunals and demand compensation. There is increased opposition to the expansion of ISDS through the TAFTA, or Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, and the Obama administration recently published a justification for its plan to expand the regime. This report addresses these claims, and explains the harm that can be done with this type of agreement.

Opinions y perceptions towards metal mining in El Salvador

Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública 

In El Salvador, 79.5% of the population that is potentially threatened to have nearby metallic mining activities believes that the country is not suitable for this activity. This was a survey performed by the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simon Cañas,” in San Salvador. The study explores people’s opinions and perceptions related to metallic mining in El Salvador.

Gold, Water and the Struggle for Basic Rights in El Salvador

D. Kingsbury 2014, OXFAM Australia

This report examines the issues of the El Dorado gold mine project, and past and potential future impacts that has and already had on the Salvadoran environment, society and economy. In a country that already faces a water crisis, the El Dorado project could have disastrous effects on the environment and local communities. Therefore, the government has declared a moratorium on mining in El Salvador. This has led to the mining company OceanaGold to pursue legal action for refusing to grant permits for the mining project.

Metals mining and Sustainable Development in Central America: An Assessment of benefits and costs


This assessment conducted by Oxfam discusses the social, environmental and economic costs of metals mining in Central America. The prices of metals are very unstable and mining practices produce little wealth for the country involved. In addition, it leads to resource depletion and environmental destruction. Mining extraction is an unsustainable economic practice, and it has been shown that countries that rely more heavily on natural resource exports have a slower GDP growth rate per capita.

Myth and Realities of Mining Central America

Caritas El Salvador

This article discusses four myths that are told by the mining industry in order to justify their activities in Central America. First, that the current technologies used in mining protect the environment. Second, that mining creates an economic boom and employment for the local communities. Third, that mining generates government taxes and an incentive for sustainable development. Lastly, that mining companies respect human rights. These claims are debunked and the true reality of the mining situation in El Salvador is revealed in this article. 

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El Lado Oscuro del Oro: Impactos de Minería Metálica en El Salvador

Florian Erzinger, Luis Gonzalez y Angel M. Ibarra, 2008

Gold mining has become a profitable industry in Central America in recent years due to a rise in gold prices. However, in a country as small as El Salvador, mining would have disastrous effects on the environment, water, and health of people. There is social movement in El Salvador where people are fighting for basic rights such as access to clean drinking water and the defense of natural resources in their own environment. Communities and social organizations have come together to create a resistance against this industry that could be the key to stop mining extraction activities in El Salvador. 

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