OTTAWA, Canada (October 27, 2010) – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) today issued the following statement in response to the defeat of bill C-300, a private members bill entitled An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries in the House of Commons:
“Canada’s mining and exploration industry, which employs more than 306,000 Canadians, is pleased that the Parliament of Canada saw the importance of defeating bill C-300, a fundamentally flawed private members bill that would have damaged Canada’s exploration and mining industry and jeopardized jobs here in Canada and the local jobs in the communities in which we work. We appreciate the efforts of the Government of Canada in exposing the flaws of the bill and in working to defeat it in the House.
Canada’s mining and exploration industry is already actively engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility practices and bill C-300 would not have enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Canada’s competitors would have used the passage of bill C-300 as a tool to undermine the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the highly competitive global extraction industry. Frivolous or vexatious claims would have been filed against Canadian firms by competitive interests at no cost or risk to themselves, tying up important projects and putting well paying local jobs and community development projects in developing countries at risk.
Canada’s exploration and mining companies recognize that good CSR is the right thing to do. Canada has 1,800 exploration and mining companies operating 10,000 projects in over 100 countries at any one time. Through our CSR initiatives, we work in partnership with community groups, governments and on the ground organizations to build capacity, provide infrastructure and social services, including schools, housing, roads, clean water and sanitation, as well as creating meaningful local jobs in the communities in which we operate.
Our industry’s CSR performance has significantly improved over the years and we remain committed to further improving our CSR. Companies are subject to all in-country laws and are held to high expectations by numerous domestic and international institutions, policies, frameworks, and standards. These include: Export Development Canada’s CSR policies, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Equator Principles for project financing for extractive projects located in the developing world.
We believe that the independent Canadian CSR Counsellor – who has recently launched an independent and transparent review mechanism that was informed by extensive industry and NGO consultations – deserves a chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Office.
Canada’s exploration and mining industry looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada, the Office of the Independent Counsellor and all political parties on furthering Canada’s CSR regime, fostering constructive dialogue, continuing to improve the industry’s CSR performance, and advancing tangible on the ground results.”
About the PDAC:
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. Its 7,000 individual and corporate members are involved in the exploration, discovery and development of new mines and new wealth in Canada and around the world. The PDAC’s annual convention is the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral industry. PDAC 2011 will be held March 6-9 in Toronto.
Based in Ottawa, the Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.
– 30 –
Saley Lawton, Director, Communications
Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
Cell: (647) 309-5563
Tel: (416) 362-1969 ext. 225
Paul Hébert, Vice President, Government Relations
Mining Association of Canada
Cell: (613) 371-5007
Tel: (613) 233-9392 x 325