OTTAWA – B.C. will be the location for a new “world class” Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development, the Harper government announced Friday.
The University of B.C., collaborating with Simon Fraser University, beat out other competitors in the competition to host the institute, which will get up to $25 million in federal funding over five years.
The announcement was made to a business audience in Toronto Friday by International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino, who unveiled a new strategy to ensure that Canada’s $5 billion in annual international aid promotes the Canadian economy as well as advances development in less developed countries.
The institute is part of a recent federal strategy of lining up non-governmental organizations to work with mining companies to ensure local communities benefit from major projects.
The move has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of using scarce aid dollars to subsidize Canadian mining firms who have often faced controversy in developing countries.
“The new institute will build on Canadian leadership in the management of natural resources in developing countries, which is critically important for sustainable economic growth,” Fantino said in a statement.
“The University of British Columbia, leading the coalition, will now establish and operate a world-class institute that will deliver knowledge on proven regulation and oversight to help resource-rich developing countries create jobs and economic growth.
“This institute will help developing countries reap the benefits of their natural resources, and also benefit Canadian companies in fair, transparent, and foreseeable regulation in the extractive sector.”
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