[Resources] Canadian companies ‘try to do the right thing’ – by Elliot Ferguson (Kingston Whig-Standard – May 8, 2016)


KINGSTON — Most Canadian mining, gas and oil companies working abroad are good corporate citizens, says the federal government official tasked with keeping tabs on their actions. But Jeffrey Davidson, speaking in Kingston, says there is always room for improvement.

As the extractive sector corporate responsibility counsellor for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Davidson’s office advises the government on how to make sure Canadian companies act appropriately while doing business internationally.

The office also provides advice to companies navigating the often complex social, economic, cultural and political landscape of other countries.If necessary, the office also gets involved in a dispute resolution role.

“Canada has a reputation of being honest, transparent, promoting good works, and if some companies were presenting themselves as Canadian and making messes, it wasn’t something the government wanted to see,” Davidson said Wednesday at the close of a conference at Queen’s University about Canada’s role in Africa’s natural resource sectors.

“There is a whole argument that home countries have a role to play in promoting and ensuring responsible business conduct outside of Canada’s borders.” Davidson, a former Queen’s professor, took the office last year and is responsible for helping the government implement its Doing Business the Canadian Way strategy.

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