Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.([email protected])
As a child of Polish immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War and settled in the nickel mining centre of Sudbury, Ontario, I witnessed the stable and prosperous life my parents had due to my father’s life-long employment at Inco Limited. In the mid-seventies, I also had the good fortune to work at Inco’s Clarabell Mill for one year before going to college and spent one summer underground at their Frood-Stobie Mine which help pay for my college education.
So I am always surprised about the bad press and demonization major mining companies receive about their activities in lesser-developed countries and am very concerned about Bill C-300, the proposed federal anti-mining legislation introduced by a Liberal backbencher.
Take for example Barrick Gold’s annual meeting to shareholders in Toronto last April where many protesters gathered to denounce the company’s activities in their home countries. Chairman Peter Munk, is a Hungarian-Jew who escaped his Nazi-occupied homeland in 1944 and immigrated to Canada after the Second World War where he founded Barrick in 1983. During his presentation to shareholders, he had a few choice comments about the anti-mining NGOs.
“By moving into these countries and developing their mines, we provide – way beyond the importance of money – we provide human dignity,” Peter Munk said. “We provide an opportunity for these people to earn their money, rather than hold out their hands and depend on charity.”