MAC: Mines and Communities

A personal note of proceedings from an attendee at the Inco 2004 AGM

Published by MAC on 2004-04-22

A personal note of proceedings from an attendee at the Inco 2004 AGM

Inco shareholders once again this year entered their annual meeting surrounded by protest. This year, drums, chanting, and dancing of the Algonquin First Nation captivated people as they either entered the meeting, protested or walked by.

Shareholders and passerbys were leafletted with the Inco 101 flyer (if you want a copy, please email me) as they entered the meeting location. People from Port Colborne, and activists in the Toronto area held placards, a banner, blew whistles and shouted for Inco to clean up their mess. One Port Colborne resident held a placard that read "Nickel was found in my soil, in my kitchen and in my left lung." We made noise for awhile outside the meeting then made our way over to Inco's head office on King where children from Port Colborne shouted "what do we want? Our health, our future."

On the Inco CEO Scott Hand began his speech on all the good things Inco is doing in the world in places like Indonesia, the drums all of sudden can be heard from the outside. Hand stumbled several times when asked some hard questions from people in the audience and at least once made a total idiot of himself. Only about 2 questions were related to business and dividends while the others came from our group. People who asked questions included Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch, Diana Wiggins from Port Colborne, Kanak representatives from New Caledonia, Jacques Boengkih, Senator Dick Meureureu-Goin and Chief Adrien Koroma, and Daniel Vogt from Guatemala.

One surprising admission from Hand was that he takes his recommendations from the Public Liaison Committee involved in the Community Based Risk Assessment process that is currently underway in Port Colborne. One of their recommendations is indoor air testing for 19 homes, which has been a contentious issue for some time.

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