MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Success! Canadian Parliamentary Committee tables a Constructive Report on Corporate Responsibility a

Published by MAC on 2005-06-23


Success! Canadian Parliamentary Committee tables a Constructive Report on Corporate Responsibility and TVI Pacific to the Government of Canada

DCMI Update

June 23, 2005

Ottawa, Canada – The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has tabled a report to the Canadian Parliament asking for an investigation to be conducted on the impact of TVI Pacific's Canatuan mining project in Mindanao. If approved, the investigation will look into company's impact on human rights and indigenous rights and will also examine environmental effects of the project.

The report also calls for the Government of Canada to create new regulatory and monitoring tools that would encourage Canadian companies to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner when working overseas. The Committee has asked for establishment of clear legal norms in Canada to ensure that Canadian companies and residents are held accountable when there is evidence to environmental and/or human rights violations associated with the activities of Canadian mining companies. The report also encourages that government support should be conditional on companies meeting clearly defined corporate social responsibility and human rights standards – particularly through the mechanism of human rights impact assessments. (Text of the report is below but to see the full report, go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=122765)

This report is the result of a succession of hearings that the Committee has had with a number of groups during the last year. Onsino Mato (from Canatuan) and Godofredo Galos (from the Save Siocon Paradise Movement) personally presented their experiences to the Committee in a hearing held on March 23, 2005. Catherine Coumans of Mining Watch Canada and Diana Bronson of the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development also expressed their concerns regarding TVI during this hearing. A number of written statements were also presented from the local community (To see the minutes of this hearing, go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=107570)

TVI was also provided a chance to speak in front of the Committee in a hearing on May 18, 2005. Attny. Pablo Bernardo (from TVISSAI) and Benefico Patoh (a barangay official from Tabyo, Siocon) were also present at these hearings as community representatives. Although TVI did its best to put a good spin on their operations, they were still required to answer a number of difficult questions from the Committee members who had previously received a number of informative documents from DCMI's files. (To see the minutes of this meeting, go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=117082)

As a result of the hearings, the Subcommittee recently tabled a report to the Canadian Parliament that will be discussed when the parliamentary sessions are resumed again on September 19, 2005. The report makes a number of suggestions which, if accepted, will increase the regulatory measures on Canadian companies working abroad and initiate an investigation into TVI's operations in Canatuan.

The recommendations to the Government of Canada specifically regarding TVI are as follows:

Conduct an investigation of any impact of TVI Pacific's Canatuan mining project in Mindanao on the indigenous rights and the human rights of people in the area and on the environment, and table a report on this investigation in Parliament within 90 days;
Ensure that it does not promote TVI Pacific Inc. pending the outcome of this investigation.

The Committee has requested a comprehensive government response to this report.

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