Canada announces new corporate social responsibility strategy for extractives abroad integrating UN Guiding Principles

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Article
6 June 2016

Commentary: Canadian Govt.'s enhanced corporate social responsibility strategy requires details for implementation

Author: Josh Scheinert, OpenCanada

"Between Rock and Responsibility," 3 Jun 2016

…Jeffrey Davidson…was appointed Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Counsellor…[He] is tasked with implementing the government’s “enhanced” CSR strategy, Doing Business the Canadian Way…While on the one hand it is a novel approach, the new strategy still leaves many questions unanswered as to how the CSR Counsellor is to implement it…To implement the enhanced strategy, the CSR Counsellor has two key mandates. The first is to provide advice and guidance to extractive companies on the general application of CSR norms…Davidson’s second mandate — reviewing the CSR practices of Canadian companies — is what has generated the greatest amount of uncertainty…How exactly Davidson is supposed to go about this task…isn’t detailed in the policy…Davidson knows that…[t]here’s another priority…While Davidson continues to build up his profile, the lack of awareness for his office undermines the policy’s aim…[Karyn] Keenan [of NGO Above Ground] stresses the few instances of states taking more proactive roles than Canada…“If you compare those initiatives with a voluntary mechanism…It’s not enough.”…[Also refers to Barrick Gold, Excellon Resources, Hudbay Minerals, Ivanhoe Mines, and Nevsun.]

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Article
18 November 2014

Canada announces new corporate social responsibility strategy for extractives abroad integrating UN Guiding Principles

Author: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada

"Canada’s Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy to Strengthen Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad", 19 Nov 2014

The enhanced Strategy, announced on November 14, 2014, clearly demonstrates the Government of Canada’s expectation that Canadian companies will promote Canadian values and operate abroad with the highest ethical standards. It also outlines the Government’s initiatives to help Canadian companies strengthen their CSR practices and maximize  the benefits their investments can provide to those in host countries...Companies are expected to align with CSR guidelines and will be recognized by  the CSR Counsellor’s Office as eligible for enhanced Government of Canada economic diplomacy. As a penalty for companies that do not embody CSR best practices and refuse to participate in the CSR Counsellor’s Office or NCP dispute resolution processes, Government of Canada support  in foreign markets will be withdrawn...[The CSR strategy includes] benchmark CSR guidance released since 2009, namely the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas..

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