Canada: MP urges govt. to strictly supervise overseas activities of Canadian companies to avoid human rights claims

Author: Ian Bickis, Canadian Press, Published on: 13 April 2016

"Canadian miners violating human rights abroad need stricter supervision, MP says", 5 Apr 2016

Liberal MP John McKay is calling for stricter oversight of Canadian mining companies abroad as plaintiffs increasingly look to Canadian courts to seek justice...The former Conservative government did create a mediator position as part of a 2009 corporate social responsibility strategy, but the role came under criticism because it was entirely voluntary for companies to participate. The program was later revamped in 2014 as part of the government's updated strategy. Pierre Gratton, head of the Mining Association of Canada, says the second iteration of the strategy is much improved — Ottawa can now take away trade commissioner services and funding from Export Development Canada if companies refuse to participate...Danica Vaillancourt, a spokeswoman for Natural Resources Canada, said the department encourages Canadian companies to resolve disputes in the countries where they happen, and focuses on "helping companies and stakeholders find solutions that work." But McKay says that approach isn't working....[Refers to Chevron, Hudbay Minerals, Nevsun & Hudbay Minerals lawsuits (re Guatemala); Nevsun lawsuit (re Bisha mine, Eritrea); Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador)]

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Related companies: Canadian Natural Resources Chevron Hudbay Minerals Nevsun (part of Zijin Mining)