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15 Nov 2016

Above Ground, MiningWatch Canada, OECD Watch

Assessment of Canada's Natl. Contact Point cases in extractive sector finds it unable to provide effective remedy

"'Canada is Back' But Still Far Behind," 15 Nov 2016

...Since 2000, Canada has maintained a National Contact Point (NCP) responsible for promoting multinational companies’ adherence to guidelines for responsible business conduct developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

This report assesses the NCP’s performance to date, particularly with regard to harm prevention and access to remedy. It examines the NCP’s handling of five complaints concerning Canadian corporate misconduct abroad, all of which involved allegations…associated with the extractive sector…

These case studies illustrate the ineffectiveness of the NCP grievance process. The analysis shows that:

  • The NCP lacks independence.
  • …is opaque.
  • The process involves unjustified delays.
  • The NCP applies a high threshold for accepting complaints.
  • The NCP does not make findings on whether companies have breached the Guidelines.
  • The government penalty for companies that don’t participate has proven to be ineffective…
  • The process rarely concludes with an agreement…
  • …NCP has consistently failed to provide complainants with effective remedy.

…The NCP’s failings, as documented here, underscore the need for Canada to move beyond voluntary grievance mechanisms…

[Also refers to Barrick Gold, China Gold, China Railway Construction, Corriente Resources, First Quantum Minerals, Glencore, Ivanhoe Mines, Rio Tinto, and ZCCM-Investment Holdings.]