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

"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.]