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On the weekend of September 10-12, 1999, MiningWatch Canada and the Innu Nation convened a gathering of representatives from aboriginal communities throughout Canada that had been affected by mining. The Innu wanted the gathering to share what they were learning through the environmental assessment and land rights negotiations with respect to the Voisey's Bay project, but it was also an opportunity for aboriginal groups to set an agenda for MiningWatch's work with them. A general invitation was sent out, and 32 communities and organisations eagerly responded. Eighty people came. The event was...
Next spring, MiningWatch Canada will bring together 30 leaders from communities affected by Canadian mining companies around the world to share their stories and develop a framework for research projects located in their experience of mining in all its stages. A video and booklet will also come out of the meeting. Community representatives will be invited from Peru, Chile, Guyana, Nicaragua, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Ghana and South Africa, as well as from communities in the United States and Canada. The format of the seminar will be very participatory, and translation...
The Canadian Export Development Agency (EDC) provides public financing and political risk insurance to Canadian companies investing in large-scale projects overseas. In 1997, EDC worked with 3,711 customers in 145 global markets. It is a federal crown corporation. EDC projects have enormous human and environmental impact. Some of the world's worst environmental disasters have involved Canadian firms financed by EDC. The Ok Tedi Mine received $88 million in EDC export credits. The Omai mine in Guyana, the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Kumtor Mine in Kyrgyzstan have all received EDC support...
This past Spring, Natural Resources Canada (a.k.a. NRCan) initiated a multi-stage, multi-stakeholder process that MiningWatch Canada has been involved in. The first stage, which is ongoing, is meant to discern 'Canadian values' that might inform indicators that will measure 'progress' in the mining sector with respect to sustainable development. MiningWatch's participation has focused on the need for a broader underlying and collective 'vision' of sustainability, and specifically on 'sustainability' with respect to mining, to inform this project. MiningWatch has argued that indicators to...
Daniel Ashini
With few exceptions, Aboriginal people across Canada and around the world are witnessing an incredible change on their lands. Mining and related activities, forestry and hydroelectric developments are just a few of the changes that we have seen, but they are among the most destructive.
The six case studies presented in this document provide an overview of how aboriginal communities have come to terms with mining and mineral exploration in their territories. Each case study includes a brief summary of the project or problem, followed by a description of how it is being addressed, and then concludes with lessons learned. Case studies about the Innu Nation, the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation, the Tahltan First Nation, the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, Makivik Corporation, and the Nishnawbi-Aski Nation are presented.
July 20, 1999 The Honorable Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment 28 th Floor, 10 Wellington Street Hull, Quebec K1A OH3 Dear Madame Minister: Re: Comprehensive Study Review, Diavik Diamonds Project Attached is a submission from MiningWatch Canada, which represents our considered response to the Comprehensive Study Review. In our opinion, the Study is incomplete, biased toward the proponent and fails in its duty to protect the environment, and further, fails in its fiduciary responsibility to First Nations. We ask you to reject the study and establish a Joint Panel Review based on the...
Mining is an extremely high stakes game for public policy, finance markets and most importantly communities and ecosystems. While the industry emphasises its ability to generate wealth and its engineering prowess, its accountability for the massive accumulation of risks, costs and liabilities has not been addressed. The industry's domination of the public policy arena has prevented a serious challenge to the unsustainable status quo. The very real legacy of mining includes an estimated twenty-seven thousand abandoned mines across Canada, billions of dollars of remediation liability for acid...
MiningWatch Canada has an impact on the accountability of policy makers and industry alike with four main activities. We: Provide an Ottawa-based monitoring function of mining companies, government agencies, and industry associations; Carry out and disseminate ...
As "ordinary" citizens, we can feel pretty cut off from the boardrooms, private meetings, and government departments where decisions are made. We can also feel shut out by the fancy, technical language of so called experts. Irresponsible mining developments can have devastating effects on ecologies and local communities. But what can we do about it? The answer is, a lot. In small and large ways, citizens and community groups can and do make a huge difference in decisions about whether, where, and how proposed mines go in. Picture yourself on the peak of Windy Craggy (that's it in the photo),...