Harm caused or contributed to by Canadian mining companies, their subsidiaries and contractors overseas is widespread globally and persistent. It includes environmental degradation that will persist for hundreds of years, a wide range of human rights harms, abuses of Indigenous rights, as well as negative economic and financial impacts at local and national levels. Together, these impacts have serious and long-term repercussions on local and national development.
In the lead-up to the world’s biggest mining convention, Ontario premier Doug Ford and Mines Minister George Pirie announced a package of amendments to the province’s Mining Act intended to “reduce administrative burden” of developing new mines and “demonstrate responsiveness to feedback received from industry.” Yet Ontario’s regulatory burden on mining is already minimal, and provides poor protection for Indigenous peoples’ rights, the environment, or taxpayers saddled with inadequately insured clean-up costs. If anything, certainty for investors would be better served by building constructive relationships with Indigenous peoples, a strong baseline of science and planning, and a more reliable and robust regulatory environment.