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Five years after it came into force, it is time to look at the effectiveness of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Under the law, after five years the Minister of Environment must report to Parliament on the adequacy of the law and its implementation, and propose needed changes. Through the Canadian Environmental Network's Environmental Assessment and Planning Caucus, we are involved in the public consultations being sponsored by the Environmental Assessment Agency. This process will continue through March, at which point the interdepartmental wrangling will begin, leading to a...
MiningWatch Canada has initiated a small regional grants program. The goal of the program is to strengthen the capacity of people in communities affected by mining activities to assert their needs and rights. We will fund travel and exchange between community leaders and education and advocacy activities. Maximum grants are $1500. Grant applications are due January 31 and September 30 annually. The applicant must be a grassroots organization with limited funds that relies on volunteers for the majority of its work and has demonstrated the capacity to accomplish the project. We have provided...
The first annual general meeting for MiningWatch Canada will be held in Toronto on Saturday, March 4 at 9am, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on Bloor Street. The business portion of the meeting takes place from 9 am to 10 am. Two exciting workshops will follow: Workshop 1: Getting the law obeyed: A panel on monitoring and enforcement in Canada We will examine current problems with monitoring and enforcement of environmental mining standards in Canada, and explore a range of strategies and legal tools to improve monitoring and enforcement of environmental mining standards...
This month, after years of public consultations and negotiations, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in, with the support of environmental groups like CPAWS-Yukon, succeeded in getting 216,000 acres in the Yukon set aside as a park. Tombstone Territorial Park is an area of extraordinary beauty, that contains may sacred sites and places of archaeological significance. The establishing of the park was fought by the Yukon Prospectors and Developers Association and the Yukon Chamber of Mines. In a letter to the Yukon premier published in The Whitehorse Star (November 9, 1999), they claim that the Tombstone area...
The Mining Association of Canada report makes it clear that the industry feels it has to respond to growing concerns of Canadians about environment and impacts of mining. However, the report does nothing to reassure us about the effectiveness of voluntary emission reductions. The data in the MAC Report is based on the ARET (Accelerated Reduction/ Emission of Toxic Substances) program that was launched by government and industry in 1994. This program created a voluntary program for emission reduction. Companies are responsible for collecting and reporting their own data. There is no external...
What is INCO? PT Inco produces raw nickel (80% of which is exported to Japan). The company mines ninety percent of the nickel produced in Indonesia. Inco large nickel reserves have averaged a production rate of 150 million pounds per year for the past 20 years. In 1996 there were 108 million tons of laterite nickelforous estimated to be lying inside the Soroako mining area. Another large amount of nickel reserves found in the Bahudopi Block (Central Sulawesi Province) are believed to reach 180 million tons of nickel, and perhaps more in the Pomalla Block (South Sulawesi Province). The...
On November 23, 1999, the mining industry will hold its annual lobby on Parliament Hill. Emphasizing the role they play in Canada's economy, they will demand more government subsidy - through tax exemptions, grants and decreased user fees, access to as much land for as long as possible and weakened environmental regulations. But the mining industry's lobbyists and public relations experts are not telling the whole story. At MiningWatch Canada, we would like to advance some facts that suggest that mining comes with negative human, social and environmental costs to all Canadians. ...
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...