Mining Industry Lobbied Government 530 Times in 15 Months: Is this the reason for diluted mandate for business ombudsperson?
(Toronto) Last week, fourteen civil society organizations resigned from a federal advisory committee after the federal government took away powers to investigate from the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE).
A report released today by the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project shows that the two mining industry associations, the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, lobbied the federal government 530 times between January 2018 and April 2019. Federal lobbying records do not provide details of the meetings, but at least 100 are specifically labelled as “international”. Top bureaucrats and Ministers were lobbied, and the Prime Minister’s Office agreed to meet the lobbyists a jaw-dropping 33 times. It shows the influence of the industry overall on government.
In January 17, 2018, the Minister of International Trade at that time, François-Philippe Champagne, announced that a new Ombudsperson would have power to question mining executives about breaches of international human rights standards. Over a year later, on April 8, 2019, the new Minister of International Trade, Jim Carr, announced the appointment of a former lobbyist for the petroleum industry as the new Ombudsperson. The office does not have the powers to investigate, promised in the original 2018 announcement.
For details on the lobbying research, including a guide on how to search the lobbyist register, see the full report.
- Shin Imai, Lawyer, Justice and Corporate Accountability Project, firstname.lastname@example.org, (647) 524-2312