President of Ecuador in Toronto to Attract Mining Investment Amid Human Rights Concerns

MiningWatch Canada – Amnesty International Canada – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

OTTAWA/TORONTO – In the midst of parliamentary hearings on a potential Free Trade Agreement between Ecuador and Canada, recently elected Ecuadorian president Daniel Noboa will visit Canada this Monday to attend the world’s largest mining convention. Hosted annually by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, PDAC 2024 is expected to draw some tens of thousands of industry representatives to talk trends and advance the interests of Canadian mining, globally.

Canada’s footprint when it comes to investment in Ecuador’s mining sector is already significant. In addition, Canada-based firms have already been accused of perpetrating grave human rights violations and causing irreparable harm. Ecuadorians are sounding the alarm about President Noboa’s support for mining and raising concerns about how a Free Trade Agreement – particularly one that includes investor protection clauses and an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism – could worsen the socio-environmental conflicts in territories where Canadian mining projects are advancing.

President Noboa’s participation in “Ecuador Day'' comes as Ecuador fights to position itself as Latin America’s next premier mining destination, aiming to attract greater foreign investment by speeding up the approvals for Canadian mining projects. Already, the military has been granted expanded powers as a new decree allows mining companies to commence activities without the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples.

Viviana Herrera, Latin America Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada, will be attending “Ecuador Day” during PDAC 2024 and will be available to answer questions and connect reporters with communities already impacted by Canadian mining investment.

WHAT: President of Ecuador Daniel Noboa to attend “Ecuador Day” as part of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2024 convention
WHEN: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
WHERE: Room 206D, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2W6, Canada

For media inquiries: 

“Amnesty International is deeply concerned about disregard by both lawmakers and companies for Indigenous peoples’ rights in Ecuador. This includes oil and mining projects that do not respect Indigenous Peoples’ right to free, prior, and informed consent and that have harmed their territories, environment, health, water, and food sources. The consequences are devastating.” - Kathy Price, Latin America Coordinator, Amnesty International Canada

"Canada's primary interest in these trade negotiations with Ecuador seems to be shielding Canadian mining and construction interests from accountability for human rights and environmental abuses. Colonial-style investment protections and a harmful investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process have no place in any deal claiming to be inclusive." - Stuart Trew, senior researcher (trade), Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

“MiningWatch Canada is concerned that a Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ecuador will increase Canadian investment in mining and exacerbate socio-environmental conflicts in ecologically sensitive areas such as the páramos and biodiversity hotspots like the Amazon.” - Viviana Herrera, Latin American program coordinator, Mining Watch Canada