By Chris Arsenault on 24 July 2020
Mongabay Series: Land rights and extractives
- Canada is home base for nearly half of the world’s mining companies, but the country’s efforts to improve corporate accountability for environmental and human rights violations have fallen short, observers say.
- Internal documents show the government has stressed a voluntary approach to regulation, despite campaign promises to address abuses and outcry from campaigners.
- A government spokesperson says Canada has launched new initiatives to safeguard environmentalists and land-rights activists and to promote corporate responsibility.
- A recent Supreme Court decision could open the country’s legal system to allow victims of corporate abuses overseas to sue companies in Canada.
Home to nearly half of the world’s major mining companies, Canada has failed to fully implement promised reforms to hold corporations accountable for abuses committed overseas, according human rights advocates.
Ahead of its 2015 election win, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party promised to create an independent ombudsperson to investigate companies that violate human rights or poison the environment when extracting resources in the developing world, along with better protections for land rights campaigners there.