Open for Justice: Increasing corporate accountability in Canada

Those who have been harmed by Canadian mining operations overseas need to be able to seek justice in Canada. IT’S TIME FOR CANADA TO BE OPEN FOR JUSTICE.

Are you ready to stand up for justice for mining-affected communities in the Global South?

If the approval of a mine meant you would be kicked off your land, would you expect a chance to say no this project?

And if it went ahead, would you expect to be compensated?

If your drinking water were poisoned or water sources dried up – would you expect someone to fix the problem?

Canada’s companies are the biggest players in the mining sector in developing countries.

Their wealth and backing by the Canadian government mean they often have privileged treatment by host governments.

Are Canadian mining companies too big to be held accountable for –

  • Environmental crimes?
  • Violence committed by their local personnel?
  • Influence peddling with host governments?
  • Tax avoidance?

Join us in supporting the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) call for the creation of an extractive-sector Ombuds office in Canada mandated to investigate accusations of abuses and make recommendations to the government and the companies involved. (A more detailed proposal is attached here as well.) 

If you and your neighbours publicly denounced wrong doing by the company involved, should you be able to do that without being threatened or physically harmed?

This campaign is being carried out by a wide range of churches, unions, and human rights, environmental, and international solidarity organizations, who together are known as the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA). Read our backgrounder to learn more about this campaign.

Take action

See here for model letter (Microsoft Word 'docx' format) to send to your member of parliament or go to www.amnesty.ca/openforjustice to join our online action.

Watch these short videos

 

 

 

Read CNCA's briefing note

Read about cases that show why Canada should be Open for Justice

Barrick Gold's Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea

Canadian mining companies are criticized for sometimes outrageous disregard for the rights of community members living near their operations. Barrick Gold’s mine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea has been the site of vicious attacks on local women. Barrick now says it wants to make amends – but on its own terms. Should the culprit be his own judge and jury? Read more here.

Goldcorp's Marlin mine in San Marcos, Guatemala

The Canadian government chooses to go easy on Canadian mining companies instead of working to defend the wellbeing of those whose lives and livelihoods are being put in jeopardy by mining projects. Indigenous Maya Mam communities living near Goldcorp's open pit Marlin mine in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala can attest to that fact. Their complaint to Canada’s National Contact Point, an office that administers the voluntary “Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises” (as Canada is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) did nothing to address the fact that their water supplies are drying up, people have been getting sick and their right to free, prior and informed consent regarding use of their lands has been continually disrespected. Canada refused to investigate or determine whether or not the company was abiding by the guidelines.

Read more here.

Follow up: Now another company, closely related to Goldcorp, is about to put into production a mine that is already deeply mired in conflict. See some background about Tahoe Resources' Escobal project in southern Guatemala here. And take action here.

Excellon's La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico

The built-to-fail mandate of Canada’s CSR Counsellor has had expected results: it has failed to deal with any of the complaints so far reviewed. Workers and landowners living across the road from Excellon's La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico are daily faced with the tremendous arrogance of a company that knows that it is operating in impunity. Workers at the mine looked to this office to resolve concerns about their right to association and health and safety issues at the mine. The complaint shut down when the company refused to dialogue.

Read more here. There's also more background on the conflict here, and you can read our background analysis of the Counsellor's office here.

Attached to this article are the English and French flyers for the campaign in high resolution, suitable for printing and distribution, as well as CNCA's proposal for an Ombuds office.

Also check out Corporate Accountability in Canada - A MiningWatch Archive