Submission Regarding a Possible Canada-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement

MiningWatch Canada submits our response to the Canadian government, as part of a consultation with civil society on a potential Free Trade Agreement with Ecuador. We are concerned about a lack of transparency in this process for our partners in Ecuador, who were unaware or informed about the consultation process. The following submission amplifies their concerns about: the rights of Indigenous communities to self-determination and the responsibility of Canadian mining companies to respect free, prior, and informed consent; increased violence against human rights and Indigenous and environment defenders; a lack of due diligence before trade and investment agreements are signed; the use of investor-state dispute settlement as a way to undermine human rights, including Indigenous rights, and the rights of communities to protect their territories and water. 

MiningWatch makes the following recommendations:

  1. Ensure the right of meaningful participation and consultation with Ecuadorian affected communities and civil society organizations 
  2. Respect the right to say 'No' to mining projects and uphold Indigenous rights to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) 
  3. Do not advance any new trade and investment agreement without an empowered independent ombudsperson and without human rights due diligence legislation (mHRDD)
  4. Reject any agreement that includes ISDS