Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 1, 2007
Canadian mining in foreign lands demands regulation
NDP critic, CCODP cite environmental, social abuses
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"Canada should and must ensure accountability."
- Mary Durran
Government, industry and civil society groups "can only win" by implementing the recommendations, because doing so would "greatly enhance Canada's reputation as a global leader" in the corporate social responsibility arena, said Durran.
Conflicts around Canadian mining have "continued unabated," said Catherine Coumans of Mining Watch Canada, who, like Durran, participated in the roundtables.
"Environmental and social concerns are widespread," Coumans said. She named several countries where abuses are taking place, including the Philippines, Turkey, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
While in Honduras, McDonough, Durran and the British MPs met with every level of civil society from peasants who claim a Canadian owned mine open pit mine dried up their wells, to mining company employees, civic leaders, members of the Honduran Congress and Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Pineda.
Durran wrote a detailed blog of the fact-finding mission that can be accessed through CCODP's website at www.devp.org
A mine run by a subsidiary of a Canadian-owned company was recently fined $50,000 for arsenic and cyanide pollution, Durran said. The company contested the test results and planned to go to court rather than pay the fine.
McDonough praised the Catholic Church in Honduras for the leadership role it has played. She also criticized the Harper government's "wall of silence."
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