REACTION: PDAC and MAC respond to defeat of Bill C-300

The following is the text of the joint statement made by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canad...

The following is the text of the joint statement made by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada following the defeat of Bill C-300, An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries.

OTTAWA - Canada's mining and exploration industry, which employs more than 306,000 Canadians, is pleased that the Parliament of Canada saw the importance of defeating Bill C-300, a fundamentally flawed private member's bill that would have damaged Canada's exploration and mining industry and jeopardized jobs here in Canada and the local jobs in the communities in which we work. We appreciate the efforts of the Government of Canada in exposing the flaws of the bill and in working to defeat it in the House.

Canada's mining and exploration industry is already actively engaged in corporate social responsibility practices and Bill C-300 would not have enhanced CSR. Canada's competitors would have used the passage of Bill C-300 as a tool to undermine the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the highly competitive global extraction industry. Frivolous or vexatious claims would have been filed against Canadian firms by competitive interests at no cost or risk to themselves, tying up important projects and putting well paying local jobs and community development projects in developing countries at risk.

Canada's exploration and mining companies recognize that good CSR is the right thing to do. Canada has 1,800 exploration and mining companies operating 10,000 projects in over 100 countries at any one time. Through our CSR initiatives, we work in partnership with community groups, governments and on the ground organizations to build capacity, provide infrastructure and social services, including schools, housing, roads, clean water and sanitation, as well as creating meaningful local jobs in the communities in which we operate.

Our industry's CSR performance has significantly improved over the years and we remain committed to further improving our CSR. Companies are subject to all in-country laws and are held to high expectations by numerous domestic and international institutions, policies, frameworks, and standards. These include: Export Development Canada's CSR policies, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Equator Principles for project financing for extractive projects located in the developing world.

We believe that the independent Canadian CSR Counsellor - who has recently launched an independent and transparent review mechanism that was informed by extensive industry and NGO consultations - deserves a chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of the office.

Canada's exploration and mining industry looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada, the Office of the Independent Counsellor and all political parties on furthering Canada's CSR regime, fostering constructive dialogue, continuing to improve the industry's CSR performance, and advancing tangible on the ground results.


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