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This is MiningWatch Canada’s submission in response to the federal government’s Discussion Paper on its reviews of environmental and regulatory processes, including the review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the National Energy Board Act, the Fisheries Act , and the Navigation Protection Act. Our focus here is on the environmental assessment portion of the Discussion Paper; we refer readers to our submissions to the Parliamentary reviews of the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act for our comments on those reviews.
On August 14, 2017, Canada appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to defend its record on protecting the rights of minority groups. EarthRights International , MiningWatch Canada, and the University of Toronto International Human Rights Program issued this report calling on the CERD to denounce Canada’s ongoing failure to prevent Canadian mining and petroleum companies violating human rights – and especially the rights of Indigenous peoples – abroad.
This is a report of MiningWatch Canada's human rights field assessment of Acacia Mining/Barrick Gold's North Mara mine in northwest Tanzania, conducted by staff member Catherine Coumans. This was the fourth consecutive year Coumans had conducted human rights field assessments around the mine interviewing over a 100 victims and family members of victims of excess use of force, including sexual violence, by mine security and police guarding the mine.
Members of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights visited Ottawa as part of their May 23-June 1 mission to Canada . This is part of what they heard. The UN Guiding Principles advise that: “To make it possible for grievances to be addressed early and remediated directly, business enterprises should establish or participate in effective operational-level grievance mechanisms for individuals and communities who may be adversely impacted.” The Guiding Principles provide Effectiveness Criteria for these operational-level grievance mechanisms). Research conducted over several
This document was prepared to help members of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights prepare for their May 23-June 1 mission to Canada . It proposes discussion in six areas: Access to remedy (non-judicial) – Issues related to access to non-judicial remedy as it pertains to Canada’s mining sector’s activities overseas, in particular in regard to: inadequacies of state-based non-judicial mechanisms; flawed use of Operational-Level Grievance Mechanisms. Access to remedy (judicial) – Issues related to access to legal remedy as it pertains to Canada’s mining sector’s
MiningWatch Canada is very concerned about Mount Polley Mining Corporation’s (MPMC's) application for a long-term permit to discharge not-fully treated mine waste water into Quesnel Lake. We recommend that the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE): 1. reject this permit application and require MPMC to propose…
Submission to the Expert Panel Reviewing Environmental Assessment Processes Based on our work, we would like to focus on four areas within the collective recommendations of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Caucus, the Multi-Interest Advisory Committee (MIAC), and the EA Reform Summit. The need to extend assessment beyond biophysical impacts to look at sustainability more inclusively and holistically, including economic, social, and cultural aspects that are currently excluded – or applied as decision-making criteria without having been subject to review and public scrutiny; this has
This submission focuses on the critical relationship between the protection of navigable waterways and protection of the environment, specifically through the environmental assessment of projects and activities that may harm those waterways. The Navigation Protection Act should be amended to turn it back into the Navigable Waters Protection Act , with the full scope of application of that Act, but with clear direction on the appropriate level of scrutiny for projects and activities of different types, magnitudes, and durations.
The Fisheries Act is a keystone law in Canada’s legislative framework for protecting the environment and allowing the pursuit of sustainable development. Far beyond simply regulating fisheries, it can, and should, protect all aspects of aquatic habitat. In so doing, because water is so fundamental to all ecological cycles as well as human survival and well-being, the Fisheries Act provides a crucial link to everything from environmental assessment to protecting human health. We would submit that changes to the Fisheries Act need to be made in three key areas: 1. Restore the strong prohibition
An Assessment of Canada’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises “ Canada Is Back” But Still Far Behind , reviews how complaints of serious harm linked to Canadian mining projects have been handled by the country’s National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines. The office aims to resolve disputes through “facilitated dialogue,” which requires companies’ voluntary participation. The Canadian government relies on the NCP as a central component of its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and describes it as a “robust and proven dispute resolution
MiningWatch was invited to present to the Federal Standing Committee on Natural Resources (Gov. of Canada) as part of their study on “The Future of Canada’s Oil and Gas, Mining and Nuclear Sectors”. In our presentation, we emphasized our concerns with the growing environmental and financial liability of tailings sites across Canada. We made three key recommendations to eliminate this growing liability: 1) Develop a national strategy to reduce the mining of primary metals, 2) establish substantial and mandatory financial securities for site clean-up and mining spills, and 3) use regulations,
This is a how-to guide for resisting mining and other extractive operations. It provides strategies and tactics for preventing extraction, and for reducing damage if extraction is already underway. It guides community leaders in organizing and taking action locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, to resist the devastating assault of extractive operations. This is a greatly expanded version, in two volumes, of the first edition published in 2009. The guide can be downloaded and printed, or used online. The URLs and email addresses are active and can be opened by clicking on them.
The Canadian government is not upholding its obligations to protect women against human rights abuses, according to this report by EarthRights International (ERI), MiningWatch Canada, and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre Human Rights Clinic at the University of Ottawa. The report, submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), charges that Canada has been supporting and financing mining companies involved in discrimination, rape, and violence against women in their operations abroad, when it should be holding those companies accountable
In the context of the ongoing review of BC’s Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines (the Code), MiningWatch Canada respectfully reiterates its recommendations set forth on day one of this review: “ that the review needs to be broad enough to address the full range of necessary changes in mining policies and regulations in British-Columbia, ” including, but not limited to: Improved environmental impact and sustainability assessments of mining projects Strengthened financial assurance for spills, accidents, and site closure reclamation Stronger environmental and safety compliance
Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants 17 CFR Parts, 229, 239, and 249 MiningWatch Canada has joined 22 other groups in submitting these comments to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's draft disclosure requirements . From the comments: [..] These comments cover two areas of interest affecting the financial viability of mining projects: technical disclosures of mineral reserves and estimates, and social and environmental risks associated with new mine projects and mine expansions. Generally, we are supportive of the technical disclosure requirements we
In this submission to the Canadian government’s review of its official development assistance policy, we make the following recommendations: Global Affairs Canada should reconsider its stated intention to “better align” Canadian diplomacy, trade and international assistance. In recent years, as Canadian official development assistance was shackled to Canadian trade and economic diplomacy, it became subservient to corporate interests – frequently those of mining companies – at the cost of the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and affected communities; GAC should phase out ODA contributions to
This report outlines the continuing struggle of the Honduran community of Azacualpa to defend the integrity of the town, including a 200-year old cemetery, against the expansion of a Canadian-owned open-pit gold mine. The report, published by MiningWatch Canada and the Honduras Solidarity Network, documents how the Canadian mining companies that have operated the San Andrés mine in western Honduras have continually violated the affected communities land rights and communally-held land tenure for the last 18 years.
This report documents the current activities of the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador and the dangers they pose. The Foundation was originally established by Pacific Rim Mining in 2005, and is now operated by its successor company, OceanaGold. Its sole purpose appears to be to help the company obtain a permit for a disputed gold mining project in the department of Cabañas in northeastern El Salvador.
By: David Chambers, Ph.D., P. Geop. This report assesses the tailings dam designs at four mines in B.C. in light of the recommendations of the Mount Polley Expert Panel to examine whether regulatory agencies are applying best available technology to reduce the risk of catastrophic tailings dam failures, and where they aren’t, if changes could be made to do so.
In 2015, Barrick Gold hired consulting firm Enodo Rights to carry out a review of the company's controversial remedy mechanism for victims of rape by mine personnel at the Porgera Joint Venture mine in Papua New Guinea. MiningWatch Canada has researched and exposed sexual violence and other forms of excessive use of force by Porgera mine security and police guarding the mine for a decade. Our work on these issues started years before Barrick acknowledged any abuses by mine security and continued through Barrick’s implementation of a flawed remedy mechanism for rape victims. This review critiques Enodo Rights’ report and provides an independent assessment of key failures of Barrick’s remedy framework and its implementation at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.