In the news

Below is a selection of news articles on issues related to the work of the CNCA. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the network.


Op-ed: Don’t confuse dialogue with accountability in ombudsman debate

12 June, 2017

Opinion piece by CNCA member Above Ground’s director Karyn Keenan, published in The Hill Times

UN experts, having just completed a mission to Canada, are urging the Canadian government to take a tougher line on business-related human rights violations.

Among other recommendations, the UN is calling for the creation of an extractive industries human rights ombudsperson that is independent and well resourced, with the power to investigate allegations, conduct fact-finding, and enforce its orders.


For years, the Canadian government has spoken of its “expectation” that Canadian companies will meet the “highest ethical standards” when operating abroad. It’s time to create a mechanism capable of finding out if this expectation is in fact being met, in a sector where significant risk of human rights abuse is well documented.

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Honduran activist wants Trudeau to pressure Canadian mining companies on human rights abuses (The Toronto Star)

16 August, 2016

(16 August 2016) “[Honduran priest and activist Father] Melo wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in Honduras. The priest wrote a letter to Trudeau this May, on behalf of more than 200 human rights and environmental groups, asking him to ensure mining companies operating outside Canada comply with international environmental and human rights standards and not displace local communities without prior consultation.”

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Canada lent billions to oil, gas and mining companies. Then it made a profit (National Observer)

16 June, 2016

(16 June 2016) “Keenan’s organization however, has also examined a range of mining projects supported by EDC [Export Development Canada] and questions whether the federal organization does the right type of screening to avoid the wrong types of projects.

“For 20 years, we’ve been questioning their policies,” she says. “We think they’re inadequate… we don’t think they are nearly robust enough.””

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Between rock and responsibility: Canada’s new mining CSR strategy riddled with unanswered questions and unclear protocol (OpenCanada)

03 June, 2016

(3 June 2016) “Canada’s new strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining sector is riddled with unanswered questions and unclear protocol.”

“In the interim, as [Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Counsellor] Davidson labours to bring a clearer strategy into the light of day, some communities abroad are still wondering what exactly are those Canadian values companies are encouraged to promote.”

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Will Canada Recognise Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Developing Countries Too? (Inter Press Service)

19 May, 2016

(19 May 2016) “Activists say as a global power-player in mining [Canada] is still a long way from protecting indigenous people elsewhere from the onslaught of mining interests.”

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Mining conduct abroad deserves another look (Hill Times)

27 April, 2016

(27 April 2016) “Last week we reported that the Liberal government so far appears mostly uninterested in changing the way mining firms are held accountable for alleged abuses in poor countries. Several ministers with related files dodged our questions about change to mining-sector accountability, or declined to say whether change was needed. The Liberals have endorsed a controversial office of an extractive-sector corporate social responsibility counsellor and an extractives institute brought in under the former Conservative government.”

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