Sunday, May 29, 2011

Canadian Mining Companies Continue to Make Headlines

In 2009, Liberal MP John McKay introduced a private members bill, Bill C-300, in an attempt to hold Canadian mining companies, operating abroad, to account for human rights abuses.

Almost immediately he began receiving threats, and several other MPs spoke of similar threats to their careers by the mining lobby. The bill was defeated 135 to 140, with 13 Liberal, 5 Bloc and 4 NDP absent from the vote.

Brent Popplewell wrote a piece for the Toronto Star on the abuses, saying that:
The word "Canada" is so reviled in some places that travelling Canadians mask their citizenship by wearing American flags on their caps and backpacks.
Recently a Mining Justice Conference was held in Vancouver.
Indigenous representatives from Latin America were in Vancouver the week of May 16 speaking out on Canadian mining companies and the negative impacts operations are having on local communities.

Human rights violations, environmental degradation, bribery, intimidation and disregard for local villages and indigenous populations are alleged to have occurred at the hands of publicly shared operations with home bases in Vancouver.
From protests in Guatemala over the abuse in Canada of temporary foreign workers to Tibetans fighting against the exploitation of their mineral rights, we can't really say that Canada has lost its international notoriety.

Around the world we are becoming reviled. I think I'd rather they didn't know who we were.

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