DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is disappointed by the defeat of Bill C-300 by a mere six votes in the House of Commons, with 24 MPs not showing up for the vote. The Bill would have improved the standards of corporate accountability of Canadian mining companies operating overseas.
“It is a very disheartening outcome,” said Michael Casey, Executive Director of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE, who, with all its members, have supported Bill C-300 since it was introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by MP John McKay (Lib-Scarborough-Guildwood) in 2009. For 5 years the organization has campaigned to protect communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America against human rights abuses and environmental degradation caused by Canadian companies.
“Our 11,500 members are deeply disappointed, as are our partners in the Global South, who really welcomed the Bill,” added Mr. Casey. “For years, we have listened to their stories about how Canadian mining companies are taking over their land, polluting their water sources, destroying their environment, and often without consulting the affected communities or listening to their concerns.”
The Canadian Campus Ministers Soldiarity Trip to Honduras learned first hand the phenominally detrimental effects of Canadian mining companies. Read about their expereince here. The Bill would have put in place a complaint mechanism, whereby allegations of abuse would be investigated and accompanied by minor sanctions if not redressed.
“Over the last three years, our members have met with dozens of MPs all across the country to present them with postcards signed by constituents asking that the government ensure that Canadian mining companies act responsibly abroad. In total, 500,000 postcards were signed and sent to Parliamentarians,” added Casey.
“This would have ensured greater justice for all and how can you oppose that,” he asked.