Canadian mining companies are far and away the worst offenders in environmental, human rights and other abuses around the world, according to a global study commissioned by an industry association but never made public.The study goes on to say that “Of the 171 companies identified in incidents involving mining and exploration companies over the past 10 years, 34 per cent are Canadian,"
“Canadian companies have been the most significant group involved in unfortunate incidents in the developing world,” the report obtained by the Toronto Star concludes.
“Canadian companies have played a much more major role than their peers from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States” in these incidents, says the Canadian Centre for the Study of Resource Conflict, an independent, non-profit think tank.
The problems involving Canada’s mining and exploration corporations go far beyond workplace issues. “Canadian companies are more likely to be engaged in community conflict, environmental and unethical behaviour, and are less likely to be involved in incidents related to occupational concerns.”
The Canadian mining industry is a dominant one internationally and as the study points out this number is in line with that dominance. It then goes on to make the following statement the first part of which I am in total agreement with. “this does not make the individual or corporate violations any more ethically acceptable, especially considering the efforts in recent years taken by industry and government to improve”
This article is sparse on details not listing any specific allegations or incidents.One nuggat of info is the listing of hot spots as they call them Of the incidents reported, gold, copper and coal mining were most often involved. The four “hot spot” countries with the most incidents were India, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Regionally, however, Latin America had the most incidents, followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Indonesia it should be noted is actively engaged in genocide against the people of resource rich West Papua
In Honduras Canadian business interests lobbied the Harper government to recognize the new government that had seized power in a coup. Of course Harper was all too willing to oblige,making Canada one of the first nations to recognize the coup leaders Millions in aid and a free trade deal were held out as carrots to induce the new regime to soften laws and regulations in order to make it easier for Canadian mining companies to pollute the land air and water. .
Lets take a look at a couple specific incidents shall we.
|Berna, We Will Always Remember You. You Fought for Us|
In the dry and dusty town of San José del Pacifico, south of Oaxaca, Mexico, a funeral was held on March 17 for Bernardo Vasquez, a slain community leader who actively opposed a Canadian silver and gold mining project in his community. During the somber event, attended by roughly 300 members of this Zapotec community, the collective grief, solidarity and resistance was palpable. Fear also hung in the air; some people held placards proclaiming their resistance in front of their faces to avoid being photographed.
|Baby living in mine effected community|
After 4 consecutive years of water monitoring and other investigations into the environmental hazards, the results indicate that the community inhabitants and other forms of life found in the area affected by the mine remain at high risk of pollution. This constitutes multiple human rights violations, including the right to a healthy environment and the right to water and food, amongst others.
I've tried to be brief lest this becomes the longest blog post in history, the scope of Canadian involvement in violence and environmental crimes is that immense. If you're interested in reading more on this issue here are some links
REPRESSION AGAINST ARGENTINIANS
THREE DEAD AND COMMUNITY DIVIDED OVER VANCOUVER-BASED FORTUNA SILVER'S GOLD AND SILVER PROJECT IN OAXACA
Amnesty International Petition: Canadian mining company could leave impoverished Indigenous community with multi-million dollar bill to pay An Appeal to Goldcorp's CEO and Board of Directors