March 26, 2009 (10:20 a.m. EDT)
No. 77

Minister Day Announces New Initiatives to Support Responsible Practices for Canadian Businesses Abroad

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced new measures to help Canadian mining, oil and gas companies meet and exceed their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad.

“Canadian companies are often instrumental in bettering the lives of people in the communities in which they operate. These complementary initiatives will provide the tools, guidance and advice they need to meet and exceed their obligations with respect to corporate social responsibility,” said Minister Day.

The specific initiatives are:

  • Creating a new Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor to assist in resolving social and environmental issues relating to Canadian companies operating abroad in this field. A competency-based selection process will be launched shortly to identify qualified candidates for this position.
  • Supporting a new Centre of Excellence to be established outside government as a one-stop shop to provide information for companies, non-governmental organizations and others.
  • Continuing Canadian International Development Agency assistance for foreign governments to develop their capacity to manage natural resource development in a sustainable and responsible manner.
  • Promoting internationally recognized, voluntary guidelines for corporate social responsibility performance and reporting.

Minister Day acknowledged the hard work of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, in developing these initiatives.

The new strategy was informed by consultations undertaken with a number of stakeholders, including the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Sector in Developing Countries, as well as recommendations made by the former Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000