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May 7, 2009 (10:20 a.m. EDT)
No. 125

Minister Day Promotes Responsible Practices for Canadian Businesses Abroad

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today highlighted Canadian technology, particularly in the nuclear and mining sectors, as part of a visit to Europe to promote Canada’s trade and investment interests.

“There are many terrific opportunities for Canadian companies in Romania, especially in electricity generation, telecommunications, alternative energy, waste management, airport services, highways and mining,” said Minister Day.

While raising the profile of Canada’s world-class mining industry, Minister Day promoted Canada’s new measures to help Canadian mining, oil and gas companies meet and exceed their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad.

“Canadian mining, oil and gas companies are often instrumental in bettering the lives of people in the communities in which they operate, but those communities often raise legitimate concerns about how they will benefit,” said Minister Day. “Canada’s new measures can help bridge the difference so everyone benefits from transparent extractive-industries operations.”

In March, the Government of Canada showed leadership by introducing the following initiatives:

  • A new Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor to assist in resolving social and environmental issues.
  • A new Centre of Excellence that will serve as a one-stop shop for information on best practices in corporate social responsibility (CSR), as well as promote the use of internationally recognized voluntary guidelines for CSR performance and reporting.

“Our government encourages and expects all Canadian companies working around the world to respect all applicable laws and international standards,” explained Minister Day. “We also expect them to operate transparently and to conduct their activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Canadian extractive companies are world leaders in applying CSR best practices. These companies understand that meeting social and environmental goals is essential to their continued success around the world.”

Canadian cumulative investment in Romania in 2008 was $248 million, including important mining, oil and gas investments.

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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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada