October 2, 2009 (3:30 p.m. EDT)
No. 289

Minister Day Announces Appointment of First Counsellor to Promote Responsible Practices for Canadian Businesses Abroad

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the appointment of Marketa Evans as the first corporate social responsibility (CSR) counsellor for the extractive sector. Ms. Evans will help Canadian mining, and oil and gas companies meet and exceed their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad.

“Ms. Evans’ role will be critical to assist in resolving social and environmental issues relating to Canadian companies operating abroad,” said Minister Day. “With her diverse professional background in NGOs, academia and the private sector, Ms. Evans is extremely well qualified to meet this challenge and support companies with their CSR needs.”

“I am very pleased to have been selected as the first corporate social responsibility counsellor,” said Ms. Evans. “I look forward to meeting with stakeholders in the coming months as we begin to establish this new office. I am confident this new position will assist in addressing many of the complex issues surrounding CSR.”

The counsellor is one of the four key CSR initiatives announced by the federal government in March. The remaining initiatives are:

  • the creation of a new centre of excellence to be housed within the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum;
  • ongoing assistance from the Canadian International Development Agency to help foreign countries develop their capacity to manage natural resources; and
  • the promotion of internationally recognized, voluntary guidelines for CSR performance and reporting.

The Government of Canada encourages and expects all Canadian companies working around the world to respect all applicable laws and international standards, to operate transparently and in consultation with host governments and local communities, and to conduct their activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

The Office of the CSR Counsellor will submit an annual report to the ministers of International Trade, Natural Resources and International Cooperation on its activities. The report will be tabled in Parliament by the Minister of International Trade.

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A biographical note follows.

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

Biographical Note

Marketa Evans is currently director of Strategic Partnerships at Plan International Canada, where she founded a new unit dedicated to fostering partnerships for international development and CSR. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, most recently teaching a graduate course on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business and international development.

She was the founding executive director of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, where she helped establish the Devonshire Initiative, a forum that brings together international NGOs and the Canadian mining industry. In addition, Ms. Evans has had 10 years of experience in senior management positions in the Canadian banking sector.

Ms. Evans is a frequent public commentator on CSR issues and cross-sector partnering. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto.