Closed National Contact Point Specific Instances

This section includes a summary of all specific instances addressed by the Canadian NCP as lead NCP before 2011, and Final Statements of all concluded specific instances post-2011.

NCP final statements post-2011

Summary of pre-2011 NCP specific instances

1) First Quantum Minerals Ltd and Oxfam Canada

In July 2001, the NCP received a submission from Oxfam Canada involving the operations of First Quantum Minerals Ltd in Zambia. The NGO reported that the operations of the company were not respecting three OECD Guideline recommendations: 1) Chapter II, paragraph 2, regarding respect for human rights; 2) Chapter II, paragraph 7, regarding development of practices that foster confidence and trust between companies and the societies in which they operate; and, 3) Chapter V, paragraph 2(b), regarding communication and consultation with communities on environmental, health and safety policies. The central underlying issue that gave rise to the submission was the impending removal of local farmers from company-owned land. To address this issue, the Canadian NCP facilitated a flow of communications between the company's headquarters in Canada and the Canadian office of the NGO. Both Canadian parties in turn communicated with their operations in Zambia where face-to-face meetings took place. While there was a variance in the facts and opinions reported on each side, a resolution was reached after the company met with groups from the affected communities and worked out an approach whereby the farmers could continue to use the land in the short-term. The Canadian NCP sent a final communication to the Canadian company, copied to the Canadian NGO that welcomed the spirit of cooperation demonstrated by both parties. The NCP also encouraged the company to maintain an open line of communication with the Canadian NGO and other groups concerned about the welfare of people affected by the operations of the company in Zambia. Throughout the process, the Canadian NCP kept its counterpart in Switzerland informed of developments.

2) Canadian Companies named in the Second UN Panel of Experts Report on Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other riches in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

In October 2002, the Second UN Panel of Experts Report on Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other riches in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) included an annex listing companies which, in their view, violated the Guidelines. In October 2003, the UN published a subsequent report in which seven of the eight Canadian companies were listed as issues "resolved - no further action required." One company was listed as "Pending Cases with Governments". The NCP accepted the Panel's conclusions and followed up with the "eighth" company Kakanda Development Corporation. In response to the NCP's follow-up actions, the company replied with a letter describing their involvement in the DRC. The letter indicated that the company had not been active in the DRC since 1997 and they had officially halted all activities in the DRC as of June 4, 2004. The NCP subsequently brought this case to a close as a specific instance procedure.

3) Ivanhoe Mines Ltd and the Canadian Labour Congress Canadian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Statement concerning Ivanhoe Mines Ltd in Burma

The NCP received a request for review in November 2002 from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) regarding the operations of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. in Burma. The request for review focused on elements of the Guidelines’ chapter on Employment and Industrial Relations. Following a review of the submission, the NCP decided that the CLC submission merited further examination under the Guidelines, and held a number of discussions with each party and offered to facilitate a dialogue between the two sides. Ultimately the NCP was not able to proceed with the dialogue as there was no agreement between the parties to participate in the process. A letter was sent to both parties in February 2006 to formally bring the NCP's involvement with the submission to a close.

4) UPM Kymmene in Canada

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union Canada submitted a complaint to the NCP on November 29, 2004 concerning the operations of UPM Kymmene in one of the Canadian provinces. The union alleged the company had violated Guidelines’ recommendations of the Employment and Industrial Relations Chapter. As labour issues fall under provincial jurisdiction, the NCP's consideration of whether to pursue the matter entailed a thorough examination of the remedies available in the province in question. The NCP determined that the provincial labour regulatory regime provided the appropriate procedure to address the issues raised and informed the labour union.

5) BATA in Sri Lanka

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation submitted a complaint to the NCP on January 25, 2005 concerning the operations of BATA in Sri Lanka. The international union was acting on behalf of a local union. The unions alleged that the company, through its handling of a labour dispute with its employees, had violated recommendations of the Guidelines chapter on Employment and Industrial Relations. The international union met with the NCP to present its concerns. The NCP was also in contact with the company to get its side of the story. Information relating to the labour dispute was also obtained from Canada's mission in the non-adhering country. The mission was informed that a process was underway to resolve the matter led by the local office of the Department of Labour to get the company and the local union to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the agreed final decisions/settlements. In light of that development, and the fact that the union workers returned to work, the NCP decided that it would be inappropriate for Canada's NCP to seek the participation of the parties in a dialogue in an alternative forum. The NCP sent a letter to both parties in November 2005 informing them of the NCP decision.

6) Ascendant Copper Corporation and Mining Watch Canada, Friends of the Earth Canada and DECOIN

The NCP received a request for review dated May 16, 2005 from Mining Watch Canada (MW), Friends of the Earth Canada (FoE) and DECOIN (Defensa y Conservacion Ecologica de Intag) regarding the conduct of Ascendant Copper Corporation in Ecuador.  The issues raised included respect for national law, human rights, refraining from seeking exemptions, disclosure policies, and communication with the public and employees on environmental, health and safety impacts.

The NCP’s initial assessment determined that the issues raised in the submission merited further examination and offered its good offices to Ascendant and DECOIN to participate in an NCP facilitated dialogue. While both parties initially agreed to participate, in January 2006, the NGOs withdrew from the process, citing their disagreement with the set terms of reference for the meeting, specifically the need to maintain confidentiality.  In response to this action, the NCP sent the NGOs and Ascendant letters indicating that the NCP remained open and willing to facilitate a dialogue consistent with the Guidelines should the parties wish to reconsider their decision. Furthermore, the NCP encouraged Ascendant to continue to independently pursue ongoing dialogue with communities affected by their operations with a view to resolving outstanding issues. Finally, the Canadian NCP indicated an intention to monitor Ascendant's operations in Ecuador via the Canadian Embassy in Quito.

7) Anvil in Democratic Republic of Congo

In August 2005, the NCP received letters from a coalition of NGOs requesting that the NCP investigate the operations of Anvil, an international company incorporated in Canada operating in in the DRC. The NCP sent a reply letter to each of the NGOs informing them that the NCP's primary function is to play a facilitative or mediating role in resolving problems and not carry out investigations. The NCP also relayed that that it  had informed the company of the communications the NCP had received from Canadian NGOs and that the company expressed a willingness and interest in meeting with these NGOs to discuss their operations in the non-adhering country. In November 2005, the NCP facilitated a meeting between the company and interested NGOs to provide parties with an opportunity to present their points of view and to objectively discuss the issues in a non-confrontational forum. Following the meeting, the NCP offered to host a follow-up meeting between the company and the NGOs, but the NGOs felt that this would not be necessary since there was now adequate contact between the company and their groups.

8) Centerra Gold Inc. in Mongolia

On 14 March 2012, the United Mongolian Movement of Rivers and Lakes (UMMRL), Oyu Tolgoi Watch (OT Watch), and MiningWatch Canada submitted a request for review in relation to the operations of Centerra Gold Inc. at the Boroo Mine and the Gatsuurt gold deposit in Selenge Province, Mongolia. The request for review alleged: mining on prohibited land, violating national law; seeking exemptions from national law; contamination of water sources; failing to respect the right to religious freedom of the local community, and arrests of environmental activists; not providing the public with adequate and timely information on the actual and potential environmental, health and safety hazards and impacts of the company’s activities.

The NCP reviewed the materials presented from all the parties, including additional information requested by the NCP from the parties, and found that some of the issues raised were material but not substantiated, and the remainders were neither material nor substantiated.  In addition, the use of “warning gunshots” by one of the Notifiers was clearly contrary to the expectation that the Parties would engage respectfully and without violence.  The NCP completed its initial assessment on 2 November 2012, stating that the Request for Review did not merit further examination. The NCP encouraged the Parties to engage in dialogue, and that the company extend its efforts to communicate information to the local population and Notifiers