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Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR E-Bulletin - Issue 16 (2013)

Updates Related to the Government of Canada's CSR Strategy for the Extractive Sector: "Building the Canadian Advantage"

The Government of Canada is pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Marketa Evans to a two year term as Canada’s Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor. Dr. Evans, who was first appointed to this position as Canada’s first CSR Counsellor in October 2009, will continue with the office’s mandate to review the CSR practices of Canadian extractive sector companies operating abroad and to advise stakeholders on the implementation of the international CSR performance standards endorsed in the Government of Canada’s CSR Strategy. Information on the Office and its “Review Process” are available on the Office’s website at Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor website.

Proposed Amendments to Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA)

On February 5, 2013, amendments to the CFPOA were tabled in Canada’s Senate. The amendments include changes that would allow Canada to prosecute foreign bribery by Canadians or Canadian companies regardless of where the bribery takes place; eliminate facilitation payments (an amendment that will come into effect at a later date in order to allow Canadian firms to ensure that they are in compliance before it comes into force); provide the exclusive authority to the RCMP to lay charges under the CFPOA; clarify the definition of “business” under the CFPOA; increase the maximum penalty of imprisonment to 14 years; and create the addition of a books and records offence. The introduction of these amendments highlights and reinforces Canada’s commitment to and leadership role in fighting corruption and promoting good business practices at an international level.

Upcoming CSR Activities and Events

Government of Canada CSR Event at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2013 International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange – March 3 - 6, 2013

The Government of Canada will be delivering a CSR event at the PDAC 2013 International Convention to be held from March 3-6, 2013, in Toronto. This session, entitled “Extracting Corporate Value out of Responsible Business Conduct - A Four Pillar Approach,” will feature a facilitated, multi-stakeholder panel to discuss key initiatives undertaken to implement Canada's CSR Strategy, which was announced in 2009. This event will provide an opportunity for discussion on the Government of Canada's approach to CSR, and provide a forum for sharing experiences in relation to practices, tools and partnerships that can enable the sustainable development and management of extractive sector resources abroad. This public event is scheduled for Sunday March 3, 2013, 9am-12pm. For more information, visit the PDAC web site.

Export Development Canada (EDC) Visits to Jamaica and Guyana

In March 2013, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica, EDC will participate in meetings with local officials and companies, and speak at a public dialogue on CSR in Jamaica. A similar program will be arranged in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana. These visits present an opportunity for EDC to jointly develop business and discuss CSR issues in the region.

International Association of Impact Assessment annual conference

EDC will organize a panel discussion at the annual conference of the International Association of Impact Assessment, to be held May 13-16, 2013, in Calgary. The discussion will centre on approaches for resource development in Canada’s North. There will also be a second session on evolving international standards on resource development.

Recently Completed CSR Activities and Events

OECD Export Credits Group Practitioners meeting

In September 2012, EDC participated in an OECD Export Credits Group Practitioners meeting, hosted by the export credit agency of the Slovak Republic. Practitioners consist of environmental and social specialists who work at the technical level, and EDC plays a leadership role as a member of the Practitioners meetings. Practitioners continue to focus on: 

  • a) implementation of the 2012 OECD Common Approaches on environmental and social due diligence, (the Common Approaches are an international multilateral consensus on environmental and social review practices that aim to level the international playing field and ensure that projects supported by export credit agencies meet established international environmental and social standards); and
  • b) building a body of experience on the practical aspects of implementing international environmental and social standards, human rights due diligence, project-level greenhouse gas accounting and reporting, and other sector-specific issues such as nuclear and thermal power.

Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) 8th Annual Session

On October 6-18, 2012, the IGF met for its eighth Annual Session at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss and share information on a range of issues facing the mining, minerals and metals sector. As Secretariat of the Forum, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) brought together over 120 participants from thirty-eight member and observer governments, as well as twenty international organizations, industry, and civil society groups. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) led the Canadian delegation, which included representatives from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Mining Association of Canada, and the Canada-EU Mining Council. For additional details related to the IGF and the Mining Policy Framework please consult the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development website.

Prime Minister Announces Establishment of Regional CSR Network in West Africa

On October 12, 2012, the Prime Minister announced during a trip to Senegal that Canada would be further promoting CSR in West Africa by creating a regional CSR network that operates in close cooperation with Canada’s mission in Senegal. This initiative will link existing CSR networks in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, and will facilitate dialogue on standards and best practices among stakeholders in industry, government and civil society. To read the media release, please see the Prime Minister of Canada's website.

Zambia becomes Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Complaint Country

On October 25, 2012, the EITI International Board of Directors formally presented Zambia with a certificate confirming the declaration on September 19, 2012, announcing Zambia as an EITI Compliant Country. Zambia is now the 15th country to be honoured with EITI Compliant Status and the first in the Eastern and Southern African Region.

OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees meeting

On November 12-14, 2012, EDC, as a member of the Canadian delegation to the OECD, participated in a number of activities under the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees meeting. EDC took part in a peer review and discussion of the implementation of the 2012 Common Approaches, including an update on the progress of the Practitioners’ work on and engagement with the Equator Principles Financial Institutions, and a peer review and discussion of anti-corruption practices. They also attended the 16th Consultation Meeting with Civil Society Organizations, including engagement with industry, the banking sector, and NGOs.

The Government of Canada's Promotional Engagement on Responsible Business Practice

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - On June 12-13, 2012, the first DRC CSR Roundtable took place in Kinshasa, at the initiative of the Fonds Social de la RDC, an implementing agency of the Government of the DRC, whose mission is to improve the living conditions of the Congolese people and their access to social services. The objectives of the event were to take stock of CSR applicability in the DRC, identify innovation and raise awareness about CSR, promote CSR concepts and best practices, and establish a way to recognize outstanding CSR performers. The Canadian Ambassador to the DRC, Jean-Canadian participation consisted of Tenke Fungurume Mining, the Congolese subsidiary of American Freeport McMoRan and Canadian Lundin Mining, which received the "CSR Congo 2012 Awards" certificate of distinction from the Roundtable organizers for its efforts in social responsibility. The next DRC CSR Roundtable will take place in April 2013.

Kenya - On September 7, 2012, the High Commission of Canada to Kenya, in Nairobi, sponsored a CSR Session at the 2nd Annual Mining Business and Investment Forum 2012, organized by the Kenya Chamber of Mines. Over 150 delegates attended the session, including academia, mining companies, business associations, international organizations and local government departments. A variety of speakers from Canada participated in the session, including those from industry, academia, and industry associations. A local mining company, Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd., was invited to share their practical experience on the ground in Kenya. Several Canadian companies also attended the Forum.

Singapore - On September 27-28, 2012, as part of the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit, and the ASEAN CSR Network meetings, the High Commission of Canada to Singapore and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce collaborated to support a networking event and publication launch of Making Business Better: Canadian Perspectives on CSR. The publication underscores Canadian leadership across key areas of the UN Global Compact, including transparency, labour, human rights protection and sustainability, and features inputs from key Canadian companies in Singapore and CSR experts in the region. It also highlights the role played by the Government of Canada and the Trade Commissioner Service in the area of CSR. Over 120 people attended the networking event. It was a successful first collaboration with the Singapore Compact for CSR, Canadian companies, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. For more information and to read the publication, visit the High Commission’s “Doing Business in Singapore with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service” group on LinkedIn.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – On October 16 – 18, 2012, the 8th edition of iPAD DRC mining conference was held in Kinshasa, which is the only annual mining conference organized in the DRC that brings together central and provincial government representatives, public organizations, private industry and foreign investors. The Canadian Mission in Kinshasa invited Ms. Lois Hooge, a Canadian CSR and minerals governance consultant based in South Africa, to make a presentation at the conference entitled, “The Canadian approach to CSR.”

Nigeria - On October 18, 2012, the High Commission of Canada to Nigeria held a seminar on CSR in collaboration with CSR-in-Action, a not-for-profit organization based in Lagos. The theme of the seminar was: “Sustainability in the Extractive Industry:  Managing your Value Chain.” The seminar was attended by approximately 70 participants mainly from the oil and gas sector. The main objective was to raise awareness of Canadian CSR policies in Nigeria and to share best practices with Nigerian stakeholders. There were a total of 10 presenters and panelists that presented on a variety of topics related to CSR. Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter, gave a welcome address expressing the importance of CSR for achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships, particularly in the extractive sector, and Deputy High Commissioner Marcello DiFranco provided the closing remarks. Promotion of the event also helped to raise awareness of Canadian CSR practices and policies in Nigeria.

Tanzania - On October 25, 2012, the High Commission of Canada to Tanzania sponsored the second Canada-Tanzania CSR forum in Arusha, held on the sidelines of the Tanzania Mining, Energy, Oil and Gas International Indaba. The conference was well attended with more than 300 delegates, including many company CEOs, service providers, government officials, and representatives from civil society organizations. The objective of the CSR forum was to create a platform where extractive industry stakeholders could share information on CSR strategies, challenges and successes. Two plenary sessions were organized during which industry experts spoke about the process of developing national CSR frameworks for the extractive sector in host countries and about their experiences with company CSR programs. The Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TEITI) also presented on contributions of the sector and challenges in ensuring transparency.