Corporate Responsibilty

CSR E-Bulletin - Issue 18 (2013)

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

The Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor

Dr. Marketa Evans, who served as the CSR Counsellor for a total of four years, resigned in October, 2013, in order to pursue opportunities outside of Government. We thank Dr. Evans for her efforts and public service to Canada. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) will continue to support the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor during this transition period as the Office continues to carry out administrative and other functions related to its operations. Questions can be sent to: csr-counsellor@international.gc.ca.

CSR Standards Updates:

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs)

Canada, as an adherent to the OECD Guidelines for MNEs, maintains a National Contact Point (NCP) and is pleased to announce that the 2013 Annual Report to the OECD is now online. For more information on Canada’s NCP for the OECD Guidelines for MNEs, please visit the NCP webpage on the DFATD website.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Since 2010, the total number of Canadian GRI reporters has grown to 115, including federal crown corporations such as Canada Post, Export Development Canada, and Farm Credit Canada. While the majority of Canadian GRI reporters continue to be from the extractive and financial service sectors, there are a growing number of companies from sectors such as telecommunications, utilities, real estate and construction services.

In May 2013, the GRI launched the fourth generation (G4) of the GRI sustainability reporting framework at a conference in Amsterdam (following the first GRI-Canada conference in October 2012). A key new feature of the GRI G4 is the process of identifying topics that are material to an organization’s business and key stakeholders. This ‘materiality’ focus will attempt to make reports more relevant, more credible and more user-friendly. In June, the GRI held G4 seminars in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, with good turnout. On July 1, the GRI re-branded its Focal Point office in New York City as GRI USA and Canada Focal Point. GRI has also recently finalized an agreement to host four sessions on sustainability reporting at Globe 2014 in Vancouver, from March 26-28, 2014. Please visit the GRI website, and GLOBE 2014, for more information.

Centre for Excellence in CSR - Multitakeholder Dialogue Session with CIM

On November 12, 2013, the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in CSR (CfE), held a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Session at the Québec Mines 2013 conference in Québec City. This was the third such Dialogue held in 2013, and built upon the common set of values shared by all extractive sector stakeholders identified at the first two Sessions. The 51 participants represented a broad range of industry, non-industry and government actors, including four First Nations representatives. Roundtable discussions were held on topical issues such as: how to reconcile confidentiality with best practices in transparency; the relevance of voluntary tools and guidelines; and challenges inherent in inter-organizational partnerships.  The next Dialogue Sessions are scheduled for March 3, 2014 at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto, and May 14, 2014 at the CIM annual convention in Vancouver. A detailed report will be available soon on the CFE website.

Mandatory Reporting Standards for Canadian Extractive Companies

On June 12, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada will establish new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies, with a view to enhance transparency on the payments companies make to governments. The new reporting system will reinforce Canada’s role as a strong supporter of transparency and accountability, and complement existing reporting requirements. It will seek to: improve transparency; ensure that Canada’s framework is consistent with existing international standards and aligned with other G-8 countries; ensure a level playing field for companies operating domestically and abroad; enhance investment certainty; help reinforce the integrity of Canadian extractive companies; and, help ensure that citizens around the world benefit from natural resources in their country.

The full news release can be found on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also announced that, within the G-8, Canada will take a leadership role in working with Peru and Tanzania to increase transparency and strengthen governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The full news release is also available on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.

Other CSR Activities and Events

Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF)

From October 28 to November 1, 2013, IGF members and observers met for their ninth Annual General Meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss issues and challenges related to the sustainable management and development of the mining, minerals and metals sector. As Secretariat of the Forum, DFATD hosted the meeting, which brought together 217 participants from 49 member and observer governments, international organizations, industry and civil society. This year's meeting also included, for the first time, workshops on negotiating mining investments and contracts (for IGF members) and artisanal and small-scale mining. The IGF's tenth Annual General Meeting will take place in Geneva from October 20-24, 2014. In 2014, the IGF will also be hosting a side event on artisanal and small-scale mining at Indaba, on transfer pricing at PDAC and at EXPOMIN. For additional Forum details, please consult the website: www.globaldialogue.info.

Second Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

From December 2-4, 2013, the Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights took place in Geneva. The Forum covered a broad range of topics under the three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: the state duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and providing access to remedy for victims through a range of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms. For further information, please visit the webpage of the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

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

Chile - Cape Breton Mission to Chile

Beginning November 5, 2013, the Embassy of Canada to Chile hosted two delegations led by Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), a federal crown corporation that promotes and assists with financing and development. The objective of the visit was the sharing of successful economic development models implemented by the Membertou and Eskasoni Mi’kmaq First Nations of Canada, and the facilitation of exchanges between Canadian and Chilean indigenous peoples. From November 5-8, delegation experts on indigenous consultation and economic development met with Embassy contacts and participated in a panel on economic development for indigenous peoples, held as part of SR Mining, a conference on social responsibility in mining. From November 13-15, two Canadian Mi’kmaq Chiefs also visited Copiapó and Vallenar in Chile, a region with a high concentration of mining projects. The Chiefs participated in private indigenous-to-indigenous Round Tables to build linkages with the Colla and Diaguita peoples of Chile and share successful economic development models. This was followed by extended Round Tables with regional authorities, communities and companies to share views on mining and community development. For further information please visit the website of the
Embassy of Canada to Chile: www.chile.gc.ca.

Peru – G-8 Partnership Launch to Support Transparency in the Extractive Sector

On November 12, 2013, the Embassy of Canada to Peru and the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines officially launched the G-8 Partnership to Support Transparency in the Extractive Sector, at a press conference chaired by Peruvian Minister of Energy and Mines, Merino, and the Canadian Ambassador to Peru, Patricia Fortier. The initiative was first announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in June 2013, and is part of a joint effort between G-8 countries and 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve transparency in the management of the natural resources sector around the world. Further information on the official launch can be found on the website of the Embassy of Canada to Peru and Bolivia.

Peru – CIIEID Mission for Extractive Sector Collaboration

From November 11-21, 2013, a reconnaissance delegation of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (CIIEID) visited Peru, to meet with Peruvian government officials, civil society organizations, and academia, and gain an understanding of the leading challenges related to extractive activities in Peru and develop CIIEID programming. The Embassy of Canada to Peru provided information and contacts to the mission and hosted a Round Table for Canadian company key contacts to share perspectives on challenges, tools and resources, and expertise gaps.

Panama - CSR Mining Industry Program

From October 15-18, 2013, the Embassy of Canada to Panama organized a CSR program with Canadian mining authority Bill McGuinty, who has worked in Canada and internationally for Canadian junior mineral exploration companies and was co-chair of the Advisory Panel of the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor. The visit provided opportunities to discuss Canada’s perspectives and expectations on CSR, and learn about the successes and challenges facing the developing mining industry in Panama. During the three-day program, Mr. McGuinty shared his experience and expertise in CSR practices in the Canadian mining sector in a presentation at the mining conference ExpoConferencia Minera, as well as in Embassy-hosted meetings with stakeholders, Canadian mining companies, Panamanian government officials and Panamanian academia. 

Tanzania - Canada-East Africa CSR Forum

On September 30 and October 1, 2013, the High Commission of Canada in Tanzania organized the third Annual Canada-East Africa CSR Forum for extractive industries, in collaboration with other Canadian diplomatic missions in East Africa and Tanzania's Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM). MEM Minister Sospeter Mugongo, along with High Commissioner Alexandre Lévêque, opened the event, which took place in Dar es Salaam. Over 100 people participated from: the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and government from Tanzania, as well as from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. Fourteen speakers shared experiences and their ideas on CSR in Tanzania, and participants, using Tanzania's draft CSR guidelines provided by MEM as a case study, shared critical points for inclusion in Tanzania’s CSR policy under development.

Peru - Perumin Mining Convention

From September 16-20, 2013 the Perumin Mining Convention, Mining: Opportunity for Social Inclusion and Development, took place in Arequipa, Peru, with the Embassy of Canada to Peru involved in a number of events. Aligning with the convention’s theme, Canada delivered strategic messaging on CSR, transparency and responsible resource management. The Embassy of Canada, Export Development Canada, the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export, and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development & Mines collaborated on a number of events. These included: two networking breakfasts, a business climate briefing for companies and individual matchmaking meetings with major mining companies. With over 75 Canadian companies attending Perumin, a Canadian Pavilion, and presentations on mining and education, Canada’s presence at the convention was showcased. The Embassy also hosted an evening event to launch the 2013 revision of the Embassy’s Mining Toolkit: a tool that emphasizes transparent and respectful communications for mitigating social conflict and aids Canadian companies working with local communities to increase dialogue processes.

Argentina - The Latin American Dialogue Group “Mining, Democracy and Sustainable Development” International Meeting

On September 30, 2013, with the support of the Embassy of Canada to Argentina, among other sponsors, the International Meeting “Mining, Democracy and Sustainability: Experiences and Challenges for Dialogue in Latin America” took place in Buenos Aires. The event was organized by the local network of non-governmental organizations and universities “Argentine Platform for Dialogue” together with the Latin American Group of Dialogue (GDL). There were approximately 50 participants from the private and public sectors, civil society organizations, academia, and international experts from Peru, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil and Canada. The meeting promoted multi-stakeholder dialogue to develop trust, based on understanding other parties’ language, priorities and views. This GDL meeting followed their participation in the PDAC 2013 Convention, supported by DFATD, aimed at fostering understanding and dialogue on the development of the mining industry in countries where Canadian companies are most active.

Mozambique - CSR Seminar

On June 12, 2013, the High Commission of Canada in Mozambique organized a one day CSR seminar in Maputo city, in partnership with the French Embassy and the Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources. The main objective of the gathering was to provide a forum to discuss CSR concepts, interpretations and best practices from other countries, global trends, and implications of ISO 26000. Presentations were made by international experts on CSR from Canada, France and other countries. Canadian consultant David Simpson from InterPraxis gave a presentation on the Canadian vision of CSR and implications for the private sector in Canada and abroad. The event gathered roughly 150 people from diverse stakeholder groups, and once again allowed Canada to advance its principles on CSR and show leadership on the issue.

Mozambique – CSR Policy Development Support

The Mozambican government is creating its own CSR policy, a process that has received financial support from the Government of Canada.  Mozambique is one of the first countries in Sub Saharan Africa to develop a national policy on CSR specifically for the extractive industry. Canada has been supporting the initiative since its beginning, including a study which culminated in the recommendations that are now guiding the drafting of the national policy. The High Commission has also been engaged in promoting CSR debates, to raise awareness among all stakeholders and complement local government efforts.

Colombia and Guatemala - First Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean

From August 28-30, 2013, representatives from the Embassies of Canada to Colombia and Guatemala attended the first Latin America and Caribbean Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights in Medellin, Colombia. A three-person Guatemalan delegation, funded by the Embassy of Canada to Guatemala, also attended. The Forum presented the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and involved discussion on trends and challenges in implementation, and best practices. More than 400 representatives from global, regional and domestic stakeholder groups and bodies attended, bringing together stakeholders who may not have had the opportunity to meet before and providing an opportunity to share diverse perspectives and experiences, under a common framework.

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