Reviewing corporate social responsibility practices

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The review mandate of the Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor concerning Canadian extractive companies operating abroad involves:

  • Examining companies
    • social and environmental performance
    • relationships with local communities
    • relationships with host governments.
  • Engaging with companies, whose conduct has been brought into question, and with direct stakeholders potentially or actually affected by the activities of Canadian companies
  • Initiating the Office’s formal review and mediation process of a company’s conduct, following a formal request for investigation and fact finding.

Advising the Government of Canada on the eligibility or ineligibility of companies for Government of Canada trade advocacy and economic support.

Review and Mediation Process

Note: Stakeholders or companies seeking a less formal way to bring a matter to the Counsellor's attention and/or request the Counsellor's assistance, may wish to consider the Office's early intervention service. Stakeholders and companies can also contact the Office to discuss their options for pursuing resolution of an issue.

The Office’s formal Review and Mediation Process employs a formal dialogue to resolve disputes between project-affected stakeholders and Canadian extractive companies operating abroad.  It relies on the good will of the parties to engage with one another to find mutually acceptable solutions. The process is intended to provide a space for dialogue, creative problem solving, and generating options for collaborative agreement.

The Review and Mediation process is initiated by a submitted Request for Review and Mediation. Requests must concern issues relating to the CSR performance standards and guidelines endorsed by the Government of Canada.

Requests may be submitted by individuals, groups or communities who believe they are affected by the activities of Canadian extractive companies abroad.

Canadian extractive companies that believe they are the subject of unfounded allegations about their activities abroad may also bring requests to the Office. We also invite joint requests from companies and project-affected people who both seek a resolution to an issue or dispute. There is no charge for submitting a request for review.

Learn how to submit a request.

The Review and Mediation Process typically includes five stages:

  • initial assessment
  • informal mediation
  • fact-finding
  • access to formal mediation
  • reporting

When a Request for Review and Mediation is submitted, the Office will undertake a preliminary screening of the facts. The screening may include research to determine the next steps to be taken and how the request may proceed to the next stage.

Learn about possible outcomes following a preliminary screening.

A public report is required at the conclusion of a Review and Mediation Process. See the registry of reviews for reports on past processes conducted by the Office.

Participating in this process does not prevent parties from pursuing other forms of redress. While participation remains voluntary, a decision by either party not to participate in a Review and Mediation Process will be made public.

Did you know?

Canada’s CSR strategy for the extractive sector, Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad, establishes consequences for companies that do not embody CSR best practices and do not engage, or refuse to engage in good faith with the CSR Counsellor’s dialogue facilitation processes: Government of Canada support in foreign markets will be withdrawn. Learn more about loss of access to Government of Canada trade advocacy support.