In early February, Peter Gillespie of the Halifax Initiative testified before Canada's Parliamentary Finance Committee on the role of tax havens in facilitating massive financial losses to developing countries.
In this Op Ed, Peter Gillespie of Halifax Initiative notes how multi-national companies have employed artificial accounting methods to avoid paying taxes in the places where they do business. This problem is affecting developed and developing countries alike.
The Africa-Canada Forum (Canadian Council for International Cooperation), the Halifax Initiative & the Institute of African Studies present a critical discussion regarding economic growth, aid and sustainable development in Africa. Speakers include Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei (Third World Network), James Henry (formerly McKinsey & Co.) and Vitalice Meja (Reality of Aid).
In spite of Canada's attempt to bury it at the Toronto G20 meeting, a tax on financial transactions is back on the global agenda and gaining momentum.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to use his term as chair of the G20 to reform the global financial system and curb the speculation that contributed to the economic crisis. At the top of his agenda is an international financial transactions tax (FTT) to fund the fight against poverty and climate change.
Ruggie guidelines stir debate
In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council extended Special Representative John Ruggie’s mandate on business and human rights. Among other things, the Council asked Mr. Ruggie to identify “concrete and practical recommendations on ways to strengthen the fulfilment of the duty of the State to protect all human rights from abuses by or involving transnational corporations.”
Victims of Kilwa Massacre Seek Justice in Canada
Congolese nationals have launched a class action law suit in a Montreal court against Canadian mining company, Anvil Mining. At least 73 civilians were killed in 2004 when the Congolese Armed Forces attacked residents in the town of Kilwa. A UN investigation revealed that planes, vehicles, personnel and food controlled by Anvil Mining were used by the army during the attack (see IU Oct. 31, 2008).