This page links to information concerning a number of projects on which we have worked, in solidarity with local communities. In some cases, the projects rely on World Bank funding. In others they involve Canadian companies that may be seeking, or have secured, financial support from Export Development Canada (EDC). Sometimes they involve both. Regardless of the source of funding, in all cases, communities have contacted us because they are concerned about the significant adverse environmental, social and human rights impacts of the projects.
The Honourable Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you in advance of the June G-8 Leaders’ meeting in County Fermanagh, Ireland.
The Halifax Initiative is a coalition of 20 Canadian environmental, development, faith-based, human rights and labour organizations concerned with international economic justice issues. We coordinate research, analysis, education and outreach focused on the democratization of the international financial system to achieve environmental sustainability, poverty eradication and the equitable redistribution of wealth.
Oyu Tolgoi is an enormous copper and gold deposit in Mongolia. The project is jointly owned by Canadian company Turquoise Hill Resources and a state owned enterprise. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), estimated project cost is $12 billion. Project proponents seek financing from Export Development Canada, the IFC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, among others. In this document, CSOs argue that the project does not comply with the IFC Performance Standards and provide a series of recommendations.
This article by Halifax Initiative staff argues that since the 1960s, transnational corporations (TNCs) have exploited the faultlines of the international tax system to transfer billions of dollars from Southern countries to the North. Northern governments have protected this system, but are now being challenged by citizens' groups worldwide to put an end to these abuses. Published in Third World Resurgence magazine, December 2012.
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights held its first forum on December 4 and 5 in Geneva. The Halifax Initiative spoke at the forum on a panel concerning public financial institutions and human rights. ECA-Watch, CIEL and BankTrack disseminated the attached document at the forum containing analysis and recommendations regarding financial institutons and human rights.
Article prepared for the 'Global Capital, Global Rights' workshop convened by SFU and UBC. The text discusses civil society efforts in support of Bill C-300, legislation that sought to create accountability mechanisms regarding the provision of government support to Canadian extractive companies that operate overseas.
On September 15, 2011, the Canadian government's Centre for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibilty held a workshop with John Ruggie entitled, 'Implications of the Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the UN Framework for CSR in the Canadian Extratcive Sector.' The Halifax Initiative participated on behalf of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability as the civil society respondent to Mr. Ruggie.
Canadian mining interests in countries around the world are valued at tens of billions of dollars. Karyn Keenan looks at efforts by local communities to hold mining companies to account for human rights abuses. 'The issue of access to remedy for the victims of corporate abuse requires urgent attention,' she writes. Keenan describes recent efforts by non-nationals who are affected by Canadian mining companies to seek redress through the Canadian justice system.