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.
Peter Gillespie contributed a chapter on tax havens to the book "The Great Revenue Robbery," published by Between the Lines Press and Canadians for Tax Fairness. The book is an excellent resource for people interested in tax as an economic justice issue.
In 2012, Export Development Canada provided Eldorado Gold with between $25 and $50 million in financing despite credible concerns regarding the serious environmental and social impacts of its operations in Greece.
In this June 13 press release, civil society welcomes the government's commitment to adopt binding corporate disclosure requirements but calls for further steps in the development of a comprehensive accountability framework regarding the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies.
On May 24, the Chilean government fined Barrick Gold $16 million for violations of its environmental permit for the Pascua Lama project. The following day, local communities released a public statement denouncing the fine. In an interview with Radio Canada International, the Halifax Initiative's Karyn Keenan discusses local reactions.
British Prime Minister Cameron has announced that standards for multilateral information exchange, increasing transparency of the ownership of trusts and companies, and reform of global tax rules will be key items on the agenda of the G-8 meeting this June. These are policy positions that NGOs have promoted for many years. We have written to Prime Minister Harper to urge that Canada take a progressive position on these issues and help move them forward.
In his April 6 article in the Ottawa Citizen, “Enough with the tax haven hysteria,” Bernard Shinder argued that recent media reports of the harmful role of tax havens are essentially much ado about nothing. In contrast to this view, however, is an increasing body of research showing that tax havens continue to be profoundly damaging to developed and developing countries alike.
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.