No digging up dirt at mine conference
Closed-Door sessions are norm; Industry's behaviour in 3rd World discussed
A government-sponsored roundtable concerning corporate responsibility of Canadian mining companies operating in developing countries was subject to media restrictions yesterday, even as industry and watchdog groups urged "transparency and truth."
Reporters could enter sessions open to the public during which seven-minute presentations were made by interested parties, but were "not welcome to report what is seen or heard," a Foreign Affairs spokesperson said yesterday as the Montreal roundtable opened.
Professor John Ruggie
UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Business and Human Rights
John F. Kennedy School of Government
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Dear Professor Ruggie
RE: General Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments
We are sharing with you our collective views on general principles for a human rights impact assessment. These have arisen from a meeting on community-driven human rights impact assessments, convened by Rights & Democracy in Johannesburg, South Africa, 21-24 September, 2006.
The Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
Dear Minister Flaherty:
On behalf of the Halifax Initiative Coalition, I would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment as Minister of Finance. Over the past ten years, the Halifax Initiative has developed a good working relationship with the Department of Finance, and in the coming years we hope to strengthen this relationship.
US Congress passes new law aimed at increasing World Bank accountability Legislation to encourage greater transparency and accountability at the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) was signed into law by President Bush, November 14, 2005. The reforms were contained in an amendment to the 2006 foreign operations appropriation bill proposed by Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as part of the FY06 Foreign Operations appropriations bill.
NGOs welcome changes to policies at Export Development Canada - Implementation still a concern
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 (Ottawa) - A coalition of 23 non-governmental organizations today welcomed the changes Export Development Canada made to its revised policies for taking account of the environment and disclosing information to the public. Five years ago the Halifax Initiative Coalition exposed countless environmentally devastating projects being financed by the Crown Corporation. At that time, EDC had no environmental policies in place.
"EDC has taken some positive steps forward in terms of transparency and addressing the environment over the past six years," said Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada, a member of the Halifax Initiative, "and they should be congratulated for those changes."
The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Dear Minister Goodale,
As IFC nears the final stages of its safeguard policy revision process, it is essential that Governments and Board members actively encourage International Finance Corporation (IFC) to make further improvements to its Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards during the public comment period, which ends November 25th.
Policy and Government Relations
Export Development Canada (EDC)
151 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1K3
September 16, 2005
Re: Comments on EDC's draft disclosure and environmental review policies
Dear Director, Policy and Government Relations:
The Halifax Initiative Coalition is pleased to submit our comments on the new draft Environmental Review Directive (ERD) and Disclosure Policy. We are particularly pleased at this opportunity, as it was not afforded in 2001 when EDC first adopted its ERD. The early consultation, this comment period and some of the revisions made in the new drafts reflect the positive developments at EDC as it strives to do better business.
Wolfowitz Nomination - Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
On March 31, the World Bank's Board unanimously appointed Paul Wolfowitz as the next President of the Bank. Mr. Wolfowitz is the US Deputy Secretary of Defense, and is often cited as the key architect and advocate behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Citing his role as Ambassador to the US Embassy in Indonesia, the State Department, and the Pentagon, US President George Bush said Wolfowitz would bring experience to the position of President both as a "skilled diplomat" and experienced manager.