Leading civil society advocates are fuming that a review of Export Development Canada's business activities did little to advance the agency's obligations to human rights and transparency, and they are calling on the government to act.
We need your help to make Export Development Canada (EDC) more transparent!!
CALL TO ACTION
EDC continues to withhold key environmental information about the projects it supports, citing reasons of commercial confidentiality. When it does disclose information prior to supporting a project, this can be from one day to two weeks prior to signing the cheque.
Ms. Nicole Bollen
Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits
2, rue André Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16
The Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Dear Minister Flaherty:
I am writing with respect to the 2007 OECD Revised Council Recommendation on Common Approaches on the Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits. The Recommendation currently lacks a credible mechanism to monitor Member implementation and I write to urge Canada to support the adoption of a peer review system. I understand that the Secretariat of the OECD Export Credit Group (ECG) intends to include the issue of peer review for the Common Approaches in the agenda of the upcoming ECG meeting in April 2008. A peer review system is essential to generate credible information for use in the 2010 report to the OECD Council on the implementation of the Recommendation.
This paper examines international human rights law and officially-supported export credit agencies. It argues that under international law, specifically the principles of ‘state responsibility,’ the acts and omissions of export credit agencies are attributable to their states. States are therefore responsible under international law for the operations of their export credit agencies, including any ‘wrongful acts’ that these agencies may commit. Such wrongful acts may include violations of the state’s international human rights obligations. The paper argues that state obligations under international law are not currently being met in the provision of officially-supported export credit and investment insurance services. Moreover, the paper argues that through the operations of their export credit agencies, home states can be found complicit in the human rights violations of host governments.
Canadian mining companies continue to come under scrutiny from civil society organisations for international human rights violations and environmental damage that critics say the Canadian government has done little to check.
Canada is a leader in the global mining industry, with almost 60 percent of the world's listed exploration and mining companies. The government supports some foreign mining activity through Export Development Canada, a federal agency.
Ms. Janet West
Director, Export Credit Secretariat
2, rue André Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16
Fax 01 44 30 61 58
Thank you for your letter of 6 April 2007 with the attached copy of the nearly final discussion draft of the revised Recommendation on Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits.
Over the past 17 months we have engaged in good faith with the Secretariat and members of the Export Credit Working Group on this matter.