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.
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. A Halifax Initiative Op Ed on April 12 responded.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
James Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey and Co., is an international expert on capital flight, tax havens, debt and corporate taxation. Mr. Henry spoke to Evan Solomon on CBC's Power and Politics regarding tax evasion in Canada.