The federal parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and
International Development has extended until January 28, 2010 its
review of Bill C-300, a private member's bill whose stated
purpose is to ensure that mining and oil and gas companies with
operations in developing countries, and that receive support from
the Canadian government, are acting in a manner consistent with
environmental best practices and international human rights
Bill C-300 would require the ministers of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade to issue guidelines articulating corporate
social responsibility standards for these companies. While the
guidelines are yet to be developed, Bill C-300 has the potential to
create restrictions for Canadian operators beyond those otherwise
applicable to investors in a host country.
Under Bill C-300 if a Canadian company is found to have violated
the guidelines (i) the details of the investigation of the
violating company will be published in the Canada Gazette;
(ii) Export Development Canada will be prohibited from providing
services to the violating company; (iii) the Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board will be prohibited from investing in the violating
company; and (iv) the violating company will not be allowed to
participate in programs developed by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the Ministry of International Trade.
The Committee has held five review sessions to consider Bill
C-300 since the bill received second reading in April 2009.
Witnesses that have appeared before the Committee to date include
the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the
Department of Natural Resources, the Canadian International
Development Agency, Export Development Canada, the Mining
Association of Canada, and Mining Watch Canada as well as various
other non-governmental organizations. The Committee is accepting
comments on Bill C-300 and has advised interested parties to
provide any written submissions by November 13, 2009.
It remains to be seen when, and if, Bill C-300 will emerge from
Committee and what form such legislation will ultimately take.
Meanwhile, the federal government has published a document titled
Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Responsibility
(CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive
Sector, which sets outs a series of non-binding policies on
CSR best practices for the Canadian extractive sector operating
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
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