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Canadian Mining Industry: A Call for Responsibility

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kairos_ebacher_2007-05-29(CCCB - Ottawa)... Canadian Church leaders and experts in corporate responsibility worldwide called on the federal government to adopt strict standards for Canadian resource companies operating overseas. In an event organized on 29 May by the faith-based group KAIROS, they urged Ottawa to adopt recommendations that could help end widespread environmental damage and human rights abuses resulting from operations by Canadian mining companies.

One of the interveners at the press conference held on Parliament Hill, Most Rev. Roger Ébacher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), emphasized that it is "fundamental to reaffirm, on the responsibility of Canadian corporations overseas, the following points:

  • The respect and protection of human rights must be mandatory and never left as an option to individuals and commercial societies;
  • The environment is also integral to human rights, and must be protected;
  • In solidarity with the Bishops in the Philippines, and in particular in Honduras with Cardinal Rodriguez, the Bishops of Canada ask that Canadian mining companies operating in those countries immediately adopt commercial practices that respect human rights, in the same way they do business in Canada;
  • We affirm that Corporate voluntary measures of respect for human rights are not enough; regulation must govern these practices;
  • It is very encouraging to see resource extraction companies have participated in the Roundtable process and collaborate with organizations like Development and Peace and KAIROS;
  • We believe that the implementation of regulations regarding corporate social responsibility will show Canada's leadership in promoting human rights and the integrity of Canadian corporations when operating overseas."

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, a faith-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) that works on a wide range of social justice issues in Canada, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

To know more on the responsibility of resource extraction companies, please visit the following sites:

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Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.