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Some Indigenous leaders are wary of the environmental implications.
Nearly two years in, the Trudeau regime has yet to follow through on any of their promises to rein in Canada's controversial international mining sector.
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Mining companies headquartered in Canada have been implicated in human rights violations around the world, some involving egregious abuses like sexual violence, forced displacement and extrajudicial killings.
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Imagine if a corporation had to justify its existence beyond making money for capitalists. What would happen if a social balance sheet, as well as financial one, had to be filed every year and companies continually in a deficit position would eventually disappear?
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We cannot spend tens of millions of dollars promoting a low carbon future while also spending tens of millions promoting extractives. With the Agreement in full force, Canada can pivot its approach to international assistance to reflect real policy coherence. We need to support small-scale, decentralized clean energy programs that promote pro-poor, gender sensitive projects.
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Significant sums in Canadian "aid" are spent promoting international mining initiatives. These aid projects are often about mollifying local opposition to mining projects. In the most significant boon to international mining firms, Canadian aid has helped liberalize mining legislation.
Mining and clean energy don't share obvious common ground. Take centuries of environmental devastation -- add coal -- and mineral extraction has a dirty reputation. Indeed, profit-driven boardrooms seldom prioritize climate change considerations. But things are changing.
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In many parts of the world, the face of Canada has become the ruthless multinational that bullies workers, ignores environmental standards and 'buys' politicians.
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In seeking out concentrations of expertise in Canada, it is difficult to ignore the extractive sector. Given the (good and bad) history and size of this sector, and the lack of global rivals in the density of expertise (other than Australia), should international assistance not leverage this expertise to achieve a lasting impact in developing countries?
Everyone truly concerned about African impoverishment should point their fingers at the Canadian firms controlling the continent's resources and offer solidarity to those sisters and brothers fighting for African resources to be controlled by and for Africans.
John McKay says Canada's reputation is suffering because of its mining companies' behaviour abroad.
Bernie McLeod of Moose Cree First Nation.
Mining jade is hard work, and it's no easy task to find the good stuff. We are four generations, happy to be making our livings in the jade mining industry -- and we have the fever alright! We didn't realize it would be so contagious, though.
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Moose Cree has spent years using their laws to keep the river safe from resource development. But Ontario has yet to reciprocate and still keeps the watershed open for industrial activities such as mining under provincial laws. This is a recipe for conflict. Moose Cree's efforts to safeguard this river date back to 2002 when the community informed then MNR Minister Jerry Ouellette of the need for permanent protection. The minister rejected that request. The community persevered. Over the next 14 years they would face down mining and forestry companies.
Considering we have made no significant progress in space travel since the 60s, we could be about to enter a new era of space exploration. Not only will the new space race change the world forever, but the privatization of space technologies could save mankind.