On October 27, members of Parliament rejected Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries.
In voting against the bill, MPs demonstrated the courage to stand with the men and women who work in Canada’s extractive sector in the face of fierce attacks that tarred the reputation of the whole sector. This poorly-constructed private member’s bill would have severely hobbled Canadian extractive companies’ international competitiveness and reputations, while doing little to further the interests of people in developing countries.
Canada’s mining, oil and gas companies are world leaders and know that responsible behaviour at home and abroad makes good business sense. Their reputation for good citizenship wherever they operate in the world is an invaluable asset that they work hard to maintain.
We first raised the issue of Bill C-300, back in early June of 2010, and questioned its purpose and effectiveness, given its extra-territorial reach and poorly focused objectives. That, combined with the high level of practice of the Canadian mining industry generally, and the potential for competitors to the Canadian mining industry utilizing this legislation against the Canadian industry in market distorting ways, means that the defeat of Bill C-300 is both good for Canada and good for the Canadian mining industry.