Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bill C-300 : AWOL Libs were lobbied by mining industry

A week ago the Liberal Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries, went down to defeat 140 to 134 because 13 Liberals including Ignatieff, 4 Bloc, and 4 NDP skipped the vote.

According to Embassy Mag today, for the month prior to the vote, opposition MPs were lobbied by consultants hired by Barrick Gold, IAMGold, Vale Canada, the Mining Association of Canada, and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

Barrick hired former Liberal cabinet minister Don Boudria, now a lobbyist with Hill and Knowlton, to target 15 Libs "multiple times" for two weeks - 13 of whom did not show up for the final vote.

The Liberal sponsor of the bill, John McKay, says he does not think that there will be "another attempt at a bill looking at corporate social responsibility for the mining sector until after another election."

You're shocked, I'm sure.


Anonymous said...

The same lobby efforts were exercised by Mining Watch and John MacKay, the sponsor of Bill C-300.

John MacKay lobbied church groups and students, as well as his Liberal colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest, Anoymous: Public interest and human rights awareness is NOT 'the same lobby efforts'.

Corporate lobbying is well-funded and in the pursuit of corporate interests. Our MPs are elected to act for the common good. John MacKay was trying to do just that and should have been supported in his efforts.

Another bad day for democracy.

Peace, babies,

Anonymous said...

Lobbying is lobbying, despite who conducts it. How can you make the claim the the lobby efforts are any different? One group trying to influence the government to adopt their issue/cause/point of view.

Do not kid yourself - special interest groups such as CBI and Mining Watch (and the Church groups who were all over this issue) are well funded groups. A lot of money flows up from the US for these "public interest" issues.
Plenty of NGO and church groups lobbied hard for C-300 and spent a LOT of money going to Ottawa to do so.

Another common good that people tend to forget: industry and jobs.
Ask the multitudes of unemployed people in the North - they want jobs.

Beijing York said...

The mining companies who claim they are so socially and environmentally responsible should have had no problem with this Bill. The fact that they do speaks volumes.

Also, if Canadians in northern regions want mining jobs, they should consider that if these corporation are obliged to afford all workers and their communities globally safe working conditions, environmentally sound policies, and decent living standards, these corporations wouldn't be leaving Canada high and dry in order to seek less regulation and cheaper labour.

As more and more Canadian mining operations get bought out by huge multinationals, the more job losses we experience. Just ask Brad Wall.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, looks like Mr. Anonymous Ley is still here.

thwap said...

The mining industry has a lot of money to toss around.

Cluttering up the new media with corporate p.r. spin is a good way to help pay down those student loans.

Human rights defenders and human rights abusers both have a right to lobby.

The abusers can't help it if they have more political clout and material incentives, but lobbying is lobbying.

When do you think Mr. Anonymous p.r. drone first loss all sense of shame?

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying; however, I believe that mining companies were opposed to the content of the bill rather than accountability itself. I would suggest taking a good look at the bill because it is completely flawed. The Principle behind it (accountability) is great, but the bill itself was terrible.

One of the largest problems was that it aimed to force Ministers to be prosector, judge and jury on issues that they do not have expertise on. Nor do Ministers wants this sort of responsibility.

Also, it doesn't seem right that companies would be scrutinized regardless if "complaints" were legitimate or not. Jusdging by the comments made here, it is even more clear that the suggestion of "an abuse" is viewed as a commission of guilt. How do you think that would translate if the bill had actually passed?
That is not a fair and balanced approach.
MacKay attempted to politicize CSR rather than work together, collaboratively with NGOs and Industry and, most improtantly, the independant government CSR Counsellor.

The corporations do not leave Canada for cheap labour. Prospectors and miners conduct their work based on geology. There are many exploration and mining companies operating in Canada. If you ask those in the North, namely the Aboriginal population, development in their areas is the only way out of poverty and ecnomic dependancy on INAC.

Again, to respond to your comments about job loss and offshoring - this is not the case. StatsCan just released some results on the subject:

The most amount of hiring, in percentage terms, between August of last year and this August has been in mining and quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. It’s up 10.2 per cent.

Anonymous said...

It is rather unfortunate that you resort to mud-slinging rather than rationally contribute to debate and dialogue. That is the real shame here.

It is even more unfortunate that you have made the assumtption that I am a "Mr".

I imagine, in your world, women cannot contribute to industry?

Anonymous said...

wow - so much animosity towards an industry that you CAN'T live without! You people do realize that the very computer you are using was made using products from the mining industry? Your phones? Your houses? Your glasses? Your modes of public transit?

Anonymous said...

Your toxic dumping, your murder of unionists, your massacre and forced displacement of aboriginals, your rape of women, your cozying up to dictators, your off-shore tax fraud, and your slave labour.

There are other countries in the world you know that manage to have mining without the above abuses.
Self-regulation does not appear to have staved them off in our many Canadian-in-name-only mining firms.

Anonymous said...

So many accusations, so little proof.

The industry could drum up as many good stories as you can bad ones - the difference is, they have tangible examples.

You speak of companies as if they are individuals.

Many of your grievances have more to do with the actions of international countries that have governance issues.
Slave labour? How about the only chance at making money? Massacre? Hardly.

No one denies that a few bad apples exist....but Canada has responsible mining - you just choose to ignore the good. Convenient for a cause.

thwap said...

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous,

You can't begin to comprehend how little I or anyone else cares about your bleating.

You've already tried to conflate human rights activists with corporate lobbyists. You were discredited the second you wrote such garbage.

It doesn't matter to sane people that you maintain a veneer of civility while you defend the indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Again with the generalizations. I am certain you cannot speak for "anyone else".

It's not about maintaining a "veneer of civility" it's about working together collaboratively, transparently and rationally.
Afterall, isn't that what CSR is all about?

So long as people such as yourself dig yourself into one corner and refuse to budge by coming to the table and working together, things will never change.

thwap said...

blow me.

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