A couple of months later in January 2011, Bev Oda, Minister of 'Not Kairos' and International Cooperation, acknowledged that Canadian tax dollars were subsidizing mining companies' CSR (corporate social responsibility) projects through CIDA - half a million to Barrick Gold, another half million to Rio Tinto, etc etc up to a total of $50-million for the year.
Today's G&M : CIDA funds seen to be subsidizing mining firms
This marks the first time that CIDA and mining firms are jointly funding aid projects abroad ... The mining industry is welcoming the new trend in Canada’s foreign-aid policy.
“There is a policy shift under way, and it’s one we’re encouraged by,” said Pierre Gratton, the president of the Canadian Mining Association.
while World Vision Canada, a CIDA partner with Barrick Gold in Peru, put it this way (italics mine):
“Anything we can do to encourage and advocate for better mining practices, and support the communities that they are displacing or affecting, we’re contributing to a better lifestyle and environment for them.”Yes, sadly, communities will be displaced but at least our taxes will be there to help polish the image of their new corporate landlords .
It's particularly galling that multinational mining giant Rio Tinto ($US15 billion-plus earnings in 2011) is receiving Canadian corporate welfare after locking 800 Canadian workers out on New Years Day in Quebec for protesting having their union jobs replaced by contract workers. Additionally, a court injunction only permits 20 workers to demonstrate at any one time and only at a distance of 150 metres from the front gate.
Back to the G&M :
Federal officials said the policy shift at CIDA is co-ordinated with efforts by International Trade and Natural Resources to encourage the growth of Canadian firms abroadSure it is.
A couple of days ago, Rio Tinto took majority control of Canada's Ivanhoe Mines which owns 66% of Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, the rest being owned by the state of Mongolia.
As it happens, Bev Oda was in Mongolia last August :
"looking to assist Mongolia to strengthen its democratic governance and economic growth"presumably with the help of China :
"In 2010, Rio Tinto said that it had held talks with its biggest shareholder, Chinalco, about the possibility of bringing in the Chinese state-owned company as a partner in Oyu Tolgoi"Why are Canadian tax dollars subsidizing these massive multinational mining corps with corporate welfare again?