Canadian mining company may have used slaves. How could this happen?


tay
#1




The news was grim, but not surprising. Yannick Lamonde, an official within Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), received word in January last year of an impending report by a prominent non-governmental organization. Its contents were explosive: Human Rights Watch claimed a Canadian-owned mine in Eritrea had been built partly by de facto slaves. Department officials were already well-acquainted with the mine’s majority owner, Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources, and certainly its mine, Bisha, located in the dusty interior of the North African nation. They had even heard similar rumours at least a year earlier. But with those unproven allegations now receiving widespread publicity, remaining silent was no longer an option.




The first order of business was to prepare for the inevitable questions from reporters. According to documents obtained by Canadian Business under the federal Access to Information Act, the DFAIT’s media relations team was given a series of stock responses to deliver. Corporate Canada “leads the world in responsible mining practices,” (external - login to view) the officers told reporters from the CBC, La Presse and elsewhere when they called. But as for claims about people forced to build a mine in distant lands, those were the responsibility of local authorities. Headlines followed, but the furor quickly passed.


Among the allegations commonly lobbed at Canadian mining companies, permitting forced labour at one’s mine surely ranks among the most outrageous. But if DFAIT’s response seems somehow inadequate, in reality Lamonde and his colleagues were simply doing their jobs. For years, the federal government has encouraged Canadian companies to subscribe to voluntary measures collectively known as “corporate social responsibility,” or CSR. Like other nations, however, Canada has steadfastly resisted pressure to directly regulate companies’ behaviour abroad, even when they’re operating in jurisdictions with abysmal human rights records. The controversy surrounding what happened at Bisha reveals, however, that Canada’s laissez-faire approach comes with unexpected consequences that affect every taxpaying Canadian citizen.




Canadian officials knew, earlier than most, about allegations of forced labour at Bisha.




This much is revealed in the more than 700 pages of government records Canadian Business obtained, covering 2008 through early 2013, using the federal government’s Access to Information Act. In an e-mail to colleagues in January 2012, Ethiopia consul Christopher Hull wrote that reports about mining firms in Eritrea “being forced to use conscripts and prison labour matches what we are being told here.” The documents demonstrate that DFAIT officials kept in close contact with Nevsun, meeting with executives at least several times and exchanging regular e-mails. Dozens of officials were involved in monitoring the company’s activities and co-ordinating the department’s response. During the back and forth, Nevsun likely expressed to DFAIT (as it did to Canadian Business) its faith in its Eritrean partners. And it certainly detailed and expressed pride in its own CSR practices. Even so, one internal DFAIT briefing about Nevsun noted that while the allegations could not be substantiated, “the low level of respect for human rights in Eritrea means that the allegations should not be dismissed lightly.”




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A Canadian mining company may have used slaves. How could this happen? (external - login to view)
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
-1
#2
We use prisoners in Canada to do many jobs in industry. Is this forced labour as well?
 
Count_Lothian
#3
I recall the Congo suing a Canadian mining company for aiding rebels in order to get cheap resources.
I believe it was Cominco. Never big headlines here , sort of a blurb on page 6 sort of deal.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Count_LothianView Post

I recall the Congo suing a Canadian mining company for aiding rebels in order to get cheap resources.
I believe it was Cominco. Never big headlines here , sort of a blurb on page 6 sort of deal.

Quite possible.In many parts of the world companies must pay off the right people to operate. Most probably give to both sides in a civil war to hedge their bets. Simply good business practice and really nodifferent than donating to both political parties here.
 
Count_Lothian
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Quite possible.In many parts of the world companies must pay off the right people to operate. Most probably give to both sides in a civil war to hedge their bets. Simply good business practice and really nodifferent than donating to both political parties here.

The pain the pain.
But your spot on.
It is so bad though.
 
MHz
+1
#6
So if you want a job you have to steal a loaf of bread?? We haven't even advanced any sine Australia was being forceably settled by 'prisoners'

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Quite possible.In many parts of the world companies must pay off the right people to operate. Most probably give to both sides in a civil war to hedge their bets. Simply good business practice and really nodifferent than donating to both political parties here.

Check any open pit mine in Africa and see how many children have steel-toed boots and safety glasses. We prefer it that way because the 'product' is $0.02 cheaper for us. (or did you think the slaves turned down the high wages because they see in us what happens when money becomes the boss ....... probably not the best example to use in this situation.)
 
bill barilko
#7
Canadian mining companies are vermin I know since I used to work for one.
 
MHz
#8
Is it safe to rightfully call them 'International Mining Companies' as they all operate the very same way?
 
Locutus
+2
#9  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilkoView Post

Canadian mining companies are vermin I know since I used to work for one.

yeah, and west coasters are lazy stoned mouthbreathers, I know since I used to work with one.
 
petros
+1
#10
I had a bunch for neighbours.
 
gerryh
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post



Even so, one internal DFAIT briefing about Nevsun noted that while the allegations could not be substantiated, “the low level of respect for human rights in Eritrea means that the allegations should not be dismissed lightly.”


So, in other words, there is no solid proof that they did anything that the title states. More sensationalism.
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

So, in other words, there is no solid proof that they did anything that the title states. More sensationalism.

Sells newspapers, don't ya know.

Well as long as you don't let a trifling little thing like accurate information get in the way.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#13
Uh-oh. Canada's in trouble. It's met the three criteria for being "liberated" by the U.S.

1. It has oil.
2. It doesn't have nukes.
3. It's been accused without substantiating evidence of doing something bad.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#14
This just in: CANADA STEAMSHIP LINE MAY HAVE HUNTED AND KILLED 7000 DOLPHINS WITH A BUTTER KNIFE.

Doesn't anybody check sources or fact check before printing such defamatory allegations?
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#15
Canadian mining firms worst for environment, rights: Report

Canadian mining companies are far and away the worst offenders in environmental, human rights and other abuses around the world, according to a global study commissioned by an industry association but never made public.



more: Canadian mining firms worst for environment, rights: Report | Toronto Star
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Canadian mining firms worst for environment, rights: Report

Canadian mining companies are far and away the worst offenders in environmental, human rights and other abuses around the world, according to a global study commissioned by an industry association but never made public.



more: Canadian mining firms worst for environment, rights: Report | Toronto Star

The Star is so full of sh!t. I have run to Canada's northern Diamind Mines and if you drop a piece of litter your gone. Feed an animal your gone. Screw with anything environmental your gone. A drop of antifreeze hits the ground and there is an investigation. They are even more hypersensitive than the environmental groups. But what would I know, I was only there on the ground, while Les Whittington was in the Ottawa Bureau where the real action is.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

The Star is so full of sh!t. I have run to Canada's northern Diamind Mines and if you drop a piece of litter your gone. Feed an animal your gone. Screw with anything environmental your gone. A drop of antifreeze hits the ground and there is an investigation. They are even more hypersensitive than the environmental groups. But what would I know, I was only there on the ground, while Les Whittington was in the Ottawa Bureau where the real action is.

Maybe in Canada. That is not what the allegations are about. It is abuses in third world countries that is the topic.

Over the past several years, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development has heard evidence related to the activities of Canadian mining and other resource companies in developing countries, including Colombia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most recently, it has held hearings on the activities of the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific Inc. in the Philippines, as well as on the broader issue of corporate social responsibility with respect to the activities of Canadian mining companies in developing countries.
These hearings have underlined the fact that mining activities in some developing countries have had adverse effects on local communities, especially where regulations governing the mining sector and its impact on the economic and social wellbeing of employees and local residents, as well as on the environment, are weak or non-existent, or where they are not enforced. To address problems related to corporate activities in developing countries, a number of organizations have developed and implemented voluntary norms for corporate social responsibility, including the United Nations Global Compact and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, both of which are supported by the Government of Canada

more: www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublicati...&Parl=38&Ses=1 (external - login to view)
 
Corduroy
#18
This just in: Western corporations exploit the poor overseas, consumers back home live blissfully aware, act outraged and do nothing.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

We use prisoners in Canada to do many jobs in industry. Is this forced labour as well?

Yes
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#19
The abuses by Canadian mining companies are a systemic part of an economic development policy that disregards human rights and disdains the environment. It is no coincidence that Canada is now home to 75% of the world's mining companies (external - login to view), the majority operating overseas. The Canadian government has accelerated its pursuit of investment treaties in the global south to serve the interests of the extractive industry. These treaties allow companies to challenge environmental, public health or other resource-related policies that affect mining profits.

UN must challenge Canada's complicity in mining's human rights abuses | Meera Karunananthan | Global development | theguardian.com (external - login to view)

Quote: Originally Posted by CorduroyView Post

This just in: Western corporations exploit the poor overseas, consumers back home live blissfully aware, act outraged and do nothing.



Yes

Hi Corduroy. Long time no see. Welcome back.
 
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