I am writing in response to Barrett Horne’s letter (November 12) regarding Bill C-300 which would have held accountable Canadian mining, oil and gas companies who violate human rights and environmental laws in developing countries. Canadian mining companies have been singled out in Bill C-300 because 75 per cent of companies doing extraction and mining in developing countries are Canadian owned.
Amnesty has received many disturbing reports about Canadian extractive companies operating in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Families being forcibly evicted to make way for extractive projects, and indigenous and rural communities living in environments damaged by mining projects have no effective means to seek justice because of lack of political will or the capacity of local governments to effectively monitor foreign extractive companies or implement their own human rights laws.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned about human rights violations committed directly or indirectly by some Canadian mining, oil, and gas companies operating in developing countries.
There is a growing list of people who have been threatened, jailed, attacked or killed for speaking out against Canadian mining operations. Current cases of human rights abuses and allegations against Canadian mining companies are highlighted at www.amnesty.ca/business.
Amnesty International will continue to urge the Canadian government to adopt stronger legal and policy frameworks to hold corporations to account for their abuse of human rights in developing countries.
I applaud Larry Bagnell for voting for Bill C-300 and taking a stand on human rights.
Shelagh Smith, co-ordinator
Amnesty International Action Circle