â€œThis report illustrates quite clearly that Canadaâ€™s approach to corporate social responsibility is not working. The Prime Minister must act immediately before more people are harmed and more damage is done to Canadaâ€™s international reputation â€“ including the reputation of Canadian companies abroad,â€� said NDP Foreign Affairs critic HÃ©lÃ¨ne LaverdiÃ¨re (Laurier â€“ Sainte- Marie).
For years, some Canadian mining companies operating abroad have come under scrutiny following accusations of lax environmental, labour and/or human rights standards. In April, over 180 organizations from Latin America sent an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to take action on problems relating to Canadian mining companies.
â€œForty-one percent of large mining companies operating in Latin America are Canadian, and the Canadian government gives significant assistance to these companies in many countries,â€� said Cheryl Hardcastle, Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights (Windsor â€“ Tecumseh). "Canada must revise its policies in the light of this report, to ensure that human rights come first."
New Democrats believe that Canadaâ€™s entire approach to corporate social responsibility needs to be overhauled. The NDP has proposed stronger regulations on Canada's extractives operating abroad, including the establishment of an Ombudsperson for Corporate Social Responsibility.
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