Last month 13 people protesting the expansion of a copper smelter owned by Vedanta Limited were shot and killed by police in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Vedanta Ltd. is financed by the Canadian government despite being blacklisted on human rights and environmental grounds by many investors.
Above Ground has long questioned Export Development Canada’s assessment of environmental and human rights risks posed by its clients' operations. Now the auditor general is warning there are “significant deficiencies” in the agency’s overall management of risk.
Ongoing media coverage regarding the sale of a Bombardier jet to the Gupta family has triggered an important public debate about the accountability and transparency of Export Development Canada. With Parliament set to review EDC’s governing legislation this year, the timing for such a discussion could not be better.
Last fall we wrote to Canada’s environment minister urging that the government include in its review of fossil fuel subsidies the billions in support it provides to oil and gas companies each year through Export Development Canada (EDC). We have now received confirmation that “EDC has been included as a part of this review.”
Next week a group of indigenous activists from Malaysia, accompanied by the NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), will travel to Canada to call attention to the decades of clear-cut logging that has razed the rainforests of Borneo and allegedly enriched a Malaysian family accused of money laundering through a Canadian company.
Today, in partnership with colleagues in Europe and the U.S., Above Ground introduces www.BHRinLaw.org. This site provides up-to-date news and summaries of developments in the push to make business respect for human rights across borders a legally enforceable requirement, through legislation and case law.