In May, 120,000 people in northwestern Colombia were endangered by the potential collapse of a hydroelectric dam being developed by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), a client of Canada’s export credit agency. EPM is currently under investigation for possible corruption and environmental damage linked to the project.
As leaders of the world’s richest countries gather at the G7 summit today, Canada’s prime minister intends to push for a commitment on climate change in the meeting’s final statement. But the government’s slow progress on a 2009 pledge to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies raises questions about Canada’s own commitment to cut emissions.
When allegations emerged last fall that the Mexican president’s 2012 election campaign was funded in part by a subsidiary of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, the news barely made headlines in Canada. But this development in the Odebrecht scandal should give us pause, because it raises crucial questions about the anti-corruption and disclosure policies of our export credit agency.
Earlier this year, Export Development Canada (EDC) was tasked with running Canada’s new Development Finance Institute. In its new role financing private investment for the purposes of poverty alleviation and sustainable development, EDC will need to adopt robust due diligence practices to ensure the investments it supports respect human rights and the environment.
Last month legislators and experts on business and human rights gathered in Ottawa to discuss groundbreaking developments in home state legislative initiatives aimed at protecting human rights from corporate abuse. This article provides a summary of the discussion and comments made by panelists and keynote speakers at the Bringing Responsibility Home symposium.
As the push for corporate accountability faces setbacks in the United States, could Canada hold the key for legislative progress in North America on business and human rights? In this guest post on the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website, we discuss how Canada can emerge as a leader in this rapidly evolving field.