OTTAWA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, appeared today before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in Ottawa to oppose Private Member's Bill C-300, which proposes the Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act.
Representing Fasken Martineau before the Standing Committee were the Honourable James Peterson P.C., Counsel with the firm and former federal Minister of International Trade; Raymond Chrétien, partner and Strategic Advisor with the firm and former Canadian ambassador to France, United States, Belgium, Mexico and the Congo and was Associate Under Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1988 to 1991; and Michael Bourassa, partner and coordinator of the firm's Global Mining Group.
Highlights of the speakers' remarks included:
- "While the intentions behind the Bill are laudable and while it is
without question that Canadian companies must operate in a
responsible and accountable manner, we submit that this Bill is
flawed in its construction and unduly prejudicial towards an
important Canadian industry." - Mr. Peterson
- "If passed, this Bill could deter companies from working in less
stable developing countries as it does not provide companies with any
opportunity to address and remedy an issue without immediately being
subject to a complaint, possible investigation and sanction." - Mr.
- "... in my time serving as Canada's ambassador to a number of
developing countries with mining sectors, including Mexico and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Canadian mining companies contributed
to improved health, education and infrastructure and were welcomed
and well-regarded for such investments." - Mr. Chrétien
- "If passed, Bill C-300 will undermine the competitive position of
Canadian companies and could cause an exodus of mining companies from
Canada and potentially render Canada a less attractive jurisdiction
for mining investment." - Mr. Bourassa
- "... if this Bill becomes law every Canadian company or any company
contemplating setting up in Canada, would have to undertake a serious
risk and cost benefit analysis as to whether to locate here." - Mr.
- "If Bill C-300 were passed, a Canadian mining company's ability to
work with its own government to remedy a situation would be impaired.
Often in situations such as this, our ambassadors and trade
commissioner service will liaise with host governments and provide
guidance to Canadian interests. Once a complaint is filed, the role
of our foreign service would change from collaborative problem
solving mode to that of investigator. A Canadian mining company would
be 'cut loose' and left to fend on its own. We would be doing a
disservice to our own economic interests." - Mr. Peterson
About Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Fasken Martineau, which ranks among the three largest law firms in Canada, is a leading international business law and litigation firm. With over 650 lawyers, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, London, Paris and Johannesburg. For additional information, please visit the firm's website at www.fasken.com.
SOURCE Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Stephen Hastings, Director of Communications, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Tel (416) 865-4370, Cel (416) 648-4076, firstname.lastname@example.org