Sharp Criticism for Bill C-300: Lawyers Tell Parliamentary Committee Private
Member's Bill Threatens Canada's Minerals Industry

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.
        Peterson

    -   "... 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.
        Bourassa

    -   "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, shastings@fasken.com

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