TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, announced today that it is opposing Private Members' Bill C-300, which proposes the Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act.
Members of the firm will be appearing before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in Ottawa on Thursday, November 26, 2009. Representing Fasken Martineau before the Standing Committee will be Michael Bourassa, partner and co-ordinator of the firm's Global Mining Group; the Honourable James Peterson P.C., Counsel with the firm and former federal Minister of International Trade; and Raymond Chrétien, partner and Strategic Advisor with the firm and former Canadian ambassador to France, United States, Belgium, Mexico and the Congo.
"This legislation was written in haste without input from Canada's resource and extraction companies," said Michael Bourassa, partner with Fasken Martineau and co-ordinator of the firm's Global Mining Group. "Canadian mining and energy companies are respected as leaders worldwide, so it is a surprise to see legislation proposed in Canada that would undermine their competitive position on the world stage. Those with investments in foreign countries are very concerned about the devastating effects if this Bill passes."
Private Members' Bill C-300, proposed by Liberal MP John McKay, would seriously disadvantage Canadian companies working abroad by subjecting them to onerous, unclear and unnecessary rules that would not apply to their foreign competitors. It would create significant uncertainty and would duplicate "red tape" at a time when Canadian mining companies are already struggling with grave financial challenges.
Bill C-300 ignores the extensive work done by Canada's mining industry and the federal government. On March 26, 2009, the government released Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector, which embodies its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy for Canadian extractive sector companies operating abroad. Canadian companies in the extractive sector are generally supportive of the Strategy, describing it as workable and pragmatic, and have applauded the extensive and thoughtful process through which it was created.
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.
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