Menu

Press Releases

The latest news and information from Canada's mineral exploration and mining industry, as told by PDAC.


January 17, 2018

PDAC Committed to Working with Government on Enhancing Responsible Business Conduct Abroad

TORONTO (Wednesday, January 17, 2018) – Today, the federal government announced the establishment of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) for companies working abroad. 

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) looks forward to working with government and other interested stakeholders on developing the office and mandate of the Ombudsperson. PDAC believes that in order to be effective, the mechanism must be designed in a way that both enables effective dispute resolution and maintains the competitiveness of responsible Canadian companies operating abroad.

The Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise will be an additional mechanism through which communities outside of Canada can raise concerns and seek access to remedy. Canada has an existing robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy that contains a number of mechanisms through which communities outside of Canada can seek ‘access to remedy’, including the National Contact Point and the Canadian courts.

The Canadian mineral industry is active on the international stage. Figures from 2015 show Canadian-based mineral companies had assets of $259 billion; and $171 billion of that amount was outside of Canada. This clearly demonstrates the importance of the industry and companies recognize their positive economic impact around the world must be accompanied by responsible business practices.

“Despite operating in some of the most complex jurisdictions in the world – characterized by challenges such as weak governance and rule of law, extreme levels of poverty and even civil conflict – Canada’s mineral industry is a recognized leader both at home and abroad,” says PDAC President Glenn Mullan.

“We are renowned for our exploration and mining expertise, responsible social and environmental practices, and for our ability to generate economic opportunities in areas of the world where we operate. A well-designed mandate for the Ombudsperson will be an opportunity to help advance these positive efforts.”

However, a number of uncertainties remain about the future mandate and process of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, such as how responsible companies and Canada’s reputation will be protected against vexatious or frivolous claims, what will initiate an investigation, and what constitutes “harm”.

PDAC believes a non-judicial process and the adoption of joint-fact finding for dispute resolution are fundamental to ensuring the process is truly constructive and solutions-oriented.

While initially focusing on the oil & gas, mining and garment sectors, government has indicated that it intends to eventually include other sectors within the scope of the Ombudsperson. PDAC has consistently advocated for this as companies in all sectors have an obligation to respect human rights.

The government also announced the creation of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Body to advise government and the Ombudsperson on responsible business conduct abroad. PDAC looks forward to working with government and other stakeholders through the Advisory Body, and will continue to participate in the dialogue around business and human rights and access to remedy to support Canada’s position as a global mineral industry leader.

Media contact

Lesley Williams
Director of Policy & Programs              
416-362-1969 ext. 294
[email protected]

About PDAC

PDAC is the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community. With over 7,500 members around the world in all sectors of the mining industry, PDAC’s mission is to promote a globally-responsible, vibrant and sustainable minerals industry. As the trusted representative of the sector, PDAC encourages best practices in technical, operational, environmental, safety and social performance. PDAC is known worldwide for its annual PDAC Convention, regarded as the premier international event for the mineral industry. The PDAC Convention has attracted more than 25,000 people in recent years and will next be held March 4-7, 2018 in Toronto. Please visit www.pdac.ca.