"After the Mine: Healing Our Lands and Nations" was a workshop jointly sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations and MiningWatch Canada in Sudbury, Ontario, May 11-13. Participants came from First Nations in all parts of Canada.
MiningWatch Canada national co-ordinator Joan Kuyek and a number of our board members and colleagues were in Winnipeg on June 25-28 to attend a National Multi-stakeholder workshop on Orphaned/Abandoned Mines.
On June 15th, MiningWatch Canada joined the Mineral Policy Center of the US and Australia's Mineral Policy Institute in publicising the resignation of Yati Bun, Chair of Placer Dome's Porgera Environmental Advisory Komiti (PEAK). The well-known and respected Bun resigned over Placer Dome's misuse of him in its "propaganda materials" and lack of action in the cleanup of river pollution from the company's Porgera Mine.
In June, International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced that he intends to introduce amendments to the Export Development Act this fall to give the Export Development Corporation (EDC) new policies on disclosure and environmental review.
As if to prove the direct human rights implications of EDC funding, one of its most outspoken critics, Kimy Pernia Domicó, was abducted at gunpoint by right-wing paramilitaries on June 2. Pernia had visited Canada on several occasions to speak out against the Urrá hydroelectric project that had flooded his people, the Embera-Katío, out of their ancestral lands in north-western Colombia. The project was partially funded by the EDC, like many other projects around the world that have led to appalling human rights abuses (see Reckless Lending for details). Over a month later, there is still no word of Pernia, and no-one has claimed responsibility for his disappearance. Despite letters and appeals from people around the world, including fifty-six Members of Parliament, the Colombian Government has refused to take any action.
In early May, MiningWatch Canada Communications Coordinator Jamie Kneen traveled to Colombia with Ben Lefebvre of CAW Local 599 (Falconbridge's Kidd Metallurgical Division in Timmins, Ontario) to take part in the third and final forum of the series "Mining, Environment, and Peace", organized by SINTRAMINERCOL, the Union of Minercol Workers (Minercol is the Colombian state-owned mining company).
Under large banners with a dead fish as a logo and the slogan "Laut Tidak Untuk Tailing - The Ocean is not for Tailings," some eighty people from island southeast Asia and the Pacific region - Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia - came together in Indonesia to discuss the latest and most rapidly evolving threat to their coastal resources from international mining.
The Sierra Club of Canada and MiningWatch Canada held a press conference on June 29th to challenge the federal government to give Canadians a Canada Day gift they and future generations can truly enjoy: a contaminated sites remediation program.