Submission to Canada’s International Assistance Review

In this submission to the Canadian government’s review of its official development assistance policy, we make the following recommendations:

  • Global Affairs Canada should reconsider its stated intention to “better align” Canadian diplomacy, trade and international assistance. In recent years, as Canadian official development assistance was shackled to Canadian trade and economic diplomacy, it became subservient to corporate interests – frequently those of mining companies – at the cost of the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and affected communities;
  • GAC should phase out ODA contributions to subsidize the CSR projects of mining companies operating around the world, and desist sponsoring partnerships between NGOs and mining companies;
  • GAC should end its efforts to try to influence the policies and institutions that govern extractive sectors, and Canadian mining interests, in other countries;
  • GAC should not renew funding to the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI);
  • GAC should focus on creating a comprehensive corporate accountability strategy to replace the current corporate social responsibility strategy and ensure that it: is consistent with Canada’s obligations to protect and promote Indigenous and human rights; focuses on harm prevention; and ensures that mining companies are held to account in Canada for harms occurring in connection with their operations abroad.
  • MiningWatch Canada supports the creation of an independent Ombudsperson for the extractive sector and better access to Canadian courts for those who have been harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies.