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Results: 1 - 15 of 100
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Can we have the minister respond to Mr. McKay's question in the first part of my time?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
I'm sorry, if you don't mind. I wanted to give you a chance to answer that question, not to take up all the time I have.
With regard to withdrawing tools, it seems to me the fundamental tools that a company has that it could potentially use, in a situation where it might be causing ongoing harm, are those that come through the securities commissions. There's a forensic exploration we could get into of previous practices, but presumably our goal is to prevent new practices that represent some form of human rights abuse.
If you're a company, like Nevsun, for example, and you want to float a new bond issue to support an expansion to your mining operation, you have to pass certain hurdles in terms of demonstrating that you have taken appropriate actions with regard to human rights, environmental stewardship and so on.
Wouldn't it make more sense to focus our attention on tightening up those restrictions, making sure they're more inclusive, and with that mechanism, you can't go ahead and get more funding from the private sector unless you have passed those scorecards?
Would that not be a more effective way of ensuring that no ongoing human rights abuses can take place at a mine site, textile factory or wherever?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Wouldn't the best way of doing that be by putting conditions in place, so that the private sector has to have higher standards?
If you don't like what the securities commissions have in place now in terms of the restrictions they place on companies getting increased funding through bond issues, then why not work to get those standards increased, rather than taking the approach of having a parallel bureaucracy? Would that not make more sense?
As opposed to dealing with some kind of forensic issue, as to what might have happened in the first year that Nevsun was set up—to use that example again—in terms of ongoing practices and ongoing potential for future problems, would that not be the best way of doing it?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
Let's stay with Ms. Lavery, if we could.
How often do you find yourself in the position to reject a request for financing on human rights grounds?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
Mr. Deva, were you here for the first part of the discussion with the minister, or did you not hear that?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay.
There was a discussion of a Canadian company, a Canadian-owned mining company operating in Eritrea, in Africa, called Nevsun. They run a mine in a place called Bisha. The accusation has been made and is currently working its way through the Canadian courts that forced labour was used not by the company itself but by a government-owned contractor when the company was being set up.
I went on behalf of this committee to that mine site and took a look around, along with the Canadian ambassador. One of the things that has been on my mind in thinking of that experience is that when we talk about things like giving the ombudsman power to compel testimony or documentary evidence, I don't see how it would get to a supply chain issue, where all of the documentary evidence is in another country, beyond the power of any apparatus the Canadian government could set up.
For a situation like that one, or any other one where there's a supply chain issue—someone has done something in supplying you with a product, and it's outside of Canada—what kind of remedies, realistically, do you think are available?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Before you go on, the chair is giving me a signal that I have only 30 seconds left. I did have one further question I wanted to ask you that relates back to your first response.
You indicated that for a Canadian company, for example, we could require them to stipulate certain conditions. That will only work—I think I'm right in saying this—on a go-forward basis. That is to say, it can only work for the creation of future contracts as opposed to reaching back into the past, as would have been the case with the mining company we discussed.
Do you think I'm correct in saying that it only works for the future? That doesn't mean it's not valuable. It just means that it will only work on a go-forward basis to prevent future abuses as opposed to allowing us to reach into past abuses.
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
You know what? Let's make it a consensus. I like number two as well.
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witness for being here today. We're glad to have you with our subcommittee.
You say “provide advice” and you've referred to this by the term “know and show”. What kind of advice do you provide? How would this be useful either to those who are afraid of having their rights abused or, presumably, to companies that are anxious to remain compliant with both international rules and with the rules that you set out?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
The advice you're giving is not about rules that you've developed yourself, but rather you're providing advice about rules that come from elsewhere.
I have to ask the obvious question. Why not just go to those other sources rather than to you? What value added are you providing in that regard?
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Dwyer, in your response to Ms. Khalid's final question, it sounded to me like you were contradicting yourself. You said on the one hand that we aren't best in class. You said other countries have investigatory powers in their parallel bodies, but then you also said that nobody has the ability to compel testimony or the turning over of documents. Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounds like there's a contradiction there. Could you clarify that?
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