May 19, 2000
The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew
Minister for International Trade
Dear Minister Pettigrew:
The federal government is considering whether changes should be made in the way that the Export Development Corporation (EDC) operates, a Canadian taxpayer-supported agency, assists Canadian business interests abroad. The choices that the federal government makes about how EDC operates will have significant social and environmental consequences.
As a Crown corporation, EDC pays no taxes, enjoys limited liability, and its credit is backed by the Canadian government. Yet it operates largely in secret. Unlike other government agencies, EDC is not subject to the Access to Information Act, and it keeps the projects it funds a secret. It has no binding standards requiring its projects to adhere to well-accepted social, environmental, labour or human rights standards.