Event: 2006 National Roundtables - June 14 - November 16, 2006

Background | Roundtable Process | When and Where | How to Participate | Monthly Updates

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) tabled, in June 2005, a landmark report on Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The report recommended that the Canadian government move away from its current voluntary approach to CSR. It called for policies that condition public assistance for Canadian companies on compliance with international human rights and environmental standards, including core labour rights. The report also identified the need for legislation to hold companies accountable for their actions overseas.

The Government failed to adopt the majority of SCFAIT’s recommendations, but it did commit to hosting a series of national roundtables. These Roundtables were to identify ways for Canadian extractive companies to meet or exceed international CSR standards and best practices.

Key Documents:

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Roundtable Process
The roundtables were held in four cities across Canada. Each roundtable took place over two days. There were public forums for interested individuals to discuss the five roundtable themes. The process was guided by a foundation document www.CSRExtactiveSectorRoundtable.ca

The Government called on expert witnesses from a variety of sectors including industry, civil society, Aboriginal peoples and academia to speak to the five pre-determined themes.


  • Corporate social responsibility standards and best practices;
  • Positive and negative incentives;
  • Verification/assurance and dispute resolution;
  • Host country governance and capacity building; and
  • Support for industry implementation of standards and best practices.

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When and Where
The first roundtable took place in Vancouver, on June 14-15 and, was followed by three others in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Venues Dates Issue Specific
Vancouver June 14-15, 2006 CSR standards and Best Practicfes
Toronto September 12-13, 2006 Incentives and Instruments
Calgary October 18-19, 2006 Incentives and Instruments
Montreal November 15-16, 2006 Host Country Governance & Assistance to Companies

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How to Participate

At the public session: 

  • Attend the public session and participate in the discussion period.

Throughout the process:

  • Speak Out: Send your written submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Or submit your comments online. Watch the Government website (www.CSRExtractiveSectorRoundtable.ca) for more information.
  • Get Political: Talk to your MPs. Urge them to condition public support on compliance with international human rights and environmental standards and to enact legislation regulating practices of Canadian firms abroad. Information on how to get a meeting with your MP is available at www.makepovertyhistory.ca/resources
  • Screen It: Get copy of one of the many documentaries on the detrimental impact of extractive industries and hold a screening. You can download “The Curse of Copper” from http://www.ascendantalert.ca; purchase a copy of “Sipakapa is not for Sale” from info@rightsaction.org; or contact Mining Watch Canada for more information.
  • Spread the Word: Write a letter to your local newspaper or community magazine and explain why you are attending the roundtable and what you want the Canadian government to do.
  • Stick With It: Give our stickers to everyone you know and plaster them in places where they’ll get noticed. To order stickers contact: cnca@halifaxinitiative.org.
  • Tell the World: Organize discussion groups in your community. Share information about Canadian extractive industries overseas and why the government has failed to take action.to take action.

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Monthly Updates
Every month, the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (Civil Society Focal Point) produces a brief report on key developments in the National Roundtable process.

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