Formal Response to the Gowlings report - October 8, 1999

October 8, 1999

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
Minister for International Trade
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G2

By FAX: 996-8924
Eight pages including this page

Dear Minister Pettigrew,

This letter contains the formal response of the Working Group on the EDC to the Report on the Review of the Export Development Act, conducted by the firm Gowling, Strathy & Henderson.

The Working Group on the EDC is a coalition of Canadian non-governmental organizations concerned about the human and environmental impact of export financing agencies. The Working Group, which is a project of the Halifax Initiative, promotes adherence by export credit agencies, particularly the Export Development Corporation, to internationally accepted standards regarding human rights, environment and sustainable development.

Letter to Francois Page, Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, WB Re: WB energy strategy - July 16, 1999

Francois Page
Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada
World Bank
1818 H street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

Fax: 1-202-477-4155

16 July, 1999

Dear Mr. Page;,

Please thank Ms. O"Leary for forwarding to us the Draft Final Report on the Fuel for Thought: Environmental Strategy for the Energy Sector and the Proposal to Establish a Prototype Carbon Fund. We appreciate their provision in order to enable us to provide more relevant input to the Board discussion on July 20th. As you know, the Bank did not share your commitment to transparency. The Bank decision not to release the Strategy publicly is, as you can imagine, a great disappointment to all of us who have been engaged in consultations on this Strategy over the past year. We would appreciate if Canada can express its concern that the Strategy was not publicly released prior to the Board meeting.

Letter to Canadian EDs to the WB and IMF Re: the ESAF and SAPRI - July 13, 1999

Excerpts from a letter sent to the IMF & WB (July 1999)
Excerpts from a letter sent to: Tom Bernes, Executive Director for Canada, International Monetary Fund
Terrie O'Leary, Executive Director for Canada, World Bank

13 July, 1999

Dear Ms. O’Leary and Mr. Bernes,

I am writing, belatedly, on behalf of the Halifax Initiative, and the NGOs who joined us, to thank you both for meeting with us while we were in Washington for the Spring meetings. The meeting on April 26th, as well as the related meeting with Minister Martin on the 28th, was useful in learning more about the unfolding debt and financial architecture discussions as well as current Canadian positions in these areas. We also appreciated the opportunity to question you about the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) process and to briefly discuss the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI).

Letter to leaders of G7 nations Re: Vote campaign reports - June 11, 1999

June 11, 1999

To the leaders of the Group of Seven nations,

At next week's Summit in Cologne, you will be discussing new directions for public policy governing global markets in order to help prevent or mitigate future financial crises. Measures currently under discussion, including strengthened financial sector supervision, surveillance and transparency, while commendable if adopted, are insufficient to prevent future crises. Similar measures endorsed at your Summit in Halifax in1995 in the wake of the Mexican peso crisis, although not fully adopted, were unable to prevent or even anticipate the South East Asian crash of 1997. Clearly, bolder measures are required.

Your Letter One Year After - March 23, 1999


On March 23rd, 1999, the Canadian Parliament demonstrated world leadership when it passed motion M-239 urging Canada to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community." This unprecedented action was viewed by many as an important first step in controlling destabilising speculation on financial markets, the wild and anarchic behaviour of which threatens all the economies of the world.

Letter to MPs Re: Tobin Tax - February 10, 1999

February 10, 1999    

Lorne Nystrom's office has just informed us that the 3rd and final hour of debate on the Tobin tax motion (M-239) will be held at 5:30pm EST on Wednesday, March 17. The vote on the motion will likely immediately follow the debate. With a little luck (it is St Patrick's Day!) and all our hard work, we'll have a "Yes" vote to celebrate that night.

Please keep the Declarations and letters to the MPs coming.  Over the next weeks, Halifax Initiative will be circulating an Open Letter to MPs from economists, non-governmental organizations and prominate Canadians. We will also coordinate press work in Ottawa to present the Declarations to Paul Martin - Please try to have all your signed Declarations to us by March 11, 1999 (last minute Declarations can be faxed directly to our Ottawa office at 613-789-4447

Thanks for all your efforts,

Robin Round
Regional Coordinator

Vote campaign reports - February 1, 1999

February 1, 1999

Citizen's Declarations are pouring in - thanks for sending and sharing them!  Note that the Halifax Intiative site (www.  now has an automatic email sendback for those wishing to sign the Citizen's Declaration on line.

I have included text of two letters recently sent to MPs in this mailout and urge you to use them (if you wish) in your letterwriting to your MP.

The Canadian Labour Congress has just posted its "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign on its homepage and from it you can fax your MP directly. Visit the Canadian Labour Congress site and click the FAX YOUR MP icon. Select the "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign, type in your name and postal code, and a draft letter(which you can edit) to your MP will appear on your screen. Edit and send!

Comments on draft Fuel For Thought - November 19, 1998

Terrie O'Leary
Executive Director for Canada
World Bank, Room D12081
701 19th Street
Washington, DC, 20433

November 19, 1998
BY FAX - (202) 477-4155

Dear Ms. O'Leary,

Thank-you for taking the time to discuss with us over the telephone the Halifax Initiative Coalition concerns regarding "Fuel for Thought: A New Environmental Strategy for the Energy Sector". As promised, we are forwarding to you our recommendations which we hope you will take up at the Board level in order to better ensure that the World Bank Group meets its purpose of promoting sustainable human development.

We are aware that a draft has been done as of September 30, however this has not been made available to us. Therefore our comments are on the April 18, 1998 draft, however, judging from previous experience, we doubt that the September draft is substantially different than its predecessor.

Open Letter to Mr. Wolfensohn Re: Chad/Cameroon Oil & Pipeline Project - July 9, 1998

Open Letter to Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, from 86 NGOs in 28 Countries Concerning the Chad/Cameroon Oil & Pipeline Project

July 9, 1998

James D. Wolfensohn, President
The World Bank
1818 H Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20433 Dear Mr. Wolfensohn, The 86 undersigned environment, development, human rights and religious organizations from 28 countries call upon you to suspend World Bank participation in the Chad/Cameroon Oil & Pipeline project until respect for human rights and compliance with World Bank environmental and other policies can be fully guaranteed.We are writing to draw your attention to the especially troublesome situation, including the severe violation of human rights, in southern Chad and to the inadequacy of the environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan for the project submitted to the Bank by Exxon.