EDC response Re: Three Gorges - July 2, 2003

July 2, 2003

Mr. Fraser Reilly-King
Halifax Initiative
153 Chapel Street, Suite 104
Ottawa, ON  K1N 1H5
Dear Mr. Reilly-King

I wish to respond to your letter of May 16 in which you raise a number of questions concerning Export Development Canada’s practice of assessing human rights issues related to transactions that we may consider for support.

You suggest that I intervene with the Chinese authorities in the development of the Three Gorges Hydroelectric Project. While EDC continues to follow developments concerning the project, your request is more appropriately addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Canadian foreign policy and government-to-government relations are quite properly handled by political authorities, not export credit agencies. This is consistent with actions taken by the Swiss government.

Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Re: Three gorges - May 16, 2003

May 16, 2003

The Hon. Bill Graham
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive,
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0G2
Fax: (613) 996-3443

Dear Minister Graham:

Thank you for your letter of March 17, in response to the human rights concerns we raised with regards to the Three Gorges Dam, and Canada’s involvement in the project through Export Development Canada. We also received a response from EDC.

You are right to acknowledge the energy needs of the Chinese population, and to observe that relative to the total project budget of USD$24 billion, Canada contribution was minor. But this should not diminish the significance of the USD$165.5 million in financing that EDC provided, nor should it downplay the fact that as the first export credit agency to become involved in the project, EDC set an example for others to follow.

Update on submergence


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