The Canadian Government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund:
A REPORT CARD on FINANCE CANADA’S 2006 ANNUAL REPORT to PARLIAMENT
Every year at the end of March, the Minister of Finance tables the “Report on Operations under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act”. The Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 established the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and this report details Canadian priorities, commitments and interests over the past fiscal year at these institutions. The annual reports to Parliament are important tools for assessing the government’s actions within these institutions relative to its foreign policy and development objectives, and for informing Parliament and the Canadian public about Canadian priorities at these important multilateral fora. Canada is among a number of countries that report to Parliament on their activities at these institutions.
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Prepared by Özgür Can and Sara Seck, for the ECA-Watch, Halifax Initiative Coalition and ESCR-Net
International human rights law has traditionally focused on establishing the obligations owed by states to individuals. Much recent attention has been given to the question of whether non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, can be considered subjects of international law and as such duty bearers of international human rights obligations. However, less attention has been given to the equally significant question of whether financiers of transnational corporate activities have an obligation to ensure that the activities they support comply with international human rights norms. This paper will explore the international human rights obligations of one type of financial institution: officially supported export credit and investment insurance agencies (Export Credit Agencies or ECAs). ECAs are primarily public or publicly mandated institutions that support and subsidise national trade and investment activities, particularly in developing and emerging markets.
PDF of Full Report available here
Nous regrettons qu'en 2006, l'initiative d'Halifax n'a pas produit de version Francaise.
Report Card on the Canadian Department of Finance “2005 Report on Operations Under Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act”
Every year at the end of March, the Department of Finance tables its report on the operations of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI)  before Parliament and details activities at these institutions in relation to Canadian priorities, commitments and interests. The reports provide some good background information on the institutions themselves, on emerging issues and challenges within the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and some brief details on Canadian priorities and financial participation at these institutions.
This analysis of the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Sustainability Policy, Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy provides a brief overview of each policy and standard, where it goes beyond the previous safeguard policies, where it falls short, and what is missing in terms of addressing the extractives industries.
These two studies look at the role of the World Bank and the IMF in two poor, heavily indebted countries from a persp
Internal Review Slams World Bank over Lapses at Guatemala Mine - Backgrounder
August 22, 2005
A forthcoming report by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), a body responsible for conducting internal reviews at the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), identifies glaring deficiencies in the due diligence the institution conducted for a controversial new gold-mining project in Guatemala. The project, currently under construction by Canadian company Glamis Gold in Guatemala’s indigenous western highlands, has been surrounded by controversy and conflict since before the IFC approved $45 million in support for the project in June 2004. In January of this year, a forty-day protest by local villagers worried about the mine’s potential environmental impacts ended in bloodshed as security forces clashed with protesters, resulting in one death and dozens of injuries.
Full Report PDF
Summary Analysis of the June 11, 2005 G8 Debt Proposal
On June 11, Finance Ministers from the G8 countries announced a debt remission proposal that would cancel multilateral debts owed to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank's African Development Fund (AfDF) by 18 low-income countries.
The G8 proposal offers 100% debt stock cancellation for debts owed to three multilateral financial institutions for the 18 countries that have reached their 'completion points' through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. A further 9 HIPC 'decision point' countries, who have not completed or have stalled in their World Bank/IMF programs, might qualify in the near term. The deal could also potentially be extended to the 11 remaining HIPCs that have not yet reached their decision points.
The World Bank and Extractive Industries - The Divisive 'Demonstration Impact' of the Marlin Mine
PDF of Full Report available here
Version Francaise PDF
At the end of March annually, the Department of Finance releases its report to Parliament on the operations of the Bretton Woods institutions and their relationship to Canadian priorities, commitments and interests. Canada is one of only a handful of countries that report to their legislative bodies on its activities at these institutions.
The 2004 report provides some good background information on the history, mandate and operations of the institutions. It falls short, however, of providing the qualitative and quantitative information necessary to provide Canadians with an adequate picture of Canada's relations with them. As this report is, effectively, the only means by which Parliament and the public is officially informed of Canada's relations with these institutions, the lack of information creates a serious gap in public accountability and awareness.