Letter from Minister Goodale Re: Review of IFC safeguard policies - December 21, 2005

Recieved December 21, 2005.


Mr. Graham Saul
International Program Director
Friends of the Earth Canada
Co-Chair of the Halifax Initiative Coalition
153 Chapel Street
Ottawa, ON KIN 1H5

Dear Mr. Saul:

Thank you for your correspondence of November 1, 2005 regarding the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) revision of its environmental and social safeguard policies.

The IFC's Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability are of fundamental importance not only for the operations of the IFC, but more broadly for the lead role that the IFC plays in setting standards for the private sector worldwide. Recognizing the importance of this IFC review, the Department of Finance has consulted closely with other government departments as well as with interested non-governmental organizations to formulate its recommendations.

You raise in your letter a number of important issues related to the IFC Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards. I understand that, in the process of formulating the Department of Finance's advice to Canada's Executive Director at the World Bank/IFC, Finance officials consulted with representatives of the Halifax Initiative on the IFC review. Moreover, officials from the Department of Finance are following up with the IFC to clarify how World Bank management's commitments, stemming from its response to the Extractive Industries Review,that you identified in your letter have been addressed in the process of revising the Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards.

Thank you once again for your interest in this important issue. Department of Finance officials will continue to remain in contact with the Halifax Initiative regarding this matter. It is my sincere hope that we can continue to collaborate with your organization to ensure that the IFC Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards are implemented effectively.

Yours sincerely,

[Original Signed]
Ralph Goodale