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Export Development Canada
Tensions build as UN conference on crisis postponed
June 24-26 now mark the new dates for the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impacts on Development, postponed from the beginning of the month as many European heads of state had said they could not participate because of European Parliamentary elections. The postponement is welcome relief to a process that began last October and has been tense ever since, exposing clear lines between those who favour a truly global response to the current crisis with a real rethink of how the global economy is governed vs. the newly crowned G-20 and their proposal for a status quo plus approach.
EDC Legislative Review Riles Rights Groups
Embassy - Canada's Foreign Policy Newspaper
by Michelle Collins
Leading civil society advocates are fuming that a review of Export Development Canada's business activities did little to advance the agency's obligations to human rights and transparency, and they are calling on the government to act.
G-20 response to financial crisis - money, money, money
All eyes were on the Group of 20 (G-20) this month as they met in London and announced a whopping $1.1 trillion to stimulate the global economy. The impressive figure and various commitments on tax havens, regulation, and boosting the IMF’s lending capacity (See “Just the Facts”) grabbed the headlines and saw stock markets respond positively the next day.
Government response on CSR and extractives: Fool’s Gold
For two years, parliamentarians, civil society, industry and the Canadian public have waited for the Government of Canada to issue a response to the ground-breaking consensus report from the National Roundtables on Extractive Industries (see IU March 2007). Against great odds, that process produced a consensus document, endorsed by industry and civil society, on a program of policy reform regarding the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies that would make Canada a leader on the world stage.
Government Squanders Opportunity to Hold Extractive Companies to Account
(Ottawa- March 26, 2009) Today’s government announcement on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has squandered the important consensus reached by industry and civil society organizations on how to ensure that the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies adhere to international environmental and human rights standards. Almost two years ago, the multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the National Roundtables on CSR in the Extractive Sector submitted its consensus report to the Canadian government. Today’s long-awaited response ignores the report’s central recommendations.
New bill on CSR puts government house in order
This month Liberal MP John McKay introduced a private members’ bill (see Just the Facts) that imposes tighter controls on the provision of government support to Canadian extractive companies. Numerous studies have highlighted the significant environmental and human rights impacts of oil, gas and mining operations overseas. In 2005, a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) drew attention to the fact that some Canadian extractive companies, which are responsible for adverse impacts, receive financial and political support from the Canadian government.
We need your help to make Export Development Canada (EDC) more transparent!!
CALL TO ACTION
EDC continues to withhold key environmental information about the projects it supports, citing reasons of commercial confidentiality. When it does disclose information prior to supporting a project, this can be from one day to two weeks prior to signing the cheque.
What we do
Financial crisis a boon for ECAs
While hefty public bailouts of the financial and auto industries have stimulated debate on the role of governments in commercial markets, one form of government subsidy has flown beneath the proverbial radar: export credit. Confronted by an increasingly dire financial crisis, Western governments are using their export credit agencies (ECAs) to boost liquidity and rescue faltering industries. At an extraordinary World Trade Organization meeting last month, participating governments reported a 30% increase in ECA business over the previous 12 months. The WTO called for even greater reliance on public credit to lessen the burden on commercial banks. Shortly afterwards, the OECD announced an agreement with non-members, including Russia and Brazil, to provide markets with publicly-sourced export credit.