This page links to information concerning a number of projects on which we have worked, in solidarity with local communities. In some cases, the projects rely on World Bank funding. In others they involve Canadian companies that may be seeking, or have secured, financial support from Export Development Canada (EDC). Sometimes they involve both. Regardless of the source of funding, in all cases, communities have contacted us because they are concerned about the significant adverse environmental, social and human rights impacts of the projects.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Experts address missing pieces of crisis response ahead of Canadian 2010 G8/G20 meeting
On October 19th and 20th the Halifax Initiative co-hosted a conference with The North-South Institute and the University of Ottawa on “What’s missing in the response to the global financial crisis?” The conference sought to engage the Canadian government in discussions with national and international academics, activists and policy-makers ahead of next year’s G8/G20. The conference touched upon a range of issues related to the causes of the crisis, policy and regulatory remedies, governance of the international financial institutions, tax havens and unfettered private capital flows, an emerging debt crisis, alternatives to the renewal of the Doha trade round, and the respective roles of the United Nations and G20. A policy brief with clear recommendations for the government is forthcoming.
On May 29, Bill C-293 or the “better aid bill”, received royal assent, now legally requiring Canadian official development assistance (ODA) to contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards. Finance Canada, among others, is in the process of developing plans on how to implement the Bill in practice. These comments are intended to help Finance Canada in its interpretation of the Bill for the various international financial institutions (IFIs) for which it is the lead agency.
16 MAY 2008
Canadian Government Reports on IFI Activity Get Good Grade
The Canadian government’s annual reporting on its activities at international financial institutions is getting better, according to the authors, and to a Canadian civil society group which recently gave the latest report its best grade ever.
The Halifax Initiative said the report on 2007 activities merited a B+, up from last year’s rating of B-, and way up from the D grades of 2001-2005.
Corporate Communications and External Relations
Export Development Canada
151 O’Connor St.
September 17, 2007
Dear Ms. Boyle:
In May 1998, a company truck spilt a load of sodium cyanide, a chemical used to extract gold, into the Barskoun River, raising the cyanide concentration in the water to 50,000 times the permissible level. In the days following the spill, hundreds, possibly thousands of local residents sought medical attention and several deaths were reported. Thousands were evacuated from the spill area. A study published by Natural Resources Canada  concluded that few, if any, significant environmental impacts were generated by the spill - conclusions that were questioned by an independent hydrogeologist.
Singapore Meetings Emphasize “Civil” over “Society”
On September 19th and 20th, the World’s Finance Ministers will gather in Singapore for the traditional fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although the Bank and IMF will host their own Civil Society Forum, Singapore has banned the traditional outdoor protests that accompany the meetings – providing a designated protest lobby area instead. They have also been tightening border controls and stepping up border security.
Leaked Documents Show OECD Export Credit Group Fails to Meet Environmental Demands of its Own Ministers, G-8 Leaders
NGO Working Group
on the Export Development Corporation
A working group of the Halifax Initiative
for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Hearings on Bill C-31 on the Export Development Act
October 15, 2001
The NGO Working Group on the Export Development Corporation is a coalition of 17 Canadian non-governmental organisations concerned about the social, human and environmental impacts of export credit agencies. The NGO Working Group has been participating fully in the legislative process on the Export Development Act since 1999, including the SCFAIT hearings in 1999, the public consultations on the EDC’s disclosure policy and environmental review framework, and the international campaign to reform export credit agencies which has focused on the OECD’s Export Credit Guarantees process.
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.