Mining Panel: The Ethics of Mining and Development

OpenCanada Staff | March 10, 2015
This month, Canada appointed Jeffrey Davidson, a former Queen’s University faculty member and community relations’ staff for mining giant Rio Tinto, as its new Corporate Social Responsibility counsellor for the extractive industry. The position had been vacant since inaugural counsellor Marketa Evans resigned in 2013.
Davidson’s appointment follows the government’s updated CSR Strategy for the sector, which was launched in late 2014 to ensure “that Canadian companies continue to exhibit the highest standards and best practices while operating abroad.” Trade Minister Ed Fast said at the time such a strategy was important for Canada’s “brand.”
Canada has also recently partnered with the mining sector to deliver aid programs, as Toronto Star reporter Marco Chow Oved explored in a recent three-part series.
Are these initiatives an indication of private sector and government commitment to responsible extraction projects? Or, is CSR increasingly a buzzword used for company branding?