What will be the fate of Canada’s Responsible Mining Bill?
When the House of Commons returns in September, one of the first things on the agenda will be Bill C-300, a private member’s bill designed to establish minimum standards for Canadian mining, oil and gas companies operating in developing countries. But what will be its fate? You may recall that it narrowly passed a second reading vote in April 2009, by a margin of 137-133. KAIROS firmly supports the bill and has been encouraging members of our network to show their support by writing to MPs.
After hearing damning testimony about Canadian mining abuses from witnesses in Canada and from abroad, the parliamentary foreign affairs committee was expected to review the bill and consider some amendments earlier this month. Liberal MP John McKay, who introduced the bill last year, was hoping to amend it to make it more palatable for some of his colleagues who appear to be sitting on the fence. However, efforts to amend the bill were thwarted when members who are opposing it filibustered and ran out the clock. It has now left the committee and will return for debate in the House in late September.
The autumn will be a critical moment for Bill C-300. If you speak to your Member of Parliament over the summer, be sure to ask him or her to support the bill and hold Canadian companies to account. [And please stay tuned for a more detailed urgent action alert from KAIROS in September.]