Oxfam reaction to Canadian Government announcement on mandatory payment reporting of Extractive Industries
In response to the Hon. Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources’ announcement at the PDAC Convention 2014, regarding mandatory payment reporting for Extractives, Lina Holguin, Oxfam spokesperson, said:
Oxfam welcomes the government of Canada’s continued commitment to develop and implement mandatory reporting standards for payments made by Canadian extractive industry by 2015. The government’s willingness to work with provinces as well as its decision to enact complementary federal legislation is a step forward.
It is also encouraging that the government will consider both publicly traded and medium and large-scale private companies in mandatory reporting. But the devil is in the details and there is still room for improvement in the government’s proposal; particularly around information accessibility.
The information that companies will provide should be easy to use, comparable and easy to locate by citizens and civil society organizations in Canada and around the world as well as by Canadian investors. Therefore, we are calling for the establishment of an interactive online system that centralized disaggregated data provided by companies and in line with Canada’s commitment to the G8 Open Data Charter.
The government of Canada should take this opportunity to join the global transparency movement by developing regulations that are on line with the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group recommendations, the EU Transparency and Accounting Directives and the U.S. Dodd Frank legislation. Anything below this standard would represent a setback for the global transparency movement.
The time has come for Canada to enable communities affected by mining, oil and gas companies around the world to trace economic benefits of extractive activities in their communities, thereby helping them uphold their human rights.