JCAP in the Media

JCAP has been active in providing media posts with alternative information regarding pertinent corporate accountability issues. JCAP authors have published various articles in media outlets such as Al Jazeera, BBC News, Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The Hill Times, and The Conversation. JCAP has also been involved in submitting materials to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

CPAC | June 5, 2023 | MiningWatch and JCAP

On Parliament Hill in Ottawa, MiningWatch Canada hosts a news conference regarding the murder of Mexican environmentalist Mariano Abarca, who helped to organize protests against a Canadian mining operation in the Chicomuselo area of Chiapas state. Mariano’s family and supporters are announcing legal action against the Canadian embassy in Mexico, which advocated for Calgary-based firm Blackfire Exploration’s mining activities.

CBC Radio-Canada | May 2, 2023 | Delphine Yung

Malgré un budget conséquent, le « policier » des entreprises canadiennes à l’étranger n’a publié aucune enquête en cinq ans. Certains réclament pourtant justice. C’est le cas au Guatemala, où des Autochtones exigent que le Canada prenne en main une situation qui leur est insoutenable : le vol de leurs terres par une minière canadienne.

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Western Standard | April 5, 2023 | Shaun Polczer

Canada’s human rights record is being called into question ahead of a United Nations review of its diplomatic support for mining in Latin America.

The Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP), a Canada-based legal activist group, on Wednesday submitted a 30-page report to the UN Human Rights Council documenting what it said is “continued diplomatic support of mining companies over the safety of human rights and environment defenders” in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador.

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Business in Vancouver | January 3, 2019 | Hayley Woodin

Activists are calling on Canadian and U.S. securities commissions to investigate two Vancouver-registered mining companies for what they say is a failure to properly inform shareholders of conflicts concerning Guatemala’s Escobal mine – one of the largest silver mining projects in the world.

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Globe and Mail | April 1, 2023 | Jose Olaya

In 2018, Ottawa announced a new watchdog to probe alleged abuses by multinationals. It has yet to complete a single investigation. The Globe went to Peruvian oil country to see the effects of missing Canadian oversight.

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The McGill Tribune | April 4, 2023 | Shani Laskin

Among lush Amazonian flora in Oriente, the eastern region of Ecuador, pits of viscous, black oil dot the landscape. Iridescent streams infiltrate the rainforest. Aerial shots of unobstructed canopy cover are starkly contrasted with footage of large oil rigs set up in the forest. A few frames follow before the video shows a baby writhing from a skin rash. Minutes later, a woman cries as she describes the struggles she faces trying to pay for her 18-year-old daughter’s cancer treatment.

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Mongabay | July 24, 2020 | Chris Arsenault

Home to nearly half of the world’s major mining companies, Canada has failed to fully implement promised reforms to hold corporations accountable for abuses committed overseas, according human rights advocates. Ahead of its 2015 election win, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party promised to create an independent ombudsperson to investigate companies that violate human rights or poison the environment when extracting resources in the developing world, along with better protections for land rights campaigners there.

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Canadian Dimension | March 6, 2023 | Kirsten Francescone

On January 18, 2023, as thousands of Peruvians were taking to the streets in Lima to denounce the spiralling political crisis in the country, Canadian Ambassador Louis Marcotte was meeting with the Peruvian Minister of Energy and Mines.

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The Hill Times | December 22, 2022 | Kevin Philipupillai

A report from the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project uses access-to-information records to piece together how embassy and trade commission officials responded when Jennifer Moore of MiningWatch Canada was detained by Peruvian police in April 2017.

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The Conversation | February 22, 2021 | Shin Imai and Sarah Colgrove

Investors in Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources paid a price when Tahoe failed to disclose the extent of community and Indigenous opposition to its Escobal mine in Guatemala a few years back. Its stock was flying high at $27 a share, but it fell after a string of lawsuits and violent conflicts — including security guards shooting protesters in the back.

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The Globe and Mail | March 2019

Canadian-Owned mines have wreaked havoc on Indigneous communities for decades. Finally, there’s hope for a solution. The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business focuses on Canadian mining accountability.

Submission to the United Nations Working Group on Business & Human Rights | February 2018 | Charis Kamphuis

This submission summarizes the findings to date from a body of empirical research that has endeavored to identify the human rights impacts of Canada’s economic diplomacy policy. With this context, it reviews Canada’s existing policy framework as it applies to economic diplomacy in order to identify the gaps in existing policy from an international human rights law perspective.

The Guardian | July 13, 2017 | Nina Lakhani
In Guatemala, one of the world’s largest silver deposits reaps millions for its Canadian owners but for local farmers the price is their land and even their lives.
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TVO Today | May 31, 2017 | The Agenda

Canadian companies that work in foreign jurisdictions are subject to the laws of the land they’re operating in. And that’s no less true for Canadian mining companies, who have interests around the world. The Agenda discusses the overseas responsibilities of Canadian mining companies.

Eco Americas | May 1, 2017 | Celeste Mackenzie

Well before his Liberal Party regained power in 2015, Canadian Member of Parliament John McKay argued for tighter government control over the conduct of Canada’s mining companies abroad, particularly in the areas of environment and human rights.

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The Hill Times | March 15, 2017 | Charis Kamphuis, Shin Imai and Penelope Simons

Over 20,000 people from the mining industry gathered in Toronto for the annual conference of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada last week. This is known as one of the largest mining conferences in the world and reflects Canada’s worldwide dominance in the mining industry.

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Profs call for action on extraction ombudsperson (video)

Business News Network | March 15, 2017 | Andrew Bell

A group of 80 university professors have collectively signed a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to stick with his election promise of creating a human rights ombudsman for the international extractive sector in Canada. Shin Imai, associate professor at Osgoode Law School, says that an independent ombudsman is key and will help hold companies accountable for human rights and environmental violations.

iPolitics | March 14, 2017 | James Munson

Allegations of harm by Canadian extractive companies overseas should be investigated by a federal ombudsperson, say professors joining an international campaign pushing the Liberal’s to follow through on a pledge made during the 2015 election campaign.

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Listed Magazine | March 2, 2017 | Kerry Banks

Like it or not, Canadian mining companies have a growing reputation in the developing world as bad actors who commit and condone environmental and human rights abuse. Would the appointment of an independent federal ombudsman help us clean up our act?

NOW Magazine | March 1, 2017 | Kate Klein, Merle Davis and Caren Weisbart

Canadian mining kills, but at the plant’s largest mining conference in Toronto this weekend, the industry will spin fantastical tales for investors that ignore the suffering of the communities bearing the brunt of its “successes”.

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Lawyer’s Daily | February 17, 2017 | Kim Arnott

British Columbia’s top court is allowing seven Guatemalan residents to sue Canadian mining giant Tahoe Resources Inc. in Canada for a shooting that took place in Guatemala. The B.C. Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision in Garcia v Tahoe Inc. 2017 BCCA 39 should make Canadian companies with overseas operations take notice, says lawyers working on transnational human rights litigation.

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McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy Blog | February 13, 2017 | Sydney Lang

Last fall, Osgoode Hall’s Justice and Corporate Accountability Project published a ground-breaking report detailing the egregious violence perpetrated by Canadian mining companies towards communities who both neighbour and have been displaced by their mine sites in Latin America.

Munk Global Conversations | February 5, 2017 | Kyle Jacques

On January 17 2007, a half-dozen armed men claiming to work for Hudbay Mineral Inc., a Canadian mining corporation, stormed the one-room house of a woman living in Lote Ocho Guatemala. The men took turns raping her, before dragging her from her home and setting it on fire. There were ten other reported incidents of gang rape in the community that day, and many other homes were torched.

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Reno Gazette-Journal | September 6, 2016 | Jose Olivares

A mining company with offices in Reno is facing renewed scrutiny by a Canadian Guatemalan silver mine. The Justice and Corporate Accountability Project, which represents human rights asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Tahoe Resources, a company that owns the Escobal Mine in southern Guatemala. The organizations did not disclose lawsuits to investors.

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The Hill Times | August 31, 2016 | Danielle Ching and Charis Kamphuis

In June of 2016, Amnesty International called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address the issue of human rights with the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during the “Three Amigos Summit.” Amnesty International and other human rights organizations drew attention to the dangers faced by human rights defenders who are threatened, intimidated, harassed and killed every year in Mexico as a reprisal for their work on behalf of persecuted people and indigenous communities. Our Prime Minister might also look at improving the record of Canadian embassies in supporting human rights defenders in Mexico and elsewhere.

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Toronto Star | August 11, 2016 | Marco Chown Oved

A Toronto legal aid group is calling on the American securities regulator to investigate a Canadian mining company for failing to disclose a secret lawsuit aimed at preventing a referendum on its silver mine.

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Global Sisters Report | May 26, 2016 | Malcolm Garcia

Global Sisters Report presents a special series on mining and extractive industries and the women religious who work to limit the damage and impact on people and the environment, through advocacy, action and policy. Pope Francis last year called for the entire mining sector to undergo “a radical paradigm change.” Sisters are on the front lines to help effect that change.

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The Hill Times | April 27, 2016 | Peter Mazereeuw

While human rights groups are pushing for stronger government oversight of mining companies’ conduct abroad, executives from a national mining lobby group say Canadian courts and existing mediation bodies should be allowed to do their work.

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Al Jazeera | April 1, 2016 | Lisa Laventure

Communities at the centre of oil exploration caught between a desire for development and the reality of damaged land.

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Business News Network | February 19, 2016 | Andrew Bell

The York University associate professor monitors the behaviour of Canadian mining companies in Latin America. The new Liberal government is said to plan no changes to the previous government’s much-criticized Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor. Imai has been quoted as saying there is “really no point” to the office.

Embassy | February 17, 2016 | Peter Mazereeuw

The Trudeau government will continue to support a Harper-era organization that aims to help developing countries to grow and regulate their mining industries. That support, confirmed by a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, comes despite ongoing criticism of the organization known as the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute from a student-led advocacy group, as well as MiningWatch Canada.

Embassy | February 2, 2016 | Peter Mazereeuw

The Trudeau government won’t be making changes to the role of a controversial corporate social responsibility counsellor for the mining sector, according to a government spokesperson. The Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor has been criticized in the past by advocates for tougher action by Canada on human rights abuses connected to Canadian-owned mines abroad.

SNL Financial | April 24, 2015 | Jax Jacobsen

Itès not news that Canadian miner Nevsun Resources Ltd. may or may not have engaged in using forced labor — or, in less politically correct terms, slaves — in the construction of its Bisha copper mine in the repressive northern African state of Eritrea. What’s news this month is that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is now looking into it, issuing a June 5 report quoting Eritreans saying that they had been forced to work at the mine by Segen Construction Co., a  subcontractor to Nevsun with ties to the Eritrean government.

OHS Canada | April 22, 2015 | Carmelle Wolfson

Canadaès mining industry accounts for nearly half of the world’s mining and mineral-exploration activity. But who holds Canadian operations abroad accountable when workplace-safety violations occur, and what standards are they required to live up to? Claims of Canadian companies disregarding the rights of foreign workers and changes to Canada’s corporate social responsibility strategy are throwing a spotlight on the way our extractive sector does business abroad.

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Huffington Post | April 16, 2015 | Ben Hallmand and Roxana Olivera

LA PAJUELA, Peru — It started as just another farm chore for Elvira Flores, a teenage shepherd in the northern Andean highlands. On Sept. 8, 2013, Flores drove her flock across a dirt road that crosses her family’s rocky green fields and down to a stream. After the sheep drank their fill, something went wrong. “All of a sudden they started to jump, kick their bellies and hit their heads against the ground,” the shy 16-year-old recalled on a blustery afternoon a year later, clutching her sweater to ward off the chill. “White foam came out of their mouths and noses.”

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Huffington Post | February 17, 2015 | Joseph Kirschke

For Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd., the timing could hardly have been worse: Just as Canada issued its latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards for extractive companies in November, the Eritrea-focused miner was sued over “forced” labor allegations at its copper-gold project 90 miles east of Asmara, the capital. The British Columbia Supreme Court filing followed a 2013 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report alleging employment of pressganged military conscripts at the operation, a 60:40 joint venture with the “pariah” government. “Based on company-led and third-party audits,” countered CEO Cliff Davis, “the Bisha mine has adhered to international standards of governance, health and safety.”

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Embassy | November 5, 2014 | Shin Imai

On October 28, 2014, I appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC with a member of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, as group of 29 human rights, environmental, labour, religious and social justice organizations. We called upon Canada to put in place a framework for addressing allegations of human rights abuses associated with Canadian mining. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and two other UN bodies have already urged Canada to put in place such a legal framework.

Inter Press Service | October 31, 2015 | Carey Biron

The Canadian government is failing either to investigate or to hold the country’s massive extractives sector accountable for rights abuses committed in Latin American countries, according to petitioners who testified here Tuesday before an international tribunal.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) also heard concerns that the Canadian government is not making the country’s legal system available to victims of these abuses.

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Public Hearing on the 153rd Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights | October 28, 2014

The petitioners alleged that the Canadian State plays a central role in enabling the adverse human rights impacts of Canadian mining companies abroad through acts of commission and omission, such as the exercise of mining diplomacy, on the one hand, and the absence of policies and laws that address the extraterritorial impacts of Canadian mining, on the other.

Law Times | October 20, 2014 | Sarah Molyneaux and Shin Imai

In a case that once again demonstrates the lack of international legal protections, a civil suit filed against Tahoe Resources Inc. alleges the Vancouver-headquartered mining company is liable for injuries sustained by seven Guatemalan men at a protest in April 2013.

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BBC News | June 6, 2014 | Nina Lakhani

On the outskirts of San Rafael las Flores, the Escobal silver mine is an imposing complex of smoking chimneys, processing plants, huge heaps of earth and dozens of trucks, bustling 24 hours a day under the watchful gaze of armed security. The deep underground mine, owned by Canadian company Tahoe Resources, is slap bang in the middle of Guatemala’s southern agricultural heartlands where most families eke out a living growing maize, beans, coffee, avocados, cabbage, bananas and peaches.

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Globe and Mail | July 31, 2017 | Shin Imai

Last week the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a path-breaking decision, Choc v. Hudbay Minerals, that might, for the first time, require a Canadian mining company to take legal responsibility for human rights abuses abroad. The case concerns the alleged gang rape of indigenous women and the murder of an indigenous leader. Both are alleged to have occurred in Guatemala in the course of an ongoing dispute over indigenous land rights at the site of a mine owned by HudBay’s Guatemalan subsidiary.

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