Joseph Ingram and Karin Lissakers report in Toronto’s Globe and Mail that the taxes and other payments made by foreign mining companies operating in countries with struggling economies do not always get to the communities they are supposed to benefit. A key problem is the lack of transparency in the payment and disbursement processes.  

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules that require U.S. publicly listed oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments they make to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis. These rules have the potential to shine a light on the often secretive relationship between oil and mining companies and governments. Europe intends to pass similar legislation early next year.”

Ingram and Lissaker argue that the Canadian government and mining industry needs to be more proactive in resolving this ethical dilemma by adopting fair and transparent procedures.

“Canada urgently needs to join in global collective action on extractive industry transparency. The Canadian government faces a key opportunity to position itself in a leadership role, by using investments in extractives to support equitable economic development, cleaner governance of the sector, greater transparency and environmental stewardship. With Canada’s largest mining, oil and gas companies set to be affected in 2013 by the U.S. rules, it’s time to level the playing field and introduce similar standards in Canada.”

Read the full article here