CIDA teams up with NGOs to do development work at mine sites
MONTREAL—As excavators, heavy haulers and chemical treatment plants dig made-in-Canada mines around the world, Ottawa has taken new steps to ease growing criticism of Canada’s extractive sector.
The Harper government recently announced a publicly funded agreement between three of Canada’s mining giants and three of Canada’s leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The agreement, which marks a significant shift in how mining and politics mix, elicited little more than a yawn from the media. But a closer look reveals this partnership is transforming Canada’s aid landscape—with disturbing implications.
“The Canadian government is using aid to support the expansion of Canadian mining…[and] to determine development paths inside countries according to the logic of mining companies,” Yao Graham of Third World Network Africa, a research and advocacy organization based in Ghana, told The Dominion. Graham has seen many communities in Africa ravaged by the exploitative labour practices and lax environmental practices that often accompany mining megaprojects.