With a G8 summit looming Prime Minister Harper announced that new rules would be put in place governing payments by mining companies to foreign governments and new anti-avoidance tax rules.
The federal government plans to introduce mandatory reporting standards for Canadian energy and mining companies about the payments they make to foreign governments.“Canada is recognized as a world leader in promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector both at home and around the world,” Harper said in a statement. “I am pleased today to announce that we will be further enhancing this reputation by establishing new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian companies operating in this sector.” stated Harper.
Transparency has become a hot topic in government circles and it will be at the top of the agenda when Harper and other G8 leaders meet in Northern Ireland next week. Human rights groups have long advocated more disclosure of payments mining and oil companies make to governments, particularly those in developing countries that are rich in minerals. They have argued this will help combat corruption. Many oil and mining companies have resisted, arguing the measures will be costly to implement, applied inconsistently and may be illegal in some countries.
Canada is a world leader in mining and should set a high standard. It will take about 2 years for the new rules to run through the consultation, legislative and implementation processes. No impact on the mining sector in the North other than securing the industry in a legal framework and with social license.