Roundtable to tackle thorny issues within the Canadian mining and oil industry

Accused of links to human rights abuses, environmental problems and community conflicts, Canadian mining and oil companies abroad are having a rough go of it. Now they are facing the possibility of new regulations proposed by a government-sponsored multi-stakeholder designed to control Canadian corporate activity abroad.

Are these valid regulations? How will the government respond, and can the industry and its critics agree on a plan to address suspected abuses?

Those are the issues to be tackled on Nov. 7 by a panel of people on both sides of the industry at the Colloquium on the Global South’s roundtable discussion – "Mining, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability Abroad: the Canadian Roundtables on Extractive Industries".

Right: The Tapian Pit, Marcopper mine on Marinduque Island in the Philippines in 1989. Photo by Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada.

The panel will be chaired by Pablo Idahosa, coordinator of the African Studies Program in York’s Faculty of Arts, and will be comprised of Catherine Coumans, a research coordinator responsible for the Asia-Pacific Program at MiningWatch Canada, a non-profit organization; Grahame Russell a non-practising lawyer, global human rights and development activist, and co-director of the non-governmental organization Rights Action; and David Szablowski, York professor of law and society, Division of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts.

The presentation is sponsored by the University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS) at York University and co-sponsored by the Extractive Industry Research Group. The Colloquium on the Global South is open to students, faculty members, NGOs, social activists and policy makers.

A launch for Szablowski’s new book, Transnational Law and Local Struggles: Mining, Communities and the World Bank, will follow the discussion.

The event is free and open to everyone. It is being held on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 2:30-4:30pm in 280 York Lanes.

Any one interested in receiving regular information about the UCGS and the colloquium’s upcoming events can join the listserv at or contact the UCGS Colloquium Coordinator Joelle Reid at