The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act came into force on June 1, 2015. The Act requires Canadian extractive companies to publicly state all payments made to foreign and domestic governments in annual disclosure reports.
The Act applies to all forms of payments, including taxes, royalties, fees, production entitlements, bonuses, and dividends. Payments made to Aboriginal governments under legally binding impact benefit agreements (IBA) and memorandums of understanding (MoU) between aboriginal communities and extractive companies, will be subject to disclosure two years after the legislation is instated (June 2017). The Act applies to payments of $100,000 or more, whether monetary or in kind.
This Act is similar to ones proposed recently in the US and the European Union: the 2012 proposed Dodd-Frank Act, section 1504 and the European Union (EU) Transparency Directive, that encourage payment disclosure by resource extraction issuers.
The Act is consistent with Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad, which aims to enhance the ethical standards and operational practices of Canadian mining companies when working in foreign countries. The Act is supported by such organizations as Revenue Watch Institute, and generally by Canada’s mining industry, including the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), for its potential to significantly increase financial accountability and transparency of extractive companies. However, there is some concern that open disclosure of benefits (or payments) to specific Aboriginal groups will discourage government funding to Aboriginal communities. In addition, the Act can be criticized for its lack of applicability to smaller junior companies if they don’t meet the assets or revenue criteria. Indeed, for a company to be subject to the Act, it must have a place of business in Canada and be listed on a stock exchange in Canada. Further, for at least one of its two most recent financial years, it must have at least two of the following: 1) CDN$20 million in assets; 2) CDN$40 million in revenue; and 3) an average of 250 employees.
Click here for the Mining.com summary review of the Act.
In this report from Radio Télévision Guinée on May 19, 2015, the technical committee of the Bureau Guinéen d’Évaluation des Études Environnementales (BGÉÉE) has given a favourable review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment conducted by EEM in 2013-2014 of the CBG bauxite mine extension project.
Canadian environmental regulations are complex and constantly changing, so professionals must be informed and stay up-to-date to manage their company’s risk.
ECO Canada has just launched a new online course, Navigating Canadian Environmental Law, featuring expertise from ÉEM’s Vice President, Stephanie Hamilton.
This course gives a comprehensive overview of Canadian environmental law, offering practical guidance on how to use powerful research and tracking tools like Nimonik and CANLII to find the relevant regulations and improve communication with regulators.
As a special thank you for ÉEM’s contribution, ECO Canada is pleased to offer an exclusive $125 discount to friends and clients of ÉEM.
Simply use this promo code at checkout: EEM125OFF
See the course.
ECO Canada supports the success of the environmental workforce at every career stage, offering training, certification, HR services, and labour market research. Learn more about ECO Canada.
Paul MacLean, President of ÉEM, will provide training on the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) program on June 4, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal for all members of the Association Minière du Québec (AMQ). This training, offered in French, is an opportunity for members to train staff on the TSM program. For further details, please contact the AMQ.
Electronic products are an integral part of our lives. Each year brings its share of new gadgets: some helpful and some questionably so. While these devices are often an important part of our lives, they can quickly become obsolete. Whether it’s a company renewing its IT equipment to make use of the latest software or individuals following fashion trends, enormous amounts of electronics end up as waste each year.
If not left at the back of a cupboard, outdated equipment can often find its way to landfill sites where it may gradually contaminate soil and groundwater with toxic metals. To prevent these devices from ending up in landfill sites and to ensure that they are not exported to countries with less stringent environmental or health and safety standards, environmental handling fees (EHF) were introduced in June 2011 under the Regulation on the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises. The fees are charged at the time of purchase of all electronic products and are administered by EPRA (Electronic Products Recycling Association) to fund collection and recycling system. Once collected, the waste electronics are sorted either to be reused or to be refurbished or recycled in Quebec.
To ensure that the devices are handled in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, the collection systems and the reuse, refurbishment and recycling facilities must all comply with the evaluation and certification programs set out by the Recycler Qualification Office (RQO), specifically:
– the Collection Sites Approval Program (CSAP),
– the Electronic Reuse & Refurbishing Program (ERRP), and
– the Recycler Qualification Program (RQP).
If you’re in the electronic recycling industry, EEM can help your organization to design and implement an environmental and health & safety management system that meets the requirements of the RQO. The EEM team, recently bolstered by the addition of André Bernier, is also qualified to perform your internal system audits.
In anticipation of the Final Draft ISO 14001 standard due to be published by the end of 2015, Paul MacLean was invited to speak about the major changes by the Quebec association of environmental auditors (Association québécoise de vérification environnementale AQVE). Highlights of the presentation can be viewed here.
On the 8th January 2015 at 2pm, Paul MacLean will also be presenting a webinar on ISO 14001:2015, hosted by Intelex, an EHS software firm. You can register for the free webinar here.
The new ISO high level structure for management systems was used to define the elements of a management system addressing multiple sustainability topics at a new goldmine operation in northern Quebec. Read the case study here.
Should your organisation be contemplating an integrated management system or an upgrade to ISO 14001:2015, we’d be pleased to share our experience and guide your first steps.
With new corporate requirements for a Sustainability Excellence Management System, and commitments to abide by numerous external obligations, Goldcorp-Éléonore’s new mining operations in northern Quebec needed a plan to meet expectations. EEM was retained to develop a site-specific management system to ensure the new facilities would operate in ways that minimize their environmental and social impacts. Read the case study.