BAGUIO CITY: Anti-mining groups led by Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) said they will make strong representation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help stop human rights violations allegedly committed by Canadian mining firms in the region.
This came at the heels of a statement that Trudeau has expressed a need for a “renewed, Nation-to-Nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”
The Canadian Prime Minister is set to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila next week.
In the Cordillera, the CPA claimed, Canadian mining companies top the list of foreign mining investors, including Columbus, Magellan, Olympus Pacific Minerals, Solfotara and its subsidiaries such as Adanacex and Canex, Pacific Metals, and Metallum Canada.
These mining firms are in Bokod, Bakun and Kibungan in Benguet province; Baay-Licuan, Tubo, Bucloc, Boliney and Daguioman in Abra province, and Calanasan in Apayao province.
Santi Mero, CPA deputy secretary general, said the Cordillera experiences with Canadian mining companies confirm violation of the indigenous people’s rights and their human rights.
He said foreign mining companies “should be held accountable for their human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights violations and environmental destruction, not only to the host communities but also to their country of origin.”
A CPA statement partly said “We support the Canadian civil society’s clamor for a law that will put in place human rights, labour and environmental standards that Canadian extractive companies receiving government support must live up to when they operate in developing countries; create a complaints mechanism that allow members of affected communities abroad, or Canadian, to file complaints against companies that are not living up to those standards; and to create a possible sanctions for companies that are found to be out of compliance with the standards, in the form of loss of government financial and political support.”
The group urges Trudeau “to live up to his commitment in protecting the environment and respecting indigenous peoples’ rights not only in Canada but elsewhere where there are Canadian mining companies such as the Cordillera region.”