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Canadian Mining Association Satisfied with Bill C-300 Defeat

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"Bill aimed to apply stricter environmental, human rights standards."

Canada's mining industry expressed satisfaction Thursday that the Parliament has defeated bill C-300, which would have applied stricter environmental and human rights standards on the country's miners and their overseas projects.

Private members bill C-300, tabled by Liberal MP John McKay, was defeated in parliament Wednesday night by 140 votes to 134, a victory for the Canadian Mining Association.

Bill C-300 was introduced with the hopes of applying stricter standards on Canadian mining companies and their overseas projects in regards to human rights and environmental practices. The bill was seen by miners as undermining and potentially damaging the Canadian mining industry.

"The risk there is huge in terms of reputational damage to not only Canadian companies but Canada's brand as a whole," said Hébert. "It was based on the premise that we're poor performers in the area of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and that's just not the case."

CSR is a debated and criticized business model based on the ethical self-regulation by corporations while including public interest in corporate decisions made to adhere to the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit).

"At any given time, Canadian mining exploration is active in about 10,000 projects in over 100 countries. On average, there are roughly five complaints per year. And again these are allegations," Hébert said. "I would concede that it's five complaints too many but five complaints out of 10,000 projects is not consistent with the underlying premise of Bill C-300."

"We support more constructive processes that lead to actual improvements on the ground rather than something like something like C-300 that was purely punitive," added Hébert.

Telephone calls and emails to proponents of the bill for comment were not immediately returned.
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