a bunch of good news

It felt really good to be able to post some good news last week regarding a new lawsuit launched by the women of Lote 8 against the Canadian mining company HudBay.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of self-questioning and mulling over much of the ideas and strategies that I took for granted over the past few years of doing mining-related activism. To say I was disappointed when Bill C300 was defeated (by 6 votes) is an understatement. As I’ve written before, there was a lot to dislike about the Bill, and I remain unconvinced that it would have made a significant difference to any of the communities that have been (and continue to be) directly impacted by the actions of Canadian mining companies overseas. That said, I chose to be optimistic that this bill might mark the beginning of a slow erosion of corporate impunity, or at least represent a baby step towards Canada scaling back its investments (of our pension funds and tax dollars) in the mining industry.

A number of excellent articles have been written in response to the bill’s defeat. I especially recommend an article published in The Dominion by Justin Ling and the excellent article MiningWatch published soon after the final vote on the bill. The latter does a great job of emphasizing why, despite the bill’s defeat, there are tons of reasons for optimism.

More recently, there have been a bunch more reasons for feeling optimistic that, in the words of Sam Cooke, “a change gonna come.” For your listening pleasure..

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Here’s a few recent bits of good news:

Willisville Mountain, recently ceded by Brazilian mining company Vale, as painted by Paul Gaultier

  • The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) is condemning Canada for failing to do more to prevent the bribery of foreign government officials by Canadian corporations, especially mining companies.
  • The Colombian government has put the brakes on Canadian company Greystar’s World Bank-funded mining project. (The Globe and Mailhad a slightly different perspective on the same story).

    Over 15,000 people marched along the main streets of Bucaramanga, Colombia to demand that the government not issue an environmental permit for the Canadian mining company Greystar to build an open-pit gold mine.

  • A series of high-profile actions have taken place in Toronto surrounding Peter Munk’s involvement at the University of Toronto and the harmful impacts of Barrick Gold, of which Munk is the founder and chairman. At one protest, Noam Chomsky joined over 100 protesters to protest a recent donation by Munk, and, more broadly the privatization of education. More information on the campaign here.

American intellectual Noam Chomsky addresses a rally at the University of Toronto Thursday where 100+ students and a handful of professors were protesting a donation from Barrick Gold founder and chair, Peter Munk.

(The Star wrote an article in which it both criticized a protester’s tactics as ineffectual in raising attention to the cause, while simultaneously contradicting itself by using the incident to explore at length the issue of Canadian mining companies operating overseas with impunity.)

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..Any other good news recently that I’ve missed?

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