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February 23, 2012

Mining Justice Campaign Update

Thank you for your interest in MCC Canada's Mining Justice Campaign!

Please pass along this update to others who share your interest in working for mining justice. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to these updates by clicking on the links at the top or bottom of this page.


Can the Supreme Court help the victims in the Anvil Mining case?
On January 25th, the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a lower-court decision in the lawsuit against Anvil Mining Limited—a potentially precedent-setting case that would have paved the way for victims of human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek remedy in the Canadian justice system.  Read more


Wahgoshig First Nation wins injunction against Solid Gold
On December 1, Wahgoshig First Nation—a northern community with which Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario has partnered for more than 20 years—sought an urgent injunction against Toronto's Solid Gold Resources to stop drilling operations in a sacred area of their traditional homelands.


Last month, Wahgoshig won that injunction. According to MiningWatch Canada, on January 3, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that Solid Gold could not carry out further exploration in its claims block for 120 days. During this period, the company, along with the Ontario Crown, must engage Wahgoshig First Nation in a process of meaningful consultation about the prospect of further exploration.


MCC's DC Office speaks out against mountaintop removal coal mining
Mennonite Central Committee's (MCC) advocacy office in Washington, DC has joined the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Ministries in speaking out against the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining.


In a recent action alert, MCC encouraged constituents to sign Eco-Justice Ministries' petition urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put an end to the destructive practice of this kind of mining, which has left thousands of communities in poverty and destroyed millions of acres of forest, thousands of miles of headwater streams, and hundreds of mountains. 


Defending the Dignity of Life, Securing our Future: A declaration on mining in the Philippines
From January 26-27, diverse individuals, faith communities, and civil society groups gathered in the Philippines for the International Conference on Mining in Mindanao. Featuring a keynote address from Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada, the two-day conference focused on addressing the devastating economic, environmental, and human impacts of mining in the Philippines, as well as promoting the urgent need for new mining policies that promote the sustainable and responsible management of the country's natural resources.


At the end of day two, conference participants endorsed a declaration entitled, "Mindanao Declaration: Defending the Dignity of Life, Securing our Future." Already published in some national newspapers in the Philippines, this document calls for the repeal of the 1995 Mining Act; the enactment of a pro-Filipino, pro-environmental alternative mining law; and a moratorium on large-scale mining in the country. 


Hondurans push back against new mining law
Local civil society organizations in Honduras have long been advocating for new mining laws that would better protect the environment, human health, and the economic well-being of Hondurans. On January 16th, however, the Honduran Congressional Committee on Mining announced that a new Mining Bill was ready to be debated in Congress—the content of which many Hondurans say will be even more harmful to local people than the current law it seeks to amend. 


In protest, 21 Honduran civil society organizations have spoken out, demanding that the National Congress' Legislative Commission pave the way for real debate and discussion with local populations. Within Canada, Development and Peace raised concerns with Parliamentarians, particularly in light of the controversial Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement. In response, some NDP MPs wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird expressing their concern over the bill, while Liberal MP John McKay wrote to the president of the Honduran National Congress.

Additional links
Mining Justice Campaign brochure
[Version Français]

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