PWYP-Canada Welcomes Proposed Transparency Legislation
PWYP-Cana encourages further consultation to ensure Canadian standards align with international best practice
Publish What You Pay Canada welcomes the Reporting Payments legislation tabled on Thursday, October 23rd as part of the Government of Canada's second budget implementation act. The legislation will require that oil, gas and mining companies disclose payments to all levels of government in Canada and abroad. The requirements will apply to companies that are publicly traded on Canadian stock exchanges, in addition to large private companies.
With the tabling of this legislation, the Government of Canada has demonstrated a clear commitment to meet its goal of passing mandatory reporting legislation by April 1st 2015. This commitment was sparked by the innovative collaboration between PWYP-Canada, the Canadian mining industry, and the Natural Resource Governance Institute, who worked together in the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group (RRTWG) to finalize and push for the implementation of recommendations to Canadian government for the creation of mandatory payment transparency standards.
PWYP-Canada is currently analyzing the text of the Reporting Payments legislation. Preliminary analysis suggests that while the legislation includes many components of a strong reporting standard, there remain several critical elements of the legislation that must be clarified in the accompanying administrative guidance and regulations.
"PWYP Canada is keen to see Canada take a leading role on mandatory reporting. To do so, Canadian requirements must reflect international best practice and, amongst other things, clearly require the public disclosure of project level payments," stated Claire Woodside, Director of Publish What You Pay Canada. "Project level payments are critical not only for communities to hold their governments to account, but also for the legislation to effectively deter corruption."
According to Jean Claude Katende of PWYP in the Democratic Republic of Congo (and EITI International Board member), "Project level disclosure is particularly important for mining communities in the DRC. It will allow them to follow the money to their own backyards and help hold governments to account for the way revenues are allocated and spent."
Canada is home to 60% of the world's mining companies and a third of the world's oil and gas companies. With operations in over a 100 countries around the world, the implementation of strong mandatory payment reporting standards in Canada will impact the lives of not only Canadians, but citizens in Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. Mandatory payment disclosure is a critical tool in efforts to improve resource governance and reduce corruption. PWYP-Canada looks forward to working with the Canadian government to ensure that this legislation, along with the administrative guidance and regulations, provide citizens in Canada and abroad with the information they need to hold their governments to account.