September 16, 2014｜Written by GreenSoft Technology, Inc.
Bill C-486, the Conflict Minerals Act, is due to be voted on this month by Canada’s House of Commons.
If passed, the legislation would require companies that are engaged in the extraction, purchasing, trading or use of 3TG minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold) originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries to exercise due diligence to ensure they aren’t funding militia groups or conflict.
The bill implements the U.S.’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for dealing with conflict minerals. These guidelines were developed in 2010 in oordination with industry and government representatives from the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Member of Parliament Paul Dewar proposed the bill in 2013 and claims it is “as much about consumer rights as corporate responsibility.”
Dewar wrote in an April 2014 opinion piece in The Star: “Canadians don’t want to have conflict minerals in their homes and they want to be able to choose products that don’t fund war. Canadians deserve to make that choice. But in order to choose, Canadians need to know the truth about what they’re buying. Canadian consumers have the right to know if a cellphone or computer or canned food or necklace is funding war.”
While Dewar claimed in April that the bill had strong public support, an opinion piece written by STAND CANADA Advocacy Director Kristen Pue and published in The Varsity on September 14, 2014 suggests the bill may not pass its vote this month: “Several Conservative MPs have stated their opposition to Bill C-486 because they feel that it will make Canadian companies less competitive.” Pue and STAND CANADA are calling on Canadians to take part in the National Day of Action on Conflict Minerals this Wednesday, September 17, to encourage the passing of the legislation.
We’ll keep you informed of the status of the legislation and what it may mean for your company.