Canada commits to reporting requirements
The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday announced new mandatory reporting requirements of all payments to governments from the country’s oil, gas and mining firms.
The announcement comes on the eve of the G8 Summit, where British PM David Cameron has vowed to persuade other G8 members to commit to transparency and implement the EITI.
It is anticipated that the reporting regime will require disclosure by payments by all extractive companies listed in Canada to governments, including taxes, license fees and other receipts. It aims to bring Canada’s framework in line with reporting requirements in the US and Europe.
EITI Chair Clare Short welcomed the announcement.
“It is part of the global momentum towards transparency on extractive industry payments. The US and EU transparency requirements, plus the 39 countries reporting through the EITI are giving citizens much fuller information enabling them to hold governments and companies to account. I hope that the Government of Canada will now also consider EITI implementation, perhaps initially in some of the major mining provinces.”
The EITI matches the transparency from companies with transparency from governments of all revenues received. It also requires critical contextual information on licensing, production, and revenue management and spending.
Over the coming months, the Government of Canada will consult closely with provincial and territorial counterparts, First Nations and Aboriginal groups, industry and civil society organisations on how to establish the most effective regime.
In 2011, natural resources directly and indirectly employed approximately 1.6 million people and contributed close to 20% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.