Canada commits to enhancing transparency in the extractive sector

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government of Canada will be establishing new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies with a view to enhancing transparency on the payments they make to governments.

“Canada is recognized as a world leader in promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector both at home and around the world,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I am pleased today to announce that we will be further enhancing this reputation by establishing new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian companies operating in this sector.”

The new reporting regime will be established with a view to: improving transparency; ensuring Canada’s framework is consistent with existing international standards and aligned with other G-8 countries; ensuring a level playing field for companies operating domestically and abroad; enhancing investment certainty; helping reinforce the integrity of Canadian extractive companies; and, helping to ensure that citizens in resource-rich countries around the world are better informed and benefit from the natural resources in their country.

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 organizations on how to establish the most effective regime.

It is anticipated that the reporting regime will seek to enhance transparency and accountability around material payments by extractive companies to all levels of governments domestically and internationally, including taxes, license fees and other receipts.

The mandatory reporting initiative is in keeping with the United Kingdom’s priority of transparency put forward at the G-8 Lough Erne Summit.

Responsible resource development is a priority for the Government of Canada. In 2011, natural resources directly and indirectly employed approximately 1.6 million people and contributed close to 20 percent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.

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