Previously, I described the phenomenon where mining companies leave behind messes that would eliminate their profits if they were obliged to clean them up. Often, however, these liabilities end up being borne by taxpayers in general, who either fund the cleanup or live with the consequences of the contamination.
Now, a private members bill proposes sanctions on Canadian mining companies that violate good governance and environmental standards abroad. Bill C-300 was proposed by Liberal MP John McKay, and has already passed through second reading in the House of Commons.
Extractive industries, including mining, certainly have a checkered history of international operations. While there are certainly examples of projects that take into account governance and environmental concerns, legal reforms that make these more typical are welcome.