An exciting opportunity emerged for the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network to host a three-day international symposium on resource extraction. “Revenue Transparency, Resource Development, and the Challenge of Corruption” took place jointly at York University and Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, from May 17-19, 2017.
Symposium Themes and Description
Revenue transparency and corruption in the mining industry have long been topics of national and international conversation. Mining plays an important role in the Canadian economy, contributing billions to Canada’s GDP. It is also the only domestic industry in which Canada plays an undisputed leading international role, having major operations in countries around the world.
Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to mining. Historically, both in Canada and worldwide, very few local communities, Indigenous peoples, or developing and underdeveloped nations have benefitted from mining development. To the contrary, these communities have typically borne heavy costs associated with mining activities and reaped few long-term benefits. Further, mining in underdeveloped countries with poorly enforced governance and transparency laws presents multiple opportunities for corruption and social unrest. In response, ethically responsible and sustainable mining have become fundamental objectives for leading Canadian mining companies, mining associations, and governments.
The symposium aimed to spark an international dialogue on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, its implementation, its effectiveness, and areas for improvement in promoting revenue transparency and mitigating corruption. CBERN received generous financing from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Connections grant program which allowed this event to take place. As part of its ongoing “Ethics and Mining” related research, CBERN used the workshop to convene a series of meetings and public lectures to assess progress to date on meeting the challenges posed by corruption for resource extraction and to map a ‘next steps’ research agenda. Invited speakers and participants came from Canada, Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
9:00am – 4:30pm
Location: York University
The symposium involved a full-day international public colloquium explored the progress that the mining industry is making to combat corruption, and the effectiveness of current strategies. The day’s events took place at McLaughlin College (MC) and the Seymour Schulich Business School (SSB), both located on the Keele Campus of York University, at 4700 Keele Street, Toronto (click here for a campus map). A presentation was given by Jeffrey Davidson on his role as Canada’s Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor, designed specifically to interest a wide audience of students and faculty. Events included an evening reception and a lunch series presentation by Schulich Business School’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business.
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration and Refreshments
Location: 140 MC, McLaughlin College Senior Common Room, York University
9:00 AM – 11:15 AM: Opening Keynote Presentation
Guest Speaker: Laurence Cockcroft, co-founder of Transparency International UK and internationally acclaimed author of two recently published books, ‘Global Corruption: Money Power and Ethics in the Modern World’, and ‘Unmasked: Corruption in the West’.
Topic: “Global Corruption and What to Do About It”
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business Lunch Series Presentation
Location: W132 SSB, Seymour Schulich Business School, York University
Guest speaker: Jeffrey Davidson, Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor and representative for Global Affairs Canada. Davidson called upon 35 years of experience in mining and mineral resource development, and extensive expertise in corporate social responsibility across the private and not-for-profit sectors.
Topic: “Ethics, Mining, and the Role of the CSR Counsellor
1:45 PM – 4:30 PM: Panel discussion moderated by Prof. Ian Greene
Location: McLaughlin College
Speakers: Academic, NGO, government, industry representatives, and participants: “Bribery: Is Transparency the Antidote?”
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Evening Refreshments and Networking Reception
140 MC, McLaughlin College Senior Common Room
Thursday, May 18, 2017
9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: York University
A full day international invitational workshop that explored the effectiveness of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and identified knowledge gaps that still need to be filled.
- Laurence Cockcroft, acclaimed international author and co-founder of Transparency International UK: “Bribery: Is Transparency the Antidote?”;
- Bill Buenar Puplampu, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Corporate Responsibility and Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Central University, Ghana: “EITI in Ghana: The Impact of National Governance Arrangements on GHEITI”; and
- Kiikpoye Aaron, Professor at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria: “EITI in Nigeria: What Role has Local Government Played in the Niger Delta Region?”.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Location: Ryerson University
A public seminar sponsored by the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility was held on May 19th. The colloquium, workshop, lecture, and presentations were videotaped and added to CBERN’s electronic website education and research library of ethics and mining resources, and mobilized via social media.
List of Speakers and Panelists:
- Dr. Kernaghan Webb, Associate Professor of Law and Business at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, Founding Director of the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of CSR
- Dr. Hevina Dashwood, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Brock University
- Dr. Wesley Cragg, Senior Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Business Ethics at the Schulich School of Business and Department of Philosophy
- Dr. Ian Greene, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Public Policy, and Administration, Interim Director of CBERN, and co-editor of Honest Politics Now (2017)
- Dr. Uwafiokun Idemudia, Associate Professor of York University’s Department of Social Science
- Laurence Cockcroft, co-founder of Transparency International UK and acclaimed international author of Global Corruption: Money Power and Ethics in the Modern World, and Unmasked: Corruption in the West
- Jeffrey Davidson, Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor, and representative of Global Affairs Canada
- Claire Woodside, Director, Publish-What-You-Pay Canada
- Mora Johnson, former NRCan representative, Foreign Affairs Canada representative, and private lawyer
- Ed Opitz, Vice President, Kinross Gold Corporation
- Dr. Bill Puplampu, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Corporate Responsibility and Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Central University, Ghana
- Dr. Kiikpoye Aaron, Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria