Search

ALL TEXT by most recently created

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Human Rights and the Environment – Summary

    7. Human Rights and the Environment – Full Finding

    Key message

    The history, culture, traditional activities and livelihoods of Inuit are intimately connected with the environment and wildlife. In general, there is uncertainty and concern about the Arctic environment as a result of climate change. There is also uncertainty about the potential impacts of the Mary River project on the environment and wildlife, mainly related to the proposed railway and all-year shipping from Steensby Inlet. From a human rights perspective, one of the most important issues for Baffinland relates to providing information about, and opportunities for participation in, the environmental monitoring programmes for the Mary River mine. Current initiatives to develop a multi-stakeholder Environmental Monitoring Committee should be supported.

     

    International standards related to the environment

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25(1): Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family.

    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 12:

    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

    2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for: (b) The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene; (c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases; (d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.

    ILO Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention C174; and, ILO Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, Articles 57 and 58.

     

    OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises

    General Policies:

    1. Contribute to economic, environmental and social progress with a view to achieving sustainable development.

    5. Refrain from seeking or accepting exemptions not contemplated in the statutory or regulatory framework related to human rights, environmental, health, safety, labour, taxation, financial incentives, or other issues.

    10. Carry out risk-based due diligence, for example by incorporating it into their enterprise risk management systems, to identify, prevent and mitigate actual and potential adverse impacts as described in paragraphs 11 and 12, and account for how these impacts are addressed. The nature and extent of due diligence depend on the circumstances of a particular situation.

    VI. Environment

    Enterprises should, within the framework of laws, regulations and administrative practices in the countries in which they operate, and in consideration of relevant international agreements, principles, objectives, and standards, take due account of the need to protect the environment, public health and safety, and generally to conduct their activities in a manner contributing to the wider goal of sustainable development. In particular, enterprises should:

    1. Establish and maintain a system of environmental management appropriate to the enterprise, including:

    a) collection and evaluation of adequate and timely information regarding the environmental, health, and safety impacts of their activities;

    b) establishment of measurable objectives and, where appropriate, targets for improved environmental performance and resource utilisation, including periodically reviewing the continuing relevance of these objectives; where appropriate, targets should be consistent with relevant national policies and international environmental commitments; and

    c) regular monitoring and verification of progress toward environmental, health, and safety objectives or targets.

    2. Taking into account concerns about cost, business confidentiality, and the protection of intellectual property rights:

    a) provide the public and workers with adequate, measureable and verifiable (where applicable) and timely information on the potential environment, health and safety impacts of the activities of the enterprise, which could include reporting on progress in improving environmental performance; and

    b) engage in adequate and timely communication and consultation with the communities directly affected by the environmental, health and safety policies of the enterprise and by their implementation.

    3. Assess, and address in decision-making, the foreseeable environmental, health, and safety-related impacts associated with the processes, goods and services of the enterprise over their full life cycle with a view to avoiding or, when unavoidable, mitigating them. Where these proposed activities may have significant environmental, health, or safety impacts, and where they are subject to a decision of a competent authority, prepare an appropriate environmental impact assessment.

    4. Consistent with the scientific and technical understanding of the risks, where there are threats of serious damage to the environment, taking also into account human health and safety, not use the lack of full scientific certainty as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent or minimise such damage.

    5. Maintain contingency plans for preventing, mitigating, and controlling serious environmental and health damage from their operations, including accidents and emergencies; and mechanisms for immediate reporting to the competent authorities.

    6. Continually seek to improve corporate environmental performance, at the level of the enterprise and, where appropriate, of its supply chain, by encouraging such activities as:
    a) adoption of technologies and operating procedures in all parts of the enterprise that reflect standards concerning environmental performance in the best performing part of the enterprise;

    b) development and provision of products or services that have no undue environmental impacts; are safe in their intended use; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; are efficient in their consumption of energy and natural resources; can be reused, recycled, or disposed of safely;

    c) promoting higher levels of awareness among customers of the environmental implications of using the products and services of the enterprise, including, by providing accurate information on their products (for example, on greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, resource efficiency, or other environmental issues); and

    d) exploring and assessing ways of improving the environmental performance of the enterprise over the longer term, for instance by developing strategies for emission reduction, efficient resource utilisation and recycling, substitution or reduction of use of toxic substances, or strategies on biodiversity.

    7. Provide adequate education and training to workers in environmental health and safety matters, including the handling of hazardous materials and the prevention of environmental accidents, as well as more general environmental management areas, such as environmental impact assessment procedures, public relations, and environmental technologies.

    8. Contribute to the development of environmentally meaningful and economically efficient public policy, for example, by means of partnerships or initiatives that will enhance environmental awareness and protection.

    Commentary on the Environment

    60. The text of the Environment Chapter broadly reflects the principles and objectives contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in Agenda 21 (within the Rio Declaration). It also takes into account the (Aarhus) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and reflects standards contained in such instruments as the ISO Standard on Environmental Management Systems.

    61. Sound environmental management is an important part of sustainable development, and is increasingly being seen as both a business responsibility and a business opportunity. Multinational enterprises have a role to play in both respects. Managers of these enterprises should therefore give appropriate attention to environmental issues within their business strategies. Improving environmental performance requires a commitment to a systematic approach and to continual improvement of the system. An environmental management system provides the internal framework necessary to control an enterprise’s environmental impacts and to integrate environmental considerations into business operations. Having such a system in place should help to assure shareholders, employees and the community that the enterprise is actively working to protect the environment from the impacts of its activities.

    62. In addition to improving environmental performance, instituting an environmental management system can provide economic benefits to companies through reduced operating and insurance costs, improved energy and resource conservation, reduced compliance and liability charges, improved access to capital and skills, improved customer satisfaction, and improved community and public relations.

    63. In the context of these Guidelines, “sound environmental management” should be interpreted in its broadest sense, embodying activities aimed at controlling both direct and indirect environmental impacts of enterprise activities over the long-term, and involving both pollution control and resource management elements.

    64. In most enterprises, an internal control system is needed to manage the enterprise’s activities. The environmental part of this system may include such elements as targets for improved performance and regular monitoring of progress towards these targets.

    65. Information about the activities of enterprises and about their relationships with sub-contractors and their suppliers, and associated environmental impacts is an important vehicle for building confidence with the public. This vehicle is most effective when information is provided in a transparent manner and when it encourages active consultation with stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, local communities and with the public-at-large so as to promote a climate of long-term trust and understanding on environmental issues of mutual interest. Reporting and communication are particularly appropriate where scarce or at risk environmental assets are at stake either in a regional, national or international context; reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative provide useful references.

    66. In providing accurate information on their products, enterprises have several options such as voluntary labelling or certification schemes. In using these instruments enterprises should take due account of their social and economic effects on developing countries and of existing internationally recognised standards.

    67. Normal business activity can involve the ex ante assessment of the potential environmental impacts associated with the enterprise’ s activities. Enterprises often carry out appropriate environmental impact assessments, even if they are not required by law. Environmental assessments made by the enterprise may contain a broad and forward- looking view of the potential impacts of an enterprise’s activities and of activities of sub-contractors and suppliers, addressing relevant impacts and examining alternatives and mitigation measures to avoid or redress adverse impacts. The Guidelines also recognise that multinational enterprises have certain responsibilities in other parts of the product life cycle.

    68. Several instruments already adopted by countries adhering to the Guidelines, including Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, enunciate a “precautionary approach”. None of these instruments is explicitly addressed to enterprises, although enterprise contributions are implicit in all of them.

    69. The basic premise of the Guidelines is that enterprises should act as soon as possible, and in a proactive way, to avoid, for instance, serious or irreversible environmental damages resulting from their activities. However, the fact that the Guidelines are addressed to enterprises means that no existing instrument is completely adequate for expressing this recommendation. The Guidelines therefore draw upon, but do not completely mirror, any existing instrument.

    70. The Guidelines are not intended to reinterpret any existing instruments or to create new commitments or precedents on the part of governments – they are intended only to recommend how the precautionary approach should be implemented at the level of enterprises. Given the early stage of this process, it is recognised that some flexibility is needed in its application, based on the specific context in which it is carried out. It is also recognised that governments determine the basic framework in this field, and have the responsibility to consult periodically with stakeholders on the most appropriate ways forward.

    71. The Guidelines also encourage enterprises to work to raise the level of environmental performance in all parts of their operations, even where this may not be formally required by existing practice in the countries in which they operate. In this regard, enterprises should take due account of their social and economic effects on developing countries.

    72. For example, multinational enterprises often have access to existing and innovative technologies or operating procedures which could, if applied, help raise environmental performance overall. Multinational enterprises are frequently regarded as leaders in their respective fields, so the potential for a “demonstration effect” on other enterprises should not be overlooked. Ensuring that the environment of the countries in which multinational enterprises operate also benefit from available and innovative technologies and practices, is an important way of building support for international investment activities more generally.

    73. Enterprises have an important role to play in the training and education of their employees with regard to environmental matters. They are encouraged to discharge this responsibility in as broad a manner as possible, especially in areas directly related to human health and safety.

    UN Global Compact

    Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

    What is the precautionary approach?

    Introducing the precautionary approach, Principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration states that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”.

    Precaution involves the systematic application of risk assessment (hazard identification, hazard characterization, appraisal of exposure and risk characterization), risk management and risk communication. When there is reasonable suspicion of harm and decision-makers need to apply precaution, they have to consider the degree of uncertainty that appears from scientific evaluation. Deciding on the "acceptable" level of risk involves not only scientific-technological evaluation and economic cost-benefit analysis, but also political considerations such as acceptability to the public. From a public policy view, precaution is applied as long as scientific information is incomplete or inconclusive and the associated risk is still considered too high to be imposed on society. The level of risk considered typically relates to standards of environment, health and safety.

    Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

    What is environmental responsibility?

    In Chapter 30 of Agenda 21, the 1992 Rio Earth Summit spelled out the role of business and industry in the sustainable development agenda as: "Business and industry should increase self regulation, guided by appropriate codes, charters and initiatives integrated into all elements of business planning and decision-making, and fostering openness and dialogue with employees and the public."

    The relevant principle in the Rio Declaration says we have the responsibility to ensure that activities on our own yard should not cause harm to the environment of our neighbours. Society also expects business to be good neighbours. Business gains its legitimacy through meeting the needs of society, and increasingly society is expressing a clear need for more environmentally sustainable practices.

    Canadian Legal Standards

    In Canada, the federal government, as well as provincial, territorial and Aboriginal governments, share responsibility for protecting the environment -- an approach that calls for close collaboration as governments work to support the well-being of Canadians.

    The cornerstone of the Government of Canada's environmental legislation, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, is aimed at preventing pollution and protecting the environment and human health.

    One of CEPA 1999's major thrusts is the prevention and management of risks posed by harmful substances. As well, CEPA 1999 provides for the assessment and/or management of the environmental and human health impacts of new and existing substances. This includes products of biotechnology, marine pollution, disposal at sea, vehicle, engine and equipment emissions, fuels, hazardous wastes, environmental emergencies and other sources of pollution.

    Work carried out under CEPA 1999 is complemented by other federal Acts administered (fully or partially) by the Minister of the Environment for example, the Fisheries Act, the Canada Water Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Canada Wildlife Act, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

    CEPA 1999 Guiding Principles establish the fundamental approach to environmental protection under law, and including the following: Sustainable development, Pollution prevention, Virtual elimination, Ecosystem approach, Precautionary principle, intergovernmental cooperation, Polluter-pays principle, and Science-based decision making.

    Mining Association of Canada, “Towards Sustainable Mining”

    In addition to its Protocol on Health and Safety, the MAC has developed the following Protocols that are relevant to environmental protection.

    • Crisis Management

    MAC's Public Affairs Committee has developed performance indicators for crisis management planning to help companies leverage best practices and critically assess business performance. MAC has established three key performance indicators for this protocol: crisis management preparedness, review, and training.

    • Energy and GHG Emissions Management

    This protocol enables MAC members to evaluate their energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management against TSM performance indicators. The resulting assessments help member companies develop capacity to monitor and improve performance as well as provide a basis for company assurance.

    • Tailings Management (N.B. Not applicable at Mary River as there is not anticipated to be tailings)

    MAC protocol for tailings management consists of five performance indicators: management policy and commitment; management system development; assigned accountability and responsibility; annual management review; and an operation, maintenance and surveillance (OMS) manual.

    • Biodiversity Conservation Management

    There are three performance indicators against which MAC members can measure their biodiversity and conservation management. They are: corporate biodiversity conservation policy, accountability and communications; facility-level biodiversity conservation planning and implementation; and biodiversity conservation reporting.

    ArcelorMittal Environmental Policy

    Our environmental policy

    The group-wide policy applies to every aspect of our operations and is based on the following principles:

    1. Implementation of environmental management systems including ISO 14001 certification for all production facilities;

    2. Compliance with all relevant environmental laws and regulations, and other company commitments;

    3. Continuous improvement in environmental performance, taking advantage of systematic monitoring and aiming at pollution prevention;

    4. Development, improvement and application of low-impact, environmental production methods that make use of locally available raw materials;

    5. Development and manufacture of environmentally-friendly products, focusing on their use and subsequent recycling;

    6. Efficient use of natural resources, energy and land;

    7. Management and reduction, where technically and economically feasible, of the CO2 footprint of steel production;

    8. Employee commitment and responsibility in environmental performance;

    9. Supplier and contractor awareness and respect for ArcelorMittal’s environmental policy;

    10. Open communication and dialogue with all stakeholders affected by ArcelorMittal’s operations.

    Environmental Policy: http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/~/media/Files/A/ArcelorMittal/who-we-are/EnvironmentalPolicy.pdf

    Baffinland sustainability policy

    2.0. ENVIRONMENT

    • We employ a balance of the best scientific and traditional Inuit knowledge to safeguard the environment.

    • We apply the principles of pollution prevention and continuous improvement to minimize ecosystem impacts, and facilitate biodiversity conservation.

    • We continuously seek to use energy, raw materials and natural resources more efficiently and effectively. We strive to develop pioneering new processes and more sustainable practices.

    • We understand the importance of closure planning. We ensure that an effective closure strategy is in place at all stages of project development and that progressive reclamation is undertaken as early as possible to reduce potential long-term environmental and community impacts.

    Concluding observations about the environment

    In the public hearings for the Mary River project, many of the concerns of Inuit related to the environment. At the same time, the different actors including the company, different government departments and the QIA have been taking these concerns very seriously in the environmental and socio-economic impact review process overseen by the NIRB.

    There are some human rights related to the environment:

    • There are potential impacts on the right to food related to the potential effects of mining operations on wildlife, which is the main source of the “country food” and traditional diet of Inuit. The concerns about wildlife also have implications for Inuit rights to traditional livelihoods and occupations. The ability of Inuit to practice their traditional occupations is closely tied to other rights related to the maintenance of Inuit cultures, languages and traditional knowledge, and their right to self-determination. The greatest risks to wildlife are related to the proposed railway and all-year shipping from Steensby Inlet. Because of the Early Revenue Phase, there are several more years for the different actors to complete baseline studies and design mitigation measures to prevent adverse impacts on wildlife and respect the related human rights.

    • There are potential impacts on the right to health related to the interaction of the mining operations. Because the Mary River mine is in a remote location far away from the nearest communities, and the mine does not require any chemical processing, the risks to the right to health for community members are relatively small. The health risks of employees are part of the discussion of labour rights.

    • There are also potential long-term impacts on the environment related to the closure of the mine. Because the Mary River mine does not involve chemical processing and the accumulation of tailings, there are less environmental risks for closure than for other types of mines. Furthermore, closure is many years away and the time frame for closure may be extended if other ore deposits are developed. The company’s plans include a 4-year closure period with a commitment to post-closure monitoring for as long as is required. There are also important conditions in the mine’s certificate related to closure. The involvement of Inuit in closure planning and post-closure monitoring provides an important opportunity to respect human rights related to the environment.

    From a human rights perspective, one of the most important issues for Baffinland relates to providing information about, and opportunities for participation in, the environmental monitoring programmes for the Mary River mine. Baffinland has made commitments to train and hire Inuit for various jobs related to environmental monitoring in its operations. The QIA is advancing a proposal for an Environmental Monitoring Group that will involve Inuit and other actors. These initiatives should be encouraged and supported as mechanisms to respect human rights related to the environment, as well as Inuit rights to on-going consultation and information about the Mary River project.

    Additional Information and Resources

    • ICMM Position Paper on Climate Change

    • Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity: http://www.icmm.com/page/1182/good-practice-guidance-for-mining-and-biodiversity

    • Water Management in Mining: A Selection of Case Studies: http://www.icmm.com/www.icmm.com/water-case-studies

    • Guidance Paper: Financial Assurance for Mine Closure and Reclamation: http://www.icmm.com/page/1232/guidance-paper-financial-assurance-for-mine-closure-and-reclamation

    • Planning for Integrated Mine Closure: Toolkit: http://www.icmm.com/our-work/projects/mineclosure
     

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Workers' Rights at the Mary River Mine – Summary

    6. Workers' Rights at the Mary River Mine – Full Finding

    Key message

    Workers’ rights are one of the areas that the Baffinland company has the greatest amount of control over its impacts. It is also an area where the Inuit have expressed hope and expectations for positive benefits in terms of job opportunities—which can be understood in terms of the right to work and other labour rights. One of the biggest challenges for Baffinland will be non-discrimination in the workplace, especially in terms of hiring, promoting and retaining Inuit and female employees at the Mary River mine.

    International Standards related to Workers’ Rights

    Labour rights are a central issue in all human rights impact assessments. This is because labour rights are protected by international law (the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as well as by the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights), and because companies have control over how their workers are treated. Companies should also make sure that their suppliers and contractors respect their workers.

    Overview of workers’ rights

    Equality and non-discrimination (articles 2 and 3 of the ICCPR and ICESCR)

    Non-discrimination is a fundamental and overarching principle of international human rights. Everyone
is entitled to enjoy human rights irrespective of his or her colour, gender, religion, ethnic, social or national origin, political or other opinion, property, birth, or other status. The Human Rights Committee, which monitors and interprets the ICCPR, has further interpreted the principle of non-discrimination to include other grounds of discrimination such as age, nationality, disability and sexual orientation. Article 2(1) obliges States to prohibit any distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations by both public authorities and private bodies on those grounds in the enjoyment of the rights set out in the ICCPR. This means that States have a responsibility
to ensure that businesses carry out their activities and provide services in a non-discriminatory way. Reasonable and objective distinctions are permitted.

    States must ensure that all rights are enjoyed equally by men and women. States are allowed to adopt positive action to eliminate conditions that contribute to gender discrimination. Similarly, companies can have affirmative action policies for women and other vulnerable groups.

    Within indigenous communities, women, the elderly, youth and children and persons with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable, and accordingly Article 22 requires that, in implementing the UNDRIP, these groups are afforded special consideration. States have a duty to protect these groups from harm, violence, discrimination and any other activities or lack of actions that could compromise their well-being. Article 44 states that all rights and freedoms recognized in the UNDRIP are equally guaranteed to male and female individuals.

    In designing and implementing activities and engaging in business relationships with others that may impact indigenous peoples, and in engaging with indigenous peoples about such activities or business relationships, businesses must ensure that any particular vulnerabilities of these groups are identified and addressed within the due diligence process. This may require separate consultation with such groups.

    Social security (article 9 of the ICESCR)

    The right to social security encompasses the right to access and maintain benefits without discrimination. Governments are obliged to make available a system
of social security. Such systems may involve contributory or insurance-based schemes, which normally entail compulsory contributions from the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s employer (and sometimes the State), as well as universal or targeted schemes funded out of the public purpose. Social security benefits should be available to cover the following areas: health care and sickness, old age, unemployment, employment injury, family and child support, maternity, disability, and survivors and orphans. Social security systems should be affordable and sustainable, so as to provide for present and future generations, and should also provide for adequate benefits. The right is essential in combating poverty, given its redistributive character; its realisation can, for example, have a significant impact on the enjoyment of other related rights, such as the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to health.

    The role of companies in relation to the right to social security will vary depending on the national context. Generally, companies have a basic duty to ensure that legally mandated contributions to the system, in ad- dition to those deducted from employee salaries and wages, are paid promptly to ensure that the govern- ment’s ability to deliver social security payments or ser- vices is not undermined. Increasingly, employment laws also create obligations on companies to provide income and benefits on maternity, injury and the like. If compa- nies operate private social security schemes, they have the responsibility to do so in a non-discriminatory man- ner and they should not impose unreasonable eligibility conditions. Finally, if a company denied its workers their contractually agreed employment injury benefits, its actions would impact negatively on the workers’ rights under Article 9.

    Right to work (article 6 of the ICESCR)

    The right to work recognises the right of everyone to the opportunity to make their living by work which they freely choose or accept. This implies that one should not be forced to engage in employment and that States develop a system designed to guarantee all workers access to employment. Workers should not be unfairly deprived of employment. Work as specified in Article 6 must be ‘decent work’, that is work that respects a per- son’s human rights including workers’ rights regarding conditions of remuneration and work safety. The right
to work includes the prohibition of arbitrary dismissal.

    A company that has significant activities as one of the ‘main players’ regarding the provision of employment, in areas where a government lacks the capacity or willingness to fulfil its commitments, may be expected by stakeholders to play a part in helping to secure fulfilment of the right to work. Companies of all sizes and in all locations may impact on their workers’ right to work if they arbitrarily or unfairly dismiss workers. Even where such practice may be legally permissible under local law, many stakeholders now expect companies to exhibit a higher standard of behaviour in line with international standards and good practice.

    The right to work is closely linked to rights in Article 7 to just and favourable working conditions and trade union rights in Article 8. These rights are components of the overall right to work.


    Right to just and favourable working conditions (article 7 of the ICESCR)

    The right to enjoy just and favourable working conditions has various components, which are all highly relevant to the actions of companies as they concern the treatment of employees. This Article recognises that States must protect the right to remuneration that provides workers with fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value, and that women must be guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men. Remuneration must also be enough to provide workers with a decent living for themselves and their families. Article 7 furthermore comprises a right to healthy and safe conditions of work, a right to equality of opportunity for promotion, and a right to rest, leisure and holidays as part of conditions at work.

    The interpretation of Article 7 is influenced by the corresponding International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, which elaborate in greater detail the labour standards set out in the Covenant:

    • ILO standards generally prescribe that employees should not be required to work more than 48 hours per week, or ten hours a day, though these rules are subject to some exceptions.
    • ILO conventions relating to the issue of
rest and leisure are also relevant to the issue of working hours. For example, it is specified that there should be at least one day off in every seven, and that a minimum of three weeks’ paid holiday (not including public holidays) be available for every year of full-time service.
    • A minimum wage should be ‘fair’ and enable families to enjoy the right to a standard of living that includes adequate food, clothing and housing (Article 11 of the Covenant). This is reinforced by the corresponding ILO convention, which dictates that the setting of minimum wages should, for example, take into account issues such as the cost of living and the needs of workers and their families. Companies should at least comply with minimum wages mandated by government minimum wage legislation. Wages should be paid regularly and in full, without unauthorised deductions or restrictions.

    With regard to all working conditions, States should require employers to co-operate with independent inspection services to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

    Companies can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of the various rights in Article 7 in their capacity as employers.

    Right to collective bargaining (a component of trade union rights in article 9 of the ICESCR)

    This Article concerns the right of everyone to form trade unions and to join the trade union of his or her choice, subject to the union’s own membership rules. This
right may only be restricted by States in circumstances that are set down in law and are necessary to protect national security, public order, or the rights and freedoms of others. Trade unions themselves have rights to establish national federations or confederations, and for the latter to form or join international trade union groupings. Trade unions are permitted to function freely, subject only to limitations that are lawful and necessary to protect national security, public order or the rights of others. Finally, the Article recognises a right to strike, which must be exercised in conformity with the reason- able requirements of a particular country’s laws.

    The core ILO Conventions governing freedom of association, the right to organise and collective bargaining complement the interpretation of this right. (See: ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organise (1948) and ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949)).
    These Conventions dictate that workers should not be dis- criminated against because of trade union membership. Governments should implement measures and develop appropriate mechanisms to promote voluntary good faith negotiations between employers and employees’ organisations, with a view to enabling them to work out collective agreements regarding the regulation of employment.

    Company actions may impact on these rights if they prevent union membership and activity amongst employees or are in any way complicit in actions that restrict employees’ rights to participate in union activity.

    Related rights: freedom of association, right to work and the right to just and favourable conditions of work.

    Freedom from Child labour (related to child protection in article 24 of the ICCPR)

    Children may not be engaged to do work that is hazardous, arduous, and for which they are underpaid, or to work for the same number of hours as adults. Child labourers are frequently denied the opportunity to undertake education as a result of going to work, and their mental and physical health can suffer due to poor working conditions, long hours of work, and ill-treatment by employers.

    The term “child labour” should not be confused with “youth employment” or “ student work.” Child labour is a form of exploitation that is a violation of a human right, and it is recognized and defined by international instruments. It is the declared policy of the international community and of almost all governments to abolish child labour.

    While the term "child" covers all girls and boys under 18 years of age, not all under-18’s must be removed from work: the basic rules under international standards distinguish what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable work for children at different ages and stages of their development. ILO conventions (Minimum Age Convention No. 138 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182) provide the framework for national law to prescribe a minimum age for admission to employment or work that must not be less than the age for completing compulsory schooling, and in any case not less than 15 years. Lower ages are permitted for transitional periods – in countries where economic and educational facilities are less well-developed the minimum age for regular work generally is 14 years, and 12 years for “light work”. The minimum age for hazardous work is higher, at 18 years for all countries.

    If an occurrence of child labour is identified, the children need to be removed from the workplace and provided with viable alternatives. These measures often include enrolling the children in schools and offering income-generating alternatives for the parents or above-working age members of the family. Companies need to be aware that, without support, children may be forced into worse circumstances such as prostitution, and that, in some instances where children are the sole providers of income, their immediate removal from work may exacerbate rather than relieve the hardship.

    Safe and healthy working conditions (related to the right to work and the right to just and favourable working conditions in Articles 6 and 7 of the ICESCR)

    ILO standards require governments to adopt, in consultation with appropriate employer and employee organisations, a national occupational health and safety (OHS) policy aimed at reducing accidents and injuries to health arising in the course of employment, and to minimise the causes of inherent workplace hazards. That policy should address, for example, the provision of adequate OHS training regarding the use and maintenance of the ‘material elements of work’, including workplace environment, tools, machinery and equipment. Workers must be able to remove themselves from work situations where imminent and serious health dangers are reasonably perceived, without undue consequences.

    With regard to all working conditions, States should require employers to co-operate with independent inspection services to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

    See ILO Convention 155 Concerning Occupational Health and Safety and the Working Environment (1981), Articles 4, 5 and 13. See also ILO Convention 161 on Occupational Health Services (1985).

    Right to education (articles 13 and 14 of the ICESCR)

    The aim of the right to education is “the full development of the human personality and sense of dignity”. Articles 13 and 14 guarantee all children the right to
free and compulsory primary education. The right also requires progressive steps from governments aimed at the provision of secondary and higher education, including the provision of ‘fundamental’ education for those who could not complete primary education. The right to education also includes the right of equal access to education and equal enjoyment of education facilities, the freedom of parents and children to choose the type of education the children receive, and the freedom to establish educational institutions (subject to minimum educational standards). Educational facilities should be available, accessible, culturally and ethically acceptable, and flexible so as to be able to adapt to society’s changing needs.

    Companies have a vested interest in promoting the right to education for the development of skilled workforces. Companies may impact on the right to education where child labourers are directly employed or operate in their supply chains in a way that prevents those children from attending school. This right is also relevant in the context of any commitments made by a company to provide education to the children of workers or others in the local community. Companies that organise or provide such education should respect equality of access to education. Companies may also impact on the enjoyment of the right if, for example, their involvement with heavy construction or infrastructure projects limits access to nearby schools or results in damage to, or the destruction of, educational facilities.

    Freedom of association (article 22 of the ICCPR)

    Article 22 protects the right to form or join all types of association such as political parties, religious societies, sporting and other recreational clubs, non-governmental organisations and trade unions. This right shall not be restricted, except by lawful regulation necessary to protect the interests of national security, public safety, public order, public health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Companies’ activities are most likely to impact on the right insofar as it relates to trade unions and other employee representative bodies. Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) focuses on trade unions alone. Companies respect the right when they respect the right of workers to form trade unions or, when operating in countries where trade union activity is unlawful, they recognise legitimate employee associations with whom the company can enter into dialogue about workplace issues. Companies should also ensure that their activities do not undermine other legitimate organisations, such as political parties. Companies may also promote enjoyment of the right by speaking out in appropriate circumstances, publicly or privately, about laws that curtail the right.

    Right to health (article 12 of the ICESCR)

    This Article recognises the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States must take measures to prevent, treat and control diseases, reduce infant mortality and provide for the healthy development of children, improve all aspects of industrial and environmental hygiene, and to create conditions that will ensure universal access to appropriate medical services and medical attention in the event of sickness. The right includes the right to control over one’s health and body, including reproductive and sexual rights, and freedom from interference, such as freedom from non-consensual medical treatment and experimentation. People must have access to the underlying building blocks of good health, such as adequate nutrition, housing, safe and potable water, adequate sanitation, medical supplies, healthy working conditions and a healthy environment.

    Company activities and products can impact on the right to health of employees, and are expected to ensure that their operations and products do not impact on the right to health of people, such as workers, consumers and local communities. Special consideration should be made in relation to vulnerable sectors of society, such as children and adolescents, women, disabled people and indigenous communities. Companies are expected to ensure compliance with national legislation (including occupational health and safety regulations, and consumer and environmental legislation) and international standards where domestic laws are weak or poorly enforced. Even though informal workers are often not covered by domestic legislation, companies should take steps to ensure that any persons within their supply chains are not exposed to occupational health and safety dangers.

    UNDRIP, article 24: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their traditional medicines and health practices, while retaining access to all health services, so that they may enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This right allows indigenous peoples to conserve and protect their medicinal plants, animals and minerals (and their knowledge in relation to these; see also Article 31 in relation to traditional knowledge), but also provides that they shall not be barred access to other social and health services.

    The health of indigenous peoples is often significantly lower than that of the overall population. Factors such as proximity to health services, affordability and language proficiency are just a few reasons that contribute to this problem. In some instances, indigenous people may suffer from health risk factors such as poor nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and the abuse of other drugs and substances. For this reason, protecting indigenous peoples’ right to all social and health services is crucial to the survival of their communities and cultures, and their development opportunities.

    Businesses should ensure that they do not access indigenous medicinal resources without consent, and do not adversely impact indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights through, for example, patenting their knowledge of traditional medicines without consent. Where companies are accessing indigenous medicinal resources, they must ensure that their activities do not damage stocks (of relevance to those conducting activities on lands occupied or used by indigenous peoples). Businesses should consider ways in which access to health services and products by indigenous peoples could be enhanced where it is insufficient (of relevance to companies in the health industry, and also those with appropriate distribution channels which could be used to assist in this respect). It is also important for companies to respect the health of indigenous employees, and provide them with the same health benefits (e.g., health insurance and workplace health programs) as all other employees.

    There are several ways businesses can respect and support the health of indigenous peoples. Businesses that manufacture pharmaceuticals have the unique ability to provide indigenous peoples with access to medicines they produce. Businesses that work in areas with indigenous communities can assist in the creation and maintenance of health service facilities. Businesses that work in the areas with indigenous communities can also engage with them to assist in the preservation of their medicinal plants, animals and minerals.

    Laws and institutions that protect workers’ rights in Nunavut

    • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    • Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, section 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (d) freedom of association.

    • Canada Labour Code, Part One (Industrial Relations): The Canada Industrial Relations Board has jurisdiction in regard to some 800,000 employees engaged in federal jurisdiction industries, which include interprovincial transportation (air, land and water), broadcasting, banking, longshoring and grain handling, and to private sector employees in Nunavut, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

    • Nunavut Human Rights Act (2003), section 9: Employment: Prohibited grounds of discrimination and harassment

    • Nunavut Labour Standards Act provides regulations for basic wage, overtime, holidays, maternity leave, etc.

    • Workers’ Safety and Compensation Board of NWT and Nunavut

    • Mine Health and Safety Act (Nunavut), S.N.W.T. 1994, c. 25, in force December 15, 1995, as amended.
    o S. 2: Duties of owner to protect the health and safety of employees at the mine, etc.
    o S. 11: Occupational health and safety committee
    o S. 15: Duties of contractors
    o S. 17: Workers to comply with Act
    o S. 18: Right to refuse work
    o S. 19: Non-discrimination for refusal to work
    o S. 21 ss.: Investigation and inspection
    o S. 45: regulations

    • Mine Health and Safety Regulations, R-125-95, as amended

    • Explosives Use Act

    Company Policies relevant to Workers’ Rights

    ArcelorMittal Human Rights Policy

    Eliminating Forced or Compulsory Labour: ArcelorMittal opposes the use of forced or compulsory labour. We will also work with our subcontractors and suppliers to avoid indirectly benefiting from or promoting such illegal practices.

    Abolishing Child Labour: ArcelorMittal opposes the use of child labour. We will work in collaboration with subcontractors and suppliers to prevent and remove any instances of child labour in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the child.

    Eliminating Unlawful Discrimination in the Workplace: ArcelorMittal is committed to ensure that each employee
and potential employee is treated with fairness and dignity. Accordingly, any unlawful discriminatory practice based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ethnicity, national or social origin, property, political or other opinion, disability, birth or any other basis will not be tolerated. The Company seeks to provide each employee with equal opportunity for advancement without discrimination.

    Eliminating Harassment and Violence: ArcelorMittal is committed to promote a work environment free of any form of harassment, exploitation, abuse or violence as defined by the laws of each country in which we operate.

    Providing Competitive Compensation and Remuneration: ArcelorMittal aims to pay competitive wages based on local market assessments and at a minimum seeks to provide a commensurate compensation for each employee.

    Upholding Conditions of Employment: ArcelorMittal complies with all laws regarding conditions of employment including basic and over-time working hours, and will abide by agreements negotiated with our employee representatives.

    Promoting Freedom of Association: ArcelorMittal upholds freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. We also work with our subcontractors and suppliers to promote the achievement of this principle.

    ArcelorMittal Health and Safety Policy

    Principles:
    • All injuries and work related illnesses can and must be prevented.
    • Management is accountable for the Health & Safety performance.
    • Communication, involvement and training of all employees are essential in Health & Safety excellence.
    • Everyone has a role to play in preventing injuries and illnesses.
    • Excellence in Health & Safety supports excellent business results.
    • Health & Safety must be integrated into all business management processes.
    • Product Stewardship aiming at eliminating Health & Environmental impact for customers.

    To achieve this we will:
    • Identify, evaluate and eliminate Health & Safety risks to ensure that hazards are managed.
    • Establish an effective process for preventing all injuries and work related illnesses.
    • Build a supportive culture that requires visible Leadership with clear accountability.
    • Provide everyone with effective training so that we are all able to work safely.
    • Investigate all incidents in order to prevent a recurrence.
    • Establish a culture where work will be stopped if it is unsafe.
    • Establish measurable objectives to monitor progress through regular audits and reporting.
    • Comply fully with all legal requirements and meet or exceed these expectations wherever we operate in the world.
    • Update and test emergency procedures.

    Source: http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/~/media/Files/A/ArcelorMittal/corporate-responsibility/HealthAndSafetyPolicy.pdf

    ArcelorMittal Employee Relations Policy

    1. To regard our employees as an important and highly valued resource to be cared for, empowered and rewarded.
    2. To view trade unions as constructive role players in the organisation and to subscribe to the principle of freedom of association.
    3. To establish structures through the organisation to proactively engage trade unions and employees with a view to create and strengthen constructive relationships. The competitive advantage of ArcelorMittal’s’ business is dependant on our ability to harness and optimise the human capital within the organisation.
    4. To implement and maintain non-discriminatory employee practices and internationally recognised employment standards.
    5. To encourage the implementation of formal communication to all employees through the implementation of communication channels and systems in all of our operations. Regular interaction and consultations will take place with employee representatives.
    6. To operate within and adhere to the legislative and collective bargaining framework of the countries in which it operates. Group operations will enter into Collective Agreements with any representative trade union. Nothing contained herein will prevent any of the Group operations to have dealings with other unions and non-union members.
    7. To introduce procedures and structures at operations level to give expression to the need to institutionalise employee relations in a mutually beneficial way, with the aim to build productive relationships and to achieve business goals. The accountability for managing employee relations rests with the management teams of the each of the Group’s operations. The Corporate Employee Relations has a specific role to establish policies and procedures, support operations by providing guidance on employee relations processes and procedures, facilitate relationship building, employee relations strategy development and build employee relations capacity.
    8. To recognise the right of employees to lawfully withhold labour. This policy statement must be read within the context of the provisions of local legislation and the provisions of applicable Collective Labor Agreements that are in force.
    9. Notwithstanding the above, to promote agreements on continuity of sensitive units like blast furnaces or coke ovens that by design should not stop under any circumstances.
    10. To continuously develop the capacity of the various role players to effectively manage Employee relations, to provide applicable training programmes on an ongoing basis. These programmes will include training in the application of processes, policies and procedures.
    11. Corporate Employee Relations will regularly monitor and assess the application of the Group’s Employee relations policy.

    Source: http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/~/media/Files/A/ArcelorMittal/corporate-responsibility/Employee-Relations-Policy.pdf

    Baffinland’s Sustainability Policy

    1.0 HEALTH AND SAFETY

    We strive to achieve the safest workplace for our employees and contractors; free from occupational injury and illness from the very earliest of planning stages. Why? Because our people are our greatest asset. Nothing is as important as their health and safety. We report, manage and learn from injuries, illnesses and high potential incidents to foster a workplace culture focused on safety and the prevention of incidents.

    We foster and maintain a positive culture of shared responsibility based on participation, behaviour and awareness. We allow our workers and contractors the right to stop any work if and when they see something that is not safe.

    Baffinland’s Human Resource Management Plan

    • Section 2.0 – Human resources management principles
    Baffinland’s human resource policies and procedures are based on the following principles (P 4): promoting a safe, healthy and productive workplace; promoting a work environment of continuous improvement; supporting employees’ efforts and aspirations to contribute at their full potential by promoting and rewarding workers based on merit and performance mutual trust, and providing transparent HR processes good corporate citizenship and responsibility

    • Section 3.0 - Workplace preparedness
    3.1 cross-cultural recognition
    3.2.Inuit preparedness for the workplace
    3.3. Inuktitut in the workplace
    3.4. affirmative steps for attracting female employees
    3.5. employee and family assistance program
    3.6. availability of country food
    3.7. traditional activities

    • Section 6.0 - Recruitment Program
    6.1. Project Human Resources Strategy
    6.5. Inuit Human Resources Strategy
    6.5.1. Inuit Recruitment and Selection Program
    6.5.2 Retention, advancement and career development
    6.5.4 Inuit Women's Access to Employment

    • Section 7.0 - Occupational Heath and Safety
    • Section 7.2. Medical program

    • Section 8.0 - Education and Training
    • List of training programs see Table 5.1. p 22).

    • Section 9.0 – Employee Relations
    • Section 9.3 – Employee benefits
    • Section 10.0 - Contracting and Subcontracting

    Baffinland Health and Safety Management Plan (FEIS - Appendix 10E)


    Baffinland is committed to leadership and continuous improvement in environmental, health, and safety practices for the benefit of employees, contractors, and communities.

    This will be accomplished by:
    • Providing a safe and healthy workplace;
    • Integrating environmentally sound practices in all processes;
    • Complying with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and standards;
    • Conserving natural resources and energy;
    • Providing necessary resources to support environment, health, and safety goals and objectives; and
    • Integrating environmental, health, and safety goals and objectives with overall business strategy.

    Baffinland Environmental Health and Safety Committee Charter (appendix 10A-1) 


    To meet applicable legal requirements and operate at a best practices level, the EHS Committee is committed to undertake the following responsibilities with respect to the environment and health and safety of its employees:


    Communicate to the company the importance of developing: (i) a culture of environmental responsibility and (ii) an awareness of the importance of health and safety.


    Ensure adequate resources are available and systems in place for company management to implement appropriate environmental, and health and safety programs and request and obtain from the Chief Operating Officer periodic reports on such programs.


    Establish policies, and provide oversight on development and implementation of management systems relating to environmental and health and safety matters.


    Ensure management has implemented an Environmental, Health, and Safety Policy and Framework that includes defined standards and objectives, monitors effectiveness and, from time to time, reports to management any necessary improvements to such policy and its framework of implementation.


    Ensure management has implemented an environmental, health, and safety performance measurement system that can be used to provide a continuous measure of environmental and health and safety performance and continuous improvement of the company.


    Use the environmental, health, and safety performance measurement system to monitor compliance with legal requirements and internal targets, as well as communicate a demonstrated commitment to the environment and employee health and safety to shareholders and stakeholders, including all members of the company.


    Ensure that management has implemented an environmental and health and safety compliance audit program, request from the Chief Operating Officer periodic status reports on such program, and provide feedback on necessary improvement to the program.


    Receive an annual report from management that includes any environmental, health, and safety issues of a material nature.
    Report on its activities to the shareholders annually in the company’s annual report or management information circular for the annual shareholders’ meeting or other disclosure documents or on the company’s website.

    NIRB Terms and Conditions related to Workers’ Rights

    Term and Condition no. 135 - Education and Training / Work and Study
    Objective: Recognizing the 12-hour work days inherent with work at the Project site, it is not clear how employees would successfully engage in a work/study program offered by the Proponent.
    Term and Condition: The Proponent is encouraged to consider offering additional options for work/study programs available to Project employees (in addition to study programs at project sites that would be offered to employees when off shift).

    Term and condition 136 - Education and training / transferable skills
    Objective: Offering training which results in certifications that are valid for employment at more than one site or in different fields provides an investment in the long-term employability of Nunavummiut.
    Terms or conditions: The Proponent is encouraged to work with training organizations and/or government departments offering mine-related or other training in order to provide additional opportunities for employees to gain meaningful and transferable skills, credentials and certifications especially where such training of employees offered by the Proponent remains valid only at the Mary River Project sites.

    Term and Condition no 137 -Education and training/ transferable skills
    Objective: Offering training which results in certifications that are valid for employment at more than one site or in different fields provides an investment in the long-term employability of Nunavummiut.
    Term or condition: Prior to construction, the Proponent shall develop an easily referenced listing of formal certificates and licences that may be acquired via on-site training or training during employment at Mary River, such listing to indicate which of these certifications and licenses would be transferable to a similar job site within Nunavut. This listing should be updated on an annual basis, and is to be provided to the NIRB upon completion and whenever it is revised.

    Term and condition no 138 - Education and training - Inuit employee training
    Objective: Working together with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to prepare effective training programs developed specifically for Inuit will assist in employee preparedness and may improve employee retention.
    Term and condition: The Proponent is encouraged to work with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to ensure the timely development of effective Inuit training and work-ready

    Term and condition no 140 - Education and Training - Survey of Nunavummiut employees
    Objective: Monitoring the number of employees who leave previous employment in their home communities or who leave some type of formal education in pursuit of employment with the Project is important to evaluate predictions made and the potential impacts to North Baffin communities and education rates.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to survey Nunavummiut employees as they are hired and specifically note the level of education obtained and whether the incoming employee resigned from a previous job placement or educational institution in order to take up employment with the Project.

    Term and condition no 141 - Education and training - Training of Inuit
    Objective: To ensure that effective training is available in a timely manner.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to work with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association prior to construction in order to prioritize the provision of training of Inuit to serve as employees in monitoring or other such capacities.

    Term and condition no 142 - Livelihood and Employment - Employee cohesion
    Objective: To promote cohesion between employees on site, and between employees and their families.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to address the potential direct and indirect effects that may result from Project employees’ on-site use of various Inuktitut dialects as well as other spoken languages, specifically paying attention to the potential alienation of some employees that may occur as a result of language or other cultural barriers.

    Term and condition no 143 - Livelihood and Employment - Employee family contact
    Objective: To enable and foster connection and contact between employees and family members.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to consider the use of both existing and innovative technologies (e.g. community radio station call-in shows, cell phones, video-conferencing, Skype, etc.) as a way to ensure Project employees are able to keep in contact with family and friends and to ward off the potential for feelings of homesickness and distance to impact on employee retention and family stability.

    Term and condition no 144 - Livelihood and Employment - Requirement for employment
    Objective: To ensure that the prerequisites and requirements for employment are clear and well known in work readiness program.
    Term and condition: The Proponent is encouraged to make requirements for employment clear in its work-readiness and other public information programs and documentation, including but not limited to: education levels, criminal records checks, policies relating to drug and alcohol use and testing, language abilities.

    Term and condition No 145 - Livelihood and Employment - Barriers to employment of women
    Objective: To monitor and understand the existence of barriers to employment for women specifically relating to childcare availability and costs
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to work with the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtaaluk Socio-Economic Monitoring Committee to monitor the barriers to employment for women, specifically with respect to childcare availability and costs.

    Term and condition no 146 - livelihood and employment - Availability of childcare for project employees
    Objective: To lessen the barriers to employment as relating to the availability of childcare.
    Term or condition: The Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association are strongly encouraged to investigate the possibility for Project revenue streams to support initaitves or programs which offset or subsidize childcare for Project employees.

    Term and condition no 147 - livelihood and employment - Affordability of housing
    Objective: To lessen the barriers to maintaining employment as relating to the availability and costs of housing.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to work with the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Housing Corporation to investigate options and incentives which might enable and provide incentive for employees living in social housing to maintain employment as well as to negotiate for and obtain manageable rental rates.

    Term and condition no 149 - Economic Development and Self-Reliance, and Contracting and Business Opportunities - Impacts of temporary closure
    Objective: To further the understanding of how a temporary closure may impact on the well-being of the residents and businesses of the North Baffin region.
    Term or condition: Prior to the commencement of operations, the Proponent is required to undertake an analysis of the risk of temporary mine closure, giving consideration to how communities in the North Baffin region may be affected by temporary and permanent closure of the mine, including economic, social and cultural effects.

    Term and condition no 151 - Economic Development and Self-Reliance, and Contracting and Business Opportunities -Access to Housing
    Objective: To investigate ways that economic development and self-reliance my improve access to housing by employees
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to investigate measures and programs designed to assist Project employees with homeownership or access to affordable housing options.

    Term and condition no 152 - Economic Development and Self-Reliance, and Contracting and Business Opportunities - IIBA contract requirements
    Objective: To improve ability of small businesses to access Project contract and sub-contract opportunities.
    Term or condition: The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is encouraged to provide the Board and the Qikiqtaaluk Socio-Economic Monitoring Committee with information regarding the effectiveness of any provisions within the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement which may require that larger contracts be broken down into smaller size in order that they are reasonably managed by smaller businesses in the North Baffin region, while respecting any confidential or privileged information

    Term and condition no 153 - Human Health and Well-Being - Employee and family health and well-being
    Objective: To provide adequate medical services on site, including those that contribute to the mental health and well-being of all employees.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is encouraged to employ a mental health professional to provide counselling to Inuit and non-Inuit employees in order to positively contribute toward employee health and well-being.

    Term and condition no 154 - Human Health and Well-being - Indirect impacts to health and well-being
    Objective: To understand the indirect impacts of the Project upon health and well-being.
    Term or condition: The Proponent shall work with the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtaaluk Socio-Economic Monitoring Committee to monitor potential indirect effects of the Project, including indicators such as the prevalence of substance abuse, gambling issues, family violence, marital problems, rates of sexually transmitted infections and other communicable diseases, rates of teenage pregnancy, high school completion rates, and others as deemed appropriate.

    Term and condition no 155 - Human Health and Well-being - Employee cohesion
    Objective: To encourage the on-site cohesion of employees through cultural-awareness and social programs.
    Term or condition: The Proponent is strongly encouraged to provide the NIRB with an updated report on its development of mitigation measures and plans to deal with potential cultural conflicts which may occur at site as these may become needed.

    Term and condition no. 156 - Human health and well-being - support initiatives
    Objective: To assist with fostering well-being within point-of-hire communities.
    Term and condition: The Proponent is encouraged to assist with the provision and/or support of recreation programs and opportunities within the potentially affected communities in order to mitigate potential impacts of employees’ absences from home and community life.

    Term and condition no 157. - Human health and well-being - Counselling and treatment programs
    Objective: To male available, necessary treatment and counselling services for employee and family well-being.
    Term and condition: The Proponent should consider providing counselling and access to treatment programs for substance and gambling addictions as well as which address domestic, parenting, and marital issues that affect employees and/or their families.

    Concluding observations: key issues to be monitored at the Mary River Mine

    The key issues that need to be monitored from a human rights perspective include:

    • Non-discrimination in employment. This means that Inuit workers and female workers should have equal chances to get hired and promoted at the mine. They should also be protected against harassment at work. This has sometimes been a challenge at other mines in Canada. Baffinland’s training activities such as the Work Ready Program are positive steps to give Inuit opportunities for jobs. Training and apprenticeships for Inuit promote the right to work and the right to education. The government and the DIOs should collaborate to provide strong training programmes to allow Inuit to take advantage of the opportunities at the Mary River mine and for future mining projects in Nunavut.

    • Safe and healthy working conditions. Modern mines in Canada have good safety records and Baffinland says that safety is its number one priority. However, there are many health and safety risks related to the different aspects of the Mary River mine, so on-going training, monitoring and inspection will be very important. Particular care and counseling should be provided to support mental health at the mine in relation to potential issues related to the fly-in/fly-out working arrangements and potential substance abuse problems.

    • Just and favourable working conditions. Modern mines in Canada provide excellent wages and benefits and Baffinland is expected to be an employer of choice in Nunavut. By providing just and favourable working conditions for its employees, Baffinland also provides opportunities for families and communities to enhance other human rights such as food, health and education. As many Inuit are not accustomed to working in the formal economy, they may need support to ensure that generous wages and benefits turn into positive human rights outcomes. Government, DIOs and local communities all have a role to play.

    • Freedom of association and collective bargaining. It is important that workers can discuss workplace issues and concerns with management. Some mines in Canada have unions and others do not. What is important is that Baffinland allows workers to meet together and to raise individual and collective issues such as health, safety, wages and benefits.

    • Preventing forced labour and child labour. It is extremely unlikely that there will be forced labour or child labour issues at the Mary River mine. However, given the school drop-out rates in some Inuit communities, attention should be paid to child labour issues for local businesses that provide services to the mine.

     

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Inuit Rights to Consultation and Consent – Summary

    5. Inuit Rights to Consultation and Consent – Full Finding

    Key message

    On-going consultation with Inuit and other stakeholders is a critical component of respecting human rights. The concept of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) has not been formally recognized in Canadian law or in the corporate policies of Baffinland and its parent companies. However, there is a strong legal framework for consultation with Inuit in Nunavut. Inuit rights have largely been protected to date as a result of the requirements of the Canadian Constitution and the Nunavut Lands Claim Agreement. A key aspect has been the impact review process by the Nunavut Impact Review Board that provided a process for informed discussion and community input. The requirement for Baffinland to negotiate an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association also provides a process for Inuit to provide their consent about how the mine will be developed.

    International standards for consultation with Inuit

    Consultation is a fundamental human rights principle and a leading indicator for respecting a wide range of human rights. In addition, free, prior and informed consultation and consent are fundamental components of indigenous peoples rights, including their right to self-determination and their right to participate in the exploration and exploitation of natural resources on their lands and territories.

    Principles relating to good faith consultation with indigenous peoples have been a feature of international law and policy for many years. However, since the adoption of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is increasingly recognized by governments and business enterprises as an emerging international standard. For instance, the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards (governing private-sector loans from the International Finance Corporation and Equator Principles banks) were revised in 2011 to make explicit reference to FPIC.

    Recent and convergent interpretations of international law suggest that FPIC does not necessarily require unanimous consensus, but also that majority support may also not be adequate in some circumstances. FPIC does not give indigenous peoples a veto, but they also have “the right not to consent to extracting resources as an exercise of their sovereignty.” There are some situations in which it may be mandatory to obtain indigenous peoples’ consent (e.g. in the case of forced relocation); other situations where the context may require consent (e.g. where there are impacts on cultural heritage); and, other situations where the requirement of consent is set out in treaties with indigenous peoples.

    Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Canada

    As a distinctive legal concept and international standard, FPIC finds its main expression in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Canada initially voted against the UNDRIP at the UN General Assembly, citing concerns about FPIC being used as a veto (amongst other concerns). However, Canada later endorsed the UNDRIP through a Statement of Support issued in November 2010, stating: “[w]e are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework. 

    It should be highlighted that these international standards containing the principle of FPIC are not legally binding upon Canada: the UNDRIP is a Declaration rather than an international treaty that Canada has signed and ratified; and, the IFC Performance Standards are binding on companies, through the terms of their project financing, rather than on governments.

    Therefore, while Canada recognizes and supports the principle of FPIC at an international level, it is necessary to look at how analogous concepts have been embedded in Canadian laws and policies. There are important legal protections for aboriginal peoples rights in Canada, including with respect to the Crown’s “duty to consult and accommodate” that is contained in section 35 of the Constitution and the well-developed constitutional common law jurisprudence of Canadian courts.

    Beginning with a series of Supreme Court of Canada decisions in 2004 and 2005, it has been clarified that the Crown has a duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate when the Crown contemplates conduct that might have adverse impacts on aboriginal or treaty rights. The duty to consult and accommodate is a key part of preserving the “honour of the Crown” and fulfilling the objective of reconciliation between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples other societal interests. The federal government has published aboriginal consultation and accommodation guidelines that include a series of guiding principles and consultation directives, a step-by-step guide and a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of different actors: federal departments, agencies and boards; provinces and territories; project proponents; and, aboriginal groups.

    As was stated in a recent legal article, “[a]lthough FPIC and the Canadian duty to consult originate from different sources and use different language, they have both evolved in such a way that they reach the same results in practice. If the Canadian government abides by its Constitution and the Indian Act, and meets the criteria for consultation established [by the Supreme Court of Canada], it will, in most cases, fulfill the requirements for FPIC in international law.”

    Free, prior and informed consent in Nunavut

    For the purposes of a discussion about FPIC in Nunavut, the constitutional common law “duty to consult and accommodate” in Canada provides an important backdrop; however, it is also important to examine the terms of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. In the context of resource development on Inuit lands, the NLCA is a modern land claims agreement that provides a number of institutions and mechanisms that help fulfill the requirements of FPIC, notably through the creation of the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and the requirement that major development projects cannot commence without the negotiation of an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreements (IIBA).

    Public consultation with Inuit (and other stakeholders) is part of the requirements for the review of the ecosystemic and socio-economic impacts of project proposals by the NIRB in accordance with Article 12 of the NLCA. The NIRB is an institution of public government whose members are responsible for its operations; and, a plurality of NIRB members are nominated by Designated Inuit Organizations (DIOs). The NIRB has developed rules of procedure and procedural guides to govern consultation with Inuit and the general public about proposed projects in Nunavut.

    As discussed below, the NIRB conducted a detailed review process for the Mary River Project for more than four years, with numerous opportunities for formal and informal consultation. This included the participation of Baffinland, various federal and territorial government departments and DIOs as formal Parties throughout the entire review process. There were opportunities for public consultation, notably at a series of public hearings in July 2012 that also included community roundtables. Lloyd Lipsett and Dr. Zacharias Kunuk were granted formal intervenor status for these public hearings, and made submissions about the importance of addressing the human rights impacts of the Mary River Project. Furthermore, the NIRB Final Hearing Report contains a number of specific recommendations, terms and conditions for on-going consultation with respect to different aspects of the project; in addition, the report underscores the voluntary commitments that Baffinland made with respect to consultation during the public hearings.

    In terms of consent, Article 26 of the NLCA stipulates that no “Major Development Project” may commence until an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement is finalized. This means that, in Nunavut, there is a requirement that a certain form of consent is obtained from the relevant DIOs through the IIBA negotiation process. In addition, the NCLA includes a list of topics that are appropriate for IIBA negotiations, many of which are relevant to the protection and promotion of Inuit collective and individual human rights.

    Not only is this legal provision significant in ensuring the consultation and consent of Inuit, it also entrenches the good practice of obtaining and documenting FPIC through impact benefit and other agreements. Furthermore, as the IIBA can be enforced according to the common law of contract (according to Article 26.9.1), the relevant Designated Inuit Organization has an additional mechanism to ensure that project proponent lives up to its commitments.

    According to the most recent reports, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Baffinland are in advanced negotiations about the terms of an IIBA. At this stage, the terms of the IIBA are confidential. In 2009, the QIA and Baffinland negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that deals with some of the matters that may covered by an IIBA.

    What is Baffinland doing to respect Inuit rights to consultation?

    According to international human rights standards, governments have the primary duty to protect indigenous peoples rights to consultation, consent and participation. However, businesses also have a responsibility to respect these rights as well. Similarly, in Canadian law, while there are many aspects of consultation and accommodation of aboriginal people that will fall upon project developers, the ultimate duty to consult and accommodate resides with the Crown.

    Given the complex interplay between the roles and responsibilities of governments, businesses and indigenous peoples to design and implement a successful and rights-respecting consultation and consent processes, this is an increasingly important issue for business enterprises, particularly in relation to resource development. There are allegations of extractive industry companies infringing indigenous peoples rights as a result of their consultation practices (or lack thereof), particularly in countries where there are inadequate laws, regulations and mechanisms for free, prior and informed consultation and consent. Moreover, infringements of FPIC are often connected to infringements of other human rights, as well as to social conflicts and/or costly legal cases.
     

    Baffinland and (its parent company) ArcelorMittal’s policies do not explicitly address the issue of FPIC. However, they both have a number of policies and procedures that are relevant to the consultation, consent and participation of Inuit.

    Baffinland’s Sustainability Policy includes the following statement in section 3.0: “[w]e honour our commitments by being sensitive to local needs and priorities through engagement with local communities, governments, employees and the public. We work in active partnership to create a shared understanding of relevant social, economic and environmental issues, and take their views into consideration when making decisions.” Furthermore, Baffinland has prepared a Stakeholder Engagement Plan in the FEIS that provides detailed objectives for its overall consultation efforts with Inuit and other stakeholders, as well as specific goals and activities for the construction and operational phases of the Mary River Project.

    ArcelorMittal’s Human Rights Policy also contains the following commitment to dialogue with local communities: “We seek to respect human rights and
to develop an understanding of the cultures, customs and values that prevail in our local communities by developing an inclusive and open dialogue with the people affected by our operations. The ArcelorMittal Community Engagement Standard requires us to conduct an open and inclusive dialogue with local communities, including engaging with often under-represented groups such as women and Indigenous Peoples.” It is supported by an
    External Stakeholder Engagement Procedure that provides additional guidance.

    As a member of the Mining Association of Canada, Baffinland has also committed to the Towards Sustainable Mining guiding principles and an Aboriginal and Community Outreach Framework and Protocols.

    In terms of its practices, Baffinland’s record of community engagement and the progress in negotiating an IIBA are summarized in section 1.2.4 and 1.2.5 of the FEIS:

    1.2.4 Baffinland’s Record of Community Engagement

    Baffinland has been proactively engaged in consultation with local communities, increasing the scope of its consultation activities progressively since 2004. In 2007, Baffinland established liaison offices in the five North Baffin communities closest to the Project and in Iqaluit staffed by local Baffinland Liaison Officers. Due to financial constraints and a scaling back of operations in late 2008, the number of liaison offices was reduced to two from five but this number is being increased back to 5 for the beginning of 2012. With the exception of 2009, Baffinland has carried out bi-annual public meetings in the five North Baffin communities of Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik, and Pond Inlet and, starting in 2010, Cape Dorset and Kimmirut. Details of the Company’s past consultation activities are provided in Volume 2, Section 1, and the Company’s Stakeholders Involvement Plan is included in Appendix 10F-1. The Stakeholders Involvement Plan and the Company’s engagement activities have been aligned with ArcelorMittal’s Community Engagement Standard included in Appendix 10F-1.

    1.2.5 Negotiating an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement

    Baffinland started discussions with the QIA in 2006 on the development of a future Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA). In March 2009 the two organizations reached an agreement-in-principle on the economic provisions of a future IIBA through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Additional sections of the IIBA have also been successfully negotiated, and the Company and the QIA expect to complete a signed Agreement-in-Principle in the coming months. In a November 24, 2011, letter to the NIRB, the QIA indicated that it is close to completing negotiations with Baffinland on an IIBA for the overall project and anticipate having a final draft agreement by the end of January 2012.

    Furthermore, since it submitted its project proposal for the Mary River Project to the NIRB in March 2008, Baffinland has naturally been the key participant in all the consultation opportunities provided for by the NIRB review process. This involved the preparation of and refinement of the FEIS, including providing responses to numerous Requests for Information and technical workshops with the Parties, including DIOs, as well as public hearings involving Inuit and other stakeholders. Numerous Baffinland executives, staff and advisors participated in the public hearings and made detailed presentations and responded to questions and concerns about different aspects of the Mary River Project.

    In addition to the terms and conditions placed on the Mary River Project, the NIRB Final Hearing Report also documents the various commitments that Baffinland made during the public hearings in relation to questions or concerns raised by community members. A significant number of these terms, conditions and commitments relate to on-going consultation with Inuit and other stakeholders.

    Further consultation efforts have been part of the development of the Addendum to the FEIS for the Early Revenue Phase; and, Baffinland and the other parties and stakeholders will participate in public hearings related to the NIRB’s forthcoming review of the Early Revenue Phase.

    What roles and contributions can other actors make to consultation?

    In keeping with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the assessment framework for the HRIA focuses primarily on the role of the State in protecting human rights and business enterprises in respecting human rights. However, it is important to consider the roles and contributions of other actors to the consultation process for the Mary River Project.

    • Pursuant to the NLCA, the Qikitani Inuit Association (QIA) is a key actor in protecting Inuit rights through its role as the Designated Inuit Organization (DIO) for Inuit in the Baffinland region. The QIA was an active participant in the NIRB review process: in addition to participating in all stages of the review and making detailed submissions, requests for information and recommendations, it also formed “Mary River Committees” to contribute to consultation efforts within the communities. Furthermore, as mentioned above, the QIA has the role and responsibility to negotiate the IIBA.

    • As a territorial government, the Government of Nunavut shares the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Inuit. The Government of Nunavut also was an active participant as a party in the NIRB review process, making detailed submissions, requests for information and recommendations from the perspective of various territorial government departments.

    • A number of individuals participated in the community roundtable portions of the public hearings, primarily Inuit from the project-affected communities, including elders and some women and youth. Furthermore, a number of public officials and organizations made presentations during the community roundtables. For example, these included the mayors of Iqaluit, Igloolik and Pond Inlet, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the World Wildlife Fund. According to the NIRB Rules of Procedure, it is also possible for Inuit and members of the general public to apply for formal intervenor status, which provides a more formal role in making presentations to the Board and posing questions to the other Parties during the public hearings. To make submissions related to the HRIA, Dr. Zacharias Kunuk and Lloyd Lipsett applied for intervenor status, which was granted. No other individuals applied for intervenor status.

    • The media has a role in promoting informed consultation with Inuit. Local and national media outlets covered the public hearings, particularly the opening sessions in Iqaluit (some concern was expressed by community members in Pond Inlet where media was not present). IsumaTV used local radio to promote informed consultation and active participation of Inuit in advance of the public hearings; attended the hearings in Iqaluit and Igloolik; and, assisted in broadcasting the hearings in Igloolik and Pond Inlet on local radio and over the Internet.

    Concluding observations about free, prior and informed consent

    From the discussion above, it is clear that Inuit have been consulted about the Mary River Project. Baffinland began its consultation efforts in 2006 and there have been numerous opportunities for formal and informal consultation as part of the NIRB review process that began in 2008 and culminated with final public hearings in the summer of 2012. The consultation has been with Designated Inuit Organizations and Inuit (as well as federal and territorial government departments, other public representatives, organizations and intervenors with mandates related to protecting or supporting Inuit).

    While the concept of “Free, Prior and Informed Consent” (FPIC) has not been formally recognized in Canadian law or in the corporate policies of Baffinland or ArcelorMittal, there is an appropriate legal and institutional framework for consultation with Inuit in the context of the Mary River Project. A number of factors point towards this preliminary conclusion: the constitutional common law “duty to consult and accommodate” in Canada;” the terms of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement that provide for the NIRB review process and the requirement to complete an IIBA for major development projects; and, the consultation and engagement practices of Baffinland to date.

    In terms of “free” consultation, there was no conduct that would amount to intimidation, coercion or manipulation during the public hearings.

    • Some community members expressed concern in private about the tense atmosphere that surrounded some portions of the public hearings; and, this may have affected their willingness to participate or express themselves fully at the hearings. However, the NIRB Board and staff made repeated efforts to encourage all participants to freely express their views, particularly during the community roundtables. Ultimately, a wide range of views on different issues was expressed throughout the community roundtables, often in colourful and/or forceful terms.

    • The NIRB facilitated the participation of community representatives from 11 communities in the public hearings in Iqaluit, including representatives of women and youth.

    • The participation of the Mary River Committees at the public hearings was also facilitated by the QIA.

    • Participation in the public hearings was promoted through the local newspapers and IsumaTV’s community radio programmes.

    • All requests for intervenor status that were submitted according to the Rules of Procedure were accepted by the NIRB. However, a single request for intervenor status was made by an individual (Dr. Zacharias Kunuk), so this avenue for participation was under-utilized. Some potential reasons for this are: unfamiliarity with this procedure; reluctance to use formal and written procedures, especially when other opportunities to make oral presentations existed in the NIRB’s Community Roundtables.

    In terms of “prior” consultation, extensive consultation took place before the Mary River Project was approved and began construction.

    • Consultation efforts of Baffinland began in 2006.

    • The NIRB review process began in March 2008 and the Minister’s approval of the Mary River Project was given in December 2012.

    • There are still additional consultations that will take place in relation to the Early Revenue Phase.

    In terms of “informed” consultation, there was extensive information provided in various forms throughout the NIRB review process.

    • The key documents in the review process were the draft and final Environmental Impact Statements, which contain very detailed information about environmental, social, economic and archaeological impacts that responded to the “EIS Guidelines” established by the NIRB.

    • The information contained in the draft and final EIS goes far beyond the basic criteria enumerated by the UN Development Group.

    • The information in the draft and final EIS, including about potential negative impacts, was probed and refined through a process of Requests for Information, technical meetings and questions to Baffinland and other parties in the final public hearings. If anything, the concern is that the information in such impact statements can be too voluminous and technical to be digested and understood by non-experts.

    • In this regard, a popular summary of the FEIS was prepared and translated into Inuktitut, as were other presentation materials. Simultaneous translation between Inuktitut, English and French was provided throughout the public hearings. The challenges of translating and communicating the detailed and technical information in impact assessments are addressed elsewhere in this report.

    • All of the written information pertaining to the Mary River Project was made available electronically on the NIRB website and through the distribution list for the Mary River project.

    • Through Mary River Committees, IsumaTV’s community radio shows and other mechanisms, additional information was provided to communities about different aspects of the Mary River Project.

    In terms of “consultation and consent:”

    • At the final hearings, the Designated Inuit Organizations, QIA and NTI, expressed support for the Mary River Project, while raising some concerns and providing recommendations to the NIRB.

    • Although it has a different legal status than DIOs, the majority of the constituents of the Government of Nunavut are Inuit. The Government of Nunavut also supported the project, while raising some concerns and providing recommendations to the NIRB.

    • Elders and other Inuk expressed many concerns and expectations about different aspects of the Mary River Project throughout the public hearings. However, it was quite rare that these individuals expressed the view that the project should not go ahead; rather most individuals emphasized the need for jobs and benefits for Inuit and strong protections for the environment and communities as the basis for the project proceeding.

    • As mentioned above, a number of public officials and organizations made presentations during the community roundtables, raising new issues about potential social impacts and safety issues that would affect Inuit.

    • The NIRB Final Hearing Report provides a detailed and balanced discussion of the issues and themes raised at the public hearings; and, has recommended over 180 terms and conditions in response to community concerns. It also has listed the commitments that Baffinland made during the hearings in Appendix A of its report.

    • The Minister has accepted the Mary River Project based on the terms and conditions in the NIRB Final Hearing Report, so the consultation and input of Inuit will have an influence on the project’s development and operation. A significant number of the terms and conditions address on-going consultation with Inuit and other stakeholders.

    • Insert point about consent with respect to the final IIBA and any information, consultation and ratification with communities before its ratification.

    Consultation processes are by their nature complex and imperfect. Their success requires the sustained efforts of many parties over a long period of time. They can always be improved.

    Consultation and consent should not be viewed as a “one-time event,” but rather as a continuous process of building and maintaining trust and the social license to operate. The opportunities and successes of consultation through the NIRB review process and Baffinland’s community engagement should be viewed as the foundation for on-going consultation over the lifespan of the mine.

    Recommendations

    1. Conduct a survey about the consultation efforts to date to understand what has worked and what can be improved for on-going consultation with Inuit. The current regulatory phase of the project is a good opportunity to conduct such an evaluation in order to design and refine consultation, engagement and monitoring mechanisms and procedures going forward. Some of the issues that could be addressed include: timing, format and duration of public hearings; preferred format and media for receiving information; how to enhance the participation of women and youth; role of company liaison offices and local committees; how to address consultation fatigue and information overload; etc. From a human rights perspective, the satisfaction of Inuit about consultation efforts and their belief that they have been carried out in good faith are important issues. Periodic and independent review of consultation practices is suggested as an important rights-respecting practice.

    2. Make use of multimedia options to enhance on-going informed consultation. Moving forward, there will be a wide variety of issues being discussed, reports being produced, and monitoring groups examining different aspects of the Mary River Project. It would be very useful to create an Internet platform where all this information can be compiled and accessed by Inuit and other stakeholders. Internet tools can also provide opportunities for comments and feedback. As is discussed elsewhere in the report, the Internet provides opportunities to use video and audio tools that can help address some of the challenges of translation into oral Inuktitut.

    3. Ensure the NIRB has the capacity and resources to oversee on-going consultation for Mary River and to ensure prior consultation for future mining projects in Nunavut. As discussed above, the NIRB has played a critical role in protecting the consultation rights of Inuit throughout its review process, public hearings and terms and conditions in its Final Hearing Report. It will also play an important role in monitoring the Mary River Project, including the terms and conditions relating to on-going consultations. As the NIRB will likely be under increased pressure and workload given the predicted expansion of exploration and mining activity in Nunavut, as well as the government’s desire to streamline and place time-limits on environmental review processes. If part of the social acceptability and approval of the Mary River Project relates to the strength of the NIRB review process, it is important that the NIRB have adequate resources to conduct rigorous reviews in the future.

    4. Baffinland should fully implement its Stakeholder Engagement Plan, as supplemented by the group-wide requirements of ArcelorMittal and the commitments undertaken as part of the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining. As with other recommendations about the implementation of corporate policies, effective oversight, periodic evaluation including stakeholder feedback, and public reporting are key elements.

    Additional Resources

    Free, Prior and Informed Consent

    International Finance Corporation, Performance Standard 7 on Indigenous Peoples.

    UN Global Compact, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Business Reference Guide.

    UN Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Advice No. 4: Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision-making, with a focus on extractive industries.

    Boreal Leadership Council, Free Prior, and Informed Consent in Canada: Towards practical guidance for developers and Aboriginal communities.

    “Making Free, Prior and Informed Consent a Reality: Indigenous Peoples and the Extractive Industry”

    Impact Benefit Agreements

    Nunavut Land Claims Agreement: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/n-28.7/

    What are Impact Benefit Agreements? http://www.miningfacts.org/What-are-impact-benefit-agreements/

    Impact and Benefit Agreement Research Network: http://www.impactandbenefit.com/

    IBA Community Toolkit: http://www.ibacommunitytoolkit.ca/

    Gowlings’ webinar on Aboriginal Impact Benefit Agreements: http://m.gowlings.com/knowledgeCentre/publicationPDFs/IBA-January-11-Webinar.pdf
     

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Human Rights in Canada – Summary

    3. Human Rights in Canada – Full Finding

    Key message

    The assessment of the human rights situation for the Mary River mine begins with a review of how government protects human rights in Canada. According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, governments must protect against human rights abuse within their territory, including by companies. This requires taking steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress such abuse through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

    Overview

    Canada is a signatory to most international human rights treaties. Even though it was initially opposed to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it now supports it. Canada also supports international human rights standards related to business and human rights. At the same time, Canada is aggressively pursuing resource development (in Canada and around the world) as part of its economic strategy. Canada needs to ensure that its resource development strategy does not contradict human rights.

    Within Canada, human rights are protected by the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and provincial or territorial human rights laws. Furthermore, the Canadian Constitution and modern land claims agreements provide a strong protection of aboriginal rights in Canada.

    In Nunavut, the protection of collective Inuit rights is assured by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. There is also a Nunavut Human Rights Act that protects Nunavummiut against discrimination and creates the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal. In a recent report to the Government of Nunavut, it was recommended that it create a new human rights commission to provide better protection for and education about human rights in Nunavut.

    While there are strong legal protections for human rights in Canada, important challenges remain with respect to implementation of both Inuit and human rights in Nunavut, including:

    • Poverty and lack of economic and employment opportunities affect the realization of economic and social rights in Inuit communities.

    • The remote location, lack of infrastructure and high cost of food and services affect the right to food, the right to housing and the right to health of many individuals and families.

    • The territorial and local governments lack resources to fully implement their human rights obligations.

    • There are gaps in terms of access to remedies as Nunavut does not have a human rights commission, and there are significant barriers for Inuit using the legal system.

    It is against this backdrop that the Baffinland company must ensure that its operations do not harm the human rights of Nunavummiut.

    International Standards: State obligation to protect human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

    1. States must protect against human rights abuse within their territory and/or jurisdiction by third parties, including business enterprises. This requires taking appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress such abuse through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

    Commentary

    States’ international human rights law obligations require that they respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of individuals within their territory and/ or jurisdiction. This includes the duty to protect against human rights abuse by third parties, including business enterprises.

    The State duty to protect is a standard of conduct. Therefore, States are not per se responsible for human rights abuse by private actors. However, States may breach their international human rights law obligations where such abuse can be attributed to them, or where they fail to take appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress private actors’ abuse. While States generally have discretion in deciding upon these steps, they should consider the full range of permissible preventative and remedial measures, including policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication. States also have the duty to protect and promote the rule of law, including by taking measures to ensure equality before the law, fairness in its application, and by providing for adequate accountability, legal certainty, and procedural and legal transparency.

    2. States should set out clearly the expectation that all business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction respect human rights throughout their operations.

    Commentary

    At present States are not generally required under international human rights law to regulate the extraterritorial activities of businesses domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction. Nor are they generally prohibited from doing so, provided there is a recognized jurisdictional basis. Within these parameters some human rights treaty bodies recommend that home States take steps to prevent abuse abroad by business enterprises within their jurisdiction.

    There are strong policy reasons for home States to set out clearly the expectation that businesses respect human rights abroad, especially where the State itself is involved in or supports those businesses. The reasons include ensuring predictability for business enterprises by providing coherent and consistent messages, and preserving the State’s own reputation.

    States have adopted a range of approaches in this regard. Some are domestic measures with extraterritorial implications. Examples include requirements on “parent” companies to report on the global operations of the entire enterprise; multilateral soft-law instruments such as the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; and performance standards required by institutions that support overseas investments. Other approaches amount to direct extraterritorial legislation and enforcement. This includes criminal regimes that allow for prosecutions based on the nationality of the perpetrator no matter where the offence occurs. Various factors may contribute to the perceived and actual reasonableness of States’ actions, for example whether they are grounded in multilateral agreement.

    3. In meeting their duty to protect, States should:

    (a) Enforce laws that are aimed at, or have the effect of, requiring business enterprises to respect human rights, and periodically to assess the adequacy of such laws and address any gaps;
    (b) Ensure that other laws and policies governing the creation and ongoing operation of business enterprises, such as corporate law, do not constrain but enable business respect for human rights;
    (c) Provide effective guidance to business enterprises on how to respect human rights throughout their operations;
    (d) Encourage, and where appropriate require, business enterprises to communicate how they address their human rights impacts.

    Commentary

    States should not assume that businesses invariably prefer, or benefit from, State inaction, and they should consider a smart mix of measures – national and international, mandatory and voluntary – to foster business respect for human rights.

    The failure to enforce existing laws that directly or indirectly regulate business respect for human rights is often a significant legal gap in State practice. Such laws might range from non-discrimination and labour laws to environmental, property, privacy and anti-bribery laws. Therefore, it is important for States to consider whether such laws are currently being enforced effectively, and if not, why this is the case and what measures may reasonably correct the situation.

    It is equally important for States to review whether these laws provide the necessary coverage in light of evolving circumstances and whether, together with relevant policies, they provide an environment conducive to business respect for human rights. For example, greater clarity in some areas of law and policy, such as those governing access to land, including entitlements in relation to ownership or use of land, is often necessary to protect both rights-holders and business enterprises.

    Laws and policies that govern the creation and ongoing operation of business enterprises, such as corporate and securities laws, directly shape business behaviour. Yet their implications for human rights remain poorly understood. For example, there is a lack of clarity in corporate and securities law regarding what companies and their officers are permitted, let alone required, to do regarding human rights. Laws and policies in this area should provide sufficient guidance to enable enterprises to respect human rights, with due regard to the role of existing governance structures such as corporate boards.

    Guidance to business enterprises on respecting human rights should indicate expected outcomes and help share best practices. It should advise on appropriate methods, including human rights due diligence, and how to consider effectively issues of gender, vulnerability and/or marginalization, recognizing the specific challenges that may be faced by indigenous peoples, women, national or ethnic minorities, religious and linguistic minorities, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers and their families.

    National human rights institutions that comply with the Paris Principles have an important role to play in helping States identify whether relevant laws are aligned with their human rights obligations and are being effectively enforced, and in providing guidance on human rights also to business enterprises and other non-State actors.

    Communication by business enterprises on how they address their human rights impacts can range from informal engagement with affected stakeholders to formal public reporting. State encouragement of, or where appropriate requirements for, such communication are important in fostering respect for human rights by business enterprises. Incentives to communicate adequate information could include provisions to give weight to such self-reporting in the event of any judicial or administrative proceeding. A requirement to communicate can be particularly appropriate where the nature of business operations or operating contexts pose a significant risk to human rights. Policies or laws in this area can usefully clarify what and how businesses should communicate, helping to ensure both the accessibility and accuracy of communications.
    Any stipulation of what would constitute adequate communication should take into account risks that it may pose to the safety and security of individuals and facilities; legitimate requirements of commercial confidentiality; and variations in companies’ size and structures.

    Financial reporting requirements should clarify that human rights impacts in some instances may be “material” or “significant” to the economic performance of the business enterprise.

    Human Rights Protections in Canada

    The following table outlines some of the main human rights protections in Canada in relation to the main issues addressed in HRIA methodologies. Additional information about priority issues is provided in the other key findings.

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Mining in Nunavut – Summary

    2. Mining in Nunavut – Full Finding

    Key message

    The Mary River mine is not the first mine to developed in Nunavut, nor will it be the last. Mining projects in Nunavut are becoming increasingly feasible from a technological and economic point of view. Climate change will make mining and resource development more attractive and accessible. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement provides important protections for Inuit rights in the context of mining, including their right to benefit from the exploitation of natural resources on their lands and territories. The context of mining in Nunavut helps to remind us that the success of the Mary River project is not just the responsibility of the Baffinland company. It includes the different levels of government and the Designated Inuit Organizations.

    Nunavut: A “Rising Star” in Mining

    According to the Mining Journal, Nunavut is a “Rising Star” in the mining sector:

    Mining holds great promise to help pave the way to Nunavut’s economic self-reliance. Mineral production from its first mine already accounts for nearly a fifth of the gross domestic product. More than C$395 million was spent on exploration and development in 2011. With additional investments in mineral exploration, the Nunavut mining industry boosted real GDP by 3.3% in 2011. In comparison, the public sector grew moderately by only 1.9%, despite making up over 40% of the economy.

    These investments present significant training and employment opportunities. It is estimated several thousand jobs will emerge over the coming years, making the mining industry Nunavut’s largest private-sector employer. As well, the government recognises the substantial role that the minerals industry plays in developing Nunavut’s infrastructure. With new transportation networks such as roads, port facilities, and airstrips, Nunavut will be able to provide easier and cheaper access to not only support expanding exploration programmes and new mining development, but also lower the cost of living for communities.

    Source: http://www.mining-journal.com/__data/assets/supplement_file_attachment/0005/324149/Nunavut2012scr.pdf

    Legal regime for mining

    In Canada, surface rights and mineral rights came with the purchase of land until some time in the early 1900s, depending on the jurisdiction. Since then, mineral rights have been government-owned and cannot be purchased, but only leased, by individuals or companies. As a result, the mineral rights on more than 90% of Canada’s land are currently owned by governments.

    Where mineral rights are privately owned, they can be sold independently of surface rights, so that surface and mineral rights on the same property can be held by different owners.

    As per the Canadian Constitution, the regulation of mining activities on publicly owned mineral leases falls under provincial/territorial government jurisdiction. Thus, there is separate mining rights legislation for each of the thirteen Canadian jurisdictions except Nunavut.

    Nunavut mining and exploration activities are regulated by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. However, as part of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the mineral rights for about 10% of Nunavut have been turned over to the Inuit community. These lands comprise large blocks that scatter throughout Nunavut. The Inuit community set the rules and regulations in those blocks that are not under federal jurisdiction.

    The Mary River Mine is one of the blocks that have been turned over to the Inuit as part of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

    Source: General mineral rights regime in Canada: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/minerals-metals/policy/legislation-regulations/3707

    Mining as part of Canada’s Northern Strategy

    The priorities of Canada’s Northern Strategy, released in 2009, include:

    • Exercising our Arctic sovereignty
    • Promoting social and economic development
    • Protecting our environmental heritage
    • Improving and devolving northern governance

    The Government of Canada is introducing measures to ensure that regulatory systems across the North protect the environment in a predictable, effective and efficient manner. Efforts such as the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative are helping resolve the complex approval process for development projects, to ensure new projects can get up and running quickly and efficiently.

    Mining activities and major projects such as the Mackenzie Gas Project are the cornerstones of sustained economic activity in the North and the key to building prosperous Aboriginal and Northern communities. Diamond mining in the North is now a $2-billion-per-year industry, which is about half of the economy of the Northwest Territories. The Mackenzie Gas Project – now estimated at over $16 billion – will provide direct benefits to Aboriginal communities through the development of a new model for Aboriginal participation.

    The Aboriginal Pipeline Group will provide for Aboriginal participation in the developing economy, notably through an ownership position in the Project. In addition to on-shore exploration and development there is renewed interest in the off-shore, including a new era of oil and gas exploration in the deeper waters of the Beaufort Sea. Canada will continue to support the sustainable development of these strategic resource endowments.

    The large-scale projects already underway barely scratch the surface of the North’s immense store of mineral, petroleum, hydro and ocean resources. However, the full extent of the natural resources potential in the Arctic is still unknown. The Government of Canada announced a significant new geo-mapping effort – Geo-Mapping for energy and Minerals – that will combine the latest technology and geoscientific analysis methodsto build our understanding of the geology of Canada’s North, including in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The results of this work will highlight areas of mineral and petroleum potential, lead to more effective private sector exploration investment and create employment opportunities in the North.

    Source: Government of Canada Northern Strategy (2009): http://www.northernstrategy.gc.ca/cns/cns.pdf

    Changes to Regulatory Regimes

    There have been changes to the regulatory regimes that affect resource development across Canada.

    In particular significant public attention was given to revisions to the Canada Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 aimed at streamlining environmental impact review processes. While this change does not affect the impact review process of the Mary River Mine, which began in 2008, it does signal a larger shift in approach to regulation of major resource development projects.

    In the north, there has been another on-going initiative to streamline regulatory processes for resource development called the “Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative.” This regulatory reform process is leading to changes to the policies and timeframes under which future mining projects will be reviewed and approved.

    Nunavut Land Claims Agreement

    The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement provides important protections for Inuit rights in the context of mining, including their right to benefit from the exploitation of natural resources on their lands and territories:

    • Some portions of the territory have been designated as Inuit-Owned Lands, meaning that Inuit own the sub-surface mineral rights and receive the royalties when the minerals are extracted. The main deposit at Mary River is on Inuit-Owned Lands.

    • The Nunavut Impact Review Board was created to conduct reviews, public hearings and make recommendations about measures to protect Inuit and Nunavummiut from adverse environmental and social impacts of mining projects. The review of the Mary River mine began in 2008 and will continue this summer and fall with respect to the Early Revenue Phase.

    • There is a requirement that all major development projects are subject to Inuit Impact Benefit Agreements, which are negotiated between the regional Designated Inuit Organization and the developer of a mine. The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is currently in negotiation of an IIBA with the Baffinland company.

    “Inuit were once on the outside of the mining industry looking in. The signing of the [Nunavut Land Claims] Agreement changed all that. Now, for many reasons, we feel we feel we can be considered part of the mining industry and that we are no longer on the outside. Here are some of the reasons I say that:

    • Inuit hold land with both surface and mineral rights;

    • Inuit make agreements with exploration and mining companies and 
individuals for mineral rights to some of the most prospective land in 
Nunavut;

    • Inuit sit on boards which screen and review projects;

    • Inuit collect royalties from any mining project;

    • Inuit enter into Impact and Benefit Agreements for all major developments
on Inuit Owned Lands or consult on benefit plans for developments on 
Crown land;

    • Inuit development corporations provide goods and services for exploration 
and mining projects; and, finally,

    • many Inuit work directly on projects or for businesses which provide goods and services to the projects.”

    Nunavut Impact Review Board

    The Nunavut Impact Review Board is an environmental assessment agency, established under Articles 10 and 12 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The Board determines whether development projects proposed for the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA) should proceed and, if so, under what terms and conditions. The primary objectives of the Board are to protect and promote the existing and future well being of the residents and communities of the NSA, and to protect the ecosystem integrity of the settlement area. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has the overriding authority to approve or reject projects in national or regional interest.

    The Board consists of nine members, including a Chair. In consultation with the Government of Nunavut, the Minister appoints the Chair from nominations agreed to and provided by the members. Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated nominates four members for appointment by the Minister. One or more federal ministers appoints two members. The Government of Nunavut appoints two members directly to the Board.

    Source: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100011174/1100100011175

    Nunavut Tunngavit Inc.’s Mining Policy

    The objectives of NTI’s mining policy are to:

    • Minimize The Negative Impacts: 
Ensure that exploration and mining will be planned and carried out in a way which will have the least possible impact on the environment, wildlife, habitat, and on the lives and culture of Inuit.

    • Maximize The Benefits Of Mining To Inuit: 
Ensure that to the greatest extent possible, the benefits of mining will remain in Nunavut, both in Nunavut as a whole and in the local communities that are impacted.

    • Attract Mining Investment: 
Promote the development of a political and economic climate which will encourage the mining industry to invest.

    • Resolve Land Use Conflicts: 
Promote certainty and clarify for land access and resolve land use conflicts.

    • Improve Consultation and Clarify Decision Making: 
Improve communications, consultation and coordination among all of the stakeholders and clarify the decision-making process

    Source: http://ntilands.tunngavik.com/minerals-oil-and-gas-management/mining-policy/

    Concluding Observations

    Despite these protections in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, there are some concerns about the future of mining in Nunavut:

    • As the Government of Canada works to streamline environmental and social review processes, will the NIRB be able to conduct as rigorous impact assessments for future mining projects as it did for the Mary River mine?

    • If there are numerous projects that are developed at the same time, will the NIRB have the capacity to conduct simultaneous reviews—while also fulfilling its responsibilities to monitor the implementation of the Mary River project certificate?

    • As Mary River and other mines begin to generate revenues and profits, how will the economic and other benefits be allocated at the community level?

    The context of mining in Nunavut helps to remind us that the success of the Mary River project is not just the responsibility of the Baffinland company. It includes the different levels of government and the Designated Inuit Organizations. In our human rights impact assessment, we provide recommendations for all of these actors to ensure that the mine respects human rights.

    Resources

    Mining Journal, Supplement on Nunavut, “Canada’s Rising Star” (2012): http://www.mining-journal.com/__data/assets/supplement_file_attachment/0005/324149/Nunavut2012scr.pdf

    Source: General mineral rights regime in Canada: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/minerals-metals/policy/legislation-regulations/3707

    Government of Canada Mineral and Metals Policy (1996): http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/minerals-metals/policy/bulletin/minerals-metals-policy/2928

    Government of Canada Northern Strategy (2009): http://www.northernstrategy.gc.ca/cns/cns.pdf

    Revision to Canada’s Environmental Assessment Act: http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=16254939-1

    Presentation on the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative: http://www.nunavutminingsymposium.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/steven-trainer-330pm.pdf

    Source: http://ntilands.tunngavik.com/minerals-oil-and-gas-management/mining-policy/

    Government of Nunavut’s uranium mining policy statement: http://www.uranium.gov.nu.ca/
     

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Mary River Mine – Summary

    1. Mary River Mine – Full Finding

    Key message

    The Mary River Mine is a massive and unprecedented mining development for Nunavut (and the Arctic region in general). On the one hand, it represents a major opportunity for potential benefits to workers and their families, to Inuit communities and designated Inuit organizations, as well as to the territorial and federal governments. On the other hand, there are risks of negative impacts related to the environment, socio-economic conditions and human rights. Therefore, all of the relevant actors should have strong and shared interests that the Mary River Mine will become a good example of responsible and rights-respecting northern development. 

    Overview of the Mary River Mine

    The Mary River Mine is an open pit iron mine on North Baffin Island on Inuit owned lands in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut. The grade of the iron ore is very high quality and does not require any further chemical processing or tailings. It can be shipped away as soon as it has been taken out of the ground.

    The iron ore deposit was discovered in 1962, but only in recent years has it become economically viable to develop the mine due to high commodity prices. Climate change is also making the Arctic region more accessible for natural resource extraction.

    The Mary River Mine is owned by the Baffinland Iron Mine Corporation (BIMC), a private company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. BIMC is jointly owned: 50% by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel-maker, and 50% by Iron Ore Holdings LP, a U.S.-based private equity firm.

    The initial project for the Mary River Mine was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in 2008. After a lengthy and rigorous review process by the NIRB, including public hearings in the summer of 2012, the proposed mine was approved by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development on December 3, 2012.

    However, shortly afterwards, BIMC submitted a proposal to change the project and include an “Early Revenue Phase” for the mine. BIMC submitted a new Environmental Impact Statement for this “Early Revenue Phase” at the end of June 2013 and the NIRB will be conducting a reconsideration process to determine whether the Project Certificate needs to be modified to address potential new impacts on the environment and on communities. Additional public hearings will take place in the late summer or fall of 2013.

    Information on Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (BIMC)

    BIMC ownership

    50% by ArcelorMittal
    • ArcelorMittal is the world’s largest steel company with operations in 60 countries
    • Headquarters are in Luxembourg
    • 245,000 employees worldwide
    • Publicly traded on the stock exchanges of New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Luxembourg, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia
    • Mr. Lakshmi Mittal is the CEO and owns 40% of the shares and voting shares in the company

    50% by Iron Ore Holdings LP
    • Incorporated according to the laws of Delaware, U.S.A.
    • Backed by the Energy and Minerals Group, a $2 billion private equity firm based in Houston, U.S.A.

    Brief corporate history

    • 2004: BIMC goes public to raise funds for exploration. It is listed on the Toronto stock exchange (TSX).
    • 2010-2011: Bidding war between different investors to gain control of BIMC.
    • 2011: ArcelorMittal and Iron Ore Holdings LP join forces to acquire all the shares of BIMC for $590 million. BIMC is “taken private,” meaning that it is no longer listed on the Toronto stock exchange. At the time, ArcelorMittal owns 70% and Iron Ore Holdings LP owns 30% of BIMC.
    • 2012: Ontario Securities Commission begins a proceeding alleging insider trading against former BIMC consultant: http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/Proceedings_soa_20120109_waheed-walter.htm
    • 2012: ArcelorMittal sells 20% of its interest in BIMC to Iron Ore Holdings LP, so they currently each own 50% of BIMC.

    Senior management

    • Tom Paddon, President & Chief Executive Officer
    • Michael Anderson, Vice-President, Operations
    • Stephanie Anderson, Chief Financial Officer
    • Ronald Hampton, Vice-President and Project Director
    • Erik Madsen, Vice President, Sustainable Development Health, Safety & Environment
    • Richard (Dick) Matthews, Vice President, Technical Services
    • Greg Missal, Vice President, Corporate Affairs
    • Michael T. Zurowski, Executive Vice President
    • Biographies of senior management team: http://www.baffinland.com/about-us/leadership/?lang=en

    Original proposal for Mary River Mine

    The following description of the Mary River Mine is taken from the NIRB Final Hearing Report:

    The Mary River Project Proposal consists of the proposed construction, operation, closure, and reclamation of an open pit mine and associated infrastructure for the extraction, transportation and shipment of high grade iron ore from a deposit located on the North Baffin Island, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut. The proposed mine site would be 280 kilometres from Arctic Bay, 415 kilometres from Clyde River, 192 kilometres from Hall Beach, 155 kilometres from Igloolik, 1000 kilometres from Iqaluit and 160 kilometres from Pond Inlet. The Proponent of the Mary River Project is Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (the Proponent or Baffinland).

    The iron ore deposit, Deposit No. 1 consists of an estimated 365 Mt (million tonnes) of direct shipping iron ore with an average iron grade of 64.66%. The Project would involve the production and shipment of an estimated 18 million tonnes-per-annum (Mt/a) of high grade iron ore from Deposit No. 1. The Proposal indicates that the high grade iron ore from this deposit is suitable for shipment to international markets after crushing and screening with no requirement for additional processing. Deposit No. 1 is estimated to be sufficient to meet the production design for an operating period of 21 years.

    After crushing and screening, the Proponent proposes to transport the iron ore from the mine via a 150 kilometre Railway that would be constructed between the mine site and an all season deep water port to be located at Steensby Inlet. Upon reaching Steensby Port, the iron ore would be loaded from the rail cars into purpose-built ore carrying vessels with ice-breaking capabilities for shipment to European customers.
    During the construction period, material, equipment and supplies required for the construction at the mine site and the northern portion of the Railway would be received via a port site at Milne Inlet. A freight dock would be constructed at Milne Port. At the onset of the Project, much of the construction material and supplies, fuel and mining equipment would be received at Milne Port during the open water season. Milne Port and the existing Milne Inlet Tote Road linking the mine site to Milne Port would be upgraded to improve access from the Milne Port to the mine site. It is proposed that Milne Port would operate during the open water season while Steensby Port would operate year round. Once Steensby Port is operational, Milne Port would only be used occasionally for the delivery of oversized equipment to the mine site.

    The Project would include the following major phases:
    • Construction, which is projected to take four years;
    • Operations, which is projected to last approximately 21 years;
    • Closure, which is projected to take 3 years and Post-Closure Monitoring, which is projected to 
last for 5 years, and if closure objectives are not met, could extend beyond 5 years.

    Early Revenue Phase

    The following summary of the Early Revenue Phase (ERP) is taken from the Popular Summary of the Addendum to the FEIS submitted to the NIRB by Baffinland:

    With the introduction of the ERP, the Mary River Project consists of mining iron ore from the reserve at Deposit No. 1 at a production rate of 21.5 Million tonnes per year (Mt/a). Initially, for the Early Revenue Phase, 3.5 Mtpa of iron ore will be mined, transported by trucks to Milne Port and shipped to markets from Milne Port during the open water season. As global markets improve for the prices of iron ore, the Company intends to proceed with the construction and operation of the larger Approved Project which includes the construction, operation, closure, and reclamation of a large scale mining operation (open-pit mine) and associated infrastructure for extraction, a railway link for the transportation of ore to Steensby Port, and, the construction and operation of a year around port facilities on Steensby Inlet for the shipment of iron ore.

    There are 3 main project locations for the Early Revenue Phase (ERP) – the mine site, Milne Port north of the mine site, and the Tote Road which connects the Mine Site to Milne Port. Only limited development will occur at the Mine Site, sufficient to support the mining of 3.5 Mtpa of iron ore. The Tote Road will be upgraded to enable safe and efficient transportation of ore by truck from the Mine site to Milne Port.
    Milne Port will be fully developed and will accommodate a 3.5 million tonnes ore stockpile, an ore dock, maintenance facility and associated infrastructure for the operation of the port facilities.

    Concluding observations

    This overview of the Mary River Mine defines the corporate and operational context for the human rights analysis in the following sections of the HRIA report.

    Some key questions and issues that the corporate and operational context raises are:

    • Now that ArcelorMittal and Iron Ore Holdings LP are 50% partners, what are the implications for Baffinland’s policies? Will it continue to implement ArcelorMittal’s strong policies and procedures—including its Human Rights Policies—as it would have when ArcelorMittal was a majority owner (70%)?

    • The high grade of the iron ore at Mary River is an important consideration, especially as it means that there is no processing or tailings required at the mine site. This significantly reduces the human rights risks related to the environment, employees’ health and to closure.

    • The fact that the mine will be developed more slowly now because of the “Early Revenue Phase” presents some positive aspects from a human rights perspective: there will be more opportunities for formal consultation with the affected peoples through the NIRB process; earlier opportunities for jobs and training for Inuit who want to work at the mine; and, more time to complete studies and prepare monitoring programmes related to the environmental impacts of the railway and shipping route out of Steensby Inlet.

    • There will inevitably be other changes over the mine’s lifespan, and therefore Inuit need to be informed and consulted on an on-going basis if they are going to participate successfully in the development of the mine.

    Additional Information

    BIMC website: http://baffinland.com

    ArcelorMittal website: http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/

    Profile on Mr. Laksmi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi_Mittal

    Energy and Metals Group website: http://www.emgtx.com/

    Further information on the original proposal for the Mary River mine is available on the NIRB website (see, in particular, the Final Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by BIMC):
    ftp://ftp.nirb.ca/02-REVIEWS/ACTIVE%20REVIEWS/08MN053-BAFFINLAND%20MARY%20RIVER/1-SCREENING/01-APPLICATION/080320-08MN053-Development%20Proposal%20for%20the%20Mary%20River%20Project.pdf

    Further information about the Early Revenue Phase is available on the NIRB website (see in particular the Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Assessment): http://ftp.nirb.ca/03-MONITORING/08MN053-MARY%20RIVER%20IRON%20MINE/01-PROJECT%20CERTIFICATE/04-AMENDMENTS/

    A good summary of the revised project, including the Early Revenue Phase, is included in the correspondence between Baffinland and the Nunavut Planning Commission: http://ftp.nirb.ca/03-MONITORING/08MN053-MARY%20RIVER%20IRON%20MINE/01-PROJECT%20CERTIFICATE/04-AMENDMENTS/2012%20EARLY%20REVENUE%20PHASE/01-CORRESPONDENCE/
     

     

    05-07-2013

  • Human Rights Assessment

    by: Gabriela Gamez

    channel: Human Rights and the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation – Summary

    4. Human Rights and the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation – Full Finding

    Key message

    International standards require companies to respect human rights. This implies having a human rights policy, an on-going process to prevent adverse impacts on human rights, and an effective operational-level grievance mechanism. Many leading mining companies and industry associations have begun to develop detailed human rights policies and procedures. One of these companies is Baffinland’s parent company, ArcelorMittal. While there is no legal requirement for Baffinland to explicitly address human rights at the Mary River mine, the company should develop a human rights policy and procedures in order to meet international standards for the mining industry, the corporate policy commitments of ArcelorMittal, and the expectations of its stakeholders.

    International standards on business and human rights

    International human rights standards require companies to respect human rights. This implies having a human rights policy, an on-going human rights due diligence process, and an effective operational-level grievance mechanism.

    These standards are contained in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that were unanimously adopted by all the Member States of the United Nations in 2011.

    Human rights responsibilities are being integrated into other key international standards that are relevant to the mining industry, including the UN Global Compact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards and International Standards Organization (ISO) 26000: Guidance for Social Responsibility.

    For the mining industry, it is important to note that the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)—an industry association that brings together 22 of the world’s biggest mining and metals companies as well as 34 national and regional mining associations and global commodity associations—has released guidance for their members on management and best practices to respect human rights. Human rights are also referenced in a number of Canadian standards for the mining sector, including the Prospector and Developer’s Association of Canada, “E3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration,” and the Government of Canada’s International CSR strategy, “Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector.”

    While the Government of Canada supports the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, there is no strict legal requirement for the Baffinland Iron Mine Corporation to explicitly address international human rights at the Mary River mine.

    Overview of international standards relevant to Mary River Project

     

    Baffinland’s policy on human rights

    The Baffinland company states that “we respect human rights and the dignity of others” in section 3.0 of its Sustainability Policy. However, it does not have a more specific human rights policy or detailed human rights procedures that would meet the international standards referenced above. As discussed elsewhere in the HRIA, a number of Baffinland’s other policies and procedures address important aspects of human rights.

    Many leading mining companies and industry associations have begun to develop human rights policies and due diligence processes. One of these companies is Baffinland’s parent company, ArcelorMittal. Baffinland’s other parent company, Iron Ore Holdings LP, does not have a human rights policy.

    ArcelorMittal’s Human Rights Policy has not yet been explicitly integrated into the plans and management systems for the Mary River mine—at least as presented in the initial FEIS for the Mary River mine. Part of the reason for this is that the Human Rights Policy dates from 2010 and human rights were not part of the NIRB guidelines for the FEIS issued in 2009.

    ArcelorMittal promises that its Human Rights Policy should be integrated progressively into operations. It says: “the Policy and associated practices are expected to strengthen over time as the Company gains a better understanding of and becomes more experienced in promoting human rights. 
In support of this Policy we will develop operating procedures to create an environment where human rights are respected, and to also help ensure that we do not engage in activities that directly or indirectly violate human rights.”

    It also states: “[t]he Company’s implementation of this Human Rights Policy
is expected to strengthen over time as risk assessments and due diligence procedures will increasingly take into account human rights aspects. Human Rights will also be integrated into social impact assessments, with separate human rights impact assessments completed where required.”

    In a 2011 “Communication on Progress” report to the UN Global Compact, ArcelorMittal gave itself a score of 72% on integrating human rights principles into its operations. Its next report is due by the end of July 2013.

    In section 1.2.2 of the FEIS, Baffinland has committed to develop its Corporate Social Responsibility governance structures and policies consistent with the group-level commitments of ArcelorMittal. Presumably, this will include the implementation of the ArcelorMittal Human Rights Policy at Mary River.

    Baffinland has made additional commitments to conduct due diligence on human rights when it says that it “embraces the principle of Social Responsibility as outlined by the emerging voluntary International Standard, ISO 26000, Guidance for Social Responsibility.” As mentioned above, this ISO standard includes due diligence for human rights according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

    It is therefore expected that these various international standards will be operationalized at the Mary River Project through strong corporate governance and appropriate human rights policies and due diligence by Baffinland.

    Recommendations: What can Baffinland do to respect human rights?

    1. In furtherance of its commitments to social responsibility and to implement ArcelorMittal’s policies, Baffinland should develop and implement an explicit human rights policy and operating procedures in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the emerging best practices of the mining industry.

    2. As human rights were not explicitly addressed and integrated into the FEIS for the Mary River project, Baffinland should consider undertaking a stand-alone human rights impact assessment at an appropriate moment in the future (e.g. at the end of the “Early Revenue Phase”) in order to assess actual impacts of its operations.

    Related Resources and Links

    Baffinland Sustainable Development Policy: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/ds/csr-strategy-rse-stategie.aspx?view=d.

    ArcelorMittal corporate responsibility human rights performance 2012:
    http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/corporate-responsibility/governance-and-ethics/human-rights/performance

    ArcelorMittal corporate responsibility 2012 report (human rights section pp.7-8):
    http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/~/media/Files/A/ArcelorMittal/corporate-responsibility/publications-and-reports/archive/global-corp-resp-reports/ArcelorMittal-CR-Report-2012singlev2.pdf

    The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf

    OHCHR, Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: An Interpretive Guide: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Business/RtRInterpretativeGuide.pdf

    OHCHR, Guide on How to Develop a Human Rights Policy: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/DevelopHumanRightsPolicy_en.pdf

    The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has launched a Portal dedicated to the UN Guiding Principles, which includes Commentaries; Implementation and Uses of the Guiding Principles; Events; History of the Guiding Principles; and Additional Materials: http://www.business-humanrights.org/Documents/UNGuidingPrinciples

    OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, including provisions relating to human rights due diligence, were adopted by OECD Member States on May 25, 2011: http://www.oecd.org/document/19/0,3746,en_21571361_44315115_48029523_1_1_1_1,00.html

    ISO 26000: Social Responsibility includes commitments to human rights, labour practices, environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues and community involvement and development: http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/management_and_leadership_standards/social_responsibility/sr_discovering_iso26000.htm

    The revised IFC Sustainability Framework and Performance Standards, including acknowledgement of business responsibility for human rights (and recommendation of human rights due diligence for high risk projects) came into effect on January 1, 2012. See the IFC fact sheet with information about the revised framework and standards: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/policyreview.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/Updated_SustainabilityFramework_Fact-sheet/$FILE/Updated_SustainabilityFramework_Fact-sheet.pdf

    International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM): “Human Rights in the Mining and Metals Industry: Overview, Management Approach and Issues,” (2009) ICMM, “Human Rights in the Mining and Metals Industry: Resolving Local Level Concerns and Grievances,” (2010); ICMM, “Integrating Human Rights into Corporate Risk Management Processes,” (2012). See: http://www.icmm.com/page/84154/our-work/projects/articles/business-and-human-rights

    Government of Canada’s International CSR strategy, “Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector”: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/ds/csr-strategy-rse-stategie.aspx?view=d.
     

    24-06-2013