Archive for the ‘Bill C-300’ Category

Some opinions in Swahili of Barrick’s take on Bill C-300

April 24, 2010

Earlier this week I came across some candid opinions expressed in Swahili about Barrick Gold’s take on Bill C-300. They can be found here on Issa Michuzi’s blog which is a very popular Tanzanian blog with a very wide and general readership. My Swahili’s far from perfect, but I can read it well enough to be able to translate the contents of that discussion.

The blog itself isn’t associated with Barrick Gold or mining, but that particular post provides an item titled Barrick Gold Yatoa Msimamo kuhusu Muswada nambari C-300 na Kueleza Ukweli: Barrick Gold Gives Stance on Bill C-300 and Explains the Truth. In other words, it’s the Swahili version of the press release that I mentioned here! [*] It doesn’t say anywhere that Barrick Gold were the ones that translated it, but it’s written carefully, it’s a faithful translation of the original, and at the end it gives the contact information for company representatives in Toronto. Your guess is as good as mine as to who considered it worth the time.

I didn’t really go out of my way to find that link; after entering kampuni Kanada (“company Canada” in Swahili) into Google, it was on the first page of results. After entering kampuni Kanada madini (company Canada mineral), it was the second result.

Here’s what follows in the comments section at the bottom.

Tarehe Mon Nov 30, 08:01:00 PM, Mtoa Maoni: Anonymous

hawa barick juzi tu hapa wananchi wa mgodini huko Argentina waligomea uchimbaji wa dhahabu kwa kudai jamaa wanawaua kwa sumu na taarifa yenyewe mbona haipo wazi imekaa kimipasho zaidi

Date Mon Nov 30, 08:01:00 PM, User: Anonymous

these barick people just two days ago here people from a mine in Argentina protested gold mining claiming that they’re poisoning people and please tell me why the article is insincere things have become more kimipasho [kimipasho here might mean something along the lines of in-your-face deceitful or spiteful]

Tarehe Mon Nov 30, 09:30:00 PM, Mtoa Maoni: Blogger masssaiboi

SASA ANKO HII YATUHUSU NINI, MBONA MAAZIMIO YANAYOTOLEWA NA WANASIASA PAMOJA NA NGOs ZETU HUWA HAWAZITOLEI UFAFANUZI.

Date Mon Nov 30, 09:30:00 PM, User: Blogger masssaiboi

NOW WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH US, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHY DECLARATIONS ARE MADE WHILE OUR POLITICIANS TOGETHER WITH OUR NGOs TEND TO EXPLAIN NOTHING.

Tarehe Mon Nov 30, 11:57:00 PM, Mtoa Maoni: Anonymous

HILI TANGAZO LINAPASWA KUWA INTERNAL MEMO KWA WANABARRICK WALA HALIKUPASWA KUWEKWA HAPA HALINA MAANA KABISA KWA WATANZANIA, IT’S A JUNK!!

KUNA OUTSTANDING ISSUES NYINGI TU ZINAZOHUSU BARRICK AMBAZO WATANZANIA HAWAJAPATA MAJIBU.

TUNGEWAONA WA MAANA SANA KAMA ANGALAU WANGETUONYESHA HATUA MBALI MBALI WALIZOCHUKUA KUHAKIKISHA HAWACHAFUA TENA MTO TIGHITE NA MASUALA MENGINE YANAYOHUSU KUHIFADHI MAZINGIRA.

POLE.

Date Mon Nov 30, 11:57:00 PM, User: Anonymous

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE AN INTERNAL MEMO FOR THE PEOPLE OF BARRICK AND SHOULD NOT BE PUT HERE IT HAS NO MEANING WHATSOEVER FOR TANZANIANS, IT’S A JUNK!!

THERE ARE MANY OUTSTANDING ISSUES INVOLVING BARRICK FOR WHICH TANZANIANS HAVE NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE.

WE WOULD TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY IF AT LEAST THEY WOULD SHOW THAT THEY HAVE TAKEN STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE NOT POLLUTING THE TIGHITE RIVER AGAIN AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ISSUES.

I AM SORRY.

Tarehe Tue Dec 01, 06:02:00 AM, Mtoa Maoni: Anonymous

Is Barrick the center of the universe?
Mwananchi wa kawaida nitajulia wapi C-300? Ina maana ndio maji ya mto Tigithe yamekuwa safi kwa C-300?

Date Tue Dec 01, 06:02:00 AM, Useri: Anonymous

Is Barrick the center of the universe?
Where can a common citizen like myself look into C-300? Does it mean that in fact the water of the Tigithe river has been made clean by C-300?

Tarehe Tue Dec 01, 06:15:00 AM, Mtoa Maoni: Impokochole

Kwa hamu nimekuwa nikisoma kwa haraka pengine nifike mahala ambapo wanatoa pia maelezo na misimamo yao juu ya yale wanayotuhumiwa au kuwajibika kwayo katika jamii ya Watz lakini sikuona chochote.

NAJUUUUUUTA KUSOMA ARTICLE HII!

Date Tue Dec 01, 06:15:00 AM, User: Impokochole

I read anxiously and with haste to arrive at where they would also give an explanation of their stance on what they are accused of or on meeting their responsibilities to the Tanzanian people but I did not see a thing.

I DEPLOOOOOORE HAVING READ THIS ARTICLE!

Tarehe Tue Dec 01, 05:53:00 PM, Mtoa Maoni: Anonymous

sasa hawa waswahili wenzangu watafanyaje zaidi ya kutekeleza amri toka kanada? pole teweli & co, mradi hela zinaingia mifukoni ila mkiulizwa mnafanya nini, hakuna jibu.

Date Tue Dec 01, 05:53:00 PM, user: Anonymous

now what more can these fellow swahili people do to carry out orders from canada? i’m sorry teweli & co [Teweli Teweli is in charge of public relations for Barrick Gold in Tanzania], money enters pockets but when you’re asked what you’re up to there’s no reply.

Tarehe Tue Dec 01, 09:28:00 PM, Mtoa Maoni: DMK

MSWADA NAMBA C-300 UASEMA HIVI:

If passed, Bill C-300 will:

•put in place human rights, labour, and environmental standards that Canadian extractive companies receiving government support must live up to when they operate in developing countries;
•create a complaints mechanism that will allow members of affected communities abroad, or Canadians, to file complaints against companies that are not living up to those standards;
•create a possible sanction for companies that are found to be out of compliance with the standards, in the form of loss of government financial and political support.

HUU MSWADA WA SHERIA UNAOJADILIWA KANADA KWENYE KAMATI YA BUNGE YA MAMBO YA NJE NA MAENDELEO YA KIMATAIFA NI MUHIMU SANA KWETU NA UNATUHUSU MOJA KWA MOJA. ANONY WA KWANZA NA WENGINE MLIOSEMA HAUTUHUSU MMEKOSEA.

TAARIFA ZINAZOTOLEWA NA NGO ZETU HAWAZITOLEI UFAFANUZI KWASABABU HAZINA MADHARA KWAO, TUNAPIGA KELELE TUNANYAMAZA, LAKINI MUSWADA HUU WANAUTOLEA MAELEZO KWASABABU WANAUPINGA USIPITISHWE UKAWA SHERIA KANADA, MAANA WANAJUA SHERIA KANADA ZINAFANYA KAZI. MFANO, KAMA MUSWADA HUU UNGEKUWA UMESHAPITISHWA NA KUWA SHERIA, WANANCHI WALIOATHIRIWA KATIKA MTO TIGHITE WANGEWEZA KWENDA MAHAKAMANI KANADA NA WAKISHINDA BARRICK INGELAZIMISHWA NA SERIKALI YA KANADA KULIPA FIDIA.

ANGALIA HILI, WAKANADA AMBAO HAWAATHIRIWI NA SHUGHULI ZA HAYA MAKAMPUNI YAO YANAPOFANYA KAZI NCHI ZA DUNIA YA TATU WANATUNGA SHERIA KUTUSAIDIA, WATU HUMU WANASEMA HAITUHUSU!!!

NATABIRI KWAMBA SIKU ZA MBELENI, WATATUNGA SHERIA NYINGINE ZITAKAZOYALAZIMISHA MAKAMPUNI YA MADINI KUTULIPA KODI ZAIDI NA PIA KUGAWANA FAIDA PIA KWA VIWANGO VINAVYOKUBALIKA.

KWA MFANO, MADINI HAYA YA DHAHABU YANATOKA KWETU YANAUZWA DUNIA NZIMA, HASA NCHI TAJIRI. SHARES ZA KAMPUNI KAMA HII ZINAUZWA KWENYE SOKO LA HISA LA NEW YORK NA TORONTO. KWA HIYO WENYE HISA WENGI(AMBAO WANAGAWANA FAIDA KWA NJIA YA DIVIDENDS) WAKO HUKO ULAYA NA MAREKANI. SISI TUNABAKI NA KODI AMBAYO KWA MIAKA MINGI KWANZA TUNAISAMEHE ALAFU PILI WANATUMIA MBINU ZA ACCOUNTING KUZIPUNGUZA MNO. PIA TUAPATA MRAHABA AMBAO KAMA NI 3% NA UNAMLIPA ALEX STEWART 1.9%, BASI TUNABAKI NA 1.1%. OFCOURSE KAMA TUNAKUBALI UJINGA HUU WAO SI WATAKAA KIMYA TUU?

KWA HIYO SIKU ZA MBELENI WAKATAPOTUNGA SHERIA YA KUTUSAIDIA(KWASABABU SISI HATUTAKI KUTUNGA), WATASEMA KWANZA HAKUNA MISAMAHA YA KODI.PILI WATASEMA TUPATE SEHEMU YA FAIDA EITHER KWA KUKUBALIANA KIMKATABA AU KWA KUUNGANISHA, TO LINK NA PERFORMANCE YA SHARES KWENYE MASOKO YA HISA HUKO NG’AMBO. NATURALLY, WATATOLEA UFAFANUZI SHERIA YA AINA HIYO WAKIIPINGA KWAMBA WAO WANATOA MTAJI MKUBWA NA SKILLS, KWAMBA HAKUTAKUWA NA FAIDA, NA KWAMBA WAO NI WAWEKEZAJI LAZIMA WAPEWE VIVUTIO. WATASEMA PIA KU LINK FAIDA ZA MASOKO YA HISA NJE NA GAWIO LETU LA FAIDA HAITAWEZEKANA KWASABABU WANAFANYA BIASHARA(MACHIMBO) NCHI NYINGI DUNIANI.

KIPINDI HICHO TUTAKATAA(AU TUSEME BUNGE LA KANADA NDIO LITAKATAA, SI NDIO LITAKUWA LINATUNGA HIYO SHERIA!). TUTASEMA HABARI YA KUSEMA UNA MTAJI NA SKILLS ILIKUWA NI SABABU YA KARNE YA 20. KARNE YA 21 HATA MADINI YETU AMBAYO HAYAJACHIMBWA NI MTAJI TOSHA NA TUNAWEZA KUYATHAMINISHA. PILI TUTASEMA SKILLS NA TECHNOLOGY ZAMANI ZILITOKA MAGHARIBI PEKE YAKE, LAKINI KARNE YA 21 ZINATOKA KILA KONA YA DUNIA HIVYO SI SABABU. MWISHO TUTAWAAMBIA KWAMBA KULINK SHARE PERFORMANCE NA GAWIO LETU LA FAIDA INAWEZEKANA, NI MAHESABU TU YA KIFEDHA AMBAYO SI MARAHISI LAKINI YANAWEZEKANA.

HAYA TUTAKUJA KUYAONA NI MUHIMU KWASABABU TUTAONA(AU WAO WATUNGA SHERIA WA KANADA) WATAONA KWAMBA INGAWA SHARE PRICES ZA GOLD ZINAENDELEA KUPANDA KWENYE MASOKO YA HISA, NA INGAWA WENYE HISA HUKO ULAYA NA MAREKANI WANAPATA GAWIO ZURI KILA MWAKA(DIVIDENDS), HUKU KWETU ZINAKOCHIMBWA HAKUNA KINACHOBADILIKA ZAIDI YA MAZINGIRA KUZIDI KUHARIBIKA NA VIJI CSR PROJECTS HAPA NA PALE!

KWA HIYO HUU MUSWADA NAMBA C-300 WANAUTUNGA KWA AJILI YETU NA UNATUHUSU MOJA KWA MOJA.

Date Tue Dec 01, 09:28:00 PM, User: DMK

BILL C-300 SAYS THE FOLLOWING:

If passed, Bill C-300 will:

•put in place human rights, labour, and environmental standards that Canadian extractive companies receiving government support must live up to when they operate in developing countries;
•create a complaints mechanism that will allow members of affected communities abroad, or Canadians, to file complaints against companies that are not living up to those standards;
•create a possible sanction for companies that are found to be out of compliance with the standards, in the form of loss of government financial and political support.

THIS BILL WHICH IS BEING DEBATED IN CANADA IN A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US AND IS RELEVANT TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. THE FIRST ANONY[MOUS] AND OTHERS WHO SAID THAT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US ARE MISTAKEN.

THE REPORTS THAT THEY AND OUR NGOs PUT OUT DON’T EXPLAIN ANYTHING BECAUSE IT’S NO HARM TO THEM, WE MAKE NOISE OR WE SHUT UP, BUT THEY’RE EXPLAINING THIS BILL BECAUSE THEY WANT TO PREVENT IT FROM BEING PASSED AS LAW IN CANADA, IN OTHER WORDS THEY KNOW THAT CANADIAN LAW WORKS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THIS BILL WERE PASSED, PEOPLE AFFECTED AT THE TIGHITE RIVER WOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO COURT IN CANADA TO FIGHT BARRICK AND IF THEY WON BARRICK WOULD BE FORCED BY THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT TO PAY A PENALTY.

LOOK, CANADIANS WHO ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE BUSINESS OF THIS COMPANY OF THEIRS THAT IS DOING BUSINESS IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES ARE DRAFTING LAWS TO HELP US, BUT PEOPLE HERE ARE SAYING IT DOES NOT CONCERN US!!!

I PREDICT THAT IN THE FUTURE THEY WILL CREATE OTHER LAWS THAT WILL FORCE MINING COMPANIES TO PAY US MORE TAXES AND TO SHARE THE PROFITS AT AN AGREEABLE LEVEL.

FOR EXAMPLE, THIS GOLD LEAVES OUR COUNTRY AND IS SOLD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY IN RICH COUNTRIES. SHARES OF COMPANIES LIKE THIS ONE ARE SOLD ON THE STOCK MARKETS OF NEW YORK AND TORONTO. SO THOSE WITH MANY SHARES (WHO SHARE THE PROFITS BY WAY OF DIVIDENDS) ARE OVER IN EUROPE AND AMERICA. WE ARE LEFT WITH THE TAXES WHICH FOR MANY YEARS NOW FIRST OF ALL WE FORGIVE AND SECONDLY WHICH THEY USE ACCOUNTING STRATEGIES TO REDUCE BY AN EXTREME AMOUNT. WE ALSO GET ROYALTIES OF AROUND 3% AND THEN YOU PAY ALEX STEWART 1.9%, SO WE’RE LEFT WITH 1.1%. OF COURSE IF WE AGREE TO THIS SILLINESS ARE THEY NOT GOING TO JUST KEEP QUIET?

THEREFORE IN THE FUTURE WHEN THEY CREATE LAWS TO HELP US(BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO CREATE THEM), THEY WILL SAY FIRST THAT THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS OF THE TAXES. SECONDLY THEY’LL SAY THAT WE SHOULD GET PART OF THE BENEFITS EITHER BY AGREEMENT THROUGH SOME TYPE OF CONTRACT OR BY LINKING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SHARES IN THE STOCK MARKETS OUT THERE. NATURALLY, THEY WILL GIVE LEGAL EXPLANATIONS OF THIS TYPE EXPLAINING THAT THEY PROVIDE LARGE AMOUNTS OF CAPITAL AND SKILLS, THAT THERE WILL BE NO PROFIT, AND THAT THEY AS INVESTORS NEED TO BE GIVEN INCENTIVES. THEY WILL ALSO SAY THAT TO LINK THE PERFORMANCE IN FOREIGN MARKETS TO OUR SHARE OF THE BENEFITS IS NOT POSSIBLE BECAUSE THEY DO BUSINESS (MINING) IN MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.

AT THAT POINT WE WILL REFUSE(OR RATHER LET’S SAY THAT IT WILL BE THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT THAT WILL REFUSE, AREN’T THEY THE ONES WRITING THE LAW!) WE WILL SAY THAT THIS BUSINESS OF TALKING ABOUT CAPITAL AND SKILLS WAS THE REASON OF THE 2OTH CENTURY. IN THE 21ST CENTURY EVEN THE MINERALS THAT WE HAVE THAT HAVEN’T BEEN MINED ARE CAPITAL ENOUGH AND WE KNOW WHAT THEY’RE WORTH. THEN WE WILL SAY THAT SKILLS AND TECHNOLOGY USED TO COME FROM THE WEST ALONE, BUT IN THE 21ST CENTURY THEY COME FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE SO THAT ISN’T A REASON. FINALLY WE WILL TELL THEM THAT TO LINK SHARE PERFORMANCE WITH OUR SHARE OF THE PROFITS IS POSSIBLE, IT IS JUST A MATTER OF ACCOUNTING WHICH IS NOT EASY BUT POSSIBLE.

SO THEN WE WILL SEE THE IMPORTANCE BECAUSE WE WILL SEE(OR THOSE WRITING THE LAWS IN CANADA) WILL SEE THAT ALTHOUGH GOLD SHARE PRICES CONTINUE TO CLIMB IN THE STOCK MARKETS, AND ALTHOUGH THE SHAREHOLDERS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA GET THEIR GOOD SHARE EVERY YEAR(DIVIDENDS), AROUND HERE IN OUR COUNTRY WHERE THE MINING HAPPENS NOTHING CHANGES EXCEPT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT TO BE RUINED FURTHER AND A FEW LITTLE CSR PROJECTS HERE AND THERE!

FOR THIS REASON THEY ARE CREATING THIS BILL C-300 WITH US IN MIND AND IT IS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO US.

Tarehe Thu Dec 03, 05:29:00 AM, Mtoa Maoni: neema

asante mdau DMK. Umetufumbua macho wengi. Michuzi ungeiprint tena hili fafanuzi la mdau ili watu wengi wafaidike, Asante sana.

Date Thu Dec 03, 05:29:00 AM, User: neema

thank you fellow blog reader DMK. You have opened the eyes of many of us. Michuzi could you print that reader’s explanation again so that many people can benefit, Thank you very much.


[*] If you want to read the original version of that press release, then try typing its title into Google: “Barrick Gold Sets Out Position on Bill C-300 and Provides Facts”.

You can also go to http://www.sedar.com, choose English or French, click on Company Profiles, select “B” under “Public Companies”, select “Barrick Gold Corporation”, say that you want to view the company’s public documents, and then click on the news release that’s dated November 26, 2009.

CNN, Fox News, National Post provide Barrick Gold “facts”

November 28, 2009
CNN and Fox News both show on their money-related websites a Barrick Gold press release from Thursday that has a very creative title. The press release can be found here: [Fox Business: Barrick Gold Sets Out Position on Bill C-300 and Provides Facts] and here: [CNN Money: Barrick Gold Sets Out Position on Bill C-300 and Provides Facts].

As is often the case for company press releases on investment-related websites, they refer to themselves in the third person. They do use the first person when using quotation marks around the statements of a specific person in the company. That’s not what makes it funny. What makes it funny is the fact that the link from CNN is the first thing that currently shows up when you do a news search in Google for “C-300.”

In that release, they make an astonishingly favourable judgement of the robustness of the courts and regulatory authorities in some very poor and remote corners of the world. I’m referring in particular to the following statement:

In every sovereign country in which Barrick operates, there are existing governmental institutions, regulatory regimes, policing authorities, legal procedures and courts. Barrick believes that such allegations should be properly raised in these countries with all of the relevant factual details rather than a parliamentary committee in Canada which has not provided any scrutiny or accountability. Beyond such sovereign states, companies are already accountable to a range of international standards and guidelines with respect to responsible behavior.

Although many investors undoubtedly want to be informed about what’s going on, that statement is made in the context of human rights and environmental standards that they are accused of violating, not some cut-and-dried quarterly financial statement. I can’t help but think that someone slipped up on that one.

On the topic of odd realities in the news world, there was an opinion piece about Bill C-300 in The National Post yesterday that mocks and trivializes concerns that people have about unresolved allegations of human rights and environmental abuses. Of course, the mere existence of allegations doesn’t make them true. But when numerous unresolved allegations exist, at the very least it’s worthwhile to create a mechanism that would allow us to figure out what’s going on. Then we could either have our fears justified or be able to sleep at night.

The last three words of the following excerpt from that National Post article:

Yesterday Barrick joined Goldcorp and Kinross Gold in submitting a voluminous joint statement to the committee pointing to the numerous flaws in the bill. The statement pointed out that the bill would put Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage, damage their reputations, undermine their approach to corporate social responsibility, create incentives for companies to leave Canada, and ignore already extensive regulatory frameworks.

refer so blatantly and egregiously to something that’s nonexistent in many developing countries that I wonder if the guys running these businesses have actually ever even been to a developing country before.

Which reminds me of something. It was in fact one of the great investment minds of our time, Bernie Madoff, who in a benevolent attempt to explain the complications of his business to the mere masses, once pointed out that:

“by and large, you know, in today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules. And this is something that the public really doesn’t understand.”
— Bernie Madoff

I wonder if anyone believed him when he said that.

Barrick, Kinross and Goldcorp versus Bill C-300

November 27, 2009

Three Canadian gold-mining companies are getting together to oppose a proposed law that would prohibit our federal government from supporting the operation of companies that violate environmental and human rights standards abroad. Not that these companies would actually be required by this law to respect any particular rules, but if they were found to be in violation, then your tax dollars would no longer be used to fund their activities.

Personally, I think it’s silly enough when someone goes as far as to say that they can enjoy the protection offered by Canadian embassies and high commissions throughout the world while not being bound by a responsibility to in return protect the name of Canada by treating other human beings and the environment they inhabit with dignity. In my opinion, the issue of the investment of our tax dollars in irresponsible operations shouldn’t even be part of the discussion. Withdrawing the support of our government from a company that has been found to be in violation of environmental or human rights standards would perhaps remove the insult that has been added to injury, but would not go all the way to removing the injury.

Nonetheless, my opinion is that the proposed law might be an important step for the reason that it would give our government some relevance with respect to allegations against companies operating abroad, and John McKay who’s responsible for bringing it forward, and the other politicians who are working to pass it, deserve to be thanked for trying to fix what appears to me to be a real problem.

John McKay discusses the issue with the President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada in part one of the October 16th 2009 episode of CBC’s radio program The Current which can be found here.

Statements in favour of Bill C-300 are available from the websites of Mining Watch Canada and Amnesty International Canada, and the full text of the Bill is available from a link on John McKay’s website.

An article from the CBC about the opposition to Bill C-300 by Barrick Gold, Kinross Gold and Goldcorp is available here. A Reuters article about the same issue is available here.

Many thanks to a good friend of mine for sending me the CBC article and alerting me to that piece of news.


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