Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), there have been two requests for review submitted to the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, "the Office". One review pertained to Excellon Resources Inc. in Mexico, while the other pertains to First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in Mauritania.
With regard to (b)(i), both reviews progressed to informal mediation.
With regard to (b)(ii), each review requires administrative expenditures, such as those on telephone, courier, and office supplies, and uses a portion of the Office’s fixed costs, such as salaries and benefits, but outside of these costs, the most significant expenditures by the Office in both instances have been on external services related to travel and translation. For the Mexico-related review, the overall external costs to the Office totalled $22,438.72. The overall external costs to the Office for the Mauritania case total $435.50 thus far.
With regard to (b)(iii), costs for the review of the Mexico case include travel, visa fees, accommodation, local transportation, per diems, and interpretation costs for two field visits to Mexico by the counsellor and the senior advisor. The first field visit to Mexico City in May 2011 cost a total of $4,463.83 and the second field visit to the La Platosa mine site and surrounding community in July 2011 cost $7,416.99 in total. Total charges for translation into French and Spanish of the two field visits reports and the October 2011 closing report were $10,557.90. There have been no travel costs associated with the review in Mauritania to date. Communications with the requester have resulted in translation charges of $435.50.
With regard to (b)(iv), with respect to the case in Mexico, well over 100 conversations and meetings were held between April and October 2011, both by teleconference and in person. The majority of meetings held were either with some or all of the requesters at various times during the process or with various representatives of Excellon Resources Inc., either in an individual or group context. Other meetings were held with Canadian Embassy officials in Mexico City; Canadian and Mexican legal representatives of Excellon Resources; Mexican national, regional, and local government officials; third party experts; community members at site; ejido leaders in the community; mine employees at site; mine management at site; and other stakeholders with expertise in the issues.
In the Mauritania review, meetings by teleconference have occurred on numerous occasions with the requester and the responding party.
With regard to (b)(v), the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor produced two interim reports and one final report on the review of the Mexico case. All three reports are available on the Office’s website at www.international.gc.ca/csr_counsellor-conseiller_rse. No reports have yet been produced for the case in Mauritania, as the Counsellor has determined that it is premature to do so at this time.
With regard to (b)(vi), the Order in Council that created the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, P.C. 2009-0422 of March 25, 2009, requires the Counsellor to produce a final report on each request for review as well as an annual report to Parliament. Interim reports are important and are produced in order to meet the Office’s public commitments to its key guiding principles, which are to be transparent, accessible, responsive, predictable, independent and effective. The Counsellor has produced an interim report at the conclusion of each field visit.
With regard to (b)(vii), the review process of the case in Mexico was closed in October 2011 following the decision by the responding party to withdraw from the process. The ongoing case in Mauritania is currently at step 4 of the Counsellor’s review process.
With regard to (b)(viii), the Office’s review process has five stages, including an optional avenue at the fifth and final stage for parties to engage in formal mediation outside of the Office’s process. The review of the case in Mexico closed at the fourth stage of the Office’s process following the decision by the responding party to withdraw.
With regard to (c), the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor has not received any requests for review that she has declined to allow to progress to informal mediation.