Mining injustice activists were escorted off the Metro Convention Centre premises by security today after distributing flyers describing negative impacts reported by mining affected community members throughout the nation and worldwide. Today marks the last day of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual mining investment show in Toronto. According to PDAC more than 22, 000 delegates attend this annual trade show.
Activists engaged in discussion with PDAC representatives and corporate social responsibility mining employees who stated that they were interested in dialogue and working together yet remained on the defensive by blocking the distribution of resources and threatening to call security. When questioned as to why the PDAC funded report that found that Canadian mining corporations were the most likely to trigger social conflict and environmental devastation was never released, program assistant Lesley Williams reiterated the official PDAC position, that the report in question has methodological flaws. Williams was questioned as to why the same approach was not taken in response to the Fraser Institute’s ‘mining report card,’ which according to critics reads more as a list of complaints by mining industry CEOs. No response was given.
Following these discussions, mining injustice activists distributed flyers throughout the exhibition area until venue security guards demand that they leave. Reflecting on the incident, Caxaj, MISN member states: “I am glad we went because I think it is important for these individuals to know that we are concerned and that we are keeping an eye on them.” She adds, “ We are being told to engage in dialogue yet there is no genuine interest by these mining personnel to listen to the concerns and respond to the wishes of mining affected community members on the ground. We are told to use more appeasing ‘positive language,’ yet communities throughout the world and throughout Canada are facing life-threatening, emergency situations. “‘Injustice’ is not a dirty word; it is a reality that we should all be ready to respond to.”