(Vancouver, BC) On Thursday March 5th BC Métis Federation Vice-President Therrien and Treasurer Mrs. Betty Fisher, along with several First Nations representatives, attended a half day regional roundtable discussion on the “Extractive Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA)” hosted by Natural Resources Canada.
The objective of the Federal Government presentation through Natural Resources Canada was to clarify the consultation reporting requirements that is being placed on extractive businesses, to discuss the relevance of the standards for Aboriginal governments and communities, to discuss concerns raised in earlier engagements as the Act moves towards implementation and to gather further input regarding implementation.
In June 2013 Canada committed to establish mandatory reporting requirements by June 2015, from September 2013 to September 2014 engagement was done to establish reporting standards. In October 2014 legislation was introduced to Parliament, December 2014 the act received Royal Assent and by mid- 2015 the act is anticipated to come into force. From mid 2015 until 2017 there is a two year deferral of the requirement for extractive businesses to report on payments made to Aboriginal government.
The purpose of the Act is to establish reporting and transparency measures for all extractive sectors in efforts to deter corruption. Discussion took place around who has to report to government, what payments have to be reported, the reporting time frame. Essentially if a business is listed on the stock exchange in Canada, or has a place of business, operates or has assets in Canada and meets at least two of the following; $20 million in assets,$40 million in revenue and/or employs an average of 250 employees, it is required to report. The obligations under this Act do not apply to governments. Payments of$100k or more will have to be reported and will need to happen 150 days following its fiscal year end.
These roundtable discussions have already happened in numerous cities across Canada; Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and Edmonton are just a few that were mentioned.
There was concern regarding who had participated in the meeting that took place prior to the Act being passed and questions were asked if there was allowance for amendments to be suggested. It was mentioned that the same concerns are being voiced at all the meetings they have had so far.
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “Thank you to Vice President Therrien and Treasurer Fisher for attending to understanding the role of Métis in the shaping of this new Federal Government legislation. BC Métis Federation supports consultation with a number of extractive companies such as oil and gas, mining etc and it is important to know there are laws to ensure corruption can be addressed.
The participation of BC Métis Federation in these discussions is critical to our recognition to represent our members and partner communities.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation also be sure to view our website at www.bcmetis.com.
Media Inquiries:Keith Henry, President BC Métis Federation #300-3665 Kingsway
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