Several high profile environmental and citizen groups have joined activists in Canada and Romania in an open letter to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Members of Parliament to withdraw government support for a gold mine in Romania.
The letter also calls on Canadian parliamentarians to enact legislation making Canadian corporations more accountable for their operations abroad.
Titled “Open Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP Re: Destructive Mining Abroad” the letter is signed by Council of Canadians, Friends of the Earth Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Greenpeace Romania, Greenpeace Hungary, Mining Watch Canada, Mining Watch Romania, and Canada Save Rosia, a support group for the Save Rosia Montana campaign in Canada.
The letter raises in particular the case of the Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania planned by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources, and points to the impact of the project: “Through cyanide leaching, the project will use 13,000 tons of cyanide per year (13 times the amount used by all European Union countries combined), leaving behind 500 million tons of cyanide tailing waste, a lake containing 215 million cubic meters of cyanide contaminated water, held together by a 200-metre dam that is supposed to last forever.”
The letter says the Canadian government is “no stranger to this situation. Via its embassy representatives it has been supporting this project for many years, a fact proudly boasted by Gabriel Resources… Over the years, the Canadian government has actively lobbied in support of the controversial project.”
The letter ends with the following requests:
- We ask the Canadian government to no longer provide any lobbying or assistance to Gabriel Resources’ Rosia Montana gold mining project.
- We call on you to support the development of Canadian legislation that would hold Canadian mining corporations operating abroad accountable for their actions.