Conference: The Question of Sustainability

an examination of the Canadian Mining Industry: environment, cultures, economics, and human rights

1 day conference about mining issues within Canada and abroad

Moderated by Judy Rebick

$10 (sliding scale) to cover cost of meals; free for students. No registration required. Donations gladly accepted (available seating for 400 in auditorium).

Hosts: UTERN, Science for Peace, Students Against Climate Change, Aboriginal Students Association of York University. Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams will be participating and tabling at the Conference.

website and more info on speakers:

With the intention of building a movement in solidarity with affected-communties within Canada we are hosting a conference on mining issues at the University of Toronto. This conference will provide the space for people within Canada to interact with affected communities and each other, and the conference format prioritizes facilitating conversations focused on solutions to ending corporate impunity.

“The Question of Sustainability” is a conference dedicated to examining the Canadian mining industry through the lens of sustainability within ecosystems, human rights, culture, and economics.

Featuring speakers from Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Congo, Guatemala, Tanzania and Peru, as well as many First Nations speakers and academics from Canada. This conference brings together indigenous people from the global south and the global north, and serves to address some of the complex social, political and environmental issues that relate to the imposition of extractive industries on traditional cultures.

Major issues include water use and contamination, human rights violations by Canadian companies operating abroad, the question of corporate social responsibility, health, the autonomy and preservation of traditional cultures, and the economics of mining.

Endorsements: Amnesty International Canada, Sierra Youth Club, Indigneous Education Network

If you would like to table at the event or become a sponsor email

Note: Special guests from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation will conduct a three hour role-playing workshop.


10:00 a.m. - Introductions, opening ceremony

10:30 a.m. - Open plenary speaker

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - FIRST BREAKOUT SESSION

- Historic Perspectives on Mining
- Mining in the Congo
- Mining and Health
- Resource Economics in developing countries
- Indigenous Issues and Mining

1pm - 2pm lunch break

1pm - 3pm: Concurrent with lunch: Role-playing workshop with Ardoch Algonquin leadership begins – Limited space available, so sign-up on the day of the conference!


- Human Rights: Issues with mine security
- ¡MesoAmerica Resiste! presentation by Beehive Collective
- Women’s issues in Mining
- Funding the destruction: TSX, Pension Funds, and Corporate Welfare
- Mining and Water

4:15 - 5:15pm – SOLUTIONS break-out session

*CSR/legislation* A discussion of the CSR framework and current legislation related to mining issues.
*Popular Education* A discussion of how to build awareness within our communities about mining issues, in a way that engages people and builds off the knowledge that they already possess.
*Legal Battles* A discussion about the use of lawsuits as a way of demanding accountability within Canada and beyond.
*Direct Action!* A discussion of how Direct Action is used in various campaigns.
*Shareholder Activism/Divestment* A discussion of different tactics engaging with shareholders, institutional holders, and “ethical” mutual funds.
*Referendums and accessing International Institutions (recommended for affected communities!)* Learn first hand about successful community-based tactics to defending community rights against mining companies. Learn from first hand experiences about engaging the UN, the ILO and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. - Closing Plenary

Event blog

"Canada does not yet have laws to ensure that the activities of Canadian mining companies in developing countries conform to human rights standards, including the rights of workers and of indigenous peoples."
– Canada's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. June 2005

"Canadian mining companies are taking advantage of [inadequate and poorly enforced regulatory controls] to expand into all corners of the globe, manipulating, slandering, abusing, and even killing those who dare to oppose them, displacing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike, supporting repressive governments and taking advantage of weak ones, and contaminating and destroying sensitive ecosystems."
– Jamie Kneen, MiningWatch Canada. November 2006


University of Toronto
5 Bancroft Avenue (Earth Sciences, Room 1050)
Toronto, ON
43° 39' 38.4264" N, 79° 23' 59.6328" W
This community event is not affiliated with Faith Connections, but we believe it to be of specific interest to young adults aged 18-39 and with a faith-based or social justice theme. However, we can be mistaken — if you're not sure this event will meet your expectations, please check with the event organizers.