21 May 2010

PNG group's Canadian jaunt exposes Porgera issue in international forum

8:07 am on 21 May 2010

Four locals from Porgera in Papua New Guinea's Enga province have returned to the country after visiting Canada where they petitioned parliament to pass legislation that would enforce more accountability from Canadian companies overseas.

Canada's parliament is considering legislation to empower its foreign ministry to deal with overseas misconduct by Canadian companies.

The Porgera group told the MPs, as well as directors of Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold at their annual general meeting, that the company's gold mine in Porgera has created a wide range of social and environmental damage in their community.

The group also included the chairman of Porgera's Akali Tange Association, Jethro Tulin, who says that they've brought the issue to greater attention.

"The wider Canadian community knows about, and especially the legislative (community) know about, what the behaviour of Canadian companies like Barrick are doing on the ground over there. Those issues are overdue and the government and Barrick have failed to address them or rectify the situation."

Jethro Tulin.