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Once again, Haiti’s National Assembly fails to oust President Privert as G8 dissolves

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By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, June 22, 2016

Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies President Cholzer Chancy and Senate Vice President Ronald Larèche had summoned Haiti’s deputies and senators for a Jun. 21, 2016 joint session, known as a National Assembly, to decide on the fate of Provisional President Jocelerme Privert, who became head of state through a political accord signed Feb. 5, 2016.

The accord says that the "mandate of the Provisional President is up to 120 days from the date of installation,” which was Feb. 14 until Jun. 14. “Where appropriate the National Assembly will take the necessary measures."

As the legislators gathered for the vote, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Parliament voicing their support for Privert. Ultimately, the National Assembly was not held because the parliamentarians were frightened by the anger and size of the street protests, saying their “security was not guaranteed because of demonstrators throwing rocks at the Legislative Palace.”

Martelly Bloc formalizes alliance with DEA fugitive Guy Philippe

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By The Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), June 23, 2016

Days before the June 14 end of provisional president Jocelerme Privert’s mandate, a coalition of political parties close to former president Michel Martelly formalized an alliance and began advocating for Privert’s removal. Led by former de facto prime minister under Marelly, Evans Paul, the “Entente Democratique” (ED) or “democratic agreement” as they have called themselves, have denounced the “totalitarian tendencies” of Privert and categorized the possible extension of his mandate as an illegal power grab.

Haitian parliamentarians were expected to vote earlier this week on extending or replacing Privert, who was appointed provisional president in early February after Martelly’s term ended with no elected replacement. The vote was delayed, as it has been previously.  

How a Guatemalan murder trial could forever change Canadian overseas mining

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By Marina Jimenez, The Toronto Star, June 20, 2016

The murder trial of Mynor Padilla, a former security guard for a mine owned by a then subsidiary of HudBay Minerals Inc., provides a fascinating glimpse into Guatemala’s problematic justice system.
 
Padilla, 52, is charged with killing Adolfo Ich, a Mayan Q’eqchi’ community leader, and shooting German Chub, a bystander, during a protest on contested land at Fenix nickel mine in El Estor, in eastern Guatemala, on Sept 27, 2009. These alleged crimes are also at the centre of a series of landmark lawsuits in Ontario Superior Court, where HudBay, a Toronto-based company, faces three negligence claims, launched by Ich, Chub and 12 other Q’eqchi’.
 
The cases are being watched closely by Canada’s mining companies, as it is the first time lawyers are attempting to hold a Canadian company liable for actions of a subsidiary operating overseas. Normally, such lawsuits would be heard in the country where the alleged transgressions took place. But lawyers argued that the plaintiffs could not get a fair trial in Guatemala, due to judicial corruption.

Lekol Antoine Thurel brings a Kreyol-based curriculum to Haitian students

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By Jill Anderson, Harvard Graduate School of Education, June 17, 2016

When Daniel Laurent, Ed.M.’96, visited Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, he witnessed mass devastation firsthand. But instead of only seeing destruction, Laurent also saw opportunity.

“Haiti was at a point where you have to give back what you know,” says Laurent, himself a Haitian American. “There was room for it.” So, Laurent asked himself: What can I contribute that is sustainable and helpful to long-term relief?

“The only thing I do is education, it’s all I’ve been doing, and it’s all I can do,” he says. “Education is a privilege…. It’s a key to developing, but if it’s only given to a few, then it’s a recipe to remain underdeveloped.”

Privert’s Presidency survives June 14 as demonstrators support him

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By Marie Laurette Numa & Yves Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, June 14, 2016

The Feb. 5, 2016 Accord made between then President Michel Martelly and Senate president Jocelerme Privert went into effect on Feb. 14 and was due to expire on Jun. 14, 2016.

The agreement had foreseen that "the mandate of the temporary President is up to 120 days from the date of installation. Where appropriate, the National Assembly shall take any necessary measures." In other words, a joint session of Haiti’s upper and lower houses (i.e. National Assembly) could extend the term of the president or oust him.

Already, Privert had offered his interpretation of the agreement, saying: "As long as the elections are not conducted, the Feb. 5 Accord retains all its validity." New elections are scheduled to start in October 2016 and finish in January 2017.

Between rock and responsibility: Corporate responsibility for Canada's mining sector

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By Josh Scheinert, opencanada.org, June 3, 2016

It was early March when Jeffrey Davidson took the podium in a basement conference room in Toronto. Before a curious audience at one of the world’s largest mining conferences, the PDAC (the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) Convention, Davidson spoke with cautious optimism. He noted his belief that this moment presents a “real opportunity” for the mining community to demonstrate its commitment to responsible resource extraction.
 
Davidson’s talk marked one year since he took over a government role critical for the field. A lifelong veteran of the mining industry with a focus on trying to improve the social performance of companies, Davidson was appointed Canada’s Extractive Sector CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Counsellor just before PDAC last year.
 
The former Queen’s University professor, and World Bank and Rio Tinto mining consultant, is tasked with implementing the government’s “enhanced” CSR strategy, Doing Business the Canadian Way. The strategy is the second iteration of a policy first unveiled in 2009, which was widely acknowledged to have been ineffective. It faced criticism for its lack of concrete action, and Davidson’s predecessor, Marketa Evans, resigned quietly in 2013 without any announcement. The office remained empty for almost a year and a half until Davidson’s appointment.
 
The new policy is an attempt to bring greater oversight into an industry that has increasingly found itself mired in global controversies.

Canada now the second biggest arms exporter to Middle East, data show

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By Steven Chase, Globe & Mail, June 14, 2016

Canada has soared in global rankings to become the second biggest arms dealer to the Middle East on the strength of its massive sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, new figures show.

It’s a first for Canada, according to IHS Jane’s, the defence industry publisher that tracks military spending. Canada was previously the sixth-largest weapons vendor to Mideast countries. The United States is No. 1.

Canada has also vaulted to sixth overall among all arms-exporting countries, based on rankings released by Jane’s this week. This means only five countries are currently selling more weapons and military equipment. IHS Jane’s analyst Ben Moores said he suspects Canada has never ranked so highly among all arms-exporting countries and that it certainly hasn’t held that position in the past 15 years.