(January 1, 2002) In an attempt to increase public access to information on EDC operations, Probe International has assembled the following information from our extensive files, including 20 years of correspondence with EDC, EDC Annual Reports and news releases, and articles from trade journals, newspapers, and magazines.
Export Development Canada (EDC) has a long record of financing environmentally damaging and economically unsound projects. Many EDC projects have also contributed to the violation of human rights and are plagued by corruption. Because of its exemption from the Access to Information Act, EDC’s activities are sheltered from public view. The absence of public sector oversight and market discipline make EDC-supported projects a perfect breeding ground for corruption and business activities that harm the environment, sink Third World citizens in debt, and cost Canadian taxpayers money. Most profoundly, EDC secrecy potentially threatens lives and undermines democratic institutions. In an attempt to increase public access to information on EDC operations, Probe International has assembled the following information from our extensive files, including 20 years of correspondence with EDC, EDC Annual Reports and news releases, and articles from trade journals, newspapers, and magazines. The data is organized in a table format. The table is arranged chronologically and provides the following information about each EDC transaction:
- General description of project;
- Principal Exporter/Investor;
- Principal Counterparty (Borrower/Investor/Financier);
- Name of country;
- Amount and type of financing.
In order to highlight transactions which have caused, or risk causing, significant environmental, economic or social harm, and to provide links where more information can be obtained, the table also includes:
- Points of interest about environmental, social and economic impacts;
- Sources cited.
Probe International believes that EDC should publish a complete list of projects it has financed since its creation in 1969. In fact, EDC used to publish a list of its transactions in its Annual Reports. That ended in 1984. Since then, EDC has refused, more and more, to answer questions from the public about the projects and corporations it finances. By the late 1990’s, our requests for project information were routinely denied on the grounds that, as explained by EDC, “Given the obligations of confidentiality we owe to each of our clients, we are unable to provide you any information regarding this transaction.” Now, under public pressure to increase transparency, and to avoid being made subject to the Access to Information Act, EDC has adopted a new, but grossly deficient, Disclosure Policy
As of October 1, 2001, EDC will release very limited information about a portion of its operations, but only if it can first secure the necessary legal consents and permission from the companies receiving its financing. In other words, EDC’s corporate beneficiaries will decide EDC’s disclosure practices. Due to EDC’s nearly two-decade long era of secrecy, this table is incomplete. We have asked EDC to review this list, make corrections, fill in blanks, and add data. They have declined to do so, stating “We have had an opportunity to review the list of projects that you propose to post on your website, and we regrettably advise that we are unable to provide comments thereon. Your document contains statements of fact that EDC is not in a position to verify, as well as statements of fact that EDC will not endorse. As any review or verification by us of your list could be taken as being an endorsement of the entirety of its contents, EDC is unable to provide you with any comments.” EDC secrecy will not stop us from recording their activities. If you have information to add to this table, or if you have any questions about this data, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions or concerns about EDC’s activities, you can send them directly to Ms. Yolanda Banks, EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor, who has asked us to direct concerned parties to her. You can e-mail her at YBanks@edc.ca.
Probe International has been investigating the activities of Export Development Canada (EDC) for the past 20 years. Based in Canada, we have worked with citizens groups from around the world to research the environmental, social, and financial damage caused by EDC-supported projects. Probe International has also corresponded with a succession of Canadian government officials, the various ministers responsible for EDC, and with EDC officials, in an attempt to disclose details of EDC’s operations for the Canadian public. We believe disclosure of this information is in the public interest, and that details regarding EDC activities must be in the public domain in order to allow for an informed debate about the value of this Crown corporation.
Click here to download our EDC Exposed Tables:
- EDC supported projects 1960-1979
- EDC supported projects 1980-1984
- EDC supported projects 1985-1989
- EDC supported projects 1990-1994
- EDC supported projects 1995-1999
- EDC supported projects 2000s
Export Development Canada:
Export Development Canada’s Disclosure Policy:
Reckless Lending Volume I documents the negative impacts of several projects financed by Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC)
Like the Report Reckless Lending Volume 1, Volume II documents the negative impacts of several projects financed by Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC)
Categories: Export Credit