John McKay, Financial Post, July 4, 2009
RE: Trojan CSR, Peter Foster, National Post, June 27, 2009
Peter Foster’s over the top journalism in Trojan CSR (Financial Post, June 27, 2009) is actually quite insightful in an ironical way. Who knew that such a modest legislative initiative could “overwhelm the entire Canadian mining industry” and bring it to its knees. One can only imagine the flights of fantasy Mr. Foster would have envisioned if the government had pursued the recommendations of the Roundtable Report and implemented a CSR Ombudsman. Presumably it too would have been a “nail biting” “horror scenario.”
I was intrigued to discover that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace was “pulling my strings.” I am sure that they are just as surprised as am I. This “radical religious group” has a “revealing motto” which is “life before profit.” God forbid. Bernie Madoff will have 150 years to contemplate the truth behind “life before profit.” In an ironical way your writer has perfectly illustrated the crux of the CSR issue. There are some activities in the pursuit of profit which are, simply put, prohibited. Ponzi schemes being one, degradation of the environment and failing to respect human rights being another.
The Catholics have it right. Respect for life comes before profit. “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul (Matthew 16:26)” – to put it in Biblical language.
I felt badly for the mischaracterization of Jon Baird’s position (Mr. Baird is the President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada). Since when is it politically incorrect or morally wrong for that matter to at least try to do the right thing. Respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not some “socialistic” gadfly exercise designed to frustrate one’s “god given” right to make a profit. It is universal, it is comprehensive and even George W. Bush would get it.
I am always open to thoughtful contributions to this debate.