Taskforce on Churches and Corporate Responsibility
Organization profile published 1979

Year Published:  1979
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX922

Connexions has published numerous abstracts on the Taskforce on Churches and Corporate Responsibility.

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This abstract was publishd in Connexions Digest in 1979:

1. A Closer Walk with Thee by Keith Atkinson. This five page article appeared in February 1979 issue of Financial Post. The author overviews some of the more recent responses of the Canadian business to the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility. This body, created in January 1975 to increase public awareness of the social impact of corporate decision-making, has met with consistent derision from multi-national corporations. Canadian banks and some Church people.

Each year the Taskforce members attend numerous annual meetings of these corporations, asking for responsible corporate action both at home and abroad. The article outlines how the Taskforce has been continually ignored, experiencing little success in relation to the quantity of work put into reports, briefs, demonstrations and lobbying. However, were they not having some effect on Canadian business, the Confederation of Church and Business People (CCBP) would not exist. CCBP was established by corporate executives in February 1978 to oppose bodies like the Taskforce.

At present, the Taskforce is asking people to attach stickers to their cheques saying "No Loans to South Africa" or "No Loans to Chile". These cost $5.00 for 500.

2. Reports on the Question Period of the 1978 Annual General Meetings of Shareholders of the following Canadian banks: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal. Questions focused around such issues as: a. loans to South Africa, Chile and Nicaragua, where Canadian bank money continues to uphold unjust government regimes, rather than benefiting the general populace; b. loan disclosure policies; c. loan policies of Orion, an international lending consortium owned by six major chartered banks; d. equal employment of women within the banks; e. use of lotteries to promote deposits.

3. Update on Namibia as of February 5, 1979 is a three page report outlining the proposal for new United Nations supervised elections in Namibia. The recent December 1978 elections were engineered under heavy coercion by the South Africa government. Consequently, their results were declared void, and agreements have been reached for a new one.

In order to facilitate this elections process, the UN has had to make some major concessions to South Africa. The report analyses the individual and cumulative effects of these concessions, concluding that it is seriously questionable whether the UN will be able to fulfil its mandate to hold democratic elections at this time in Namibia.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1982:

The Taskforce on Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR), which includes representatives of the major Canadian churches, concerns itself with issues related to corporate social resposibility in Southern Africa, Asia and Canada, as well as Latin America. Taskforce members have commited themselves to respond to the needs of sister churches working with disadvanted groups, whenever the decisions of Canadian banks or corporations appear to have adverse effects on people who have no power to influence those decisions themselves.

In 1981, Taskforce representatives, for instance, met with senior INCO management to discuss the intensified terror in Guatemala and the company's investment there. They felt that, while the nickel operation is "mothballed", INCO might well cosider its reponse to the state-inspired violence.
Church officials suggested that it was appropriate for a Canadian company to distance itself publicly from the Guatemalan regime. INCO responded that it would be quite unrealistic to think that anyone could change the Guatemalan situation. (Subsequent to this meeting, INCO completely shut down its operation).
(The above is excerpted from Issue 25 - Division of Mission - United Church of Canada.)

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1984:

The Task Force on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility was established in 1974 as a national ecumenical coalition to help member churches implement policies in the area of corporate social responsibility. Member churches see their involvement in energy/environmental issues in terms of stewardship, with concern that energy choices contribute towards a just, participatory, and sustainable society.

In 1983, the Task Force Ecological Justice sub-committee addressed its attention to such issues as nuclear waste (high - level, low - level, uranium mine and mill wastes), lead in gasoline and the health effects of lead exposure, and the ongoing fight of the Nishga Indians in B.C. against AMAX Corporation which has discharged tailings from its molybdenum operation into the waters of Alice Arm, B. C.

The Task Force made submissions to the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) and to the federal and provincial governments about the structure and process for assessment of the proposal by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) for deep geological disposal of wastes. Those submissions, along with the government and agency responses, are summarized in the Task Force Annual Report, 1982-83. Also available, separately, from the Task Force is a 14-page document from R.G. Hart of AECL dated March 24, 1983, which states the AECL position.

Task Force monitoring of low-level waste management in 1983 focussed on the federal approval of the establishment under AECL of a waste management office to carry out the federal responsibility in this field, thus leading to possible conflict of interest with the AECL's mandate to promote use of nuclear power. At the present there are no facilities licensed for the permanent disposal of such wastes, there are more than 130 million tones of uranium mine and mill wastes in Canada alone, and the volume could triple by the end of the century, the Annual Report notes.

There is Task Force concern that economic factors will be too heavily weighted in evaluation of various processes for dealing with waste. It notes that the most expensive methods of disposal would likely increase the overall cost of nuclear generated electricity by only one to three per cent because uranium costs are typically only about ten per cent.

The TASK FORCE is working in co-operation with the Inter-Church Uranium Committee (CX 2903) on this issue of waste management.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1988:

The Taskforce's mandate originates in 1975 when Canadian churches decided to create a body which would report back on national and international government and corporate activities which may be contributing to the abuse of human rights, or causing harm to the environment. In turn, this Taskforce would relay back church response through briefs and lobbying.

In 1988, the International Issues Committee gave priority to Canadian policy concerning South Africa and Namibia, debt crisis in the Third World and Canadian business in the Philippines. Domestically the Taskforce focused on military production and forest land management policies. The churches continued to support the Lubicon people of Alberta in their land dispute.
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