When will Canada be Open for Justice?
When people are harmed by Canadian companies overseas, they often have nowhere to turn to seek justice. The Canadian Government has taken steps to address this problem by creating the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). But the government failed to give the Ombudsperson the powers necessary to conduct effective investigations.
An Ombudsperson with investigatory powers is important, but the Canadian government must do more to ensure that Canadian companies are acting responsibly. We need a law that would require Canadian companies (and companies selling products in Canada) to: prevent human rights abuses; immediately stop directly or indirectly contributing to human rights abuses; and ensure remedy for people who have been harmed. This is called “human rights and environmental due diligence” legislation. The European Commission and a number of European countries already require, or are in the process of developing laws that would require, companies within their jurisdictions to conduct human rights due diligence throughout their global operations. It is time Canada catches up and enacts legislation that holds Canadian corporations accountable for their actions!
The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) (which Amnesty Canada is a member of) has released draft model legislation to provide lawmakers with a blueprint for a new international corporate accountability law in Canada.