The Canadian Government has reneged on its commitment to create an independent corporate human rights watchdog. We can’t accept this.
In January 2018, the government announced that it would create an independent office with the power to investigate. Instead, on April 8, 2019, it unveiled a powerless advisory post, little different from what has already existed for years. The Government of Canada failed to appoint an independent Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) with real powers to investigate abuses and redress the harm caused by Canadian companies operating abroad.
An ombudsperson operates at arms-length from government and has the power to order those under investigation to produce documents and testimony under oath. The advisory position does neither. But it’s not too late! The time for action is now.
Take the following two actions and urge the Government of Canada to empower the CORE and enact mandatory human rights due diligence legislation:
Take a selfie with your sign from the Rights for People, Rules for Business Virtual Rally, then tweet or write to your local MP to ensure politicians from all parties recognize that Canadians demand an Ombudsperson “with teeth” and mandatory human rights due diligence legislation!
- Find your MPs Twitter handle, Facebook or Instagram account.
- Adapt the following sample tweets/ Facebook/Instagram posts:
@[INSERT MP NAME/TWITTER HANDLE], how can the @CORE_Ombuds address allegations of overseas #humanrights abuse by Canadian mining, energy & garment corps if the Ombuds can’t compel documents or testimony? Give the Ombuds #power2investigate; more than 6130 Canadians demand it! https://bit.ly/EmpowerANDEnact
@[INSERT MP NAME/TWITTER HANDLE], voluntary measures are ineffective in preventing human rights abuses & environmental damage by Canadian corporations in the mining, energy & garment sectors. More than 6130 Canadians demand mandatory human rights due diligence legislation! https://bit.ly/EmpowerANDEnact #CAN4mHRDD
- Call Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade to let her know about our demands!
Dial 1- 613-996-3374, and use the following script to leave a strong message:
Dear Minister Ng,
Voluntary measures have proven to be ineffective in preventing human rights abuses and environmental destruction linked to Canadian mining, energy, and garment projects overseas.
I have recently attended a virtual rally organized by the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA), during which we heard directly from communities and workers hurt by some Canadian operations operating abroad.
We have just submitted an e-petition signed by 6130 Canadians, demanding the Canadian Government to empower the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise with independence and the power to investigate human rights abuse allegations.
We are also calling on Canada to catch up to the growing international trend and enact a comprehensive mandatory human rights due diligence law that would require Canadian companies to prevent human rights abuse and environmental harms in their global operations and supply chains, or face real consequences for failing to take all reasonable steps to prevent harm.
Listen to the people, the time is now to ensure there is real corporate accountability for the actions of Canadian companies abroad!
Keep writing and calling back and share feedback with us!