In the news

Below is a selection of news articles on issues related to the work of the CNCA. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the network.


Op-Ed: Canada’s new corporate ombudsperson needs real power

03 December, 2018

Canada has a clear choice: Be a world leader or a laggard when it comes to human rights and the mining industry. Canada can either invest the ombudsperson with real powers to investigate abuses and redress the harm caused by Canadian companies, or it can create a position without adequate powers, call it an ombudsperson, and leave individuals and communities harmed by Canadian mining companies with nowhere to turn to for help.


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Op-ed: Human rights ombudsperson will bring long-awaited accountability to Canadian mining

14 February, 2018

The government has an opportunity to entrust the ombudsperson with the responsibility to ensure that the rights of women and girls are respected, that resource extraction does not result in increased gender-based violence, and that the unique perspective and concerns of women are taken into account when resource extraction projects are being considered.

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Blog post: Canada is moving towards effective corporate oversight with new human rights watchdog

30 January, 2018

Canada’s new ombudsperson will be tasked with investigating complaints from around the world and will be founded on the principles of “advancing human rights and assisting Canada in fulfilling its international human rights obligations”. The ombudsperson will be mandated to investigate; make public findings on allegations of harm; issue recommendations to remedy -and prevent- harm; and monitor the implementation of those recommendations.

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Minister of International Trade poised to announce an ombudsperson early in 2018

12 December, 2017

The Minister of International Trade – for the first time – publicly declares that an ombudsperson will be created.

“Ottawa plans early next year to create an independent office to oversee Canadian mining, oil and gas companies’ activities abroad. The office would have both an “advisory and robust investigative mandate.

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Op Ed: Mining group tells government to stand on wrong end of elephant

14 June, 2017

In cases where dispute resolution is not appropriate—where, for example, the interests of the parties do not overlap or where the complainants fear retaliation—the necessary tool is an objective, independent investigation of compliance with the relevant standards. In such cases, the subject of that investigation never participates in investigating itself.

In order to begin to level the playing field, Canada needs an independent, well-resourced, robust non-judicial grievance mechanism with all of the necessary tools at its disposal, including independent investigation and a process to promote implementation of recommendations.


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Op-ed: Don’t confuse dialogue with accountability in ombudsman debate

12 June, 2017

Opinion piece by CNCA member Above Ground’s director Karyn Keenan, published in The Hill Times

UN experts, having just completed a mission to Canada, are urging the Canadian government to take a tougher line on business-related human rights violations.

Among other recommendations, the UN is calling for the creation of an extractive industries human rights ombudsperson that is independent and well resourced, with the power to investigate allegations, conduct fact-finding, and enforce its orders.


For years, the Canadian government has spoken of its “expectation” that Canadian companies will meet the “highest ethical standards” when operating abroad. It’s time to create a mechanism capable of finding out if this expectation is in fact being met, in a sector where significant risk of human rights abuse is well documented.

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