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Where is the labour minister’s law to end corporate abuse?

The government tasked labour minister Seamus O’Regan with introducing legislation in 2024 to protect human rights in Canadian supply chains. But there’s a serious risk that the government will bow to the corporate lobby and produce weak legislation that falls short of what’s needed, or introduce legislation with no intention of it actually passing into law. Tell the minister we need a law to end corporate abuse now!

Minister O’Regan,

Many Canadian companies profit from overseas operations that harm people and the planet. Allegations of serious human rights abuse and environmental destruction abound, including forced labour, permanent land and water contamination, abuse of the rights of Indigenous peoples, and tactics such as house-demolition and sexual violence used to forcibly relocate and subdue people to make room for Canadian mining operations. Canadians, and communities around the world, are deeply concerned.

Your 2021 mandate letter tasks you to deliver on the government’s commitment to “introduce legislation to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains and ensure that Canadian businesses operating abroad do not contribute to human rights abuses.” The government renewed a variation of this commitment in Budget 2023 and Budget 2024. 

It’s imperative that you deliver on this commitment by introducing effective legislation before the next federal election. Evidence from around the world demonstrates that to be effective at protecting human rights in supply chains, such legislation must 1) require companies to exercise due diligence to prevent human rights abuse; 2) help affected people outside of Canada access remedy in Canadian courts; and 3) apply to all human rights. The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability has produced a blueprint for a strong law that contains these elements and that has been endorsed by 200+ organizations and unions from Canada and around the world

After you introduce effective legislation, we are calling on your government to ensure it moves through Parliament before the next federal election.

The individuals and communities harmed by powerful Canadian companies should not have to wait any longer. Canada needs legislation requiring companies to change their behaviour or face significant consequences.

Will you introduce a law that ensures Canadian companies respect human rights and the environment?

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Petition to the House of Commons of Canada: Adopt human rights and environmental due diligence legislation

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to adopt human rights and environmental due diligence legislation that would:

• require companies to prevent adverse human rights impacts and
environmental damage throughout their global operations and
supply chains;
• require companies do their due diligence, including by carefully
assessing how they may be contributing to human rights abuse
or environmental damage abroad and by providing access to
remedy when harms occur;
• result in meaningful consequences for companies that fail to
carry out and report on adequate due diligence; and
• establish a legal right for people who have been harmed to seek
justice in Canadian courts.

• companies based in Canada are contributing to human rights
abuse and environmental damage around the world;
• people who protest these abuses and defend their rights are
often harassed, attacked, or killed. Indigenous Peoples, women,
and marginalized groups are especially under threat; and
• Canada encourages but does not require companies to prevent
such harms in their global operations and supply chains.

Sign the petition.

Over 50,000 people have signed so far!


Pass a Due Diligence Law

A mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence law will hold Canadian companies accountable for their actions around the world.

Empower the C.O.R.E.

Canada’s Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise should have the power to compel witnesses and documents.

Make Canada Accountable

Canada’s financial, political and diplomatic support should not go to corporations involved with human rights and environmental abuse.

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