Governmental watchdog soon to investigate Canadian companies abroad

  • Canada Image

Jan 27, 2018

On January 17, 2018, the Government of Canada (Government) announced two new initiatives to strengthen Canada’s approach to responsible business conduct for Canadian companies operating abroad, namely, the creation of an independent Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (Ombudsperson) and a multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct (Advisory Body).

These initiatives are founded on the Government’s commitment to advance human rights by supporting Canadian companies in operating responsibly and improving access to remedy for alleged human rights abuses arising from Canadian company operations abroad. The Government will soon be clarifying how these entities will operate.

Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise

The Ombudsperson’s mandate will be to investigate allegations of human rights abuses arising from Canadian corporate activity abroad. This person will operate with a budget that allows him/her to conduct independent investigations, be appointed through an order-in-council that will determine the specifics of the mandate and the related responsibilities and carry out his/her duties full-time for a term of up to five years.

Multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct

The Advisory Body will comprise experts in civil society and industry and will report to the Minister of International Trade. Its role will be to advise the government on the effective implementation and further development of its laws, policies and practices addressing the social responsibility of Canadian companies operating abroad, in particular with the creation of new laws and regulations. The Advisory Body will help the Government determine the Ombudsperson’s mandate and investigative procedures.

Review the full article on Norton Rose Fulbright's website and the press release on the Government of Canada's website.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.