The Canadian Government has reneged on its commitment to create an independent corporate human rights watchdog. We can’t accept this. 

Three years ago, in January 2018, the government announced that it would create an independent office with the power to investigate. Instead, in April 2019, it unveiled a powerless advisory post called the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). The CORE is little different from what has already existed for years and is ill-equipped to address human rights abuses linked to Canadian companies operating overseas.

At the time, the Canadian government said that the promised powers to independently investigate would need to wait a little longer – until the results of an external legal review were made public, in just a few weeks’ time. Fast forward more than 18 months later and the report remains buried and the office of the CORE remains powerless.

Then in late November 2020, the office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Development and International Trade cemented the CORE’s fate, informing our coalition (the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability) that Canada will not give the CORE the promised powers to compel documents and testimony after all. This is outrageous!

Join us in urging the Government of Canada to empower the CORE and enact human rights due diligence legislation without further delay.

  1. Contact the three Ministers of Global Affairs Canada

Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs (613-996-7267);

Karina Gould, Minister of International Development (613-995-0881);

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade (613-996-3374);

Click here for a sample call script to leave a strong message.

  1. Contact your MP!

Tweet, write, or phone your local MP to ensure politicians from all parties recognize that Canadians demand an Ombudsperson “with teeth” and human rights due diligence legislation!

Find your MP here:

  1. Amplify our messages on social media using the samples below

.@CORE_Ombuds will soon open to complaints about overseas #bizhumanrights abuse, but office is unfit for purpose. W/out promised #power2investigate, it can’t meaningfully serve impacted communities. @[INSERT MP’S TWITTER HANDLE]  ensure Canada fulfills its #ombuds promise!

When it comes to human rights abuse, unlawful and unethical practices, destruction of livelihoods & environments, voluntary mechanisms are NOT enough! @[INSERT MP’s TWITTER HANDLE] will you support our call for Canada to #empower the @Core_Ombuds & #enact #mHRDD legislation?

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People and communities around the world harmed by Canadian companies want justice now. Hear their own words in this video.