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26 Mai 2022

Michael Swan, Catholic Register

Bill S-211 doesn’t go far enough, says Development and Peace

... Bill S-211 wants to open up the flow of information, giving investors and consumers a clear view of how likely it is that vast supply chains spanning the globe and feeding Canadian corporations are incubating human rights violations.

... “This law is modelled on a UK law that passed in 2015 and has proven to be ineffective at preventing the forced labour that it was intended to stop,” Development & Peace’s Elana Wright told The Catholic Register when the Senate bill was first introduced in 2020. “Laws that oblige companies to only report on human rights abuses are not enough to stop human rights and environmental abuses.”

... Federal Minister of Labour Seamus O’Reagan has promised to look carefully at the Senate bill and two private members’ bills on the same topic and find a legislative way forward. Whether that means adapting and amending S-211 or introducing new government-backed legislation is unclear.

... “To put it simply, it won’t do anything,” said CNCA national co-ordinator Emily Dwyer. “It doesn’t go nearly far enough. What it does do is say that companies of a certain size would need to report every year, but it doesn’t actually require companies to do anything.”

... Having faced objections from business interests decrying the expense of writing reports and farmers worried that the law would label family farms as child labour exploiters, the bill represents a reasonable compromise, said [Senator Julie] Miville-Deschêne.