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8 Apr 2019

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Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability

Canadian Government reneges on promise to create independent corporate human rights watchdog

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The Government of Canada failed today to appoint an independent Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) with real powers to investigate abuses and redress the harm caused by Canadian companies operating abroad... Fifteen months ago, the government announced that it would create an independent office with the power to investigate. Instead, it unveiled a powerless advisory post, little different from what has already existed for years... An ombudsperson operates at arms-length from government and has the power to order those under investigation to produce documents and testimony under oath. The advisory position created today does neither.

“Individuals and communities harmed by Canadian mining companies still have no one to turn to for help,” said Emily Dwyer of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability. “An ombudsperson in name only is not an ombudsperson. It is simply more of the same approach that has already been proven empty and ineffective... The government announced that it has commissioned a review of the options of providing the advisor with investigatory powers. The advisory role announced today has no real powers and will not operate at arm’s length from government-free from any political or corporate interference... The government must take decisive action to stop corporate abuse. That was the promise made in January 2018. That is the promise that must be kept.”

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