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18 Jun 2019

Simon Lewchuk, World Vision Canada

Commentary: The next frontier for supply chain legislation? Assessing Canadian business support for measures to tackle modern slavery

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Despite a number of promising developments here over the last few years – including a parliamentary study that resulted in a multi-party recommendation that Canada develop supply chain legislation and the recent launch of formal public consultations on this possibility – and despite the fact that civil society and investors have made their positions known, Canadian businesses have yet to publicly contribute to the debate. This is a key gap that needs to be addressed for at least three reasons: (1) the Canadian government is not going to develop policy without the input of business; (2) we want to ensure that legislation is fit for purpose and drives meaningful change in corporate practices; and (3) the experience of other jurisdictions has shown that business support can be a key success factor in developing supply chain legislation.

While the findings... [of recent research on Canadian company views] represent the views of a select group – 37 individuals from 26 large and mid-sized companies participated – and not all Canadian companies, they demonstrate that something can be done and that there is indeed business support for supply chain legislation.