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Canadian govt. appoints Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise; human rights groups express disappointment that scope of powers remains unclear

Author: The Canadian Press, CBC, Published on: 8 April 2019

"New corporate-ethics ombud named but powers remain unclear," 8 April 2019

The federal government's long-awaited announcement... of a watchdog to enforce responsible conduct by Canadian companies operating abroad was greeted with disappointment by human-rights advocates... International Trade Minister Jim Carr says it will take almost two more months to finalize the powers of the new "Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise." At issue is whether Sheri Meyerhoffer, a lawyer with a long record in business and international development, can compel reluctant companies to co-operate with her investigations and recommendations. Carr said he wants independent legal advice on how best to give Meyerhoffer the power to make companies disclose documents and answer questions.

... Alex Neve, the head of Amnesty international Canada, welcomed Meyerhoffer's appointment but said it's disappointing the government still hasn't defined Meyerhoffer's powers some 15 months after announcing it was creating the position... The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability said the government failed Monday to appoint an ombudsperson with real powers. "Fifteen months into this process, news of a review is outrageous. We don't need more studies. We need action," said Emily Dwyer of the network. [refers to SNC-Lavalin]

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Related companies: SNC-Lavalin