Commentary: Canadian Govt. fails to take effective measures against corporate misconducts

Author: Penelope Simons, on Globe and Mail (Canada), Published on: 10 June 2019

Earlier this year Canadians were given a behind-the-scenes view on attempts by the Liberal government to ensure that SNC-Lavalin would escape potential criminal liability under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. What may be less clear is that the government’s stand in this case is reflective of its broader approach to corporate accountability. The Liberal government’s tendency to overlook corporate malfeasance threatens to sink an innovative initiative – the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) – with the potential to make real change...

Canadian companies have been implicated in credible allegations of wrongdoing worldwide. In addition to charges of corruption, the Canadian private sector has been linked to human-rights abuses and environmental destruction...

A study by the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at Osgoode Hall Law School found that between 2000 and 2015, 28 Canadian extractive companies had been associated with incidences of violence and criminalization in Latin America.

In 2017, the United Nations body charged with promoting respect for human rights by the private sector visited Canada to assess compliance with a set of guiding principles endorsed by the Canadian government. The UN experts expressed concern that Canada lacked a coherent policy framework to fulfill its legal duty to protect against business-related human-rights abuses. They raised concern that the victims of human-rights abuses struggle to obtain adequate and timely remedies against Canadian businesses.

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