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2 Nov 2016

Jean Symes, The Hill Times (Canada)

Enough talk, Canada needs extractive industries ombudsperson

...[M]ore than a half a million Canadians have called for a mandatory, independent, and impartial extractive-sector ombudsperson, with the power to investigate complaints and report publicly.  In response, the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability has just released proposed legislation that would accomplish just that.  The Global Leadership in Business and Human Rights Act would ensure that complaints are seriously addressed, and that an appropriate remedy for violations is provided, along with policy recommendations to government and companies to prevent their recurrence.  During the last election campaign, all of the opposition parties at the time...promised to establish an independent ombudsperson for the extractive industries. ..[T]he current government explicitly committed to uphold human rights in Canada...However, so far its public statements on Canada’s extractive sector mimic the previous governments’ preference to rely solely on existing voluntary mechanisms.  These mechanisms have...proven ineffective...Inter Pares and the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability urge the government and Parliament to take leadership in response to long-standing calls in Canada and internationally to address this ongoing human rights tragedy...

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