UN Working Group Chair critical of government delays with new corporate ethics ombudsperson
"UN watchdog critical of government delays with new corporate ethics ombud," 2 May 2019
Canada's international reputation will be damaged if it doesn't give real power to its new watchdog on responsible corporate conduct, warns a United Nations rights watchdog. Surya Deva, the chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights... said he was disappointed that International Trade Minister Jim Carr commissioned a further legal review, due in June, to assess what the ombudsperson's powers should be when Carr finally filled the new job three weeks ago... "Let me say very candidly, things are moving quite fast and if the Canadian government wants to maintain the leadership in this particular field, or in the field of human rights generally, they need to really act now and do certain things," Deva said in an interview on Monday. Deva said Canada is falling behind other countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland and Australia in enacting laws to improve the conduct of their companies operating abroad, especially in less developed countries.
... Deva said if the government settles on anything short of full power to compel companies to supply witnesses and documents in Meyerhoffer's investigations, it will hurt Canada's reputation as a human-rights leader... Chris Moran, the director general for trade-portfolio strategy at Global Affairs Canada, said the current system gives her department's 1,200 trade commissioners the necessary leverage to ensure companies act responsibly on foreign soil.