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Human rights groups call for federal mining ombudsman

A coalition of human rights groups is calling on the Trudeau government to...appoint an ombudsman to deal with conflicts between local communities and Canadian resource companies overseas.  The proposed ombudsman’s office would have the power to freely investigate claims of violations against international human rights norms involving Canadian firms and their subsidiaries...The office would be able to ask a judge to compel firms to produce documents and order individuals to participate in an investigation, according to the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, one of several groups that unveiled the proposed law Wednesday in a news conference...“One of the reasons why it’s so key is that existing mechanisms in Canada are not adequate at all to deal with the scope and scale of this problem,” said Emily Dyer, the network’s coordinator.  At the moment, there is a federal corporate social responsibility counsellor for the extractive sector and a national contact point for the OECD’s guidelines for multinational enterprises.  Both have been criticized as weak...Federal governments have not provided the groups with a specific timeline on implementing the legislation...

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