Canada’s unions disappointed that new Ombudsperson has been appointed without promised powers

April 8, 2019

Canada’s unions are disappointed that the long-awaited appointment of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) has not been accompanied by the promised power to investigate abuses and redress the harm caused by Canadian companies operating abroad.

In January 2018, the federal government publicly committed to creating an independent ombudsperson’s office with the power to order those under investigation to produce documents and testimony under oath.

“Today’s announcement naming an ombudsperson is a welcome step, however this post must hold investigatory powers in order to help ensure that Canadian corporations are compelled to respect their human rights obligations abroad,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

An ombudsperson is needed to investigate complaints of human rights violations and to redress harms when there is verifiable evidence these are linked to Canadian corporate abuse overseas. Canada needs an ombudsperson to help prevent Canadian complicity in corporate abuse and ensure Canadian mining and garment supply chains respect human rights.

“The commissioned legal review to determine the options to provide the advisor with investigatory powers must not be delayed,” said Yussuff. “Without investigatory capacity it is a powerless advisory post. We expect the required powers be assigned before the end of this electoral mandate,” he added.

Related Articles

National strike in Brazil

Canadian workers stand in solidarity with Brazilian trade unions protesting government pension policies that weaken workers’ rights. On Friday, June 14, Brazilian trade union national centres, grassroots unions, students, and popular and social movements are going on a national general strike to protest government neoliberal reforms to the Brazilian social security system. These reforms attack poorer workers while maintaining the…
Read More

Canada’s unions play key role in ILO negotiations on addressing violence at work

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Representatives from labour, governments, and employers are meeting this month as part of the 108th International Labour Conference in Geneva. Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), serves as the Worker Spokesperson and will continue as a key leader in the effort to strengthen obligations…
Read More

This Collective Bargaining Rights Day, Unions Celebrate Wins for All Workers

Canada’s unions are recognizing June 8 as Collective Bargaining Rights Day by celebrating the labour movement’s long and proud history of winning important gains at the bargaining table, a legacy that improves the economic realities for all Canadian workers and their families. “Collective bargaining allows working people to take part in fundamental decisions affecting their lives and, through collective action,…
Read More