OMBUDSPERSON For Corporate Responsibility-finally!

OMBUDSPERSON For Corporate Responsibility-finally!

Postby Oscar » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:26 pm

Long-Fought-For Ombudsperson Announced to Investigate International Complaints against Canadian Mining Companies

[ https://us4.campaign-archive.com/?e=ae0 ... ffafc77bd5 ]

Ottawa, January 17, 2018

Today, Canada’s International Trade Minister announced the creation of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate human rights complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies and recommend remedy for harm done.

The ombudsperson’s recommendations could include the withdrawal of Canadian government political support (such as Trade Councillor support) and financial support (such as funding or political risk insurance from Export Development Canada), as well as advice to the Government of Canada on policy and legislative changes needed to prevent mining-related harms before they occur.

The ombudsperson will operate at arms-length from government. S/he will report to Parliament, and will have the power to compel documents and witnesses. Commented MiningWatch Canada spokesperson Catherine Coumans, “We have pushed hard for an Ombudsperson that will have robust powers to independently investigate complaints brought by people who have suffered human rights abuses as a result of the operations of Canadian mining companies abroad.”

MiningWatch has also called for a high level of transparency. “The Ombudsperson’s reports will be public and will provide their findings regarding the allegations that have been made,” said Coumans.

“Our primary goal in working for the creation of this office has been to provide an avenue for remedy for the many mining-affected people we have been working with around the world since 1999, to investigate and validate their complaints, and to at least exclude those found to have violated human rights from Canadian government support,” said Coumans.

MiningWatch Canada started the lengthy process that led to this announcement in 2005, and together with other members of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, and – with the support of tens and hundreds of thousands of Canadians over the years – has continuously fought for a such an oversight body, as well as for legal accountability and respect for communities’ Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Coumans promised, “We will continue to press the government to ensure that the Ombuds office is independent and effective, and has adequate resources to do its job, but we will also continue to push for legal accountability, FPIC, and other important elements of corporate accountability like effective anti-corruption laws.”

In 2005, MiningWatch held an international conference to find legal mechanisms to address human rights and environmental abuses by Canadian mining companies. MiningWatch also brought indigenous Subanon from Mindanao, in the Philippines, before a parliamentary committee where they pleaded for relief from the abuses they were suffering as the result of the operations of Canadian mining company TVI Pacific. That hearing led to a groundbreaking parliamentary report in 2005, which in turn led to the government establishing a “Corporate Social Responsibility Roundtables” process in 2006 and a final report in 2007 that called for the creation of an ombudsperson for the extractive sector. “It has been a long road but we are encouraged to finally see progress,” said Coumans.

For more information contact:

•Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada –
catherine@miningwatch.ca, (613) 569-3439

Background:

•Corporate Accountability in Canada - A MiningWatch Archive - 2011
[ https://miningwatch.ca/blog/2011/3/25/c ... ch-archive ]

•Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) 2005 report on Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility
[ http://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer ... /report-14 ]

•Regulating Canadian Mining Companies Operating Internationally – Materials for a Conference held in Ottawa, October 20, 2005
[ https://miningwatch.ca/blog/2005/10/20/ ... -documents ]

National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries - Advisory Group Report - March 29, 2007
[ https://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/fi ... Report.pdf ]
Oscar
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Re: OMBUDSPERSON For Corporate Responsibility-finally!

Postby Oscar » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:31 pm

Canada creates watchdog to oversee companies' conduct abroad

[ https://ca.reuters.com/article/business ... 62AL-OCABS ]

Nicole Mordant January 17, 2018

(Reuters) - Canada said on Wednesday it is creating an independent watchdog to monitor and investigate claims of human rights abuses by its companies operating abroad, describing it as the first initiative of its kind in the world.

The body, which will initially target the mining, oil and gas, and garment sectors, will also have the power to recommend sanctions against transgressors, including withdrawing Export Development Canada financial support, international trade minister François-Philippe Champagne said.

Its oversight is expected to be expanded to other industries within a year, he said.

MORE:

[ https://ca.reuters.com/article/business ... 62AL-OCABS ]
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Re: OMBUDSPERSON For Corporate Responsibility-finally!

Postby Oscar » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:34 pm

Champagne to announce new ombudsman for corporate responsibility Wednesday, after years-long campaign by human rights groups

[ https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/01/16/ch ... ups/131079 ]

The new ombudsperson will cover more than just the extractive sector, which has long been the focus of calls for the office.

(PHOTO: Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, left, is expected to announce the creation of a new ombudsperson for corporate responsibility in Ottawa Wednesday, a move aimed at addressing controversies tied to Canadian companies in the mining and apparel industries dating back years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to create the new ombudsperson's office during the 2015 election campaign. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade, The Hill Times file photograph)

By PETER MAZEREEUW PUBLISHED :Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 1:59 PM

The federal government is planning to announce the creation of an ombudsperson for “responsible enterprise” on Wednesday, finally checking the box on a 2015 Liberal campaign promise, and satisfying a request from Canada’s mining industry that the ombudsman cover more than just the extractive sector.

The new ombudsperson is expected to cover more than just the mining and oil and gas sectors, which have typically been at the centre of proposals for an ombudsperson’s office for years. The government’s ombudsperson is also expected to take and investigate complaints related to the apparel industry, and possibly expand to other sectors in the future, said John Ruggie, a human rights policy specialist who helped the federal government create the new office and is scheduled to join Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne (Saint-Maurice-Champlain, Que.) in announcing the ombudsperson in Ottawa Wednesday.

The two men will also be joined by Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. The government will also announce the creation of a stakeholder advisory board on the subject, including representatives from the business, academic, legal and non-profit worlds.

Canada’s government has been under pressure for years to hold accountable Canadian companies implicated in human rights violations and environmental degradation in other countries. Often, the cases have revolved around violence allegedly perpetrated by locally-employed security forces at mine sites owned by Canadian companies or their subsidiaries in the developing world, or police or military working to the benefit of the company.

MORE:

[ https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/01/16/ch ... ups/131079 ]
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