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Open for Justice


    Canada blinks: Ombudsperson announcement a disappointment, but the fight is not over

    Human rights abuses at Canadian-owned mining and oil and gas sites around the world are widespread and well documented. Victims often have nowhere to turn to seek justice. The Canadian Government has taken steps to address this problem. But at a crucial moment, it seems Canada has blinked. 

    On April 8, 2019, Canada's Minister of International Trade Diversification announced the appointment of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). However the position that was announced is dramatically different from what the government promised in January, 2018. The Ombudsperson may review cases but does not have the powers to independently investigate abuse allegations or compel documents from the parties to a complaint. This is a step backwards for corporate accountability in Canada. 

    When will Canada be Open for Justice? 

    Read our blog and press release









    1. FAQ read Global Affairs Canada's recently updated FAQ on Responsible Business Abroad & the CORE
    3. OMBUDSPERSON INFOGRAPHIC A helpful visual that outlines the key aspects of our ombudsperson proposal.
    4. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS A one-pager on the essential elements of an ombudsperson office.
    5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF MODEL LEGISLATION You don't need to be a lawyer to read this.
    6. MODEL LEGISLATION Here is our detailed model legislation for the creation of an extractive sector ombudsperson.
    7. TALK IS NOT ENOUGH Why Canada needs an extractive sector ombudsperson (includes a chart comparing the Ombudsperson to Canada's CSR Counsellor and the OECD NCP).
    8. INJUSTICE INCORPORATED Download Amnesty International's book on Access to Remedy.
    9. CNCA BRIEFING NOTE Why Canada needs BOTH an extractive sector ombudsperson AND legislated access to Canadian courts.


    Video: Mi Tierra es mi Lucha:

    Written and Directed by Timo Schmidt.
    This short film explores the relationship between indigenous rights and mining operations around the world.




    Produced by Stephen Hunt. This short film explores the impact that Canadian transnational companies have on local communities as well as Canadian identity.






    Government of Canada turns back on communities harmed by Canadian mining overseas, loses trust of Canadian civil society, July 11, 2019 

    Canadian Government Reneges on Promise to Create Independent Corporate Human Rights Watchdog, April 8, 2019

    One year ago the Government of Canada announced the creation of a corporate Ombudsperson. It's time to fulfill it's promise. Jan 17, 2019.

    Mining affected communities ask: Where is Canada's ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise? Nov 28, 2018.

    At Last, Communities Impacted by Canadian Corporations Overseas will be Heard: Government Creates Human Rights Watchdog. Jan 17, 2018.

    UN tells Canada its time for action on Business and Human Rights. June 5, 2017.

    Federal Budget does not mention Human Rights Ombudsperson. March 22, 2017.

    New law would create Human Rights Ombudsperson to investigate violations associated with Canadian mining, oil and gas operations overseas. Nov 2, 2016.

    Support for an International Treaty on Business and Human Rights. June 18, 2015.

    Government fails to create an extractive-sector Ombudsman, despite broad public support (CNCA press release). November 14, 2014.

    Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources faces lawsuit over violence at Guatemala mine. June 18, 2014.

    Police set hundreds of homes ablaze near Porgera gold mine. June 10, 2014.

    Dow shields shareholders from toxic truth in Bhopal. May 14, 2014.

    Who does the law protect? New book by Amnesty International calls for radical change to ensure corporate accountability and the right to an effective remedy March 7, 2014

    Canada must be “Open for Justice” - organizations call for action for overseas victims of Canadian companies October 22, 2013



    Why Does Justin Trudeau Succumb to Corporate Pressure? May 5, 2019

    Dwyer: Canada's new corporate ombudsperson needs real powers. Dec 3, 2018.

    Canadian Civil Society Statement: Close the International Accountability Gap in the Extractive Sector. Sept, 2016.

    Corporations have rights. Now we need a global treaty on their responsibilities. By Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General. January 21, 2015.

    Open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper re new AI book on access to remedy. May 8, 2014.

    Time to counter human rights abuses by Canadian mining companies. Toronto Star (online edition). May 8, 2014.

    To Governments on the development and implementation of National Action Plans for business and human rights. May 1, 2014.

    To Prime Minister Stephen Harper re Canadian companies and Banladesh factory safety. April 23, 2014.



    Open for Justice is a joint campaign organized by the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) and its 30 member organizations, including Amnesty International.


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