Ottawa creates office to investigate human rights abuses linked to Canadian companies abroad – by Marco Chown Oved (Toronto Star – January 18, 2018)

“There’s no other such position in the world,” said Julia Sanchez, president of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, after Ottawa’s Wednesday announcement.

More than a decade after the federal government created a “toothless” position to police Canada’s oil and mining companies operating overseas, Ottawa has announced there’s a new sheriff in town.

The Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprisse (CORE) will be an independent officer who will investigate allegations of human rights abuses linked to Canadian corporations operating abroad.

“To fly the Maple Leaf means something. It means being associated with a set of values,” said International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne in a news conference Wednesday. “This is an extraordinary brand to have in the world today,” he added. “But it also comes with responsibilities.”

Unlike its predecessor, the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor, the new position will not require the permission of a company to investigate. Nor will the ombudsman need a complaint, as they will have the power to launch their own investigations and publicly report their findings.

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