Time is running out for an Independent Ombudsperson with power to Investigate…


… Join thousands in calling on the Government to keep its Promise

KAIROS Executive Director, Jennifer Henry, has joined key leaders from diverse sectors in Canada’s labour, human rights, and development communities,  in writing a public letter to the Minister of International Trade Diversification calling on the Government of Canada to immediately and meaningfully implement the independent Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). Their letter responds to warranted fears that the government could soon announce an ombudsperson without independence or investigate powers.

Please join Jennifer and the other signatories who are calling on the Government of Canada to honour its promise of an independent office of the Ombudsperson with investigatory powers, including the power to compel documents and testimony.

An ombudsperson with a narrow mandate, no autonomy, and inaccessibility to the judicial system would be a broken promise to Canadian citizens, Indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, workers, and communities across the globe who are living the effects of corporate abuse. This is unacceptable.

It’s time to up the ante!  Please call your MP today and urge them to call the Prime Minister and ask that he deliver on the federal government’s promise to create, staff, and fund an independent office of the CORE with the proper investigative powers. A sample message follows below.

Thank you for your sustained efforts on this campaign! Please call your MP, even if you already have. All your calls do make a difference.

KAIROS as well as our partners across the globe count on your continued commitment to press the Government of Canada to be deliberate and steadfast in mandating corporate oversight.

To read the letter, please visit our website: link to letter

For background on this issue and more information on the campaign, please visit our website: https://www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/ecological-justice/open4justice

Sample Message:

We were greatly encouraged last January 2018 when the Government of Canada publicly committed to creating an independent ombudsperson’s office with investigative powers to address allegations of abuse brought against Canadian corporations with operations abroad.

Specifically, the Government of Canada promised that the CORE would:

  • be independent and have the powers needed to investigate complaints thoroughly;
  • have the power to compel documents and testimony from Canadians and Canadian companies;
  • have an adequate budget to operate; and
  • have a mandate to report publicly.

We expect that when the federal government publicly announces the appointment of the ombudsperson, the announcement will reiterate the government’s commitment to robust investigatory powers and for the appointment to be made under the Inquiries Act.

We do not support any alternative two stage process which might appoint the ombudsperson under another authority (such as the Public Service Employment Act) and which fails to give immediate effect to the January 2018 promise of an independent office with investigatory powers, including the power to compel documents and testimony.

The communities, workers, Indigenous peoples, and human rights defenders with whom we collaborate around the world face great risk in defending their rights. They will expect and pray that their allegations of harm against Canadian companies will be properly investigated and that a credible public report and effective remedies will follow. They deserve no less.

No more talk! No more delay! A movement of over 6,000 Canadians and the communities, workers, indigenous peoples, and human rights defenders with whom they collaborate have asked for a credible effective ombudsperson.

It is about time the federal government act on its promise and create, staff, and fund an independent office of the CORE with full investigative powers to compel documents and testimony from Canadians and Canadian companies operating abroad.


Filed in: Ecological Justice, Gender Justice

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