Dispute resolution and promotion of responsible business conduct
Providing access to dispute resolution mechanisms
Many of Canada’s responsible business conduct efforts aim to encourage constructive relations between companies and their stakeholders. When necessary, Canada can help facilitate dialogue and resolve disputes through two mechanisms:
Canada’s National Contact Point
Canada's National Contact Point for responsible business conduct under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (NCP) – established over 20 years ago – is mandated to promote the OECD Guidelines and offers facilitated dialogue and mediation for all sectors and for a wide range of issues, including:
- labour issues
- human rights
- environmental issues
The NCP is an eight-member interdepartmental committee. Global Affairs Canada chairs the NCP and hosts the NCP Secretariat.
Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise
The first Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), Ms. Sheri Meyerhoffer, was appointed in April 2019. Her mandate includes:
- reviewing allegations of human rights abuses arising from a Canadian company’s operations abroad in the mining, oil and gas and garment sectors
- promoting the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises
- advising Canadian companies on their policies and practices with regard to responsible business conduct
The Government of Canada expects that Canadian companies will participate in good faith with the NCP or CORE dispute resolution process. If a Canadian company has not acted in good faith during the course of, or follow-up to, the review process, the CORE or NCP can recommend implementing trade measures. These include the withdrawal of future trade support and recommending that Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation withdraw future support.
On October 4, 2022 the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade issued a Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities to outline the Government of Canada's key expectations for the Office of the CORE.
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