Canadian Companies Expected to Uphold Ethical Standards Abroad Under New Strategy

The Canadian Press

Written by Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canada has announced a new responsible business strategy to ensure companies prevent or ease negative effects to human rights and the environment in their operations overseas.

Advocates, however, are criticizing the strategy for being largely a repeat of the previous one put in place by Stephen Harper's Conservative government in 2014. 

Canada's international trade minister said the new strategy will help Canadian companies operating abroad to build on the "Canadian brand" and set themselves apart from competitors.

Minister Mary Ng said the strategy is a set of tools and supports to help companies adopt high ethical standards, including to uphold human rights and protect the environment.

"Businesses are shooting themselves in the foot, to their own success, by not having strong responsible business conduct, because we know that having it will just make them more successful," Ng said in an interview.

Emily Dwyer, who heads the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, said the strategy fails to centre the rights of people and communities affected by corporate wrongdoing.

Catherine Coumans, research co-ordinator at MiningWatch Canada, said there was basically “nothing new” in the strategy.

"I just started thinking, 'Oh my god. All I'm seeing is just a repeating of things that already exist.' Just the tiniest tweaks.” 


Full article available here.