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Opinion

Don’t confuse dialogue with accountability in ombudsman debate

By Karyn Keenan      

Not all grievances can be resolved through dialogue. Even when mediation leads to agreement, the results may fall far short of resolving the dispute.

The PMO has delegated International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne to deal with complaints of abuses by Canada's Barrick Gold in Papua New Guinea. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
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OTTAWA—UN experts, having just completed a mission to Canada, are urging the Canadian government to take a tougher line on business-related human rights violations. Among other recommendations, the UN is calling for the creation of an extractive industries human rights ombudsperson that is independent and well resourced, with the power to investigate allegations, conduct fact-finding, and enforce its orders. Industry spokespeople argue the ombudsman should be limited to facilitating joint fact-finding processes, agreed upon voluntarily by companies and complainants.

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