The Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission is exploring a growing issue in Canadian democracy: while corporations grow in size and influence, the means of ensuring accountability for the impact of their decisions remains far behind.
The Commissioners, representatives from Canadian business, labour and politics, want to hear from those in the private sector, government officials, advocacy groups, trade unionists and other interested citizens.
Hearings will be held in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary and Montreal between February and June 2001.
The Commissioners will prepare a report by the end of 2001 with practical recommendations for the federal and provincial governments, the corporate sector and the social/economic justice community.
Public opinion polls show that Canadians are concerned with the trend towards a divide between corporate influence and corporate accountability. Some corporations are accepting a more wide-ranging sense of responsibility and accountability, but most continue to put virtually all their emphasis on short-term profits. The input from Canadians in a variety of sectors will be used to develop recommendations that will help corporations expand their accountability to employees, customers, communities, the environment, the country and the global community while remaining profitable. Other bodies – such as governments, hospitals, the voluntary sector – are becoming more accountable. The federal government will be amending the Canada Business Corporations Act in 2001. Your help in shaping what accountability will look like in the corporate sector is important.
To assist participants in thinking critically about the issues, a discussion paper has been prepared. If you have not already received Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability: An Overview of the Issues, you can download a copy from the Commission’s website: www.corporate-accountability.ca. or phone, fax or e-mail your request and a copy will be mailed to you. The discussion paper abstract provides a brief summary. Several issues have been explored in the paper, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. Other relevant issues, such as ethical investment of pension funds, may also be considered.