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Media Release


Thursday, January 31, 2002

OTTAWA - Democracy Watch called on governments across Canada to pass measures recommended in the report released today by the Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission to help ensure corporations act responsibly and governments are citizen-driven.

"Corporations across Canada will only act responsibly when laws require them to act responsibly," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chair of the Corporate Responsibility Coalition, "If Canadian governments do not respond to the broad call for stronger corporate responsibility and democratic reform laws, they will prove that they are corporate-driven and don't care about ensuring Canadians have key rights and powers to hold governments and corporations accountable."

The Commission endorsed almost all of the proposals of Democracy Watch's Corporate Responsibility Coalition, including:

The Commission's national poll of 2,000 Canadians conducted by Vector Research found that about 75% of Canadians support passage of such measures. However, the Commission's report was not strong enough in a few key areas, as follows:

The federal government did not include any of these measures in changes to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) that were passed in the form of Bill S-11 by Parliament in June 2001.

The Commission also endorsed one of the main recommendations of Democracy Watch's Money in Politics Coalition, namely that institutions such as corporations and unions should be prohibited from donating to political parties and politicians, as in Quebec and Manitoba.

And the Commission endorsed the call of Democracy Watch's Government Ethics Coalition to strengthen lobbying and ethics rules and enforcement to ensure that no one can have undue influence over governments.

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Duff Conacher, Coordinator
Tel: (613) 241-5179
or view the campaign page of the Corporate Responsibility Coalition