Skip to content

Updated guidance on business reporting obligations under Canada’s supply chain transparency legislation

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Hilary Newman and Daniel Roth

Introduction

As we reported on November 30, 2023, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the “Act”) came into force on January 1, 2024, with the first reporting deadline on May 31, 2024. The Act creates a legal obligation on certain organizations to publicly report on the risk of forced labour and child labour in their supply chains. Public Safety Canada has now published updated guidance for reporting entities on how to prepare and submit their reports.

Who needs to report

The Act applies to corporations, trusts, partnerships and other unincorporated organizations that either:

  1. are listed on a stock exchange in Canada; or
  2. have a place of business in Canada, do business in Canada, or have assets in Canada, and that meet at least two of the following conditions for at least one of their two most recent financial years based on their consolidated financial statements:
    1. $20 million in global assets;
    2. $40 million in global revenue; or
    3. employs a global average of at least 250 employees;

and that are:

  1. producing, selling or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere;
  2. importing goods into Canada; or
  3. controlling an entity engaged in any of these activities.

Requirements of the report and questionnaire

Public Safety Canada has clarified that reporting entities must prepare a report for publication on the entity’s website and also complete an online questionnaire. The report will also be published in a publicly accessible government database. Each reporting entity must report the steps they took during the prior financial year to prevent and reduce the risk that forced or child labour was used at any stage of the production of goods in Canada, or of goods imported into Canada, including:

  1. the entity’s structure, activities, and supply chains;
  2. the entity’s policies and due diligence procedures related to forced and child labour;
  3. the parts of the entity’s business and supply chains that carry a risk of forced or child labour being used and the steps taken to assess and manage that risk;
  4. any measures taken to remediate any forced or child labour;
  5. any measures taken to remediate the loss of income to the most vulnerable families due to any measure taken to eliminate the use of forced or child labour in the entity’s activities and supply chains;
  6. the training provided to the entity’s employees on forced and child labour; and
  7. how the entity assesses its effectiveness in ensuring that forced and child labour are not being used in its business and supply chains.

The recent Public Safety guidance discusses minimum standards, joint reporting requirements, official language requirements, page limits, and approval and attestation requirements, including specific wording for the attestation itself. Entities should use discretion in determining the appropriate level of detail to include in their report proportionate to their size and risk profile. All reports must reference the activities undertaken during the entity’s previous financial year.

The online questionnaire has mandatory closed-ended questions and optional open-ended questions which address the Act’s requirements.

Given the extensive requirements of the report and questionnaire and the pending deadline of May 31, 2024, it is recommended that businesses begin the process of developing their report as soon as possible.  Failure to comply with reporting obligations or remedial measures under the Act may result in summary conviction and fines of up to $250,000.


This client update is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information please contact the authors, or a member of our Corporate Governance group.

Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


 
 

Cybersecurity class actions against database defendants persist, but hurdles for plaintiffs remain

July 25, 2024

By Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Meaghan McCaw and Bertina Lou[1] Two decisions earlier this month from the Court of Appeal for British Columbia left open the question as to whether so-called “database defendants” can be held…

Read More

Let’s talk about batteries: Nova Scotia Power’s latest development in renewable energy

July 18, 2024

In conjunction with our upcoming sponsorship of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon, featuring the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, we are pleased to present a Thought Leadership article highlighting…

Read More

“Sale” away: The SCC’s more flexible approach to exclusion clauses in contracts for the sale of goods

July 9, 2024

By Jennifer Taylor & Marina Luro A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision has clarified how to interpret exclusion clauses in sale of goods contracts. The Court in Earthco Soil Mixtures Inc. v Pine Valley…

Read More

Recent case re-confirms temporary ailment is not a disability

June 24, 2024

By Mark Tector and Tiegan A. Scott Decision On April 3, 2024, the Alberta Court of King’s Bench (“ABKB”) upheld a decision of the Chief of the Commissions and Tribunals (the “CCT Decision”), which held…

Read More

Compensation for expropriation: Fair, but not more than fair

June 17, 2024

By Erin Best, Stephen Penney, Robert Bradley, Megan Kieley1 and Elizabeth Fleet1 Expropriation is a live issue in Canadian courts. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to broaden the test for constructive expropriation in Annapolis…

Read More

Changes affecting federally regulated employers

June 10, 2024

By Killian McParland and Sophie Poulos There have been many changes in recent months affecting employers governed by federal labour and employment laws. In September 2024, Stewart McKelvey will be hosting a webinar to review…

Read More

Impending changes to Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Act – Gradual onset stress

June 4, 2024

By Mark Tector and Annie Gray What’s changing? Currently, workers’ compensation coverage in Nova Scotia applies to only a narrow subset of psychological injuries. Specifically, in Nova Scotia – as in all Atlantic Provinces –…

Read More

Appeal Courts uphold substantial costs awards for regulators

May 22, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Michiko Gartshore Professional regulators can incur substantial costs through discipline processes. These costs are often associated with investigations, hearings as well as committee member expenses and are an unfortunate by-product of…

Read More

Less than two weeks to go … Canada Supply Chain Transparency Reports are due May 31st

May 21, 2024

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Sheila Mecking, Hilary Newman, and Daniel Roth Introduction The first reports under the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the…

Read More

Court upheld municipality’s refusal to disclose investigation report

May 1, 2024

By Sheila Mecking and Sarah Dever Letson A recent decision out of the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick,[1] upheld the Municipality of Tantramar’s decision to withhold a Workplace Assessment Report under section 20(1)…

Read More

Search Archive


Scroll To Top