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Senate of Canada’s public bill S-211 (in progress)

An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff

Read the current version of the bill here.

SENATE OF CANADA
First Session, Forty-fourth Parliament, 70-71 Elizabeth II, 2021-2022

BILL S-211 An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff

AS PASSED BY THE SENATE APRIL 28, 2022

Summary

This enactment enacts the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, which imposes an obligation on certain government institutions and private-sector entities to report on the measures taken to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used by them or in their supply chains. The Act provides for an inspection regime applicable to entities and gives the Minister the power to require an entity to provide certain information.

This enactment also amends the Customs Tariff to allow for a prohibition on the importation of goods manufactured or produced, in whole or in part, by forced labour or child labour as those terms are defined in the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act.

Available on the Senate of Canada website at the following address:

www.sencanada.ca/en

Preamble

Whereas forced labour and child labour are forms of modern slavery;

Whereas Canada, as a party to the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization on fundamental labour rights — including the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, adopted in Geneva on June 28, 1930; the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957, adopted in Geneva on June 25, 1957; and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999, adopted at Geneva on June 17, 1999 — is determined to contribute to the fight against modern slavery;

And whereas Parliament considers that it is essential to contribute to fighting modern slavery, including by imposing reporting obligations on government institutions involved in producing, purchasing or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere and on entities involved in manufacturing, producing, growing, extracting or processing goods in Canada or elsewhere or in importing goods manufactured, produced, grown, extracted or processed outside Canada;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act.

Interpretation

Definitions

2 The following definitions apply in this Act.

child labour means labour or services provided or offered to be provided by persons under the age of 18 years and that

  • (a) are provided or offered to be provided in Canada under circumstances that are contrary to the laws applicable in Canada;

  • (b) are provided or offered to be provided under circumstances that are mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous to them;

  • (c) interfere with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, obliging them to leave school prematurely or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work; or

  • (d) constitute the worst forms of child labour as defined in article 3 of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999, adopted at Geneva on June 17, 1999. (travail des enfants)

entity means a corporation or a trust, partnership or other unincorporated organization that

  • (a) is listed on a stock exchange in Canada;

  • (b) has a place of business in Canada, does business in Canada or has assets in Canada and that, based on its consolidated financial statements, meets at least two of the following conditions for at least one of its two most recent financial years:

    • (i) it has at least $20 million in assets,

    • (ii) it has generated at least $40 million in revenue, and

    • (iii) it employs an average of at least 250 employees; or

  • (c) is prescribed by regulations. (entité)

forced labour means labour or service provided or offered to be provided by a person under circumstances that

  • (a) could reasonably be expected to cause the person to believe their safety or the safety of a person known to them would be threatened if they failed to provide or offer to provide the labour or service; or

  • (b) constitute forced or compulsory labour as defined in article 2 of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, adopted in Geneva on June 28, 1930. (travail forcé)

governing body means the body or group of members of the entity with primary responsibility for the governance of the entity. (corps dirigeant)

government institution has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Access to Information Act. (institution fédérale)

head has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Access to Information Act. (responsable d’institution fédérale)

Minister means the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. (ministre)

production of goods includes the manufacturing, growing, extracting and processing of goods. (production de marchandises)

Purpose of Act

Purpose

3 The purpose of this Act is to implement Canada’s international commitment to contribute to the fight against forced labour and child labour through the imposition of reporting obligations on

  • (a) government institutions producing, purchasing or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere; and

  • (b) entities producing goods in Canada or elsewhere or in importing goods produced outside Canada.

Her Majesty

Binding on Her Majesty

4 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

PART 1 

Reporting Obligation — Government Institution

Application

Government institutions

5 This Part applies to any government institution producing, purchasing or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere.

Annual Report

Annual report

6 (1) The head of every government institution must, on or before May 31 of each year, report to the Minister on the steps the government institution has taken during its previous financial year to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used at any step of the production of goods produced, purchased or distributed by the government institution.

Supplementary information

(2) The report must also include the following information in respect of the government institution:

  • (a) its structure, activities and supply chains;

  • (b) its policies and due diligence processes in relation to forced labour and child labour;

  • (c) the parts of its activities and supply chains that carry a risk of forced labour or child labour being used and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;

  • (d) any measures taken to remediate any forced labour or child labour;

  • (e) any measures taken to remediate the loss of income to the most vulnerable families that results from any measure taken to eliminate the use of forced labour or child labour in its activities and supply chains;

  • (f) the training provided to employees on forced labour and child labour; and

  • (g) how the government institution assesses its effectiveness in ensuring that forced labour and child labour are not being used in its activities and supply chains.

Form and manner

(3) The Minister may specify, in writing, the form and manner in which a report is to be provided. The requirements must be made available to the public in the manner that the Minister considers appropriate.

Revised report

7 (1) The head of a government institution may provide the Minister with a revised version of the report provided under section 6.

Content of revised report

(2) The revised version of the report must, in addition to the information required under subsection 6(2), indicate the date of the revision and include a description of the changes made to the original report.

Accessibility of report

8 The head of every government institution must, on providing the Minister with a report under section 6 or a revised report under section 7, make the report available to the public, including by publishing it in a prominent place on the government institution’s website.

PART 2 

Reporting Obligation — Entities

Application

Entities

9 This Part applies to any entity

  • (a) producing, selling or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere;

  • (b) importing into Canada goods produced outside Canada; or

  • (c) controlling an entity engaged in any activity described in paragraph (a) or (b).

Control

10 (1) For the purposes of this Part and subject to the regulations, an entity is controlled by another entity if it is directly or indirectly controlled by that other entity in any manner.

Deemed control

(2) An entity that controls another entity is deemed to control any entity that is controlled or deemed to be controlled by the other entity.

Annual Report

Annual report

11 (1) Every entity must, on or before May 31 of each year, report to the Minister on the steps the entity has taken during its previous financial year to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used at any step of the production of goods in Canada or elsewhere by the entity or of goods imported into Canada by the entity.

Single or joint report

(2) An entity may comply with subsection (1) either

  • (a) by providing a report in respect of the entity; or

  • (b) by being party to a joint report in respect of more than one entity.

Supplementary information

(3) The report must also include the following information in respect of each entity subject to the report:

  • (a) its structure, activities and supply chains;

  • (b) its policies and its due diligence processes in relation to forced labour and child labour;

  • (c) the parts of its business and supply chains that carry a risk of forced labour or child labour being used and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;

  • (d) any measures taken to remediate any forced labour or child labour;

  • (e) any measures taken to remediate the loss of income to the most vulnerable families that results from any measure taken to eliminate the use of forced labour or child labour in its activities and supply chains;

  • (f) the training provided to employees on forced labour and child labour; and

  • (g) how the entity assesses its effectiveness in ensuring that forced labour and child labour are not being used in its business and supply chains.

Approval of report

(4) The report must be approved,

  • (a) in the case of a report in respect of a single entity, by its governing body; or

  • (b) in the case of a joint report, either

    • (i) by the governing body of each entity included in the report, or

    • (ii) by the governing body of the entity, if any, that controls each entity included in the report.

Attestation of the report

(5) The approval of the report must be evidenced by

  • (a) a statement that sets out whether it was approved pursuant to paragraph (4)‍(a) or subparagraph (4)‍(b)‍(i) or (ii); and

  • (b) the signature of one or more members of the governing body of each entity that approved the report.

Form and manner

(6) The Minister may specify, in writing, the form and manner in which a report is to be provided. The requirements must be made available to the public in the manner that the Minister considers appropriate.

Revised report

12 (1) An entity may provide the Minister with a revised version of the report provided under section 11.

Content of revised report

(2) The revised version of the report must, in addition to the information required under subsection 11(3), indicate the date of the revision and include a description of the changes made to the original report.

Approval and attestation

(3) Subsections 11(4) and (5) apply in respect of a revised report.

Accessibility of report

13 (1) An entity must, on providing the Minister with a report under section 11 or a revised report under section 12, make the report available to the public, including by publishing it in a prominent place on its website.

Federal corporations

(2) Any entity that is incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act or any other Act of Parliament must provide the report or revised report to each shareholder, along with its annual financial statements.

Administration and Enforcement

Designation

14 The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Part.

Designated Person’s Powers

Entry into a place

15 (1) A designated person may, for the purpose of verifying compliance with this Part, enter any place where they have reasonable grounds to believe there is anything to which this Part applies or any document relating to the administration of this Part.

Powers on entry

(2) The designated person may, for the purpose referred to in subsection (1),

  • (a) examine anything in the place, including any document;

  • (b) use any means of communication in the place, or cause it to be used;

  • (c) use any computer system in the place — or cause it to be used — to examine data contained in or available to it, or reproduce the data — or cause it to be reproduced — in the form of a printout or other intelligible output and remove any printout or output for examination or copying;

  • (d) prepare a document based on the data, or cause one to be prepared;

  • (e) use any copying equipment in the place, or cause it to be used;

  • (f) take photographs or make recordings or sketches of anything in the place;

  • (g) direct any person to put any equipment in the place into operation or to cease operating it;

  • (h) prohibit or limit access to all or part of the place or to anything in the place; and

  • (i) remove anything from the place for the purpose of examination.

Persons accompanying designated person

(3) The designated person may be accompanied by any person whom the designated person believes is necessary to help them exercise their powers or perform their duties or functions under this section.

Assistance

(4) The owner or person in charge of the place and every person in the place must give all assistance that is reasonably required to enable the designated person to exercise their powers or perform their duties or functions under this section and is to provide any documents, information or access to any data that is reasonably required for that purpose.

Warrant to enter dwelling-house

16 (1) If the place referred to in subsection 11(1) is a dwelling-house, the designated person may enter it without the occupant’s consent only under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (2).

Authority to issue warrant

(2) On ex parte application, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorizing the designated person to enter a dwelling-house, subject to any conditions specified in the warrant, if the justice is satisfied by information on oath that

  • (a) the dwelling-house is a place referred to in subsection 15(1);

  • (b) entry to the dwelling-house is necessary for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Part; and

  • (c) entry was refused by the occupant or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be refused by or that consent to entry cannot be obtained from the occupant.

Obstruction

17 A person must not obstruct or hinder a designated person who is exercising powers or performing duties or functions under this Part.

Order — Corrective Measures

Minister’s power

18 If, on the basis of information obtained under section 15, the Minister is of the opinion that an entity is not in compliance with section 11 or 13, the Minister may, by order, require the entity to take any measures that the Minister considers to be necessary to ensure compliance with those provisions.

Offences and Punishment

Offence

19 (1) Every person or entity that fails to comply with section 11 or 13, subsection 15(4) or an order made under section 18, or that contravenes section 17, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine of not more than $250,000.

False or misleading statement or information

(2) Every person or entity that knowingly makes any false or misleading statement or knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Minister or a person designated under section 14 is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine of not more than $250,000.

Liability of directors, officers, etc.

20 If a person or an entity commits an offence under this Part, any director, officer or agent or mandatary of the person or entity who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in its commission is a party to and guilty of the offence and liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the person or entity has been prosecuted or convicted.

Offence by employee or agent or mandatary

21 In a prosecution for an offence under subsection 19(1), it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent or mandatary of the accused, whether or not the employee or agent or mandatary is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, unless the accused establishes that they exercised due diligence to prevent its commission.

PART 3 

General

Registry

Electronic registry

22 (1) The Minister must maintain an electronic registry containing a copy of every report or revised report provided to the Minister under section 6, 7, 11 or 12.

Accessibility of registry

(2) The registry must be made available to the public on the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness website.

Regulations

Regulations

23 The Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act, including regulations

  • (a) prescribing other entities for the purpose of the definition entity;

  • (b) respecting the circumstances in which an entity is controlled by another entity; and

  • (c) prescribing anything that may, by this Act, be prescribed.

Report to Parliament

Annual report

24 (1) The Minister must cause to be tabled in each House of Parliament, on or before September 30 of each year or, if a House is not then sitting, on any of the next 30 days on which that House is sitting, a report containing

  • (a) a general summary of the activities of government institutions and entities that provided a report under this Act for their previous financial year that carry a risk of forced labour or child labour being used;

  • (b) the steps that government institutions and entities have taken to assess and manage that risk;

  • (c) if applicable, measures taken by government institutions and entities to remediate any forced labour or child labour;

  • (d) a copy of any order made pursuant to section 18; and

  • (e) the particulars of any charge laid against a person or entity under section 19.

Publication

(2) The Minister must publish the report in a prominent place on the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness website within 30 days after it is tabled in both Houses of Parliament.

Review of the Act

Review by committee

25 (1) At the start of the fifth year after the day on which this section comes into force, a comprehensive review of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose.

Report to Parliament

(2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) must, within one year after the review is undertaken under that subsection, submit a report to the House or Houses of Parliament of which it is a committee, including a statement setting out any changes to the Act that the committee recommends.

PART 4 

Customs Tariff

1997, c. 36

26 Subparagraph 132(1)‍(m)‍(i.‍1) of the Customs Tariff is replaced by the following:

  • (i.‍1) amending that tariff item to exclude goods that are mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour or child labour as those terms are defined in section 2 of the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, from that tariff item, or prescribing the conditions under which such goods may be excluded from that tariff item,

27 The reference to “Goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour” set out in the Description of Goods of tariff item No. 9897.‍00.‍00 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Act is replaced by the following:

Goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour or child labour as those terms are defined in section 2 of the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act;

PART 5 

Coming into Force

January 1

28 This Act comes into force on January 1 of the year following the year in which it receives royal assent.

 

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