Ending the Use of Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act

An Act respecting the elimination of the use of forced labour and child labour in supply chains

Sponsor

Marcus Powlowski  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Second reading (House), as of Feb. 9, 2022

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Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Ending the Use of Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act , which imposes an obligation on certain entities to report on the measures taken to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used at any step in the production of goods in Canada or elsewhere by them or in the production of goods they import into Canada. The Act provides for an inspection regime and gives the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness the power to require an entity to provide certain information.
The enactment also amends the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act to require the Minister of Public Works and Government Services to ensure that, in relation to materiel or services acquired for the use of a government department, the risk that forced labour or child labour is used is prevented or reduced. It also requires the Minister to table annually in each House of Parliament a report on the measures taken during the previous year to prevent and reduce that risk.
Finally, the enactment makes a related amendment to the Customs Tariff .

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Similarities Between Bill C-243 and Bill S-211Oral Questions

June 6th, 2022 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I would like to make a statement concerning similarities between two bills that are currently before the House.

Bill C-243, An Act respecting the elimination of the use of forced labour and child labour in supply chains, standing in the name of the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, received first reading on February 8 last and was added to the order of precedence on February 9, 2022.

As for 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, standing in the name of the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, a message from the Senate was received on April 29, 2022, informing the House of its adoption. It then received first reading and was added to the order of precedence on May 3, 2022.

These two bills have the same objective, to require certain entities, including federal institutions, to report on the measures that they take to prevent and reduce the risk of using forced labour or child labour in the production of goods or in their supply chains.

The case before the House involves an unusual set of circumstances. Normally, in the case of private members' bills, the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business would designate as non-votable a bill that is essentially the same as one higher up on the order of precedence. However, as it states at page 1144 of the third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice:

In the case of a private Member’s public bill originating in the Senate, the only ground on which such a bill can be designated non-votable is its similarity to a bill voted on by the House in the same Parliament.

Since Bill C-243 had not been voted on when the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business reviewed Bill S-211, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, on the recommendation of its subcommittee, designated the bill votable in its report to the House of May 11, 2022. Thus, two similar items are listed on the order of precedence for Private Members’ Business.

Since Bill S-211 was adopted on June 1 at second reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, the House now finds itself in a situation in which a decision has been made with respect to one of two bills containing similar provisions and seeking the same objective.

There is a long-standing practice that prohibits the same question from being decided twice by the House during the same session. In adopting Bill S-211 at second reading, the House agreed to the principle of that bill and, thus, has also made a decision on the principle of Bill C-243.

On May 11, 2022, in a ruling found at page 5,125 of Debates, the Chair considered a similar situation concerning two other similar bills. At that time, it was determined that the House should not find itself in a situation in which it was called on to decide on the same question twice in a single session.

Standing Order 94(1) grants the Speaker the authority to make all arrangements necessary to ensure the orderly conduct of Private Members’ Business. In accordance with this authority, the Chair is ordering that the status of Bill C-243 remain pending and that it not be considered. This leaves open the possibility that Bill C-243 may be reinstated in the next session, pursuant to Standing Order 86.1, should by any chance Bill S-211 fail to be enacted in this session.

I thank all members for their attention.

Ending the Use of Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains ActRoutine Proceedings

February 8th, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Marcus Powlowski Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-243, an act respecting the elimination of the use of forced labour and child labour in supply chains.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to introduce my PMB, an act respecting the elimination of the use of forced labour and child labour in supply chains. The seconder, and indeed the author of the bill, is my good friend, the member for Scarborough—Guildwood.

Manufacturers looking to maximize their profits often buy products made in countries where labour is cheap, but in countries where labour is cheap, labour standards may be low or non-existent. Perhaps worst of all, products might be made using either child labour or forced labour. I think many companies and consumers would prefer not to look too closely at the labour practices that went into the products they buy. This bill, if passed, would require big companies to look into their supply chains and file a public report yearly identifying the parts of the supply chains where there is a risk of child labour or forced labour and report what the company has done to address those risks.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)