Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have thrown their support behind a Senate bill requiring government and businesses to annually report on steps they have taken to identify forced labour in their supply chains.

Bill S-211 stands a good chance of becoming law once it finishes moving through the House of Commons. The legislation, which has already passed the Senate, also passed second reading in the Commons by a vote of 327-0 on June 01. It now heads to committee for further study.

The Bill, Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, would require government institutions and businesses to submit annual reports to Ottawa outlining steps taken during the previous fiscal year to prevent and reduce forced labour or child labour from being used at any step in their supply chains.

According to critics the bill falls short because it does not oblige government or businesses to take steps to rid their supply chains of coerced labour – but only report on it. Any amendments would mean S-211 would have to go back to the Senate to be ratified.

The legislation would take effect as early as January, 2023, if it receives royal assent this year.

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