Twice-defeated disclosure bills given new life with Liberal majority

The Liberal MP who pushed for legislation promoting transparency when companies set up operations abroad told Vice News he hopes the newly-elected Trudeau government will pick up his twice-defeated bills.

In 2009 John McKay—Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood—introduced Bill C-300, the Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act. According to McKay the bill would promote “environmental best practices and to ensure the protection and promotion of international human rights standards in respect of the mining, oil or gas activities of Canadian corporations in developing countries”. McKay’s bill came up short during the final reading losing by six votes, 140 against to 134 in favour, and didn’t become law.

In 2013 a new version of the legislation, Bill C-474 also referred to as “the Sunshine Bill,” took aim at murky payments and would require Canadian resource companies to provide annual transparency reports that would disclose payments made by the companies to foreign governments. Bill C-474 also failed to pass.

But with the Liberals back in office, McKay is hopeful his past private memeber bills will be successful, and he told Vice he is optimistic Trudeau will pick up the issue.

Image of John McCay