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In brief

On March 7, 2024, Public Safety Canada updated its Guidance on the application of Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (Supply Chains Act). The updated Guidance is available online here. Businesses operating in Canada are encouraged to review the key changes summarized below to confirm that its assessment of reporting obligations continue to align with Public Safety Canada’s Guidance. The deadline for submitting reports under the Supply Chains Act is May 31, 2024.


Key changes to the Guidance include:

  • Confirmation that subsidiaries must determine their reporting obligations independently from their parent. Further, the Guidance clarifies that it is possible for both a parent and its subsidiary to meet the definition of a reporting “entity”. In such circumstances, a parent and its subsidiary may file a joint report provided that the information contained in the joint report generally applies to both parent and subsidiary.  
  • Confirmation that tax and employment-related records can be used to determine whether an entity has a place of business in Canada, does business in Canada or has assets in Canada.
  • Clarification that while provincial and municipal government institutions are not subject to reporting requirements, some provincial Crown corporations may be subject.
  • Clarification that reports produced for other jurisdictions can be filed in Canada if the information contained in that report is relevant to the Supply Chains Act and covers the required reporting period.
  • Clarification regarding what can be reported to meet the criteria contained in Section 11(3) of the Supply Chains Act:
    • When reporting on its structure, activities, and supply chains, a reporting entity may include information on its control of other entities, including what the controlled entities do and where they are located.
    • When reporting on its policies and due diligence processes, a reporting entity may include information on how it is providing for or cooperating in remediation when appropriate.
    • When reporting on its child labour/forced labour training, a reporting entity may include information on how many employees have received or will receive the training.
  • Further details on submission procedure, including: clarification on how to submit reports prepared in both English and French; confirmation that there is no formal page limit for the reports, but that it is “recommended a report does not exceed 10 pages in length”; confirmation that it is not mandatory to prepare reports in both French and English; that the inclusion of visual aids in reports are acceptable; that the annual May 31 deadline applies to the submission of the report and the questionnaire and that reports should be published on reporting entities’ websites at its earliest convenience following submission to Public Safety Canada; and that the questionnaire can be used as a “resource”, modifying the earlier guidance that the questionnaire can be used as a “template” for reporting purposes.
  • Confirming that only the PDF-version of the report and select identifying questions submitted through the online questionnaire will be published on Public Safety Canada’s website.
Author

Julia Webster is a disputes and international trade lawyer. She advises companies on trade remedies, free trade agreements, blocking measures, customs compliance, anti-corruption laws, economic sanctions, AML compliance, supply chain ethics, and cross-border M&A.

Author

Jacqueline Rotondi practices commercial, regulatory, competition and international trade law as a member of Baker McKenzie's Global International Commercial and Trade Groups.

Author

Jing is an associate in Baker McKenzie's International Commercial Practice Group and the Global Antitrust & Competition Group in Toronto. Prior to joining the Firm, Jing was an associate in the Toronto office of a leading Canadian law firm.

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