(OTTAWA) Ottawa’s business ethics watchdog has announced investigations into a gold mining company and the Canadian subsidiary of Nike into allegations of forced labor in chains. supply.

Sheri Meyerhoffer, who is the Canadian ombudsman for responsible enterprises, said the first two investigations launched by her office concerned China’s Uyghur minority.

She says Nike Canada provided information about its “due diligence practices” but declined mediation, with the company claiming it no longer has ties to those vendors.

Ms. Meyerhoffer is also investigating Dynasty Gold Corp., which she says has argued that it does not have operational control of the mine where the alleged abuse is taking place.

Mehmet Tohti, director general of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), launched the complaints a year ago and said it was a long-awaited step towards justice in China.

The Liberals opened Meyerhoffer’s office in 2018 and activists have long argued it lacks the teeth to be effective, such as being able to demand documents and testimony.