Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission
Created in 2000, the privately funded Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission (CDCAC) was co-chaired by Canadian publisher Avie Bennett and ex-NDP leader Ed Broadbent. Its purpose was to study how to encourage greater corporate social responsibility on the part of Canadian corporations.
Derided by some in the business community, the CDCAC's activities nevertheless reflected changing attitudes on the part of the public and of shareholders concerning corporate responsibility with regard to employees, local communities and the country or countries in which they operate. It also reflected a growing interest in finding ways to balance profit-making with values that go beyond the "bottom line."
In January 2002 the Commission released its findings and recommendations. The latter focused strongly on disclosure. For example, the Commissioners recommended that stock exchanges require companies wishing to be listed to state whether they took account of the environment, human rights and consumer protection in their decision-making; that whistle-blowing legislation provide protection for employees reporting corporate malfeasance; that governments provide help only to those companies that meet basic social responsibility standards; and, following the examples of Quebec and Manitoba, that federal and provincial governments prohibit corporate and union donations to political campaigns.