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April 24th, 2023

NDP Statement on the ten-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster

NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster - Burnaby) and NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton Strathcona) made the following statement:

“Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed more than 1,000 people and injured more than 2,500 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, including many children. The disaster in Rana Plaza had a Canadian connection as Loblaws’ Joe Fresh clothing line outsourced some of its manufacturing to the factory.

New Democrats remember those who lost their lives, the families forever impacted and the survivors of this tragic incident.

As we commemorate the Rana Plaza collapse, we take note of the progress made in the last ten years, but also acknowledge the work that remains.

In the ten years since, New Democrats have introduced several pieces of legislation to hold Canadian companies accountable for human rights abuses, labour rights violations, and environmental destruction. Introduced in this current Parliament, NDP Bills C-262 and C-263 would strengthen the role of Canada’s CORE ombudsperson and would require businesses to establish processes to identify, prevent, and mitigate human rights abuses and provides for liability when companies cause harm in their global operations.

It’s imperative that the Liberal government support these bills. New Democrats continue to advocate for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation. This would ensure that their supply chains do not benefit from child or forced labour.

This government, while paying lip service to human rights worldwide, still has no laws in place to prevent the next Rana Plaza disaster. It is time to fix that. We stand in solidarity with workers in Bangladesh, and across the globe.”