Industry Canada

Industry Canada

July 22, 2005 11:22 ET

Industry Canada/Minister Emerson Releases Public Policy Forum Report on ETAG Proposal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 22, 2005) - Today, the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, announced that the Government of Canada would continue to examine measures that would strengthen compliance with existing international labour standards designed to improve labour conditions in the apparel industry. However, the Minister said he would not proceed with a specific measure recommended by the Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) to amend the Textile Labelling Act to require disclosure of the name and address of individual apparel manufacturers on each label.

"The Government of Canada has been a strong supporter of internationally recognized labour standards and we will continue to work with industry and stakeholders on this issue," said Minister Emerson.

ETAG, a coalition of church, labour and non-government organizations concerned about sweatshop labour practices in the apparel industry, has proposed that the government amend the Textile Labelling Act to require disclosure of the addresses of manufacturing sites on labels of apparel sold in Canada.

The Competition Bureau led Industry Canada's strategy to thoroughly examine the ETAG proposal and assess its implications for Canadian businesses and consumers. This consisted of an initial study carried out by the Conference Board of Canada to identify the key policy objectives and make initial observations, followed by a more detailed consultation and recommendations from the Public Policy Forum (PPF).

Both the Conference Board of Canada and the PPF express serious reservations about introducing ETAG's proposed amendments to the legislation. Both concluded that implementing the ETAG proposal would involve significant technical, logistical and legal complexities and costs in ensuring that current, accurate and verifiable information is entered in a central database, with no guarantee that the information provided would be used by consumers or be effective in achieving the ultimate policy objective of improving labour practices in the apparel industry. For more information on the Conference Board of Canada report, entitled Study of a Proposal (and its alternatives) to Amend the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations: Applying the Conference Board's Optimal Policy Mix Framework, and the PPF report, entitled Consultation on a Proposal to Verify Labour Standards in the Apparel Industry - Outcomes and Recommendations, visit the Competition Bureau's website (

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
    Minister of Industry
    Christiane Fox
    Press Secretary
    (613) 995-9001
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502