House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombian.

Topics

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions between the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, during the debate tonight on the motion to concur in the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair and that when the last speaker has finished his speech or at the expiry of the time provided for the debate, the motion be deemed agreed to unanimously.

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think the member hit on the real reason for the free trade agreement proposal when he started to talk about the business investment aspect of it.

We know that Colombia is not a significant trading partner for Canada. It is only our fifth largest trading partner in Latin America. We know that 2,690 trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia since 1986. In 2008, murders were up 18% over the previous year. So far this year, 31 trade unionists were murdered. Almost 4 million people in Colombia are internally displaced persons. Sixty per cent of this displacement has been in regions of mineral, agriculture and other economic importance and where private companies, the government and paramilitary supporters are forcing people from their homes. This is not a tranquil country by any means.

The Colombian government of President Uribe has been accused by international human rights organizations of corruption, electoral fraud, complicity in extrajudicial killings by the army, links to paramilitary and right wing death squads, and using its security forces to spy on the supreme court of Colombia. This is not a healthy environment.

The government is pursuing this trade agreement for other reasons and I think the member is on to what those reasons are.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments.

As I stated in my remarks, this agreement is not based on trade. Earlier this morning, I heard my Liberal colleague talking about pork production and the fact this agreement would save the pork industry. I strongly doubt that.

That same colleague was with me this morning at the meeting of the Standing Committee on International Trade, where we had an opportunity to hear Canada Pork International tell us that, at present, trade in pork meat with Colombia amounts to between four and five million dollars. That is not a significant amount and it certainly is not enough money to save the pork industry. It is proof that this agreement is really not about trade but rather about protection of investors.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques for his very clear and rational remarks. He was really convincing. I believe if someone has to have the last word on this subject today, he is the one.

I would like to speak about the whole question of energy. Now that we are running low on gasoline and have much less natural gas, I would like to ask my colleague whether this is the time to be trading in pork or other export-import commodities, except perhaps heavy metals, diamonds or other high value items. Imagine a new agreement like that that would have us transporting items to a country as far away as Colombia at a time when the amount of energy in the world is changing?

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I can clearly see his great devotion to the cause of the environment. I congratulate him, and I thank him.

We talk a great deal about fair trade and reduction of greenhouse gases. It is true that putting meat into containers and exporting it will not produce any gain. As one who works in agriculture, I believe that, instead of receiving containers of meat, my farming colleagues in Colombia would prefer that we send people to show them how to raise pork so that they can start to feed themselves.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

There are three minutes remaining before Private Members' Business. The hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher therefore has three minutes to begin his speech.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me these three minutes.

As it was put so eloquently by my colleague from the riding with the name too long to repeat for someone with only three minutes, the members of the Bloc will vote against this free trade bill. We have repeated it enough, although I think it cannot be ever said enough, that the real aim of this bill is not to expand Canadian and Quebec trade with Colombia or to get the innumerable jobs that one of our colleagues in the Liberal Party claimed earlier to expect from such a bill. The real aim is to give free rein to Canadian investors in Colombia to act to the detriment of human rights and people's aspirations for development. In addition, it testifies to the usual indifference of the current Conservative government to all of these humanitarian considerations and respect for human rights.

We in the Bloc do not oppose in principle the provisions to protect investors in such treaties. We understand that investors want to be protected up to a point, but there are civilized ways of doing so.

Let us take the example of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement—I am not referring to NAFTA, but to the agreement between Canada and the United States that preceded NAFTA. It contained a chapter on investor protection, chapter 16. It was the first agreement in the world that contained a mechanism to resolve potential disputes between both sides of the agreement. The agreement worked well in its day. No case of discriminatory measures against a foreign investor was reported. No case went to the arbitration tribunal. And still the value of Canadian investment in the United States increased considerably during this period.

The clause in the treaty with Colombia is totally abusive, as my colleague explained. As a result, the Bloc Québécois will definitely oppose this bill.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member will have seven minutes to conclude his remarks when the House resumes consideration of this bill.

It being 5.38 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

The House resumed from October 22 consideration of the motion that Bill S-205, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (suicide bombings), be read the second time and referred to a committee.