moved for leave to introduce Bill C-260, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (legal duty outside Canada).
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Thunder Bay—Rainy River for seconding this important legislation.
Let me introduce the bill by recognizing and paying tribute to the Hon. Ed Broadbent who fought for this very issue in his terms of office as a member of Parliament.
The bill is based on the premise that Canada recognizes the fundamental rights of workers, including their right to be free from unhealthy and unsafe working conditions within our country. We want to extend the recognition of that right to the activities of Canadian companies when acting abroad. In other words, we believe a majority of Canadians want Canadian corporations to meet the same minimum health and safety standards for their employees abroad as they do in this country.
We point to the precedent that the Criminal Code currently contains a provision aimed at protecting children in other countries from Canadian sexual predators. That same reasoning and logic should apply to the international activities of all Canadians when abroad.
We can set international standards for health and safety if Canadian companies act abroad as they are obliged to act in this country.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)