moved for leave to introduce Bill C-378, An Act to prohibit sweatshop labour goods.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Joliette for seconding the first reading of this bill.
As members know, Canada is a signatory to the International Labour Organization Convention. It talks about five labour standards that exist within the International Labour Organization and they are enforced here in Canada. They are: the right of association; the right to bargain collectively; the prohibition on the use of any forced or compulsory labour; a minimum age for employment of children; and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational health and safety.
We enforce these regulations and standards here in Canada but there are often companies abroad that do not enforce them. Because of that unfortunate situation and because of our clear belief in fair trade policies that set a higher standard around the world, I am tabling this private member's bill today to say that sweatshop goods should not be brought into Canada. There should not be a way of getting around the ILO standards.
We must ensure that the right of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining is enforced. In areas where there is compulsory labour, no right to free association and to organize collectively and where those fundamental human rights are violated, Canada should say no to the goods coming from those sweatshops.
I am very proud to table this bill and I hope it receives support from all members of the House.
In closing, I would like to thank the students of Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto. With their “Voices Through Choices” campaign, they are strong supporters of ending sweatshop labour.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)