moved for leave to introduce Bill C-418, An Act respecting the extraterritorial activities of Canadian businesses and entities, establishing the Canadian Extraterritorial Activities Review Commission and making consequential amendments to other Acts.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government allowed Barrick Gold, a mining company with a global reputation for its poor environmental and humanitarian practices, to put its name on a room at the Canadian Museum of Nature. It is just a lucky coincidence that I am introducing my bill today, since the basic aim of the bill is to put some controls on this industry abroad.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Our moral responsibility to future generations is not to help ourselves and leave our children to deal with the fallout. We must protect our children's heritage first and take only what we need. Our development should not only be sustainable and viable over time, but it must also take place with a vision of sharing, respect and solidarity.
Thus, in keeping with this vision of the world, today I am introducing a bill to establish a commission to review the extraterritorial activities of Canadian businesses and entities, and to monitor the behaviour of these businesses and ensure that they act responsibly with regard to the environment and human rights.
People across Quebec, throughout Canada and around the globe have said that these mining companies are taking advantage of the fact that they operate outside of Canada to act irresponsibly and sometimes even illegally. Some business leaders are exploiting the weaknesses of certain countries to do things that they would not dare do where their own families live.
Thus, it is imperative that this government assume its responsibilities and create tools to allow it to monitor all this. Furthermore, this bill ensures that Canadian companies operating abroad espouse our values and become our ambassadors, instead of tarnishing our reputation.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)