Mr. Speaker, I have been talking about the importance of making democracy stronger. When I say that in a chapter on investment, we should avoid the problems we have met in NAFTA, I mean that this may be the best service we could provide to countries with a fledging democracy.
If, with the excessive powers this agreement would give them, corporations can override the governments and get decisions that will abolish democracy and turn corporations into the governments of these countries, we will go back to the banana republic era.
The gist of the matter is that, if we have a good free trade agreement of the Americas, with a clear framework, it will be better than pure competition, where the big fish always eat the small ones, and the small ones have a hard time getting away.
On the other hand, the rights the people or the states have must be protected. The hon. member gave the example of aboriginal peoples. When we define national treatment in a free trade agreement dealing with investment, we must make sure that the countries that are party to the agreement are allowed to promote the development of aboriginal communities, for example.
Should we not make sure that multinationals cannot sue the government for having given special consideration to aboriginal peoples to improve their condition? We have to make sure that those issues are dealt with in the agreement.
We are not saying today in this motion that there must be no investment clause, but rather that this clause should be acceptable. It should be well structured, take into account past experiences and above all avoid what we felt was coming with the multilateral agreement on investment, that is government by multinationals. That is what the people are telling us. Those who went to Quebec City to protest, the 60,000 who engaged in peaceful protest in Quebec City said: We might find a free trade agreement acceptable, but it must have a human face. That must be obvious in every aspect of the agreement, especially concerning investments.