Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, the Summit of the Americas ended in Quebec City, and I was present there myself. Save the adoption of the inter-American democratic charter by the Organization of American States, the real situation of democracy has deteriorated since that time, both here and elsewhere.
First, the Government of Canada has yet to ratify any of the regional treaties on human rights after 12 years at the OAS. Domestically, legislation passed since the tragic events of September 11 demonstrates to what extent Canada's reputation on democratic rights is overrated.
When it comes to the negotiation process, the Liberal government has done nothing, in contrast to the Government of Quebec, which has introduced a bill that will give parliamentarians the opportunity to debate and vote on any FTAA agreement.
If Canada is keen about the integration of the Americas, then democratic, social, cultural and environmental concerns will have to become the focus of the negotiation process again, putting the economy back in its rightful and important place: at the service of the people of the Americas.