First, Madam Speaker, that is predicated on the assumption that this is all known, understood, documented and agreed on, whatever this activity is, which I suspect is questionable.
There is one other aspect to this assumption, which is that we should even be restricting the countries that we invest in because we are saying those countries do not have laws that protect their people adequately and so forth.
The problem with the flip side of this is that we get no investment. Some of those countries need foreign direct investment to help their people, to bring them along and to raise their income.
The hon. member will probably talk about the maquiladoras region of Mexico. The reality is that the Mexican economy and the average Mexican life and standard of living have been better ever since the World Trade Organization, but that same member would say what was said 20 years ago: that we should not be investing, that we should not be allowing our country to invest in Mexico because the labour practices are a lot different from ours and therefore we are subsidizing an inadequate or inferior labour force. The reality is that this has been a success. Those people's lives have been made better.
I really question this subjective argument that we know everything going on in every country, and I also question whether we can override the laws of an individual country by refusing to actually invest because of some subjective argument that we believe in. When the member talks about these things, sure, we can all sympathize with her. We all sympathize with the idea. None of us here would agree with child labour and some of these things. Clearly these are things that I think any corporate executives, if they knew about it or had knowledge of it, would not be involved in and would not invest in.
Having said that, let me say that if we try to change the actual investment criteria of the Canada pension board to make it somehow responsible, such that somehow it is supposed to know all of these things, suddenly we will have a huge overhead structure in which the people can be intransigent and will be unable to make good investment decisions.