Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for bringing forth a number of issues. I know he could have used a lot more time to discuss the issue of ethical investments with Canada pension funds.
He touched on the landmine issue. I think every person in the House should take a good look at themselves and really think about what has been mentioned. Canada had a foreign affairs minister who thought it was important enough to partake in a worldwide effort to have a treaty in place to ban the use of landmines. Why ban the use of landmines? Without question, most of people who have suffered from the use of landmines are innocent civilians who have not taken part in the war effort. Children and people who walk the streets after a war is done suffer the most from landmines. Because of the way landmines are made, their limbs are torn off. It is a huge issue throughout the world.
We are a great, wonderful nation and we make the statement that Canada will not partake in this. As a nation, how do we justify that we are not part of this when we have taken our pension funds and invested in companies that make the landmines?
I will put this into a context that maybe people will understand. As far as I am concerned, this is like taking our pension funds and investing in al-Qaeda or any other group that is out there to destroy humankind. It is not acceptable. Either we are principled and have some values or we do not. Let us not try to pretend anymore. As Canadians we take a stand and say that we believe in ethical funds and that we should not support those issues, or we let the world know that it is really all just for show.
The same issue would apply to investing in tobacco companies. We realize the serious risk of tobacco smoking, the effects it has on our health care system and the costs. Therefore, why would we use our pension funds to invest in tobacco companies, even though we put rules in place, such as if someone is under a certain age, they should not be smoking and vendors cannot sell to people under a certain age? We have huge taxes on it. What are we doing? We are investing in tobacco companies so they can sell to other countries. That is not acceptable.
I would like to think that everyone of us has more principles than that, that we will not use the rest of the world as our ground to make a few bucks off someone else's poverty and misfortune.