moved for leave to introduce Bill C-545, An Act to amend the Textile Labelling Act.
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are increasingly demanding that our investments and consumption, both at home and abroad, be a constant testament to our principles and values of transparency and accountability. It is time that our government responds to this call.
My bill would require labels on clothing to include a reference number that consumers could use to identify the name and address of a factory where an item of clothing was produced. This measure has been highly recommended by a number of advocacy groups, including the Ethical Trading Action Group and Amnesty International.
If this bill is passed, Canadians will have access to even more information when making their purchases. For those of us who believe that under no circumstances should we benefit from the exploitation of workers in poor countries, knowing exactly where a piece of clothing was produced will allow us to vote with our feet: to refuse to buy clothing made in factories where conditions are unacceptable.
According to Amnesty International and the Ethical Trading Action Group, if the public knows exactly where products are being manufactured, businesses will have to self-regulate for fear that civil society will use this new tool to publicize the names of the companies responsible for unfair employment practices.
I hope this House will indeed support my private member's bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)