Mr. Speaker, I have a petition that calls for a stop to the Canada-Colombia trade deal. The violence against workers and members of civil society by paramilitaries in Colombia, who are closely associated with the current Uribe government, has been ongoing with more than 2,200 trade unionists murdered since 1991.
It has continued unabated right up to this day, as well as a host of violence committed against indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, human rights activists, workers, farmers, labour leaders and journalists. The Canada-Colombia trade deal was negotiated following a framework similar to the NAFTA agreement, which has mainly benefited huge corporations at the expense of working people.
In fact, labour side agreements under NAFTA have not produced effective protection for farmers. Over one million agriculture jobs have been lost in Mexico since NAFTA was signed. All trade agreements must be built upon the principles of fair trade, which fundamentally respect social justice, human rights, labour rights and environmental stewardship as prerequisites for trade.
Finally, the petitioners call on Parliament to reject the Canada-Colombia trade deal until an independent human rights impact assessment is carried out, resulting in concerns addressed. They call for the agreement to be renegotiated along the principles of fair trade, which would take environmental and social impacts fully into account while genuinely respecting and enhancing labour rights and the rights of all affected parties.