Madam Speaker, Conservatives are calling on the government to take concrete action in response to gross violations of fundamental human rights in China.
In my earlier question, I had asked about three specific areas of action. Sometimes Canadians hear about what is happening in other parts of the world, and they feel helpless. We cannot do everything to solve every problem around the world, but we can take concrete action. We can take steps ourselves to try to make things better.
The first thing we can do is use Magnitsky sanctions. We can end this culture of impunity that sometimes exists around violations of human rights. We can list people under the Magnitsky act, and therefore hold them accountable and prevent them from moving their money to Canada, from travelling to Canada and so forth.
Magnitsky sanctions are taking off globally as a vehicle for ending impunity for violations of human rights. It is encouraging to see Europeans taking steps in that direction, following steps made by the British and Americans, as well as by us in Canada, thanks to work done by my colleague, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman on getting a Magnitsky sanctions bill passed in the last Parliament.
The Magnitsky sanctions bill is only as good as its use, and the government has, disgracefully I think, failed to list any officials from China under the Magnitsky act. The fact is that our allies, in some cases, have already done so.
The second thing we need to do is strengthen our laws on supply chains to ensure that we are no longer importing products that are made through violations of human rights. Canada has very weak laws right now on supply chains. We have the significant risk that even products procured by the government involve slave labour or other violations of fundamental human rights.
The third thing we need to do is not be complicit in human rights violations through our own tax dollars. That is why I, and other Conservatives, have been calling on the government to withdraw from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB. This is a Chinese state-controlled bank that functions as part of China's wider belt and road initiative: its neo-colonial agenda to promote its model of governance around the world.
This point is made very clearly in the transition binder for the Minister of International Development. It baffles me that the Minister of International Development continues to support participation in the AIIB, despite the reality that it is part of China's strategic efforts to promote its governance around the world.
Why would we pay for that? Why would we ask Canadians to pay taxes so that those tax dollars could be sent over to this Chinese state-controlled development bank? We could be doing so much more good if we were instead using this money to promote real development in a way that is aligned with Canadians interests and Canadian values.
I note, parenthetically, that the AIIB is building pipelines in Azerbaijan and in Turkey. I highly doubt, given the human rights standards of this development bank and of the government in China more broadly, that proper consultation with indigenous people is happening in the construction of these pipelines in Asia.
It is particularly striking since the Minister of International Development has a sad record of attacking Canada's energy sector. In fact, in 2012, she tweeted, “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands.”
This minister, who has expressed a desire to landlock Canada's own energy resources, is allowing our international development to fund the construction of pipelines, in other countries, that are designed as part of the strategic foreign policy objectives of the Chinese government.
Why is the government effectively putting forward measures that are undermining the success of our domestic energy sector, while using our development assistance dollars to fund the advancement of China's foreign policy interests and to fund the construction of pipelines in other countries that do not have nearly the same human rights standards as development projects here in Canada?
These are important questions. While the government is seeking to sound tougher on China, the fact is it has done nothing. The government has done nothing in the area of Magnitsky sanctions. It has done nothing in the area of strengthening our laws on supply chains. It has done nothing in terms of recognizing the issues around the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The very least we could do to combat China's human rights abuses—