IN THE HOUSE ~ Member's Statement ~ on Canada's so-called free trade deal with Colombia

40th Parliament, 1st Session

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government's latest ideological push is signing a so-called free trade agreement with Colombia; this, despite very clear directions from the Standing Committee on International Trade, despite major concerns from human rights organizations, despite a compelling case made by labour activists, peasants, farmers, indigenous peoples, churches, journalists and all those working to stop the appalling death toll in Colombia.

Over 2,000 Colombia trade unionists have been murdered over the last 17 years by the paramilitary and the military. The death rate has accelerated this year, with over 40 Colombia activists killed for the crime of trying to organize fair working conditions for their co-workers and their families.

Even though the Uribe government has a very slick public relations machine, its ties with paramilitary organizations have been extensively documented.

The NDP will stand four-square against this repudiation of Canadian values and against the Prime Minister providing a reward for the Uribe government's ongoing human rights violations.