IN THE HOUSE ~ Private Member's Business ~ introduction of Bill C-354, An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights
April 1st, 2009 - 4:00am
**Bill C-354~previously known as Bill C-492 tabled in Parliament on December 10, 2007 by MP Peter Julian**
[Bill C-354. Introduction and first reading]
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-354, An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I should note at the outset that this very innovative bill was developed in close cooperation with Nick Milanovic, a research professor with the Department of Law at Carleton University, and Mark Rowlinson, the counsel for the United Steelworkers. Mr. Milanovic's daughter and mother are in the galleries today.
The bill would ensure corporate accountability for Canadian firms operating abroad. It would broaden the mandate of the Federal Court so that it protects foreign citizens against rights violations committed by corporations operating outside of Canada. This bill would hold violators accountable for gross human rights abuses, regardless of where they take place, and it would allow lawsuits in Canada for a host of universal human rights violations.
Essentially, this bill would provide legal protection for those in other countries who are the victims of gross human rights violations. It is supported by the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers.
I hope this innovative bill, which replicates what happens in the United States under the alien tort claims act, will be receiving the support of Parliament.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)