IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ withheld report on Colombia

40th Parliament, 3rd Session
Context : Supplementary Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, after six months of stonewalling, the NDP forced the release by the current government of a withheld report on Colombia.

In addition to the systematic killings of labour activists, aboriginal people, Afro-Colombians and human rights advocates by government forces, we now find out about the systematic targeting of lesbian, gay and bisexual community leaders. We mourn their deaths.

Why did the current government hide this information? And why is it rewarding the Colombian regime for murder of lesbian, gay and bisexual community leaders?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is a draft report. It was never completed. Nor was it publicly released by its authors. This draft report was prepared over two years ago by Conflict Analysis Resource Center for the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. It was not written by or prepared for the Government of Canada. Canada supports the continued improvement of human rights in Colombia, which is why the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement and the labour side agreement contain strong and enforceable provisions to protect and promote human--