CCFTA - Bill C-2 - COC Action Alert + Send Letter Online

Posted on Friday, March 12 at 12:07 by Janet M Eaton

ACTION ALERT: Liberals must stop fast-track of Canada-Colombia free
trade agreement (Bill C-2)
March 11, 2010

The Harper government has reintroduced implementation legislation for the

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in Bill C-2. As the number
suggests, it is the second bill the government will handle after the
budget, with second reading debate on the free trade agreement
starting as early as this Friday. There is every reason to believe
Harper will try to fast-track it through the House of Commons.

The Liberal Party was prepared to help last term's implementation
legislation (Bill C-23) pass second reading and head to committee
despite a June 2008 all-party recommendation of the Standing
Committee on International Trade that an "impartial human rights
impact assessment be carried out by a competent body, which is
subject to independent levels of scrutiny and validation... before
Canada considers ratifying and implementing an agreement with
Colombia."

With the new bill (C-2) taking Parliament back to square one, there
is no longer any justification for the Liberals to ignore the need
for a human rights assessment before passing the free trade
agreement. We need to make sure they make that choice.

NEW RIGHTS VIOLATIONS REPORTED

Recent reports by the United Nations and Amnesty International have
raised serious concerns about the escalating violence against
Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, including murder and
forcible displacement from communal lands. These human rights
violations are being perpetrated by illegal armed groups, primarily
demobilized paramilitary successor groups and non-demobilized
paramilitaries, as part of their economic strategy of territorial
domination in order to control drug trafficking and arms smuggling
corridors as well as open these territories to natural resource
extraction and agro-industrial activities by transnational
corporations.

The Canada-Colombia FTA, if implemented, will facilitate increased
investment by Canadian corporations in Colombia´s conflict zones,
including Canadian mining and other resource extraction activities.
Given the extent to which illegal armed groups have infiltrated
Colombia´s economy, Canadian corporations run the risk of doing
business with murderers, drug traffickers and arms smugglers. Free
trade would not create a legitimate economy to compete with the
illegal economy, as many Liberal MPs have claimed in defence of the
Canada-Colombia agreement. In fact the South American experience with
free trade has been one of de-industrialization and increased
inequality - exactly the opposite of sustainable development and the
protection of core human and labour rights.

To read about the UN report by Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on
Minority Issues: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33767.

To read about the Amnesty International report on increased attacks
on Indigenous peoples in
Colombia:www.amnesty.ca/resource_centre/news/view.php?load=arcview&art
icle=5179&c=Resource+Centre+News.

To hear Federico Guzman, a constitutional lawyer in Colombia,
speaking about this issue on CBC´s The Current:
www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2010/201002/20100225.html.

TAKE ACTION - WRITE THE LIBERAL PARTY TODAY!

The Bloc Quebecois and NDP will almost certainly vote against any
attempt to fast-track the Canada-Colombia FTA implementation
legislation (C-2). The Liberals need to be pressured to use this
opportunity to demand a human rights impact assessment as they did in June 2008. There is no longer any excuse. With the free trade
agreement off the order paper, now is our chance to put on the brakes until we know more about how human rights, environmental protection
and development will be affected in Colombia.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.canadians.org/action/2010/CCFTA-0203.html
SEND A LETTER NOW:

  Subject  
    
Recipients Scott Brison (BrisoS@parl.gc.ca), trade critic
Alexandra Mendes (Mendes.A@parl.gc.ca); Bob Rae (Rae.B@parl.gc.ca);
Brian Murphy (MurphB@parl.gc.ca); Frank Valeriote
(Valeriote.F@parl.gc.ca); Gerard Kennedy (Kennedy.G@parl.gc.ca);
Irwin Cotler (cotlei@parl.gc.ca); Joe Volpe (VolpeJ@parl.gc.ca);
Justin Trudeau (Trudeau.J@parl.gc.ca); Keith Martin
(martik@parl.gc.ca); Maria Minna (MinnaM@parl.gc.ca); Michael
Ignatieff (lewisr@parl.gc.ca); Paul Szabo (SzaboP@parl.gc.ca); Peter
Donolo (donolp@parl.gc.ca); Ruby Dhalla (DhallR@parl.gc.ca)
    
Compose your letter in the box below.

SAMPLE LETTER - GO TO WEBSITE FOR AUTOMATIC POSTING
http://www.canadians.org/action/2010/CCFTA-0203.html

Dear Mr. Brison,

I´m writing to urge the Liberal Party to oppose any attempts by the
Harper government to fast-track the Canada-Colombia free trade
agreement implementation legislation when it comes up for debate in
the House of Commons. This is the perfect opportunity to take the
highly disputed agreement off the order paper and do a proper human
rights impact assessment as recommended by all parties at the
Standing Committee on International Trade in June 2008.

Two recent reports highlight the need for such an assessment. Both
the United Nations and Amnesty International raised serious concerns
in February about the escalating violence against Indigenous and Afro-
Colombian communities, including murder and forcible displacement
from communal lands. These human rights violations are being
perpetrated by illegal armed groups, primarily demobilized
paramilitary successor groups and non-demobilized paramilitaries, as
part of their economic strategy of territorial domination in order to
control drug trafficking and arms smuggling corridors as well as open
these territories to natural resource extraction and agro-industrial
activities by transnational corporations.

The Canada-Colombia FTA, if implemented, will facilitate increased
investment by Canadian corporations in Colombia´s conflict zones,
including Canadian mining and other resource extraction activities.
Given the extent to which illegal armed groups have infiltrated
Colombia´s economy, Canadian corporations run the risk of doing
business with murderers, drug traffickers and arms smugglers. There
is scant evidence that free trade would not create a legitimate
economy to compete with the illegal economy, as you have claimed in
defence of the Canada-Colombia agreement. In fact the South American
experience with free trade has been one of de-industrialization and
increased inequality.

More crucially, as a signatory to numerous international rights
treaties, Canada has an obligation to protect human rights and avoid
being complicit in violations. An independent human rights impact
assessment would determine whether free trade with the Colombian
government would subdue or, more likely, exacerbate human rights
violations.

Once more, I respectfully request that the Liberal Party to stand up
for human rights and democracy by respecting the Standing Committee
on International Trade´s June 2008 recommendation that an "impartial
human rights impact assessment be carried out by a competent body,
which is subject to independent levels of scrutiny and validation...
before Canada considers ratifying and implementing an agreement with
Colombia."

If your party truly cares about human rights, it will oppose the fast-
tracking of parliamentary debate on this agreement by the Harper
government and pursue an impact assessment as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

<><><><>
 

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Comments

  1. by RickW
    Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:32 pm
    http://infoclickz.com/chile-earthquake- ... tershocks/
    The aftershocks came as Pinera's inauguration ceremony was about to get underway in the coastal city of Valparaiso, about 120 kilometres west of Santiago.

    The event attracted dignitaries from around the world, including Peter Kent, the Canadian minister of state of foreign affairs for the Americas. Bolivian President Evo Morales seemed briefly disoriented when the aftershocks struck. President Alan Garcia of Peru joked that it gave them ?a moment to dance.?

    I noticed on CBC's As It Happens interview with Peter Kent, that he briefly extolled the virtues of the free trade agreement between Canada and Chile, without actually saying how this trade agreement was of benefit to Chile in it's immediate crisis.

    But, as is the case with anything the Conservatives want to inject into Canadian society, dwell incessantly on the benefits, even if they have to be "projected" benefits.

  2. Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:57 am
    This is the kind of article that I was trying to find for quite sometime now for my research paper on environmental issues. Although it is not directly related to it, a different point of view is a good approach towards the conclusion that I am going for. Its great that I was able to come across this page. Thanks you for posting this and making ti publicly accessible.



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