Peter Boyle, Kingston; Scott Brison, Liberal Trade Critic; Yessika Hoyos, Colombia Labour lawyer; Karl Pruner, ACTRA.
Steelworker lobbyists went to Parliament Hill at the end of May to discuss with as many MPs as possible the very important bill now before the House.
Bill C-23 has come to the attention of our members in all federal ridings mainly because of the effect on the lives of men and women who are being assassinated in Colombia simply for doing what we do in Canada – be active in our unions.
Canadian union activists are not asking for anything more than what MPs on the all-party International Trade Committee recommended less than one year ago – that there be an independent, impartial and comprehensive human rights impact assessment before Canada considers an agreement with Colombia.
Specifically, Recommendation 4 says the following:
“The Committee recommends that an independent, impartial, and comprehensive human rights impact assessment should be carried out by a competent body, which is subject to levels of independent scrutiny and validation; the recommendations of this assessment should be addressed before Canada considers signing, ratifying and implementing an agreement with Colombia.”
Nothing has changed in Colombia since the Committee made its report. Human Rights continue to be violated and trade unionists continue to be murdered.