Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay stood three separate times in the House on Friday to beg the Cons for recognition of the "important work" the Liberal Party had done to ensure the expected passage of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement at third reading today.MHF
to TradeMin Peter Van Loan :
Mr. Speaker, could the minister speak to the participation of Liberal Party, in particular of my colleague from Kings—Hants, [Scott Brison] that resulted in an addition to this free trade agreement with respect to human rights, of which Liberals are very proud? I believe it was singularly important in being able to get our support for it.
Could the minister speak to Liberals' very constructive participation in the process?
Well we didn't really need your unnecessary figleaf of a human rights amendment that allows Colombia to do its own year-end reports on its human rights atrocities, Peter Van Loan did not quite answer, but then Van Loan's Parliamentary Secretary Con MP Gerald Keddy graciously acceded to her request that the Libs be given credit for it :
I would say that I appreciated the intervention by [LibCon Scott Brison] ... We were, quite frankly, stymied at committee. We were not moving forward. It enabled us to move forward.
Martha Hall Findlay pressed ahead for more pats:
I will point out that earlier, the minister had said that the addition in terms of human rights was not necessary. I am glad to hear my colleague now acknowledging that in order to move this through and to get approval, in fact, the work by my colleague from Kings—Hants [Brison] and the Liberal Party was instrumental in getting this to the point of getting it through the House, so I thank my colleague for that.
Bloc MP Jean-Yves Laforest :
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Liberal member a question. How can she explain such a drastic change in the Liberal Party's position since last fall, both in committee and in the House, regarding possible support for a free trade agreement with Colombia?
This support was very clearly expressed at the Standing Committee on International Trade. Unanimous consent was reached regarding the need for an independent study—before Canada ratifies the agreement—on the Colombian government's respect for human rights and what it is doing to prevent human rights abuses. Why such a difference between the Liberals' position last fall and their current position?
Martha Hall Findlay now moves into full on Brison fluffer position :
In the end, we determined that it was better to adopt this position for Canada and for people elsewhere.
I would also like to say that the speeches given by my hon. colleague from Kings—Hants [Brison] on human rights greatly helped convince other Liberals that, as a party, we can now support that position.
Brison's speeches! LOFL.
NDP MP Peter Julian points out the very long list of Canadian and Colombian unions and aboriginal and African-Colombians that
"the Liberal Party systematically obstructed and refused to hear from. It shut off all debate before the committee. Two years ago, when we went down to Colombia, the trade committee came back with a unanimous recommendation to not proceed with this agreement."
Martha Hall Findlay says some more things about "the hard work and the excellent work" of Scott Brison and at least the Libs are trying to get along with the Cons, you know? Windows not doors, going forward and all that.
After QP, Transport Minister John Baird had one thing to say in response as debate on Canada-Colombia FTA resumed :
"Unanimous consent to resolve that Jack Layton is the leader of the official opposition, agreed."
I know - not quite the coalition/merger post you were expecting.
But it's the only one that's going on, as the Cons continue to ride the Libs for it.
: Libs and Cons - 188 votes ... NDP and Bloc - 79
Scant news coverage today of what amounts to Canadian complicity in a death sentence for trade unionists, small farmers, aboriginals, Afro-Colombians, and the 4 million displaced inside Colombia. In 2009, half the assassinations of trade unionists world wide - 48 out of 100 - took place in Colombia.
Oh wait. Canadian Business Online
has something :House of Commons passes controversial Colombia FTA
A Human Rights Watch report last year on a massacre in Colombia, and an Amnesty International report, concluded that things have gotten worse in Colombia.
In December 2008, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights criticized the Colombian government for its public stance against human rights advocates on its own soil. The stigmatization of such groups puts their ``life, security and valuable work at risk,'' it said.
Thank you for that, Canadian Business.
I am past disgusted with the fools and knaves and opportunists who represent Canada today.