April 3, 2009

Canada-Colombia FTA (Bill C-23) Tabled in Canadian Parliament

On March 26, 2009, the Harper Conservatives tabled the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in the Canadian House of Commons (CCFTA). Several key Liberal Party members have expressed their support for the agreement, the success of which will depend on a Liberal-Conservative alliance.

Over the coming weeks, we will be increasing the pressure on representatives in Ottawa and building grassroots opposition to this FTA, which is covered in blood and RENDERS CANADA COMPLICIT IN THE CRIMES OF A MURDEROUS REGIME OF TERROR.

The NDP and the Bloc Quebecois continue to express their opposition to the CCFTA. We need to push the Liberals to prove they are not the same old Harper wolves in sheep's clothing.


For more information, see the following extensive analysis of the FTA text prepared by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and its partners. Making a Bad Situation Worse: http://www.ccic.ca/e/docs/making_a_bad_situation_worse_long_version.pdf

Here are some very informative videos with key anti-FTA activists as well as Liberal MP Scott Brisson going on the record in support of the CCFTA and showing that he does not know Colombia very well (and he has definitely never read La Chiva's blog!): http://www.harperindex.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=00198

Peter Julian (NDP), MP for Burnaby-New Westminster, made the following statement in the House of Commons last week (Source: Hansard, March 26 2009):

"Mr. Speaker, just last week Amnesty International condemned the Colombia authorities for abusing the country's judicial system, "to undermine the legitimate work of human rights defenders". More than a dozen human rights defenders and 46 trade unionists were killed by paramilitaries in 2008 alone. Double 2007. According to testimony received today at trade committee, thousands of paramilitaries with ties to the government are forcing poor peasants off the land and taking it over with the regime's complicity. More than 1,500 peasants have been massacred so far by the Colombia military as so-called "false positives"; no less than the cold-blooded murder of innocent people. Incredibly, the Conservative government is pressing ahead with a Bush-style free trade agreement with the regime. What is more incredible is that the Leader of the Opposition is supporting this trampling of human rights in the name of powerful corporate interests. The NDP is standing on the side of millions of Canadians who oppose murder, torture and human rights abuses. We oppose the blood that is on this agreement."

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