You are a Con on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee reviewing Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries . You have just heard in committee that women raped by the security guards of a Canadian mining company overseas are "forced to chew and swallow the condoms used by the guards during the rape".
Do you :
a) Demand to know what steps the mining company has taken to stop the abuse, or
b) Ask whether Bill C-300, which would penalize Canadian companies sanctioning such abuse abroad, might promote "complaints against Canadian companies in a frivolous or vexatious way".
Ok, that's not quite fair. I'm sure the member was appalled at what he heard - indeed he said so - just not quite appalled enough to know his first duty is to human rights not corporate rights. This is a recurring theme with the International Trade Committee, where Liberal John McKay's Bill C-300 is currently slogging its way through a minefield comprised of 6 Cons, 3 Libs, 1 Bloc and 1 NDP.
Bill C-300 will put in place badly needed human rights, labour, and environmental standards that Canadian mining and extractive companies receiving government support must adhere to when they operate in developing countries.
Con fuckwittery in committee ranted out here.
On April 22, 2009, Bill C-300 passed second reading in the House by a mere 4 votes : 137 to 133. It was the Libs/Bloc/NDP vs the Cons - but 20 Libs and 7 NDPs were absent from that vote.
Time to send them all a little note about that - Mining Watch has one all written up for you already - just add that you expect them to show up and support it next time.
The missing Libs :
Michael Ignatieff: IgnatM@parl.gc.ca ; Bob Rae: RaeB@parl.gc.ca ; Carolyn Bennett: BenneC@parl.gc.ca ; Scott Brison: BrisoS@parl.gc.ca ; Irwin Cotler: CotleI@parl.gc.ca ; Rodger Cuzner: CuzneR@parl.gc.ca ; Ujjal Dosanjh: DosanU@parl.gc.ca ; Judy Foote: Foote.J@parl.gc.ca ; Ralph Goodale: GoodaR@parl.gc.ca ; Albina Guarnieri: GuarnA@parl.gc.ca ; Mark Holland: HollaM@parl.gc.ca ; Marlene Jennings: JenniM@parl.gc.ca ; John McCallum: McCalJ@parl.gc.ca ; Dan McTeague: McTeaD@parl.gc.ca ; BernardPatry: PatryB@parl.gc.ca ; Glen Pearson: PearsG@parl.gc.ca ; Marcel Proulx: ProulM@parl.gc.ca ; Geoff Regan: ReganG@parl.gc.ca ; Scott Simms: SimmsSc@parl.gc.ca
The missing Dippers :
Charlie Angus: AngusC@parl.gc.ca ; Nathan Cullen: CulleN@parl.gc.ca ; Claude Gravellelle: Gravelle.C@parl.gc.ca ; Carol Hughes: Hughes.C@parl.gc.ca ; John Rafferty: Rmailto:Rafferty.J@parl.gc.ca ; Denise Savoie: SavoiD@parl.gc.ca ; Peter Stoffer: StoffP@parl.gc.ca
And a special thanks to Impolitical for giving it a boost.