Last night the Council of Canadians was made aware of a email circulated to the Liberal caucus – allegedly from Maude Barlow – and supporting the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement! Apparently some Liberal MPs were taking this email seriously and not acting on the thousands of email alerts they had received from constituents across the country!
This afternoon the Standing Committee on International Trade is meeting to decide on three motions – all of which end the debate happening in Committee – shutting out the witnesses who have requested to speak to the Committee. When the Liberal Party committed to comprehensive and in-depth hearings on the CCFTA – surely shutting out the witnesses was not what they meant?
After tracking down the email this morning – it reads as follows:
Dear Liberal Member of Parliament,
Thank you for voting to support the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. With the help of an amendment introduced by trade critic Scott Brison, you are doing a great service to both the people of Canada and the people of Colombia.
Please do not listen to elements of the radical fringe who are ideologically opposed to free trade and oppose this bill with false pretenses. Any basic reading of the bill shows that this deal is intended to help improve human rights conditions in Colombia while creating economic benefits in both countries.
Maude Barlow sent a letter this morning clarifying her, and the Council of Canadians’, position on the CCFTA to all Liberal MPs. It can be read here. And our news release to highlight the fraudulent email can be read here. In the release Maude states: “This email forgery shows how desperate proponents of the Canada-Colombia FTA have become if they’re willing to lie and deceive to get the deal passed through the trade committee without a full assessment.”
Please take action now and let Liberal MPs know that it is important to let experts speak to the CCFTA. The Committee has heard overwhelming support for a Human Rights Impact Assessment to be done before the Agreement is ratified. Ask MPs to support this! Click here to send an email.
One more thing – take a few minutes to watch this short video from Human Rights Watch – better yet – get your MP to watch it too.