The Toronto Star reports this evening that, “Liberal MP John McKay’s hotly disputed private member’s legislation to toughen scrutiny of mining, gas and oil companies overseas was narrowly defeated (in the House of Commons tonight) 140-134.”
“(13) Liberals, including party leader Michael Ignatieff, did not show up for the vote. And (4) NDP and (some) Bloc Québécois MPs were also missing when the roll call was taken. McKay, the MP for Scarborough-Guildwood, acknowledged his Liberal colleagues could have put his bill over the top if more had stood in the Commons to support him. He said the Conservatives had been told to vote against the legislation (and Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the House to vote no), whereas the Liberals had followed the traditional practice of allowing MPs to vote without party discipline on a private member’s bill.”
“McKay’s legislation would have empowered Ottawa to establish standards for human rights and environmental conduct by corporations operating in the developing world. Credible accusations against Canadian companies would have been investigated and, if substantiated, the company would be deprived of political sponsorship at Canadian embassies and lose federal financial support from the Export Development Corp. McKay and his supporters said the legislation was a modest first step by the federal government to toughen scrutiny of extractive companies operating abroad and clamp down on bad corporate citizens.”
The Council of Canadians supported C-300 and among other actions contacted 16,000 of its members by e-mail to encourage them to call their MP to vote for the bill. One of our action alerts in support of C-300 can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=5095.