We want to highlight this letter to the editor from Scott Brison which appeared in a recent CH Voice of the People. In it Brison calls the Council of Canadians onto the carpet for being a bit loose with the facts.
As the Liberal trade critic, I am proud to have helped negotiate an amendment to Bill C-2 (Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act). Under this amendment, the Canadian government must monitor and publicly report on how free trade with Canada affects human rights in Colombia.
In a May 20 opinion piece, Carleen Pickard, director of organizing for the Council of Canadians, alleges that “a phone call to Mr. Brison’s office in Ottawa this week reveals the text for the amendment does not exist” and that “now the committee is discussing an unwritten amendment.”
On March 24, I read the text of the Liberal amendment in the House of Commons and then distributed it at committee in April. During a phone call to my office, my assistant directed Barbara Wood of CoDevelopment Canada to where the amendment could be found online, and then personally emailed the amendment to Ms. Wood.
Ms. Pickard’s statements are incorrect and serve only to toxify the important discussions regarding the free trade agreement with Colombia.
The members of the Council of Canadians have provided some very thoughtful contributions to the discussions on human rights in Colombia — discussions that led to the development of the Liberal amendment on human rights. The leadership of the Council of Canadians, however, does its members a disservice when they obstruct these discussions with misrepresentations of the facts.
Scott Brison, MP, Kings–Hants
We somehow sense that Brison feels an election coming on. What do you think?