Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie

ACT NOW to STOP the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement before the House of Commons

14 Septiembre 2009


by Amnesty International Canada

Dear friends:

Your action is needed immediately as legislation which could have a huge impact on human rights in Colombia is back before the House of Commons possibly as soon as this coming Tuesday.

We have learned that Bill C-23 to implement the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement is at the top of the government's legislative agenda when Parliament resumes next week. It is likely to come before the House as soon as this coming Monday September 15th and a vote could be taken this week

We are extremely concerned about the ongoing human rights crisis in Colombia and the fact that human rights violations take place against vulnerable people living in areas of economic interest with resource wealth and agro-industrial potential.

In this context, we have recommended repeatedly that the government should commission a third party human rights impact assessment of the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement to ensure that it will not make a bad situation worse.

The Harper government has refused to take this essential step of due diligence, which was also recommended by Parliament’s Standing Committee on International Trade (CIIT) in its report to the government.

The NDP and the Bloc Quebecois have staunchly supported the call for an independent human rights impact assessment. Last May, Liberal Trade Critic Scott Brison also affirmed that the Liberals would not support Bill C-23 until there is a human rights study.

Ten days ago, an Amnesty member reporteda troubling conversation with Peter Kent, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Latin America, in which he heard that the government expects to quickly pass Bill C-23 with Liberal support and without an independent human rights impact assessment.


It is VERY IMPORTANT that you:

1. Contact your MP (find contact info at to tell him or her that you are:

A. Very concerned about the horrific human rights crisis in Colombia, that continues to deteriorate despite government claims about significant improvements (see BACKGROUND below for points you could include, should you wish, but a short, personally worded message with an unequivocal message is likely to be the most effective) and
B. Want your MP to refuse to support any advancement of Bill C-23 unless and until there is third party human rights impact assessment and any problems identified are adequately addressed.

2. Contact the Liberal MPs below to communicate the same message (if you cannot contact them directly, speak to their assistants and directly express your concerns). Please be sure to ask that the Liberal Party of Canada not waver from the commitment made in Parliament by Trade Critic Scott Brison on May 25th reiterating the recommendation of the Standing Committee on International Trade that the free trade agreement not go forward until a third party human rights impact assessment is conducted.


1- Michael Ignatieff, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ON, Tel: 416. 251.5510, Fax: 416.251.2845; Tel: 613..., Fax: 613.992.5880

2- Bob Rae, Toronto Centre, ON, Tel: 416.954.2222, Fax: 416.954.9649, Tel: 613.992.5234, Fax: 613.996.9607

3- Maria Minna, Beaches-East York, ON, Tel: 416.467.0860, Fax: 416.467.0905 Tel: 613.992.2115 Fax: 613.996.7942

***Here is list of Liberal MPs that are Members of the CIIT

Vice-Chair: John Cannis, Scarborough Centre, ON Tel: (416) 752-2358, Fax: (416) 752-4624; Tel: (613) 9..., Fax: (613) 943-1045


1- Scott Brison, Kings-Hants, NS

Tel: (902) 542-4010, Fax: (902) 542-4184, Tel: (613) 995-8231, Fax (613) 996-9349

2- Mario Silva, Davenport, ON Tel: (416) 654-8048, Fax: (416) 654-5083; Tel: (613) 992-2576, Fax: (613) 995-8202

***Here are 12 Lib.MPs that won in 2008 with under 5% margin:

1- Ujjal Dosanjh, Vancouver South, BC, Tel: 604....; Fax: 604.775-5420; Tel: 613.99..., Fax: 613.995.2962

2- Keith Martin, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, BC Tel: 250...., Fax: 250.474.5322; Tel: 613.99..., Fax 613.996.9779

3- Alexandra Mendes, Brossard-La Prairie, QC, Tel: 450..., Fax: 450.466.9822; Tel : 613..., Fax : 613.992.7273

4- Andrew Kania, Brampton West, ON, Tel: 905.846.0076 Fax:905.846.3901 Tel: 613.99... Fax: 613.995.6796

5- Ruby Dhalla, Brampton - Springdale, ON, Tel: 905.874.6868, Fax: 905.874.1415; Tel: 613.995.4843, Fax: 613.995.7003

6- Siobhan Coady, St. John's South - Mount Pearl

7- Justin Trudeau, Papineau, QC, Tel: 514.277.6020, Fax : 514.277.3454; Tel: 613.99..., Fax: 613.995.9926

8- Frank Valeriote, Quelph, ON, Tel: 519.837.8276, Fax: 519.837.8443; Tel: 613.99..., Fax: 613.996.9922

9- Brian Murphy, Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, NB, Tel: 506..., Fax: 506.851.3273; Tel: 613..., Fax: 613.992.8083

10- Paul Szabo, Mississauga South, ON, Tel: 905...., Fax: 905.822.2115; Tel: 613.99..., Fax: 613.996.3267

11- Joe Volpe, Eglinton-Lawrence, ON, Tel: 416.781.5583, Fax: 416.781.5586; Tel: 613.992.6361, Fax: 613.992.9791

12- Wayne Easter, Malpeque, PE, Tel: 902.964.2428, Fax: 902.964.3242; Tel: 613.992.2406, Fax: 613.995.7408