The following letter is printed in todayâ€™s Globe and Mail:
Re Harper signals shift from Africa to Americas (June 8),
Announcements by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and International Trade Minister David Emerson that Canada intends to negotiate a free-trade deal with Colombia can only be described as chutzpah. Consider: More union leaders are killed in Colombia than in all of the Americas; more than 70,000 peasant farmers and workers have died, victims of death-squad terrror; successive Colombian governments have ensured impunity for the perpetrators of human-rights violations for decades; and grassroots political campaigns have rejected a similar trade deal with the U.S.
Mr. Emerson says that Canada wants to focus on trade with countries that share Canadian values. Given the above, Ottawa should give a free-trade debacle with Colombia a pass.
Canadian Labour Congress