Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the hon. member for Toronto Centre for joining us in this place and on her role as international trade critic.

I wish that her party had a better position on trade in general and on this agreement in particular. I do not see how one can turn a blind eye to the fact that we are talking about a country that has a repressive regime, four years following a military coup, with a very questionable election. It was just this past Monday that the new president was inaugurated, and all indications are that he will continue the trends of increasing gaps between the wealthy and the poor and of infringements on indigenous lands—and sadly, right now, infringements on indigenous lands by Canadian tourism interests, which under this agreement would be able to further penalize Honduras should it decide to change its tune and want to protect indigenous rights.

Does the hon. member have no qualms about this agreement with Honduras?

Chrystia Freeland: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for those points. I would just like to repeat that Honduras is absolutely far from being an angelic and perfect country, and we are fully aware of that. It is our judgment that at this moment a trading relationship would help us to help the positive forces in Honduras and would help Honduras move in the right direction,

Again, this is not something we sign and walk away from. It behooves the Government of Canada and all of us here to watch it very carefully, and if we feel there is a retrograde movement in Honduras, we will need to act.

On the point about Canadian companies and their behaviour in Honduras, that falls under encouraging corporate social responsibility, which I have already cited. This is a very strong point, and we need to take great care as representatives of the Canadian people to encourage Canadian companies to behave abroad as we would demand they behave at home.