Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question to the hon. parliamentary secretary relates to the claim we have heard a lot today, that Panama is no longer a tax haven. It clearly is still a tax haven. It has merely been moved by the OECD from the list of unco-operative countries that have refused to make commitments. It remains a tax haven and it has created quite a lot of debate in the U.S.

Now that the treaty before us includes investor state provisions, which means Panama could complain should Canada later impose different conditions for more tax transparency in its dealings with Panama, should we not, as the official opposition has been suggesting today, execute those tax transparency measures prior to giving Panama the right to sue us if we bring them in later?

Bob Dechert: Mr. Speaker, I am kind of surprised by the member’s question. She knows that all treaties in Canada are subject to Canadian law, so there is no way that Panama, or any other government under any treaty, could make a claim against Canada for doing something that is subject to Canadian law. Therefore, the question really does not make any sense in that context.