Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act (Bill C-24)

Bruce Hyer: Madam Speaker, as is often the case, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has done her homework exhaustively and remembers most of it without a note. She has provided us with quite the shopping list of incredible reasons why this is flawed legislation and a bad idea.

My question for the hon. member is whether or not she believes this bill is hopeless given the huge list of flaws she has identified. Is there some hope that with amendments she could actually be in favour of this bill? If so, what are the key elements that would cause her to consider changing her mind?

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I do not think any piece of legislation before this House is hopeless. With sufficient amendments, even the worst bill can be remedied. Sometimes that may mean deleting most of it and starting over.

However, in this case, I think there are some very specific areas. As I mentioned, if we included the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in chapter 1 of the trade deal at annex 1.06, it would certainly improve the bill.

I would strip out all of chapter 9. I do not think there is anything that could be saved in chapter 9. The whole notion of investor-state provisions is unworkable.

For the rest of it, if we were to replace chapter 9, we could replace it with firm commitments from Panama to provide full banking information so that its banks could no longer function as tax havens, and further firm commitments to work with Canada and other countries to eliminate its narcotics traffic.

There are other elements to protect labour and environmental rights that could be inserted, but I imagine my time to answer this question has expired.