Emergency Debate – The Situation in Syria

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my friend from Newton—North Delta mentioned Canada’s increasingly close relationship with the People’s Republic of China. One the companies and state-owned enterprises in the People’s Republic of China currently investing in the oil sands is Sinopec, which happens to be the single largest customer for Iranian oil. At the same time, the investments from China and the relationship with Syria are what blocked measures in the United Nations Security Council. China is a very close supporter of Bashar al-Assad.

In relation to the pressure to prevent oil revenue ending up funding terrorism in that region of the world, should our foreign policy extend to our trade policies with relation to the People’s Republic of China? What more could we be doing there?

Jinny Jogindera Sims: Mr. Speaker, I can remember a time when the Prime Minister made a comment to the effect that we would only have truck or trade with countries that had good human rights records.

Our government has a relationship with China. Whether it is on a trading issue, which it obviously is, in our speed to sell off our Canadian jobs overseas and risk huge environmental damage, we have that relationship. Is the government using it wisely to at least press the Chinese to press Assad to find a peaceful solution? We need to continue to use that tool. It is at our disposal.