Updated. Please see below.
Last week I posted to bring attention to Bill C-300, a private member's bill tabled by Liberal MP John McKay intended to "provide a mechanism for dealing with environmental and human rights violations supported or perpetrated by Canadian companies abroad." Today's Toronto Star has an article by a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch that provides a good overview to the issue and an argument that C-300 actually doesn't go far enough but at least provides a start.
Kady O'Malley is in the House of Commons this evening and has just reported on Twitter that on final reading, the bill went down to defeat with 135 MPs voting for and 140 voting against. The bill lost because thirteen Liberals and four New Democrats skipped the vote. I guess they had better things to do than represent their constituents. I'd have more respect for them if they had shown up and voted against the bill rather than letting it fall through the cracks by hiding. And I'm not letting those four New Democrats off the hook. Had they all shown up and voted yea, it would have been 139 to 140 and made the Liberals look that much worse.
As for Ignatieff, who was one of the missing Liberals, he was quoted in the Globe and Mail this morning:
"C-300 is a private member's bill. And it's intended to send a message about corporate social responsibility," Mr. Ignatieff told reporters after Question Period on Tuesday. "I've said for six months that there's some problems with the bill. Even the initiator of the bill, John McKay, says there are problems."
It seems to me that six months would be ample time to sort out the problems and come up with ways to improve the bill. Isn't that what committee is for? To study legislation and improve it? You obviously had the votes to get it out of committee and back into the House for the final reading.
The message you just sent has nothing to do with corporate social responsibility.
The Liberals have published a written statement from Ignatieff. The Liberals remain committed... A Liberal government will act... blah blah blah. Not a word to explain his own absence or that of his twelve MPs but he takes the Harper government to task for failing to act when he just had the opportunity to act and bailed out.
Would anyone mind terribly if I called him a really, really bad name and suggested a place in which he can deposit his statement?