Cowards

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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.

Update:

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?

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10 Comments

Ignatieff is spineless. So who were the four NDP members missing in action?

K'OM originally reported two missing Dippers and identified Glenn Thibeault and Charlie Angus. Then she corrected it to four MIA but didn't identify the other two.

Would anyone mind terribly if I called him a really, really bad name and suggested a place in which he can deposit his statement?

I would turn out for that vote.

Re "problems with the bill".
14 separate motions to amend the bill by addressing those concerns were voted on just prior to the final vote on the bill.
You know what would have been a good idea? Showing up to vote for the freaking amendments they asked for!

Libs Michael Ignatieff, Scott Brison, Ujjal Dosanjh, John McCallum, and Geoff Regan didn't vote for C-300 this time; didn't vote for it last time either.

Michael Ignatieff, Scott Brison, and Scott Andrews all spoke in the House today yet somehow failed to stick around for the vote.
Andrews made a particularly stirring speech about how "the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador is the number one coastal destination in the world."

The no-show Dippers : Charlie Angus*, Bruce Hyer, Pat Martin, and Glen Thibeault.

No-show Libs : Michael Ignatieff*, Scott Brison*, Ujjal Dosanjh*, John McCallum*, Geoff Regan*, Scott Andrews, Sukh Dhaliwal, Ruby Dhalla, Martha Hall Findlay, Jim Karygiannis, Gerard Kennedy, Keith Martin, and Anthony Rota.

* - Didn't vote for it last time either.


And I'll say again: I'd have way more respect for the no-shows if they had shown up and voted no. That's what we pay them for and at least they're on record on the issue. As it is, they turn governance into a game. Hasn't there already been enough contempt shown for parliament in the last few years?

this latest backing off by Ignatieff is worse than spinelessness. I don't think it was the polls he worried about this time as this isn't the kind of Bill that people who read little more than headlines get excited about. Apparently, there was a great deal of very heavy lobbying coming from corporations who didn't want to see the Bill pass. I think Ignatieff cannot be trusted to place the welfare of Canadians and the welfare of people throughout the world affected by Canada before corporate interests of the richest of the rich. This isn't the first time he shoved the welfare of the less than wealthy under the brutal feet of corporations.

I wonder what's Charlie Angus' deal? I mean, normally I hear good stuff about him.

I think Angus represents a riding in which mining is a big part of the economy. But as I said, if he feels the bill is bad or feels his constituents do, let him show up and vote no.

Apparently, there was a great deal of very heavy lobbying coming from corporations who didn't want to see the Bill pass.

Yes, the industry was very unhappy about the bill. They've pretty much had their way for a long time.

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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on October 27, 2010 7:10 PM.

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