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Monday, February 06, 2012

Greens to PM: Don't Sell Out Human Rights to "Almighty Dollar"

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) recently stated, "There are Falun Gong practitioners in my riding who have visited my office and have made sure I am aware of the conditions that Falun Dafa practitioners face in China. I am very aware that your practice is one of non-violence, individual responsibility, and grace and that makes it doubly unacceptable that you should be subjected to torture and imprisonment and harsh conditions, only for following a practice that is liberating to mind and spirit." May urged Canadian and Chinese leaders to remember that both countries are signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, any trade negotiations should be considered in the light of improving human rights and the preservation of ethnic cultures.

In the past week, rallies have been held on Parliament Hill by both Tibetans and practitioners of Falun Gong, asking the Prime Minister to work for reforms when he visits China February 6th to 12th. Green Leader May spoke to both rallies. “If Canada wants to be a partner with China, we also have a responsibility to play a role in ending persecution and human rights abuses. This is particularly relevant given that Canada is allowing the Chinese government to actually own Canadian resources, with over $20 billion invested in the oil sands.”

"Will our children remember us for promoting trade, or for using trade as a vehicle for improving human rights in developing countries?” asked Joe Foster, Green Human Rights Critic.

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