We now have a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne! Since no reply from the former Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was forthcoming, we forwarded our petition to Mr. Champagne to ensure that he knows we haven’t forgotten.
Dear Honourable François-Philippe Champagne:I would like to take this opportunity, as you begin your post as our new Minister of Foreign Affairs, to forward a petition with well over 700 signatures, condemning Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s significant inaction on environmental protections in the Amazon. As fires have died down, deforestation has continued to rise, assuring this ecosystem’s vulnerability.Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, did not reply to the hundreds of people who showed concern over this issue, as indicated by our petition, and we hope to hear a reply from you. The full petition is attached.The most recent news shows that Canada is hoping to push Bolsonaro towards stronger environmental protections via Mercosur negotiations, but given Bolsonaro’s stubborn denial of any problems in the Amazon, such efforts are disingenuous. Only trade withdrawal, as France, Austria, and Ireland have pushed, can hope to advance the safety of the people and ecosystem of the Amazon, and indeed, of Brazil.Canada’s progress report on this Free Trade Agreement (see GBA+ Summary for Canada-Mercosur FTA) states, “Canada has yet to achieve a Trade and Indigenous Peoples chapter with an FTA partner, Canada is pursuing such a chapter with Mercosur: A Trade and Indigenous Peoples chapter is a vehicle to drive economic development and prosperity for Indigenous peoples.”Given that “trade with Brazil account[s] for a majority—77.4%—of Canada’s total trade with Mercosur,” (quoted from same report as above) we are paying close attention to what your Ministry does to address the injustices and environmental destruction in Brazil, especially because Canada aims to abide by UNDRIP and address our climate crisis.We look forward to your reply,Myrtle Millares
on behalf of petitioners
House of Commons