It's NDP-1, yes.
If you look at it specifically, it really is about some additions to put into this space. Following proposed paragraph 4(a), we'd like to see....
First of all, in addressing proposed paragraph 4(a), the amendment is proposing to add a paragraph 4(a.1). Proposed paragraph 4(a) is, really, an aspirational statement. These are often included in the beginning of implementing legislation, but we'd really like to see some real goals. If we were to have an addition of a paragraph 4(a.1), which is in NDP-1, it would read:
substantially increase investment opportunities in Canada and the State of Israel while preserving the right of each of the parties to the Agreement to regulate and to achieve legitimate policy goals;
This also really does speak to any type of investor-state or any type of dispute resolution, just really laying out the fact that we still retain the ability to do what we need to do in Canada, and in Israel it's the same. There's the addition of this paragraph 4(a.1) that would follow right after proposed paragraph 4(a) at the bottom of page 1.
If you flip over the page, the next part of the amendment is replacing line 7 on page 2. What it currently has there is:
ensure a high level of environmental protection through comprehensive and legally-binding commitments;
It's always positive, I think, to see language on the environment in trade agreements, but what we do know is that, again, this is largely aspirational. We haven't really been able to address the issues of the environment in an enforceable way in trade agreements. An inclusion there about Canada's obligations under the Paris Agreement that was reached really lays out exactly where Canada is at in terms of our international obligations and commitments so that there's nothing in the agreement that would challenge our ability to honour those commitments that Canada made in Paris in December 2015.
Again, this doesn't alter the spirit of the agreement whatsoever. This would really be something that would speak specifically to our commitment, which I think we all agree on. We know we've signed on to the Paris Agreement. Again, we don't want anything to ever come back on us for implementing our obligation to the Paris Agreement. It's a special nod and is very specific, which I think is very important in trade agreements. If we're not specific, things are open to interpretation. They may not be things that we can address at a later date if the need arises.
The third one that I have there is on lines 8 to 10. Again, what's there proposed paragraph 4(d) talks about the international commitments of Canada and the State of Israel on labour matters. Again, this is very thin language, and I think it could be fleshed out in a way that really indicates where Canada is at.
My amendment that I have put forward essentially reiterates our commitment. The amendment is to:
protect, enhance and enforce workers' rights through mandatory mechanisms recognized by the International Labour Organization's eight core conventions and adherence to its Decent Work Agenda, through the creation of an independent labour secretariat with the power to oversee a dispute-settlement process for violations of labour rights and to enforce penalties for any such violations and through strengthening cooperation between Canada and the State of Israel on labour matters;
This is really important. To date there haven't been any trade agreements that Canada has signed on to internationally, to be fair, that speak about labour matters or labour rights that have been enforceable and that have been a way to address the situations that exist for working people. Again, just fleshing this out and talking about the fact that we want these mandatory mechanisms in there, I think, is very key.
If we are to build upon trade agreements, we have to start improving the language in them. If we keep repeating the same language of the previous trade agreements, then essentially we know that there's nothing enforceable in terms of labour. There's been a case brought that was dismissed, so we really need something here so that if there is a labour issue that comes between our two countries, there's a meaningful way to address it, versus just saying that we build on these respective commitments. We need to honour our international commitments, not just build upon them. I bring that forward.
If we move on to paragraph (d) of NDP-1, which is on the second page of the amendment, it references an addition after line 10 that would read:
(d.1) to facilitate due diligence measures and ensure they are available for Canadian companies and funding agencies, and to create a framework for transnational bargaining to allow unions to represent workers in Canada and the State of Israel; and
We really agree with the CLC that the Government of Canada has to look at due diligence of Canadian companies and funding agencies if we're going to create this framework. This is something that is being called for as an addition to trade agreements, in terms of labour, to make sure that it's meaningful and enforceable. The Canadian Labour Congress is in agreement that this measure should be included in all trade agreements. It doesn't break the spirit of this agreement in any way.
If we go on to page 2 of the bill, lines 11 to 16, what we're looking for is a replacement. We would replace lines 12 to 16 with the following text:
economic empowerment and immediately undertake an annual gender-based analysis and gender impact assessment to be applied to the entire agreement, as well as to ensure the use of enforceable corporate social responsibility standards and principles as set out in the United Nations document entitled Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights published in 2011.
This is something we've heard pretty consistently at this committee around gender language: that if it's to be meaningful, it has to be applied throughout the entire text of the FTA, not just relegated to one chapter. We heard this from Oxfam and other groups around previous trade agreements, about the way forward and making sure that we are having a meaningful impact on the lives of women. The current way we're writing text doesn't actually ensure that, so this is a fleshing out of that text.
Gender equality shouldn't only be concerns of women entrepreneurs and business owners; it should actually help in regard to systemic discrimination against women who work, who are in the labour force. There's nothing actionable here about that either.
The other thing we strongly believe—and we've heard it at this committee too—is that when we're looking at improving language, we shouldn't have to wait five years for a review to see what the provision will yield or will not yield.
The nature of our trade is happening every single day. Why would we wait a whole five years to figure out whether something is working or not? It just seems a very lengthy period of time. I put that out there, that we need some concrete steps and some actions.
I want to speak a bit about the corporate social responsibility chapter—