House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, one could argue that the only boy scouts around here are those who sit in government now and the others who sat in government before them. When they bargained the North American Free Trade Agreement, they gave away everything, including the forestry agreement, then they lost nearly every challenge to the Americans since. Therefore, one might argue that the boy scouts were those two governments and they gave things away.

We need to look at the sense of this fairness aspect to trade policy. Trade policy is about not taking advantage of one country over another. That is the intent. That is the spirit of the policy when we enter into it.

My hon. colleague talks about how much we send to Peru through the business route and how much Peru sends back to us. However, I remind my colleague that the majority of that dollar value out of Peru is raw resources and a lot of it is gold. It comes out of Peru as gold, not as finished products, and heads north and a lot of it heads back into the country to be reprocessed. We are extracting raw materials from Peru and quite often bringing them into the northern hemisphere to reprocess them into finished product of one dimension or another.

In a lot of ways Peru reminds me of Canada in its infancy 150 years ago, when we used to extract things. Some might say that this is what is happening to us again because we seem to be extracting raw materials and sending them out of the country to let someone else do things for us.

We see both things happening. Peru's industries are extraction industries, which are Canadian held in most cases. Without a question, Canadian mining corporations are some of the best in the world. They have gone to all these different countries to set up mining operations, and they have done that in Peru. They are extracting that raw material from Peru and sending it elsewhere to be processed.

The figures are somewhat skewed. They do not really give a true indication of what type of trade goes back and forth between this country and Peru. I remind the hon. member that numbers can look bad or good depending on how one tries to frame them. In this case it may look like there is a trade imbalance between us and Peru, but then again, by the time we finish the product, it may be indeed more valuable.

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I heard the member speak about the Canadian mining companies in Peru. In my earlier remarks, I talked about the corporate social responsibility report that was never tabled in the House. A year has passed since that report was completed. It is very concerning to civil society and those of us who are concerned about the approach Canadian companies take in different countries.

Last week, Yessika Hoyos Morales was next door. Her father was a trade unionist who was assassinated in Colombia. I understand she was scheduled to speak before the trade committee and the door was closed to her. I have to wonder why in the world that would happen in Canada, a place that champions human rights.

We were very fortunate, and I want to give credit to all members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, because, by consensus, this woman was added to our agenda at the last minute. However, it strikes me as strange that one of our committees would do such a thing.

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish I could answer that for my colleague. I wish I could give him an answer that makes sense and that would be representative of the House, but clearly does not make sense.

One would hope that we would want to hear from someone who has intimate knowledge of what happens in the southern hemisphere. As much as Peru is not identical to Colombia with regard to trade policy and internal operations, there are indeed lessons to be learned and things that we could have learned. Unfortunately, the committee had an opportunity to learn and it turned it down.

For those who made that decision to turn her down, they should always remember that learning is always a positive thing, regardless of whether they think they believe in the piece or not. There is always value is learning new things and having them validated. Unfortunately, in this case, the young woman was not heard by the committee and that did an injustice to the House. More important, it did an injustice to those members who said no.

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, the previous Bloc speaker had an interesting thesis in which he argued that bilateral treaties of this ilk should be superseded by a broader multilateral regime that would deal with environmental and social responsibility issues and so on.

Rather than focusing on the bilateral relationship with respect to sidebar agreements, would he not back the Bloc member in terms of looking at the International Court of Justice, the International Labour Organization tribunal and those multilateral regimes that would deal with the kinds of issues he has raised, rather than suggest that a government should not enter into, in the better interests of its citizens, the kinds of agreements for the kinds of reasons as put forward by some of my colleagues?

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, people always have to be careful about acronyms because they can get caught up in them. The ILO has clearly stated what it believes should be the minimum standards when it comes to labour. Indeed, the Canadian Labour Congress is calling for those standards.

The difficulty is we have added it as an addendum. We did not enshrine it in the agreement. We could have. We cannot say that no one else has done it, that we would be the first to do it and that we could not get it done. The Americans did it. That begs a simple question. Why did we not? It was not that the Peruvians did not want to do it. They did it with the Americans, who are a trading partner of ours. The Americans have the same sorts of rules that we do because we entered into NAFTA with them. It is not as if Peru was to find that as a foreign piece. It just simply did not want to do it and our government said okay. I do not believe the Conservative government actually believes in enshrining labour rights inside the agreement.

The fundamental question we should ask is this. Was it really the Peruvian government that said no, or was it the government across the way that simply said that it was not important enough to do? Did it say it did not care, that would not put it in the agreement? However, when there was some pressure, it then tacked it on the back of the agreement.

Scleroderma
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the month of June, thousands of Canadians hope to draw attention to a little known but devastating disease called scleroderma. According to some medical experts, it is now more prevalent than multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.

While more has been learned about this disease in the past decade than in the previous century, more needs to be done to end the suffering of thousands of Canadians. Sadly, almost 80% of the sufferers are women, often diagnosed before the age of 50.

In the past my family has had to deal with the devastating effects of scleroderma. This dreaded disease took my mother and now threatens to take the life of many of my friends within the scleroderma-stricken community.

I call on my parliamentary colleagues and all Canadians to assist the Scleroderma Societies of Canada and the provinces by raising awareness in our communities, particularly now in June, as this is National Scleroderma Awareness Month.

We look forward to the day when a cure is finally found for this terrible and ultimately fatal disease.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, for over 50 years Uncle Jim Anderson has documented life in Makkovik on Labrador's north coast. He is a self-taught photographer and videographer who has captured changing ways in his hometown over the decades.

Uncle Jim's work was recently showcased in an exhibit by The Rooms provincial art gallery and the Labrador Interpretation Centre, bringing his talents to a new and broader audience.

Just last month, Uncle Jim received the Rogers Arts Achievement Award presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, recognizing his lifetime of creation through his camera's lens and his vision. Not only is he an inspired visual artist, he is inspiring others.

On behalf of all Labradorians and my Liberal colleagues, I congratulate Uncle Jim Anderson on his many achievements.

Ariane Moffatt
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge today the career of a Quebec artist who has received two prestigious awards during the first half of 2009. I am referring to Ariane Moffatt.

In March, at the 38th Annual Juno Awards, Ariane Moffatt took the honours for francophone album of the year for Tous les sens. In July, at the Francofolies de Spa, she will be officially presented with the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize for the same album. This prize is awarded each year by a jury of experts from Quebec and Belgium. It comes with a cash award and financial assistance from both governments.

This singer-songwriter-composer has a solid musical background. Her first album, Aquanaute, released in 2002, enchanted the francophone public. Then, with her second album, Le coeur dans la tête, we saw a more sensitive side of her. Tous les sens, her latest album, released in 2008, has been called a luminous album enchanting once again the Francophonie. An album representative of Ariane Moffatt.

My colleagues from the Bloc Québécois and myself acknowledge Ariane's exceptional talent. May all her dreams come true in the future.

Buy Local
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, food is a vital part of our lives, and what we put into our bodies is not only reflected back to us in our personal health, but also in the health of our communities.

If we support local farmers, businesses and crafts people with our daily purchases, we will be ensuring the long-term vitality and viability of our communities.

We have all become accustomed to instant satisfaction, so what I am suggesting is that we each take a step back and follow the chain behind our purchases and ask: Where does the product we are purchasing come from? Where does our money end up? Does the chain end up in another country or a farmer's field just outside our town?

In the Welland constituency we have three fantastic farmers' markets that serve our communities with fresh healthy produce and meats every week, every year.

I encourage all constituents to take the time to check out what the farmers' markets have to offer. People should remember, that if they ate today, they should thank a farmer, and remember to buy local or it could be bye, bye local.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in May 2008, Craig Oliver asked the Liberal leader, “Do you still believe in a carbon tax? Of course you do”. The Liberal leader replied, “I do, Craig”. Of course he does; he invented the Liberal carbon tax. Now he claims he knows nothing about it.

When the Liberal leader is in America, he is an American. When he is in Britain, he is British. When he is in B.C., he opposes loans to the auto company. When he is in Ontario, he thinks those loans should be bigger.

He condemns the economic action plan that he voted for, while demanding billions in spending that would make the deficit bigger. He says the coalition he signed on for would break up Canada, and now he wants to put that coalition back together.

If we do not like the Liberal leader's positions on the issues, we should wait five minutes and he will change them for us.

Graduate Scholarship Award
Statements By Members

June 1st, 2009 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a young man from Winterland, a small community on the Burin Peninsula in the riding of Random--Burin--St. George's in Newfoundland and Labrador. Gaetan Kenway has been awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship valued at $70,000.

The criteria for the scholarship points to Gaetan's exceptional talents. The award is based on academic excellence and research potential, plus communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities.

Gaetan is an amazing young man. After graduating from Marystown Central High School in 2003, he completed a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics at Queen's University and then entered the Master of Applied Science program at the University of Toronto. A year later he was fast-tracked into the Ph.D. program at the school's Institute for Aerospace Studies. Gaetan is currently studying in the multidisciplinary optimization of aircraft systems program.

His parents, Nancy and Morley Kenway, are teachers. They are justifiably proud of their son's accomplishments.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating Gaetan Kenway and wishing him continued success.

Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the backbone of Canada, what makes this country great, is our communities and neighbourhoods which work together in thousands of different ways, behind the scenes and unreported by the media. We can all tell stories of the unnamed heroes who volunteer, who coach sports teams, who offer support in hospitals and who raise money for charitable causes.

On Friday, May 15 in Powell River, B.C., I had the great pleasure to attend the launch of a cookbook assembled by the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society, an organization dedicated to raising money for bone marrow transplants. The organization was inspired by the life and untimely death of Bruce Denniston, an RCMP officer who died of leukemia.

The Powell River community is famous for its spirit of volunteerism and many people turned out for the book launch. Busy hands prepared almost 50 different dishes based on recipes in the cookbook. The Minister of Natural Resources attended in person, adding to an event which resounded with unity and hard work for a good cause. It was a classically Canadian event.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this House has twice supported implementing a refugee appeal division. The first time, Bill C-280, introduced by the Bloc Québécois, went through all the stages in the House and the Senate, but died when this government made an early election call. Reintroduced barely a month ago, Bill C-291, sponsored by my colleague from Jeanne-Le Ber, once again received the support of the House.

Yet even though they supported Bill C-291 during the vote at second reading, the Liberals are now working with the Conservatives to block the bill in committee. The Liberals claim to stand up for refugees, but in fact, they are in bed with the Conservatives.

It is pathetic that the Liberals, who claim to support Bill C-291, should be playing the government's game.

Clearly, the Liberal leader's new strategy is to talk out of both sides of his mouth in order to fool the public, especially refugees, whose status is precarious.

Tobacco Products
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked World No Tobacco Day.

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 31. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco and what people around the world can do to claim their health. The member states of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

I had the pleasure of celebrating World No Tobacco Day at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit with Dr. Charles Gardner and a group of students led by Kari Merriott in Barrie on Friday.

I think we can all be very proud this year of the progress our government has made in combatting the dangers of tobacco. The proposed changes to the Tobacco Act by our health minister will make significant progress as we work to prevent the targeting of children and teen smokers through prohibiting candy flavoured cigarettes, cigarillos and blunts.

It is great progress for our country and our children.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the last census, the proportion of Canadians born outside the country is at its highest level in 75 years. In fact, two-thirds of our population growth comes from immigration.

In my hometown of Mississauga, 52% of the population is foreign born, the third highest among Canadian municipalities. Many of these people are permanent residents waiting to receive their citizenship, but for some odd reason living in Mississauga means unprecedented wait times. Many residents wait four to six months after their files are transferred simply to get their test dates. Had these residents moved to other parts of the country or even neighbouring cities, their files would have been processed much more quickly. This is simply unacceptable.

The Conservatives do not like it when people who already have a Canadian passport spend too much time abroad, but I would hope that they could find it in their hearts to help future Canadians achieve the dream of citizenship.