Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment implements the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine, done at Kyiv on July 11, 2016.

The general provisions of the enactment set out rules of interpretation and specify that no recourse may be taken on the basis of sections 9 to 15 or any order made under those sections, or on the basis of the provisions of the Agreement, without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

Part 1 approves the Agreement, provides for the payment by Canada of its share of the expenditures associated with the operation of the institutional and administrative aspects of the Agreement, and gives the Governor in Council the power to make orders in accordance with the Agreement.

Part 2 amends certain Acts to bring them into conformity with Canada’s obligations under the Agreement.

Part 3 contains coordinating amendments and the coming into force provision.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Feb. 14, 2017 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Dec. 13, 2016 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank all the members of this House for granting unanimous consent for me to speak this morning. I am very grateful. I will be splitting my time with the member for Kootenay—Columbia.

I have the privilege of speaking this morning on Bill C-31, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine. This is a momentous time in our history for us to be looking at this bill together in this House. I am indeed very pleased to speak today on the topic of the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement and the benefits it will provide to all Canadians.

When we talk about trade, those are benefits that are going to each and every one of the 338 jurisdictions and ridings we have in our country. The good people who sent every member sitting in this House here to represent them will benefit from our free trade agreement. This is a good example of what Canada can do in the world, when Canada stands for progressive trade, and when Canada becomes a beacon of hope and openness around the world.

This agreement is an important step in Canada's relationship with Ukraine, and one that is supported by Canadians from across the country. Following the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian migration to Canada last year, we are reminded of the Ukrainian Canadian community, which is more than 1.2 million strong in our nation.

Our people-to-people ties form a strong foundation for the partnership enjoyed by Canada and Ukraine today. Canada has remained steadfast in its support of Ukraine and believes the free trade agreement will only strengthen this relationship going forward. Trade is good for the world; trade is good for the people.

In 1991, Canada became the first western country to recognize Ukraine's independence. I am sure this is an act that a lot of members in the House take great pride in. Since then, and especially now in the face of recent crises, Canada has prioritized its role in the international community by encouraging Ukraine's and Canada's shared commitment to security, advancing democracy, and promoting sustainable economic growth.

One of the ways that Canada has done this is through technical and financial assistance, which since 1991 amounts to more than $1.2 billion. Reflecting the multi-faceted nature of our relationship, this includes support for macroeconomic stabilization, democratic and economic reforms, support for promoting the rule of law, security and stability, and, very importantly, humanitarian assistance.

In addition, Canada is seeking to support efforts to find a lasting and sustainable resolution to the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine through the provision of stabilization and security assistance. Since 2014, over $60 million has been committed to support initiatives in a wide range of areas, including ceasefire and human rights monitoring, police reform, and non-military equipment and training.

Further, Canada has provided $27 million in humanitarian assistance to help people affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, including emergency shelters and essential relief items, safe drinking water, food, sanitation, basic medical care, hygiene supplies, education, protection, and psychosocial support.

I am sure that every member in this House today recognizes how Canada is a power for good in the world. When I say these words, I am sure many of us take great pride in saying what role Canada can play in the world. As we can see through our multi-faceted work with Ukraine, Canada is deeply committed to supporting the economic reform and development efforts of the Government of Ukraine.

The Canada-Ukraine FTA will only reinforce these efforts. The agreement is complementary on the premise that economic development can strengthen the social foundations in countries and contribute to a domestic environment where human rights, good governance, and the rule of law are all respected.

I am sure that is something that all members in the House firmly believe to be the foundation of every nation. This agreement will create new business opportunities and assist with developing a predictable and prosperous future for Ukraine.

The beauty of the agreement, however, is that it is mutually beneficial. It has opportunities for both Ukraine and Canada. Tariff elimination will improve access to each other's markets and thus help to expand commerce between Canada and Ukraine.

Upon implementation, the Canada-Ukraine FTA will result in an immediate elimination of tariffs on 86% of Canadian exports to Ukraine. This is very significant. The remaining tariffs will be phased out over seven years on industrial products, fish and seafood, and essentially all agricultural goods exported by Canada.

Ukraine is an interesting market for Canadian exporters with opportunities in areas such as aerospace, agricultural equipment, information and communication technologies, agriculture, agrifood, fish and seafood, and mining equipment. At the same time Canada will eliminate tariffs on 99.9% of imports from Ukraine. This stands to benefit Ukrainian exporters for products such as sunflower oil, sugar and chocolate, baked goods, vodka, apparel, ceramics, and mineral products.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:10 a.m.
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Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I see members already interested in free trade. It is only Friday morning, but I see a lot of support in the House for free trade.

Beyond tariff reductions, the FTA includes disciplines and commitments on non-tariff measures that will help ensure that market access gains are not constrained by unjustified trade barriers. This agreement also includes commitments on trade facilitation that are designed to reduce red tape at the border. These provisions will increase certainty and predictability for businesses, something that Canadian businesses across our country will want to see.

Furthermore, the Canada-Ukraine FTA reflects this government's commitment to a progressive approach to trade in trying to ensure that trade reflects Canadian values such as environmental protection and labour rights. This agreement therefore includes comprehensive provision in the areas of labour, environment, transparency, and anti-corruption.

As part of this free trade agreement, Canada and Ukraine have agreed on anti-corruption provisions to protect human rights. Under this agreement, Canada and Ukraine have committed to ensuring that companies can be held responsible for human rights violations.

The agreement also encourages both countries to look at implementing legal protection for whistleblowers. Time and again, Canada has shown that it considers protecting workers' rights a priority. It has negotiated labour protection provisions in the free trade agreements it is a party to, provisions that are essential to upholding human rights. The labour provisions in the free trade agreement with Ukraine will ensure that workers' basic rights are protected in both countries.

Canada and Ukraine also agreed to uphold the standards in the International Labour Organization's 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. To do so, both parties must comply with labour laws governing standards pertaining to minimum wage, hours of work, and workplace health and safety. The labour provisions protect the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association. Child labour, forced labour, and discrimination at work are forbidden. The Canadian labour movement made a vital contribution to promoting equality for women, indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities.

One of our government's priorities is to strengthen the middle class and ensure that all Canadians benefit from trade. Canada's long-term prosperity depends on broad access to foreign markets because trade is a driver of our country's growth and economic success. It enables Canadian businesses to grow, gives Canadian consumers access to a variety of products at competitive prices, and creates jobs for the middle class.

In closing, that is exactly what the free trade agreement with Ukraine is intended to do. I want to thank all members who are here this morning for adding their support by voting in favour of the Canada-Ukraine agreement. This support will help ensure that Canada remains a model of global progressive trade as well as a world leader that chooses to do business with a country like Ukraine, so that people on both sides of the Atlantic can benefit from a progressive trade agreement.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his speech and congratulate him on his new responsibilities.

My question is with respect to the area of corruption. The member mentioned that there are measures taken to prevent corruption. I am interested in hearing more about how we will prevent people from making deals with their buddies, and those kinds of things. Could he elaborate a bit on those measures?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has always been a great supporter, and someone for whom I have a lot of respect.

It is very important that we talk about that this morning. When we talk about progressive trade, what Canada stands for in these trade agreements is to try to move the bar higher in a number of countries with respect to that. There is a whole chapter in the agreement with respect to terms of transparency and anti-corruption. It would require legislation in the jurisdiction we are talking about and would make acts of bribery a criminal offence, as well as imposing sanctions that reflect the gravity of these acts and the negative impacts they have on the poorest people. We know that corruption disproportionately affects poor people, and those who are working hard to join the middle class. Lastly, any enterprises doing so will be liable for the crimes that they commit.

I am happy to receive that question, because it shows on the record how, when we talk about progressive trade, we can help people in a concrete fashion.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the Minister of International Trade, for sharing his time with me today. Because we will be supporting the bill at third reading, I am sure it has made it easier for him.

As well, we support the bill because of the inclusion of clauses relating to environment, labour, and corruption, and because of what it does not include, which are investor-state provisions and forcing municipalities to be part of the agreement. I will talk more on that later.

I recently heard from a Republican senator that, from the U.S. perspective, Americans think that trade agreements are not only important because of the trade aspects, but also because of what they do for world peace. Therefore, I would be interested in my colleague's comment on that approach to trade.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Kootenay—Columbia, but I also want to thank him on behalf of the people of Ukraine and Canada for supporting this agreement. He has made the point as to how progressive trade and these agreements are good for the world. When we set an ambitious agenda for Canada with respect to progressive trade, whether we are talking about labour standards, or the environment, something that I know the member, and I think all members in this House, care a lot about, that is exactly the voice that people in the world want to hear.

This morning, I had the privilege of meeting with a number of ambassadors. People are asking Canada to seize the moment, to show the world that we can think about open trade and move the bar by working together. There is no greater pleasure for me than to stand here today, knowing that this has bipartisan support. We are sending a strong message, not only to Ukraine, but to the world, that Canada will always stand behind free trade, will always stand for open societies, and will always stand for the environment. We will be true to our values. Our Canadian values will be exported to our trade agreement, and those in the world who are like-minded will benefit. It is all about people. This agreement will improve the lives of people. I am sure that the constituents in my colleague's riding and in mine, as well as the good people of Ukraine, will benefit from what we are doing today. This is an historic moment.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain for sharing his time today.

New Democrats support deepening trade relationships with Ukraine, particularly as it reaches out to the west while trying to deal with ongoing tensions and problems in Russia. We very much support this agreement, and we have, of course, for many years supported improvement of Canada–Ukraine relations. We support this particular agreement because of the lower tariffs on Canadian exports, but it will also do a lot more. This is the kind of bilateral trade that the NDP can support, for a number of reasons, and I will speak to those in a minute.

What is good about this agreement is that it contains chapters on rules of origin, trade facilitation, trade remedies, state-owned enterprises, government procurement, intellectual property, environment, labour, and a state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism. The labour chapter includes comprehensive and enforceable provisions and is the most comprehensive labour chapter ever negotiated by Ukraine. This could raise the bar on labour standards for Ukrainian workers, which is important to us in the NDP.

What it does not include is equally important, as I alluded to earlier. It would not bring in investor-state provisions that would allow corporations to sue Canada. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why we ever got those clauses in any of our trade agreements. It does not seem right that a corporation can sue Canada if it does not like the fact that we are looking after our own interests.

There are other reasons besides trade that I think this agreement is important. I want to thank the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie for giving me the opportunity to travel to Ukraine in January as part of the foreign affairs and international development committee trip. What is interesting about being in Ukraine is the challenges it has. Of course, the major challenge is the war with the Russian-backed rebels in the eastern part of Ukraine. That took a step in the wrong direction about a week ago, so it continues to have impacts. Over a million refugees have been created by this war. We do not hear much about that because they are not living in tent camps. We do not get the same kind of visuals that we get from Syria. However, over one million refugees have been created from this ongoing war in Ukraine, and Ukraine is at war.

It is easy to sit in the comfort of our homes back in our ridings and not understand what is going on across the world. This trade agreement is important, because it sends a message to Russia that Canada is there and that we care about Ukraine.

One of the things that Ukrainians are doing is fighting corruption. What makes Ukraine so exciting is that this new push for democracy is being led by youth. It is amazing to see what is happening as a result of those youth and the involvement from civil society in Ukraine.

There are a couple of examples of what Ukrainians are doing to deal with the corruption. The RCMP are over there helping to train Ukraine's new police force. The reason the Ukrainians need a new police force is that they have fired 25,000 patrol officers in the last two years. These patrol officers earned most of their living by taking bribes. They fired all 25,000 of them. They have hired 11,000 new members. New members have to be 35 years of age or younger to get on the force, because Ukrainians want a new demographic with a new set of values involved in the police going forward. We were able to watch some of the training of the new recruits in Ukraine, led by our own RCMP, who are respected around the world for our training abilities.

The Ukrainians also fired all of their Supreme Court judges, and they are looking to hire new judges. They expect another 2,000 judges to be fired this year in Ukraine. They are working hard to clean up the corruption there.

Democracy is interesting. One of the reasons that Mr. Putin is invading Ukraine and that he took over Crimea is because of the fact that Ukraine is working hard to become a democratic country. I met with a number of members of civil society, and what was interesting for parliamentarians in the room is that civil society actually drafts most of the legislation in Ukraine. Youthful people get together, they draft the legislation, and they pass it on to the members of parliament who then work on it to bring it into law. It is democracy at its finest, in the sense that it is driven very much from the ground up.

Related to that is that many of us over the years have had Ukrainian parliamentary interns. That program is in financial jeopardy this year, I believe. It would be great to see some kind of sponsorship or support for that program. I have met a number of interns over the last year; it was my first time as a member of Parliament. They were so excited about democracy, taking Canadian values back to Ukraine, and making a difference in that country. I hope that the parliamentary intern program can continue.

In terms of the military, Ukraine is working on building up its military. It wants to have 250,000 trained troops. It also needs to bring up the training to a standard that is acceptable to NATO. That is what Canada is over there helping them with right now. We are trying to bring the Ukrainian military forces up to a standard so that NATO will accept Ukraine as part of the group. We are not there yet, but that is the target.

We live in pretty isolated circumstances here in Canada. Unless we get the opportunity to travel and see what is happening in these countries, we do not realize what is going on. Some of the sayings that are important there, such as, “If you want peace in that part of Europe, prepare for war”, sound awfully hawkish coming from a dove. However, having been there, I absolutely believe that we need a military deterrent in Europe, Asia, and anywhere surrounding Russia. It is important that we see that happen in Ukraine.

I want to go back a bit to the free trade agreement and the fact that municipalities are not included in this particular agreement. When I was mayor of Cranbrook and heard that way off in Ottawa they were signing an agreement that was going to make it difficult for me, as mayor of my community, to support local businesses over foreign businesses, it was not very well received, quite frankly. Therefore, I am very happy to see that this agreement does not include municipalities. We have had the same reaction from the school board in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia. This agreement does not include school boards either.

This is an excellent agreement from a trade perspective. It is one that we should be using as an example for further trade agreements. However, the agreement is also important for building on the Canada-Ukraine friendship and letting Mr. Putin know that Canada will be there for the Ukraine. It is important for trade, but it is also important for world peace.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
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Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank our colleague across the way for all the work he has done on this file.

We have heard a lot about trade today. When we look at the numbers, trade is quite modest between our two countries. It has averaged around $285 million over the last five years. However, one of the interesting components to the agreement is the investment component and the fact that Ukraine has a free trade association agreement with the European Union, which allows small and medium-size Canadian businesses.

A lot of these free trade agreements only look at the big corporate entities. They are already in the European Union. However, small and medium-size Canadian businesses would now have an opportunity to invest in Ukraine, where capital costs are significantly lower than they would be in a place like Germany. Also, manufacturing costs are a lot lower. Therefore, there is an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to invest in Ukraine as a gateway into Europe, and, vice versa, small and medium-sized Ukrainian businesses to invest in Canada and the North American market. I wonder if my colleague would like to speak to that particular point.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, anything we can do to build small businesses in Canada and Ukraine is welcome. The strength of the Canadian economy comes from the strength of our small businesses. Having Ukrainian investors come to Canada and invest in small businesses, and Canadian investors go to the Ukraine and invest in small businesses, helps build a secure economy. That is what a secure economy is. It certainly needs the bigger companies, but small businesses are what makes communities on a local level successful.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and I used to sit on the mayor's committee in British Columbia not so long ago.

There is a fair bit of concern, which starts with concern around corruption and around what is happening with Putin and Russia. However, by having more Canadian investments in the country, it does send a positive message, both to Ukraine and to Russia, that Canada will be there for Ukraine.

We went to Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Poland. One of the perspectives we heard, which we do not really think about here, was to look at Russia over the last less than a decade. First it was Chechnya, then Georgia, then Crimea and now eastern Ukraine. The question those countries that surround Russia ask is who will be next.

Building business relationships is really important. Some of those other countries potentially seem to be a bit more secure. However, if I had money, I would invest it in Ukraine because that is the Canadian thing to do. We want to build and strengthen Ukraine.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's speech was very interesting speech, and I am happy to hear the NDP supporting a trade agreement.

Our government brought 42 of the best in class trade agreements, and as we go through different trade agreements, we learn as we go.

As the chair of status of women committee, when we study the economic status of women, one of the things we talk about is how we should put gender parity into future trade agreements.

Could the member comment on that?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I wish to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the member for Calgary Nose Hill.

I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-31, an act to implement the free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine. It was important to me to talk about this because, since I arrived in Ottawa, in the course of my duties here I have come to know and admire someone of Ukrainian heritage. I am talking about the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, who is proud of his Ukrainian roots, and I salute him.

Negotiations for this agreement began in 2009, under the leadership of Stephen Harper, whom I commend for the vision he had for Canada and the entire world. Now the agreement is reaching its final stages before coming into force. I doubt you could find a government in the history of Canada, and perhaps even the world, that believed more in free trade than the former Conservative government. We negotiated and concluded many agreements. We did more than just talk; we followed through on our commitments.

We signed free trade deals with 46 countries. We opened the doors to a multitude of foreign markets for Canadian merchants and manufacturers. We created many new opportunities for them. Now it is up to them to conquer the world.

As a businessman, I am well aware of the challenges out there and the obstacles that stifle ambition. Tariffs are often a headache that really get in the way. On this side of the House, we know and have always known that Canadians are pretty smart, and if they are on a level playing field they will succeed and grow their business. We saw that with NAFTA and that was a big challenge. Many businesses had to reinvent themselves to keep making progress and conquer the world, and they succeeded brilliantly. Now, the sky is the limit for Canadians thanks to all these agreements. Again, I want to thank Mr. Harper, one of the best prime ministers in Canadian history.

The agreement that is being ratified was inspired and led by Mr. Harper. He was the driving force behind this project. Where there is a will, there is a way. By visiting Ukraine four times between 2013 and 2015, Mr. Harper showed that this project was a priority to him. Likewise, his many visits to Canada's north showed that that region was extremely important in his eyes.

The fact that several thousand Ukrainians immigrated to Canada in the early 1900s made it easier to build closer ties with the Ukraine. Many Ukrainians settled in a number of provinces, especially in the west, seeking a more prosperous future.

It is now time for us to give back to our Ukrainian friends. We are reaching out to them so that we can do even more business together and strengthen both our economies. We are also reaching out to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters to help them stand up to the Russian giant, the neighbour that threatens Ukraine's integrity. In fact, hundreds of Canadian troops have been deployed to Ukraine to help shore up our ally's forces.

Ukraine is part of Canada's family, and we are “all in”, as we say in poker. We want to do business with them, but we also share their fears. Many Canadians think about their loved ones who are in Ukraine when they see the horrible images on the TV news. That is why I am even happier to know that this free trade agreement will bring us closer to our Ukrainian allies and help bring them out of the darkness.

Enough preamble, let us get down to the specifics. This agreement will make it possible for many Canadian producers who already have a foothold in Ukraine to increase their business. I will focus on my own backyard, Quebec, and explain how this agreement will benefit Quebeckers. The first area that comes to my mind is the pork industry. The duty-free export limit for Canadian pork products will increase from 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year over seven years following the agreement's entry into force.

That is good news for thousands of people across Quebec, given how many families are involved in all levels of the pork production chain. It is excellent news for hog farmers, manufacturers like Olymel and Les viandes du Breton, and for all of their suppliers.

The agreement also immediately eliminates the 5% tariff rate on maple syrup and maple sugar. That is one less barrier for a typical Quebec product. Even the first occupants of Quebec harvested maple sap, and now my province produces 72% of the world's maple syrup. This industry now contributes $800 million to Canada's gross domestic product and could benefit from a new market without tariff barriers.

Our sugar maple growers, many of whom are also farmers, will be able to increase their operating revenue. As a result, over 6,400 companies will grow in value with the development of new markets.

Maple products accurately represent the economic profile of many Canadian industries. Most of them are dependent on a few export markets. In this case, most of the maple products we produce are exported to our neighbours to the south, the United States. That makes sense because they are our neighbours and a large market.

As a businessman, I know that we should not put all of our eggs in one basket. It is important for this industry to expand into other markets to sell any surpluses.

Whether we are talking about Germany or France, the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union or the free trade agreement with Ukraine, our producers need that assistance, particularly since there is a growing market for maple products in Ukraine.

Exports of maple products grew from just under 2,770 pounds in 2014 to over 51,000 pounds in 2015. Imagine how much that will grow in the future if there are no tariffs.

Another Quebec sector that will benefit from this agreement is the icewine industry. Once this agreement comes into force, tariffs of 30 euro cents per litre will be immediately eliminated. That is good news for our producers, who make high quality icewine that is very popular throughout the world.

This agreement is a step in the right direction. It gives our businesses one more option with easier access to a new export market. That is the kind of decision governments need to make to enable an economy like ours grow and prosper. Our size should not stop us from thinking big; we are too creative for that. That is why we need to go out there and conquer the world, and that is why the Conservatives negotiated so many free trade agreements when they were in power.

I thank Stephen Harper, the Liberal government, and the New Democratic Party for supporting Bill C-31, which will enable us to grow and move forward.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the Ukrainian-Canadian diaspora is so huge is one of the main reasons that we have such close ties with Ukraine.

As I said in my speech, Quebec will benefit enormously from this agreement. Although Quebec does not have a huge Ukrainian-Canadian population, we can already see that this is going to work.

Imagine what this will do in the rest of Canada, especially in the Prairies, which is home to most Ukrainian-Canadian communities. The language barrier is not likely to be a problem. This is going to be fantastic for Canada as a whole.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:40 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his good words and support for the agreement.

When we look back on the trade agreements that were signed by the Conservative government, a number of them included investor-state provisions, which basically tied the hands of municipalities to not be able to support their businesses locally the way they would like to.

I would be interested to hear the member's perspective. Does he think this agreement is a good model for future free trade agreements for Canada?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 2017 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in any agreement, different rules can be more beneficial to certain markets than to others.

What we see here with the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement is that the tariff barriers on exports are going to favour Canada.

As I said in my speech, many products could now be exported to Ukrainian markets, including pork and maple products.

Could Ukraine benefit in return? Yes, probably. Free trade deals should benefit both sides.