Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act

An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

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 Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago on March 8, 2018.

The general provisions of the enactment set out rules of interpretation and specify that no recourse is to be taken on the basis of sections 9 to 13 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

Oct. 16, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Oct. 3, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Oct. 3, 2018 Failed Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (report stage amendment)
Oct. 3, 2018 Failed Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (report stage amendment)
Oct. 3, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Sept. 18, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Sept. 18, 2018 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (reasoned amendment)
Sept. 18, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Quebec, the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, for her question. It is important to understand that Asian countries pose less of a risk of cultural aggression than our neighbours to the south do. I would remind my colleague that we are not opposed to free trade agreements. Quite the opposite. The reason I did not say much about the CPTPP was because I wanted to focus on demonstrating how bizarre, sloppy and amateurish the current government's strategy for negotiating free trade agreements is.

Again, as I said earlier, things were negotiated and put in place as a pressure tactic, but once the agreement was signed, those tools were left in place, penalizing Canadian consumers with higher prices. I think the member should appreciate that, especially since she introduced a bill in the same vein regarding credit card fees. Her government needs to get its act together and minimize costs for consumers.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the record, the member will no longer be moving her bill on credit cards forward in the House.

Like the Canada-European Union agreement and the new NAFTA, or United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, the agreement we are discussing today, the new trans-Pacific partnership, sacrifices our supply-managed producers and, above all, our dairy farmers. There is no compensation for our dairy farmers in the new TPP. Not one red cent. We in the Bloc Québécois condemn this omission in the strongest of terms.

Will my colleague side with the Liberals and support this agreement, even though it does not offer a single cent of compensation for our dairy farmers, or will he stand with us and vote against this agreement, which is unfair to the Quebec farmers who are the backbone of our rural communities?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I salute my colleague from Joliette, who asked a very good question. We have to understand that the Liberals took a page out of the Conservative book to draft the CPTPP. I find that interesting. However, they should have kept on drawing inspiration from what we had already done, because we had provided for compensation.

Regarding the new deal, the USMCA, the Prime Minister said throughout the 13 months of negotiations that he would protect supply management. That is what we wanted him to do and we asked if he would fully protect it. Unfortunately, we know what happened next.

The government met with farmers and dairy producers yesterday. The Prime Minister spoke of offering “fair” compensation to producers, but before that, his minister said that they would be “fully” compensated.

We heard the same thing in the House today. The language is shifting. Farmers now see the true face of this government. As on many other files, it is not keeping its promises.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, at the end of the day, Canadians in all regions of the country will recognize that trade deals, whether with the U.S. and Mexico or the comprehensive trade pact with the TPP partners, are good for Canadians overall.

Members have given a lot of attention to the supply management issue. It was a Liberal government that established that system and this Liberal government is committed to continuing to support that system. The Liberal government has also been very supportive of our rural communities, in particular our farming communities.

At the very least, could the member across the way acknowledge that the Conservatives support trade agreements? This trade agreement will benefit all Canadians. I believe the Conservatives are supporting it for that very same reason.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only party in this House that knows the economy, works to ensure prosperity and diligently develops important and efficient economic mechanisms is the Conservative Party. We cannot just close off markets. We wanted a lot more and we would have gotten a lot more. That is what we are saying. Unfortunately, Canadians chose a Liberal government in 2015, and we have to live with that.

The Liberals sacrificed supply management without getting anything in return. The House is about to shut down for a week. We are going back to our ridings, and Monday is the harvest festival. I hope our farmers will be able to sell their crops and keep their farms going. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will use my time to demonstrate why the progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, or CPTPP, which Bill C-79 seeks to implement, is a bad deal.

The Liberals and the Conservative Party seem rather eager to get this bill passed. Try as I might, I cannot comprehend why. There have been extensive studies done in committee. Serious discussions needed to take place, but we should also have had more time to discuss the matter here, in the House. No one even bothered to listen to the evidence presented in committee. More than 400 witnesses appeared before the Standing Committee on International Trade, and comments were made by more than 60,000 people, 95% of which had negative things to say about the trans-Pacific partnership.

It is not just the NDP saying this. The people have spoken, loud and clear. If 95% of the 60,000 people having commented believe that it is a bad deal, I think the message is clear. As usual, however, the Liberals and Conservatives are doing as they please, totally disregarding what the people are saying. Holding consultations is all well and good, but they need to listen to what the people have to say, even if it does not always suit their agenda.

We were all elected to represent the people and to serve their interests, not ours. The NDP will always support agreements between Canada and other countries, despite what the government says and everything that has been said in the House during debate on Bill C-79. However, we do not want a deal at any cost. That is what is important. There are several reasons why this agreement does not deserve the progressive seal that the government likes to give it, and I will have the opportunity to present them in my speech.

We saw the same thing when the Conservatives were in power, and unfortunately, it is continuing under the Liberal government. We keep signing bad agreements. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The government has allocated too little time to debate Bill C-79. I must point out that the Liberals and their Conservative friends allowed a time allocation motion on Bill C-79 to be passed in order to significantly reduce the hours of debate in the House. Because of the adoption of this motion, the number of hours of debate has been reduced from 10 to 4. That is irresponsible. It is important to debate this bill as much as possible so that we can improve it and serve the needs of the people.

We are now at third reading, and I would remind the House that the NDP would like to delete a few clauses from the bill. Several amendments were presented by my colleague from Essex and were unfortunately rejected out of hand.

I would like to focus on some motions moved by my hon. colleague dealing with clauses 11, 12, 19 and 50 of the bill. Clause 11 definitely needs to go, because it grants the minister exclusive power to appoint the members of the various panels. We would prefer that they be appointed in consultation with the ministers of environment and labour as well as with the public, as was suggested in committee.

Clause 12 should also be deleted, as it provides that the government's contribution to the commission's expenses not be disclosed. I find that unacceptable. We need to be transparent with the people. We sought to remedy the situation in committee by proposing an amendment, which my hon. colleague from Essex championed quite well. In the end, we saw the Liberals' hypocrisy at work when they opposed it.

Businesses in my riding are already concerned. They know that the agreement will not benefit them in the slightest and tens of thousands of jobs are in jeopardy around the country. Farms and small and medium-sized businesses are at risk of shutting down. This was already being reported back in March 2018 in Le Quotidien du Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean; a dozen farm operations in the region closed up shop over the past year. Dairy farmers in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean were already aware of the dangers of the breaches that the Liberals have opened in supply management.

Again back in March, Daniel Gobeil, president of the Producteurs de lait du Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, said he was concerned that the negotiations around what was then still called NAFTA would once again be conducted at the expense of dairy farmers. He was right to be concerned. After what they went through with CETA, he said that dairy farmers did not want to be used as bargaining chips anymore, and yet, that is precisely what happened. Smaller operations saw their profits drop, and the climate of uncertainty created by the Liberals has discouraged some from investing, leaving them with no choice but to bow out.

To please the other CPTPP members, the Liberals opened a crack in our supply management system, a crack that has no reason to stay open, given that the United States withdrew from the agreement over two years ago. Members will recall that it was the U.S. that made this request. When they withdrew, a decision was made to keep it in the agreement anyway. The Liberal government gave up 3.25% of our domestic dairy market, 2.3% of our egg market, 2.1% of our chicken market, and 2% of our turkey market. Farmers cannot accept this wrongful decision, especially since the other countries did not ask for any concessions on our supply management system. I repeat, the United States was the only country to demand this, and it is no longer part of the agreement.

The cracks in our agrifood market are adding up. First, there was the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which has had dramatic repercussions on our cheese producers. Now we have the CPTPP and soon the USMCA, in which the Liberals handed over our agricultural market to the Americans. One crack, two cracks, three cracks—it is starting to sound like a nursery rhyme. When will the Liberals stop using Quebec's dairy farmers as a bargaining chip?

This is getting to be a bit much. I will give you a concrete example from my region, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. Dairy producers are angry. For a brief moment they considered blocking a road in Saint-Bruno with a tractor to show just how unhappy and angry they are. They did not actually do it because they did not want to inconvenience people. In their opinion, the government made false promises on several occasions.

The agreements we are discussing in the House today are affecting dairy farmers. We are talking about the people who feed us, who work day after day to maintain our food sovereignty. These are the people we are attacking every time we reach a trade agreement. We are creeping up on a 10% breach in supply management. Several members have mentioned that here in the House. Imagine if we were to lose a month’s salary. We might be the first ones to complain.

I understand why they are angry and why they no longer believe the government’s promises of compensation. We saw that recently with CETA, with the importation of 17,500 tonnes of cheese. A program was offered, but dairy farmers had to invest money in order to receive compensation. Moreover, some of the producers I met with this summer had still to see any of that money. This is unacceptable. I understand why the dairy farmers in my region are angry and why they no longer believe in the Liberal government’s promises.

Furthermore, the agreement affects more than just the agricultural sector. It threatens Canada's and Quebec’s cultural integrity. As a number of experts have said, the CPTPP has by far the weakest cultural exemption ever negotiated in a Canadian free trade agreement. The government declared that some problematic cultural clauses had been temporarily suspended but not eliminated entirely.

The new agreement makes no mention of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, despite that fact that seven CPTPP countries, including Canada, are parties to it. In addition, it prevents Canada from making sure that, in the future, online providers will support Canadian content. The new side letters can only complete or clarify the basic text; they cannot solve every problem. The preamble to the CPTPP is insufficient to ensure that Canada’s obligations under the UNESCO treaties will take effect.

First, the CPTPP does not acknowledge any of the internationally recognized instruments of cultural protection, such as the 2005 UNESCO convention.

Second, the agreement assumes that if free trade is encouraged, the impact on culture will inevitably be positive. Nowhere does it acknowledge the threats and the challenges that it poses to our provinces' cultural sovereignty.

Third, the agreement does not recognize the promotion and protection of cultural diversity as legitimate grounds for taking regulatory action. What effect will this have? A dispute resolution panel under the CPTPP could very well decide to reject the legitimacy of cultural regulation.

In the past, Canada signed free trade agreements where culture is explicitly protected in the preamble, including the 2009 agreement with Peru, the 2012 agreement with Jordan, the 2013 agreement with Panama and the 2014 agreement with Honduras.

I do not understand the Liberals' reasoning. Why make concessions on culture, which puts a number of jobs in jeopardy?

As my party's labour critic, I, too, object to this aspect of the agreement. The wording of the labour standards remains virtually unchanged from that of the original trans-Pacific partnership. That is worrisome, as it renders the standards unenforceable. This alone disqualifies the agreement from being considered progressive, as the government has been doing for quite some time.

Under the agreement, workers whose rights have been violated need to prove that the violation had an impact on trade, which is virtually impossible. As I have stated earlier, the onus falls once again on the workers, who, on top of everything else, must prove that there has been an impact on trade. We saw how impossible that is to prove in the dispute between the United States and Guatemala.

In the original TPP, the United States had negotiated a 12-page labour reform plan. That reform plan allowed Vietnamese workers to have free and independent collective bargaining. Canada could not obtain the same commitment. Instead, we got Vietnam to accept a watered-down version of that reform plan.

The U.S., under President Obama, also struck labour consistency plans with Malaysia and Brunei in an effort to ensure that both countries lived up to fundamental labour standards, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, as requirements for trade under the TPP.

Under the new deal, these labour consistency plans have completely disappeared. The former TPP made sure that governments were able to invoke respect for workers' rights as a requirement for procurement. That was another tool that helped to ensure that international labour standards were taken into account in public procurement decisions. In the new deal, that clause was temporarily suspended.

According to the Canadian Labour Congress, the labour standards set out in the CPTPP are low and in no way guarantee that the basic rights of member countries' workers will be respected. It also does not guarantee the workers' ability to organize and bargain collectively.

I definitely want to touch on the issue of prescription drugs. Not only does the Liberal government not care what Canadians think, it does not care about their health either.

Canada is already second in the world for drug expenditures per capita. There is one hard truth that the Liberals are refusing to accept: thousands of Canadians cut their pills in half, halt their treatments or eat less so that they can afford the drugs they need. That should have been taken into account in the CPTPP.

In my riding, more than a third of seniors put their health at risk, and that worries me greatly. The CPTPP will only make things worse. It makes even more concessions to pharmaceutical companies, which will increase Canadians' annual drug expenditures by more than $800 million.

Furthermore, this deal jeopardizes our country's sovereignty and the efficiency of our public policies.

I still have a lot to say, but I will conclude by stating that the NDP has always supported agreements that are beneficial to Canada's workers and all Canadians.

As it stands, we cannot support the CPTPP. It contains no progressive measures, which is especially disappointing given that over 60,000 people showed interest and made submissions. In fact, 95% of the comments made were negative, but the government brushed them aside.

I come back to the dairy producers from my region, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, who demonstrated this morning to show their dissatisfaction. The last three trade deals that were forced upon them have weakened supply management, which affects their bottom line. We need to think about the family farms that feed us and about our food sovereignty.

I will now take questions from my colleagues.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague from Jonquière.

At the end of her speech, she said that the New Democrats were in favour of an agreement that was good for Canadians.

I sat on the Standing Committee on International Trade, along with her colleague from Windsor, who has been on the committee for two and a half years. They have never supported any of the agreements that we have studied, be it the agreement with Europe, the trans-Pacific Partnership or NAFTA.

I would like our colleague from Jonquière to tell me what agreement the NDP could support.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I could give my entire speech again, but I do not have enough time. I would like to take this opportunity to explain what measures would have been progressive and which are not. We did not talk about foreign workers in the trans-Pacific partnership. If we look at the wage standards for migrant workers, there are no protections to guarantee that foreign workers will receive the wages set out in their employment contracts. There are no protections for them. Since we call ourselves progressive, it would have been easy to protect both Canadian workers and those who come here to help us.

Currently, many of our regions are experiencing a labour shortage, but there is nothing in this partnership to protect these foreign workers who are coming.

I also spoke about what happens to farmers and dairy producers time and time again. We must not keep forgetting about them. It was the United States that asked for a concession of 3.25% of the market; the other countries did not ask for it. Why, then, was that not removed? The government decided to leave that in the agreement.

There is no program for our farmers either. In any case, one broken promise after another only creates frustration. That is clear in our regions. In Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, as I said in my speech, people are openly disgruntled and no longer believe what the government says or promises.

I do not know if my colleagues have any more questions to ask me, but I could keep talking about this agreement all day. This is not a good agreement, and it has no progressive value.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has been trumpeting the fact that the new USMCA does not contain investor-state dispute provisions. However, we have the government trying to ram through the trans-Pacific partnership, which includes investor-state dispute provisions. Those provisions of NAFTA empowered multinational corporations to directly challenge our democratic laws, regulations and policies before secretive commercial tribunals.

Could the member for Jonquière offer any insight as to why the government thinks it is such a good thing to remove those provisions from NAFTA, and that is a good thing, yet it seems to believe investor-state dispute provisions are somehow appropriate in the trans-Pacific partnership?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's question. We are both former union members, and we often have really interesting conversations about the nature of work itself.

What we are seeing right now is a double standard. The Liberals negotiate one way with 12 countries, and then they negotiate a different way with the United States and Mexico. I do not understand how they could have failed to predict the cost of certain provisions, especially since the United States-Canada-Mexico agreement came after the trans-Pacific partnership. They could have anticipated the cost and made the necessary provisions more cost-effective. As I said, the government calls this a progressive deal, but we see nothing progressive about it.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my dear colleague for her speech.

My question is about the process. This bill is more than 300 pages long and is very complex. However, after only two and a half hours, it will be debated in Parliament for the last time. Only five or six members will have been able to discuss a huge trade deal between many countries that has a profound effect on our economy.

How can this government call itself transparent? The Liberals promised transparency, but they negotiate in complete secrecy and then say that a short speech by one or two members from each party is enough.

There are also contradictions between this deal and others, as other members have said. For example, Donald Trump wanted a horrible section included in the new deal with the U.S. It has since been removed. However, that section is included in this deal, and the Liberals are quite happy to protect a country's companies instead of its citizens. That is mind-boggling.

How can we call this a good deal if the government has to promise compensation to Canadian farmers for the third time in three deals? Our trade treaties with Europe, Asia and the U.S. are so harmful to our farmers that the government has to compensate them.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and I commend him on his impeccable French and his efforts. I am always happy to talk with him, which gives me a chance to improve my English.

This is an important issue, especially for my region, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. We have more than 354 dairy farmers who feed us and reinforce our food sovereignty. I have mentioned this several times in the House, but it is not today’s topic.

The agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada is the last straw that broke the dairy cow’s back. People, producers and family farms are being attacked and there is no compensation plan. These people get up at 4 a.m. and work well into the night, six days a week. They just want to do their job, but their livelihoods are being taken away. To them, these three agreements mean a loss of one month’s wages, and perhaps more.

Today, what is important is that the government get the message. This must stop. Our dairy farmers must be given compensation and consideration. Our food sovereignty is important. We must not accept rules imposed mainly by the United States.

I wonder about the fact that more and more products are coming into Canada, and we are getting nothing in return. More than 58,000 job losses are expected as a result of the CPTPP, not to mention the losses related to the export-import ratio, which are not yet quantified.

So, I still wonder what is so progressive about it. Why is it that the government did not rely instead on the 95% of the 60,000 people who opposed the CPTPP? They are listening to the 5% instead. What is the point of having consultations or committee hearings, anyway? The committee did excellent work, but you cannot listen to only 5% of the people when it comes to an agreement like the CPTPP.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Willowdale.

I am pleased to speak about the trans-Pacific partnership. I would have liked to ask my colleague from Jonquière another question, since she mentioned dairy products, but not forest products. We kept chapter 19, which addresses dispute resolution. That is very important to her region, but she never mentioned it. However, that is not what I will be talking about today.

I am pleased to be able to talk about protecting Canada’s culture and creative industries within the context of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, the CPTPP. I proudly represent the riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. I sat on the Standing Committee on International Trade for two and a half years, and I am very interested in international trade.

As a nation, Canada can celebrate the vitality of its creative industries. Throughout our history, we have established a wide range of dynamic cultural institutions, created a diversified publishing industry, developed a music industry based on Canadian talent, established a prolific digital media industry, and built critically acclaimed film and television industries. Our cultural sector is a powerhouse in Canada’s economy, and it is at the heart of our competitive advantage on the international stage. Canada’s stories, shaped by our vast, rich diversity, need to be celebrated and communicated across Canada and abroad.

Creative industries drive development and diversity. They create jobs and enhance the quality of life of all Canadians. In 2016, the creative industries accounted for $53.8 billion, or 2.8% of the GDP, and created more than 650,000 direct jobs. That is enormous. They generated $16 billion in exports. Our government believes that the creative and cultural sectors, which account for an increasing percentage of our economy, have the potential to be leaders in accelerating the growth of our prosperity.

Over the years, to promote Canada’s dynamic culture, the government has established a combination of financial incentives, Canadian content requirements, tax measures, and other foreign investment and intellectual property policies and tools.

Among other things, the Government of Canada is investing $125 million over five years in Canada’s creative export strategy in order to optimize the export potential of Canadian creative industries. The strategy boosts export funding in existing Canadian Heritage programs, increases and strengthens the presence of Canadian creative industries abroad, builds relationships needed to make business deals, and establishes the creative export Canada funding program.

In short, the Government of Canada's cultural policy was essentially designed to create an environment for creating, producing, marketing, protecting and distributing Canadian cultural products in Canada and abroad, which contributes to the economic, social and cultural development of our country.

Our plan helps protect major national institutions, supports industries that reflect our unique identity as Canadians, and creates good jobs for the middle class, as well as economic opportunities in the cultural and creative industries.

Our government believes that Canada must maintain some flexibility in developing policies and programs if we want to create the right conditions for success and achieve the objectives of the cultural policies.

With regard to international trade agreements, our approach has always been to have exemptions for creative industries. In negotiating past agreements, we always tried to leave enough strategic leeway to pursue cultural objectives that support creating, distributing and experimenting with Canadian cultural content. We have also worked to promote cultural diversity in Canada and abroad and to open new export markets and opportunities for artists and culture professionals.

The CPTPP is no exception. During negotiations, our government has always been mindful of the importance of the creative institutions and industries that Canadians cherish and promoting the values that define them.

In public consultations, we listened to stakeholders from the Canadian cultural industry.

They expressed concerns about the original scope of CPTPP exceptions with respect to measures affecting cultural industries, which was narrower than that of the exceptions in previous free trade agreements.

In their opinion, such limits would have reduced the range of accessible strategic options for maintaining the success of Canadian cultural content in an open environment. In order to strike a balance in terms of the cultural protections required within the framework of the CPTPP, the government reached bilateral agreements with every CPTPP member.

These agreements state that the agreement’s original limits with respect to Canada’s right to promote its cultural industries in a digital environment do not apply within the framework of the CPTPP. These side agreements are important because they preserve Canada’s ability to promote and maintain programs and policies to promote, create, distribute and develop Canadian artistic content, including in a digital context.

Also, Canada was able to preserve the original warnings about Canadian culture in the chapters of the agreement dealing with the service trade, investment, electronic trade, goods, Crown corporations and government procurement.

In addition, Canada maintained a special exclusion for the CBC, Telefilm Canada and all similar Crown corporations in the future, which protects cultural institutions’ ability to play a key role in promoting, producing and distributing our cultural products.

In conclusion, I would like to repeat that our government is determined to promote Canada’s cultural interests in trade negotiations and to protect its cultural flexibility nationwide.

At the same time, our government places great importance on giving Canadian creators and artists every possible opportunity to take advantage of openings provided by foreign markets and audiences.

By insisting that the rules regarding culture in the CPTPP be tightened, our government demonstrated that it is possible to create new and promising perspectives for exporters and investors in a dynamic region that is experiencing some of the strongest growth in the world, while making sure that the industries that help shape our identity and our values continue to grow.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I presume that my colleague is referring to Bill C-79 and not Bill C-69.

With respect to the trans-Pacific partnership, we are opening up a market of 500 million consumers. There is no doubt that they want our products, mainly our agrifood products. These products are the ones that are most in demand in Asia. There is an incredible market, and incredible possibilities. The trans-Pacific partnership will help us open up these markets.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 5th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an interesting time for the government with successive trade agreements in a row so that Canadians can compare one to the other. Even though they are with different regions of the world, one with Europe, one with the United States and one with the Asia-Pacific region, Canadians can compare what the Liberals celebrate about one and ignore in another.

Let us take the most recent example of the United States agreement, the “new NAFTA”, as some are calling it. In there, the Liberals are lauding the fact that a certain provision called the “investor-state dispute provision”, which allows foreign companies to sue us while protecting them in an inordinate number of ways, was taken out of the “new NAFTA”. Donald Trump actually was the one who seems to have insisted upon it, yet the Liberals are wrapping their arms around that part of the trade agreement that is now gone and congratulating themselves as it was such a terrible aspect of the trade agreement.

One would imagine that there would be some sense of consistency by the Liberals that in other trade disputes the same mechanism would also not be present, because if it is good with the United States then, clearly, it must be something good with Asia or with Europe. However, that is not the case, never mind the fact that each time they sell one of these trade agreements to Canadians, they also have to compensate dairy farmers over and over again. The promises that are made are never fulfilled, as we have seen with CETA and the TPP. Farmers come back at the end saying the promises that were made for compensation are not there. Any time the government has to compensate a sector, that usually means one probably did not argue and negotiate to that sector's benefit. Thus, the government has to take taxpayer's money to compensate them.

I want to stay on the U.S. trade deal. The penalties against Canadian metals remains in place, and yet the Liberals are popping champagne corks.

Back to the CPTPP, if investor-state protections were so bad that the Liberals celebrated their annexation and their removal from the United States agreement, why did they leave them in place with so many more countries involved in this much larger trade agreement with Asia?