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

November 29th, 2018 / 8:45 a.m.
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Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

It's a pleasure to be here again.

Good day, everyone.

I am pleased to be here with my deputy minister; Jaspinder Komal; and Christine Walker, assistant deputy minister of the corporate management branch.

I want to thank the committee for its excellent work on supporting the agriculture and food sector. The members of the committee are working together to address some of the pressing priorities for Canadian farmers.

In particular, I want to thank the committee for its study on mental health, focusing on farmers, ranchers and producers. You heard some very interesting testimony, and I'm pleased that this committee has brought this issue into the spotlight for Canadian agriculture. I know that it's also an issue that is very close to the heart of my parliamentary secretary, Jean-Claude Poissant. I am pleased that we are partnering with a number of organizations that have launched some great initiatives on mental health.

Mr. Chair, my message to you today is that our government will continue to work with you to grow the Canadian agriculture and food sector.

Today, I would like to touch on four key points: the fall economic statement, supplementary estimates (A), progress and priorities, and challenges and opportunities for the sector.

Last week, the government released its fall economic statement. It shows that our plan for strengthening the middle class and growing the economy is working. Our government knows that Canadian farmers and food processors are key drivers for the Canadian economy.

That is why the fall economic statement includes many measures to support continued growth. We will invest $25 million to remove non-tariff barriers to agricultural trade and hire more agricultural trade commissioners. We will improve our tax system so that farmers can grow their businesses. Food processors and manufacturers will be able to immediately write off the cost of capital investments like machinery or equipment. Farmers will be able to write off a larger portion of the depreciation in the year an investment is made for purchase of buildings, machinery and equipment. This has been a major ask by the farm community, and we have delivered.

As the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said, “This fiscal update shows that the Federal Government is taking the right steps to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of Canada's agricultural sector.... It is very heartening to see the government is listening to farmers and, more importantly, acting on what they hear. These initiatives are an [important] step towards harnessing the potential of Canadian agriculture.”

As you can see, the supplementary estimates (A) are just over $30 million. That's on top of the main estimates for 2018-19 of just over $2.5 billion.

The supplementary estimates (A) include an investment to advance agricultural discovery science and innovation. It's part of the government's investment of $70 million to help farmers manage climate change and conserve our soil, air and water, and to hire 75 new agricultural scientists to keep our industry on the cutting edge.

Mr. Chair, since we last met, we have marked a couple of major milestones in the industry.

On September 30, Canada reached a trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. With this agreement, we have maintained the tariff-free access to the American market for Canadian exports that we enjoyed under NAFTA. That's good news for the 1.9 million Canadians whose jobs depend on trade with the U.S. For our farmers and food processors, we have protected our $30 billion in agri-food exports to the United States. Throughout the negotiations, the government worked extremely hard to advance the interests of Canadian farmers and food processors.

At the same time, we fully recognize that the agreement will impact farmers and processors under the supply management system. It is important to remember that this U.S. administration was calling for a complete dismantlement of the supply management system. Our government defended and preserved our system from these very strong American attempts to see it dismantled. I can assure the committee that our dairy, poultry and egg producers will be fully and fairly supported for any market losses.

Before we do that, we will sit down with processors and producers. That is why we are forming working groups to develop strategies for the short term and the long term. Our common goal is to help our dairy, poultry and egg sectors innovate and drive our economy for future generations.

The second major milestone occurred on October 25, when Bill C-79 to implement the CPTPP received royal assent. This landmark agreement is part of the government's strategy to diversify our trade. With Canada being one of the first six countries to ratify it, our farmers would be among the first to benefit. Tariffs will be eliminated on a wide range of Canadian exports, including meat, grains, pulses, maple syrup, wines and spirits, seafood and agri-food products. There are estimates that this agreement will put an additional $2 billion in the pockets of farmers. In Japan alone, our pork producers are looking at new sales of over $600 million.

In October, I led a trade mission to Europe, where we worked to maximize our opportunities under CETA. At the same time, we continue to defend our interests abroad. While in Italy and Brussels, I expressed Canada's concern with Italy's mandatory country-of-origin labelling required on durum wheat pasta. I took every opportunity to promote and defend Canada's farmers, their quality products, and free trade based on a science-based system.

Our government has signed the biggest trade agreement in Canadian history with the world's largest trading blocs in Europe, North America and the Pacific. We have firmly maintained the three pillars of our supply management system, and at the same time we've given farmers and processors access to a full two-thirds of the global economy.

We're not stopping there. Earlier this month, I was proud to lead a delegation of over 300 on a trade mission to China. I am proud to report that our agri-food exporters signed 18 agreements with Chinese partners. We expect to generate about $640 million in new sales as a result of this mission. We successfully promoted our world-class Canadian food and beverages, and we worked with industry to grow their sales in this vital market for our farmers and food processors.

As members are aware, we have set a target of $75 billion for agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025, and I am confident we will meet and exceed that target.

Of course, none of this can happen without investment. Over the past seven months, investments have been rolled out under the Canadian agricultural partnership. As well as trade, science and sustainability are key priorities for the partnership. Science is keeping our industry on the cutting edge. Over the past several months, we have announced investments of over $75 million in science clusters for a wide range of sectors.

I am proud to be a member of Parliament and a farmer. Those were the two things I did in my life. It was just over 30 years ago, on November 21, that the people of Cardigan elected me for the first time. I have always been extremely proud to represent the people of Prince Edward Island. I am extremely proud to represent Canadian farmers, whether in the House of Commons, travelling across our country, or around the world. We have the best farmers and ranchers in the world, and it truly is a source of pride to represent them.

When I look ahead at the prospects for the industry, I see a great future. This past summer, I had the privilege of visiting some of our outstanding farmers and food processors on a tour across the country. It's truly amazing. Our farmers and processors are innovators. They are passionate about agriculture, and they are driving our economy. Truly, the future of our industry is in good hands.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Royal AssentGovernment Orders

October 25th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall

October 25th, 2018

The Honourable

The Speaker of the House of Commons

Ottawa

Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that Ms. Assunta Di Lorenzo, Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor, in her capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 25th day of October, 2018, at 3:51 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Marie-Geneviève Mounier

Associate Secretary to the Governor General

The bills assented to on Thursday, October 25, 2018, were Bill C-65, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 and 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.

The House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business, as listed on today's Order Paper.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

October 25th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed 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 16th, 2018 / 3:05 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:07 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, October 15, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-79.

Call in the members.

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

October 5th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, again, I am honoured to rise in the House today to discuss 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.

Bill C-79 is our government's commitment to the swift ratification and implementation of the CPTPP. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP would strengthen our existing trade partnerships with Chile, Mexico and Peru, and provide preferential access to seven new markets: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Doing so would improve market access to an estimated 500 million global consumers with a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion, representing roughly 40% of the world economy. These numbers are truly staggering and offer a glimpse into the endless opportunities afforded by the CPTPP.

This agreement would diversify trade to benefit the middle class and enhance our ability to compete and win on the global stage. As I have previously mentioned during the debate in this chamber over the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, any student of Canadian history knows our great country has been, in many ways, shaped and founded by trade. To this day, nearly 60% of our GDP and fully 20% of Canadian jobs are immediately tied to exports. Our government understands increased trade leads to economic growth and that economic growth leads to jobs for the middle class.

However, this simple fact is currently under siege. As the world slides toward protectionism and isolationism, a regression apparently favoured by some of my colleagues across the aisle, it is vital Canada remains an open society and a champion of open global markets. On this side of the House, we recognize the prosperity of hard-working Canadians and their families is directly linked to diversifying into new markets.

From the ratification of CETA to the recent conclusion of the USMCA framework, our government has long understood a commitment to free and fair trade is absolutely vital. As the only G7 country that is a signatory to all three of these agreements, once CPTPP enters into force, Canada would have 14 trade agreements that would provide preferential access to 51 different countries. Combined, this represents access to nearly 1.5 billion global consumers and over 60% of the global economy.

The complicated progression of this agreement on the global stage, as I have said previously, serves as further proof that these values are currently under attack from protectionist forces. In light of such pressures, I am truly proud of our government for having taken the lead in negotiating this progressive free trade agreement.

Before I continue, I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade Diversification for their hard work on this file, as well as the members of the Standing Committee on International Trade for their insights and contributions. Moreover, as a former international trade lawyer myself, I would like to thank and congratulate former colleagues in the public service who helped make this important agreement a reality.

It was as a trade lawyer that I gained valuable first-hand knowledge into the tangible benefits that well-crafted trade agreements provide us with every day, and it is from that very same perspective I approach today's remarks. In particular, I would like to discuss six broad elements of Bill C-79 to highlight the very benefits this agreement would have for Canadian businesses, exporters, workers and families. My hon. colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles focused on the preservation of our cultural sector. In turn, I will talk about market access, the service sector, investment, government procurement, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Speaking first on market access, implementing the CPTPP will eliminate over 95% of taxes being imposed on over 99% of Canada's total exports. From making our machinery, equipment and business services more competitive, to protecting and preserving our unique culture, we are improving market access for Canadian business and have secured an amazing deal for Canadians. In fact, the vast majority of related tariffs will be eliminated immediately upon enactment of Bill C-79. After that, we will see the gradual introduction of more products being included in this list of tariff exemption over a period of 10 to 15 years.

To cite just a handful of targeted market access benefits, Bill C-79 would enhance market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, fruit and vegetables, malts, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines and spirits, processed grain, sugar, chocolate confectionary and processed foods and beverages. It would also eliminate 100% of tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products, benefiting the salmon, snow crab, herring, lobster, shrimp, sea urchin and oyster industries. In addition, we would see the elimination of 100% of tariffs on industrial goods and consumer products. Finally, tariffs on all Canadian exports of forestry and value-added wood products would be eliminated.

Delving into services, the CPTPP emphasizes the importance of transparency and predictability in order to give Canadian service providers more secure access to CPTPP markets, including a range of sectors for professional, environmental, mining-related, IT and financial services. In the face of a rapidly-evolving and modernizing global digital economy, the importance of these changes cannot be overstated.

Speaking of investment, this government has gone above and beyond the original conditions set in the TPP to better protect our investors, using Canada's negative list approach. Investors will be protected by provisions such as expropriation and denial of justice, backed by robust mechanisms for the resolution of investment disputes.

On non-tariff measures, Bill C-79 proposes to implement provisions related to non-tariff measures. Non-tariffs measures, as members are aware, refer to provision introduced regarding technical barriers to trade that will protect the key market access gains written into the agreement for the unnecessary and discriminatory regulatory burdens.

Moving to small and medium-sized enterprises, this government recognizes the importance of SMEs to the Canadian economy, which to do this day represents approximately 90% of our private sector jobs in Canada that will benefit from the provisions of this agreement. As a result, we have made it a priority to support SME access to the relevant data and information, a first among Canadian free trade agreements.

Provisions such as improved transparency, enforceable provisions on state-owned enterprises to promote fair business practices and an electronic commerce framework for cross-border data flows and server localization requirements have been made available to better protect Canadian businesses and encourage them to enter into the global market. These new measures will not only place Canadian businesses on the global value chain, but help them compete and thrive.

When our government came into office in 2015, in keeping with our commitment to evidence-based policy-making that listened to the needs and interests of Canadians, we held extensive consultations on the CPTPP, including over 41,000 correspondences and 265 interactions and meetings with more than 530 stakeholders. We did so to ensure a deal that promoted the creation of new jobs and benefits for Canadian families. The end result of this process is an ambitious and progressive trade agreement that will not only benefit Canadian businesses, workers, and families, but will certainly serve as a landmark for global trade arrangements moving forward.

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 / 12:20 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 / 12:10 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to the speech given earlier by my colleague, the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, who, like me, comes from Quebec.

Today, we are debating the bill on the CPTPP at third reading stage.

The member spoke at length about the USMCA during his speech while only occasionally touching on the subject of Bill C-79.

Would he be willing to speak to the tremendous benefits of the cultural exemption negotiated as part of the CPTPP? Side agreements were reached with each of the agreement's signatory countries.

Does my hon. colleague realize that this represents 650,000 very good jobs in Canada?

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

October 5th, 2018 / 10:55 a.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to return to something my colleague from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier said. He was talking about Bill C-79 before us today, and he boasted about the economic merits of the trans-Pacific partnership.

Just so I understand, I would like to know what he thinks about the following. Right now, trade in Canada is lower than in the other member countries. If money leaves my pocket faster than it goes in, I am in a deficit situation.

I wanted to know whether he thinks that is a good economy and whether this is a good trade agreement.

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

October 5th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my Liberal colleague from Mississauga-Centre for his speech and for taking inspiration from what the Conservative Party did when it started this process.

My colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley just asked what the difference is between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. The answer is that the Conservative Party understands the economy, while the Liberal Party does not seem to be known for much of anything—but at least it generously built on our idea and our initiative to introduce Bill C-79, which is about the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership.

The CPTPP is a new free trade agreement. It is good for the economy and for the government to open up new markets allowing us to prosper. By prospering I mean enabling our businesses to be very active internationally to increase revenues and create wealth. As a result, businesses and governments can then make more money available to create social programs and help the less fortunate.

Let us create wealth and provide social programs. At the moment, the Liberals are busy spending a lot of money, but they are using a process that was put in place by the Conservative Party to hopefully create some wealth.

The interesting thing is that the CPTPP opens up markets with Australia, Brunei, Canada, obviously, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

I still maintain that this was put in motion by the Conservative Party. The Liberals love to invoke the name of the former prime minister, a man I admire deeply. He is one of the reasons I am in politics today. Stephen Harper, an economist by trade who is no showman, took steps to grow Canada's economy, and I am glad he did.

This goes to show that the Liberals are just improvising. We saw it with NAFTA, now known as the USMCA. The “C” stands for “Canada”. We get the lowest billing in the abbreviation because we are the last of the three countries to have signed or reached an agreement. This proves that the Liberals are improvising, which I find disquieting.

My leader, the leader of the Conservative Party, wrote to the Prime Minister of Canada this summer to speed up the negotiation process. Our government's negotiations with our neighbour to the south, the United States, have been dragging on for 13 months. I think that, strategically, it would have been a good idea to show the U.S. that we are not vulnerable, that even though they are a significant market, we want to develop other markets in order to have some leverage to negotiate with the U.S.

My leader got in touch with the Prime Minister to speed up the process. What is important for this treaty is to be among the first six signatories for the agreement to enter into force. Again, we are here discussing the CPTPP in October, on the eve of Thanksgiving, because of the Liberal government's improvisation, amateurism and lack of rigour. We are wasting time.

One thing we know in the world of economics is that when a player is missing and orders need to be filled, customers will start looking elsewhere if they are disappointed. It is the same when building a new head office, when there are opportunities to bring head offices here but companies choose to go somewhere else. You do not build a new head office every day, every week or every month. There are cycles and investments. When a company is located in a region or a country, transferring its head office to another country is a complex operation. It is a serious decision for corporate leaders to take.

Here is what we can read in Export Development Canada's website: “Free trade agreements like the CPTPP can: Help you reach new B2B customers; Give your firm a chance to bid on government contracts overseas; Buy goods and services with reduced or no tariffs”.

That is a Government of Canada website promoting the benefits of a free trade agreement. I think that is what a government must do. The current government has been slow. It improvised and was not thorough. Maybe the Prime Minister felt like being on vacation this summer. We, as Conservatives, were ready to move that file forward and expedite the process. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister's answer to our leader was that it was not possible for him to do anything and that things would take their course. That is the reason why we are debating this bill today.

As I mentioned earlier, the agreement will come into effect 60 days after six countries have signed it. If we delay, if we are not one of the first six countries, it means that we are not helping to speed up the implementation of this agreement. Does the Liberal government really want to open markets? That is rather odd. Last Sunday evening, at 10 p.m., on the Lord’s Day, the Prime Minister decided to hold a cabinet meeting here. Now he wakes up. There is an emergency and we need to move quickly. The government’s amateurism shows us that it has irresponsibly sped things up too quickly with the USMCA. The “C” stands for little Canada, which is in the trio along with the large market of the United States.

This government is just not consistent, and that is what is unfortunate. The Liberals have sped up the process. I have no idea what bit them, although in October flies are usually hibernating. In any case, I do not know what bit the Prime Minister to make him decide to speed up the process and give without taking.

I am not an expert negotiator. I was not at the negotiating table with the United States. When one negotiates, there is usually give and take. There is leverage. One agrees to sacrifice “X” as long as the other party gives “Y”. It is an old principle and it does not take a genius to make sure that there is a give and take. I said it in English so that everyone understands. That is what negotiating is all about.

Let us look at what the Liberal government took in exchange for what it gave. I have to say that I do not see anything in my notes. Nothing was gained. We give, we celebrate, we are happy and we say, “well done, mission accomplished”. Yes, it is important to have a market with the United States, but we must not negotiate on bended knee. We have to stand up. A power balance needed to be established. The process was moving along, and then a fly bit someone around the table and it was decided that we had to move very quickly. It is quite dramatic.

Canada came in third in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement and told Canada it could join if it wanted to, but that, if it was not interested, they would go ahead as planned. Some position of power. Our Prime Minister’s Liberal government opened up our dairy market for free; the U.S. is still denying our farmers and dairy producers access to its market. At least the CPTPP grants us access to the market.

The government caved in to the United States, allowing it to maintain the surtaxes on steel, aluminum and softwood lumber. We conceded, we negotiated, the other side found ways of exerting pressure, but then, after we came to an agreement, it failed to remove that pressure. That is quite something.

In addition, the agreement extends the data protection period for pharmaceuticals. That means that it will cost Canadians a lot more to stay healthy. That is an impressive bargaining achievement.

Moreover, limits will be placed on the development of the Canadian auto industry. Now there are quotas, where before there were none. What did we get in return?

There is a lot more in the agreement. I cannot address every item. That being said, the more we read, the more we find out, and the devil is in the details. What I am about to say has never been heard before: we will have to ask the President of the United States for permission before we enter into any trade agreements with other countries. I am about to fall off my chair—well, not literally. I do not understand.

Our Prime Minister, however, is happy with the negotiations. As I have said before, it is important to have a free trade agreement with the United States, since the U.S. market is very important for Canadians. It represents practically 80% of our exports. It is important, but not at any cost. The government just managed to survive the negotiations, and it is thrilled. We, however, got nothing in return.

We are told that the negotiations are over. A company in my riding, Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, does business in the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately, its product is on the list of products saddled with surtaxes, a tool the U.S. used to exert pressure during the negotiations. If the company develops products in the U.S. to meet U.S. and Canadian needs and then imports them into Canada, it will have to pay a surtax.

Not to mention any names, Biscuits Leclerc is a well-known company with facilities in 20 countries. It is a Canadian company, and its head office is located in Canada. I am extremely pleased to say that it is located in my riding, more particularly in the Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures industrial park. How important is the company? The industrial park is called the “Parc industriel François-Leclerc” in recognition of the company’s decision to set up its head office there. The company is prosperous and believes in us—and we believe in it.

I will get back to my story. The company produces cookies and ships them to Canada. It produces its own products and exports them to Canada. Do you know what the annual surtax is for the company? One million dollars. The surtax is still in effect, despite the fact that the government is thrilled that everything is settled and proud of what a good job it did in the negotiations. That is quite an example of success.

After signing the agreement, Donald Trump gave a victory speech at a press conference. He was happy. He won, but what did Canada win? It barely survived.

The agreement has been negotiated, but the negotiations are not finished, since there are still surtaxes on both sides of the border, for example on steel and cookies. We were even told that the surtax on steel and aluminum would remain as a matter of national security. Why did we not use food safety during the negotiations to justify holding firm on supply management? Canadian producers’ standards and controls for dairy and other types of production are higher in Canada in terms of safety and hygiene. Health Canada is doing a good job, but the rules are not the same in the U.S.

When we trade with another country or market with lower standards, that means that their production costs are lower. They can produce more at a lower cost. That is unfair competition. Why did the Liberal government negotiators not use food safety as an argument to close the door on supply management? The government told Canadian farmers that it would protect supply management. Great job! It protected nothing, and managed to open a breach. The other agreements included compensation and market access.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister met with farmers. He told them that the minister might give them full compensation. Now the government is backpedalling. People are seeing what we in the House have known for three years. This government is not in control. It consults, it talks the talk, but it is not proactive. Take, for example, the CPTPP, which we are discussing today. It is based on our government's work and I am very proud of that. We must have done something right at some point. Canada's economy is what it is because of the Conservative Party.

We did plenty of things right. Many Canadians I speak to, and I will have the opportunity to meet others because I will be in my riding next week, keep telling me that they miss the previous government, and that is music to my ears. It makes me happy. Canadians are beginning to see this government’s true colours after its constant failures this summer.

I have a piece of advice for the Liberals. I am not an expert, but I have my sources. In Business Insider, Jeff Haden gave 12 negotiating tips. I would have commented on each and every one of them, but since I do not have enough time, I will simply list them: go first; be quiet; know what you want — that one brings up big question marks; assume the best case; avoid setting ranges; only make concessions for a reason; avoid getting cornered; make time your friend; ignore face value; give the other person room; forget about winning and losing; and create a relationship.

The Liberal Party negotiators completely failed in many of these areas. In fact, there is nothing to evaluate, since they did not get any results. I will have the opportunity to talk about this a bit more.

As I mentioned in my speech, we will support the agreement. Opening markets is important. First, we need to create wealth, and then we can establish social programs.

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

October 5th, 2018 / 10:20 a.m.
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NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to get a chance to speak today in the House, even though a time allocation motion has been moved for a subject as important as Bill C-79.

I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. The NDP supports balanced trade agreements that protect workers and jobs. With the agreement we are talking about today, over 58,000 workers will lose their jobs. Naturally, my colleague spoke highly of the agreement in his speech, but I would like to hear his thoughts on workers. With regard to labour, the CPTPP includes a complaint mechanism that makes workers whose rights have been violated responsible for proving that the violation had an impact on trade. I would like to hear what my colleague thinks.

Why do workers still have to prove that the violation affects trade?

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

October 5th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

moved that 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, be read the third time and passed.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

October 4th, 2018 / 3:05 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will continue second reading of Bill C-78, the family justice act. Tomorrow we will begin debate at third reading of Bill C-79, the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership implementation act.

Next week, members will be working with Canadians in their ridings. When we return, we will begin debate on Senate amendments to Bill C-65, the harassment prevention act. Priority will then be given to the following bills: Bill C-77 on the Victims Bill of Rights and Bill C-82, the multilateral instrument in respect of tax conventions act.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my colleagues and their families a happy Thanksgiving.