Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was concluded. The passage of time has taught us a few things. First, hundreds of thousands of jobs did disappear and many such jobs disappeared from the ranks of the large corporations that said in 1987 that free trade meant more jobs.
Second, there is no question that the FTA and subsequently NAFTA and the WTO have all contributed to downward pressure on wages and the standard of living of ordinary Canadians, not just in terms of wages but also in terms of deteriorating social programs and social harmony. Although I am sure there are Canadian exporters who have done very well, it is also true that we do not know to what extent the low value of the Canadian dollar is really the key determinant in much of this success.
Furthermore we continue not to have free trade with the U.S. On softwood lumber, on durum wheat, on sugar, and in a variety of other ways the U.S. appears to have it both ways.
Now we have the MAI, with still more protection for investors than that provided by current free trade agreements. When will we get agreements to protect workers, the environment and the public interest? When we get an NDP government.