Madam Speaker, I am splitting my time with my colleague from Mississauga South.
I do not know why my colleague has to lose his temper. A little earlier he was speaking in the House and was worried and concerned about the fact that if the MAI were to be implemented or if globalization is to take its course workers could not go to the bathroom. I am really surprised that the debate had to come to this level of argument.
Things are not as bad as my colleagues in the NDP would have us believe. We still are considered the best country in the world in which to live. For three years in a row the United Nations has identified Canada as the best place in the world in which to live. We rank number one, ahead of the United States, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and other countries.
We still have a quality of life which is higher than any other country in the G-7 which makes it the highest quality of life in the world. It is ahead of Germany, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy. Canada also has the highest level of enrolment when it comes to higher education than any other country in the G-7. Things are not as bad as my colleagues like to make them look.
I do not want to say all these things are because of the government's action. All these good things have been achieved collectively by Canadians at every level of government, municipal, provincial and federal. All those things are happening because the government was able to collect taxes from people and corporations in order to spend on our wonderful social programs which are the finest in the world.
I want my colleagues to know that money does not grow on banana trees. It is not planted in backyards. We have to work and produce in order to generate money. That money would not be in the amount we see here in Canada if it were not for corporations that are investing in research and development and in products that are selling here and more importantly are being sold abroad in markets in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the United States and elsewhere.
I hope my colleagues are not suggesting that we should close our borders, bury our heads in the sand and wish for a sunny day because it is not going to happen.
The motion before us today is trying to blame everything on globalization. There is no way out. Either governments around the world will have to move into the next century smiling and co-operating or governments will move into the next century kicking and screaming. Simply put, the world is changing. All we have to do is to look at the past few years to see the revolution and the evolution which have taken place when it comes to information technology.
Governments are scrambling to catch up. In the past few years we have been able to unleash the intelligence of our people in Canada and in the United States. That is why today we have the most sophisticated mode of communication in the world, which is the Internet. Tomorrow we will see other technologies coming on board which will eventually render governments pretty well obsolete.
My view is that the government which is the fastest to move toward not becoming obsolete in the new world order is the government that will be serving its people the best. The government that is capable of coping with what is taking place around the world and establishing standards that suit the people of the world is the government that will be meeting the needs of its people.
The multilateral agreement on investment is not the end. It is the beginning. It is the beginning of something wonderful. No member of the World Trade Organization is biting the butt or chopping the head of another member. Everything is going fairly well. We finally have a world order and rules which govern the whole world when it comes to trade between the economies of countries. We finally have a mechanism in place where if one country is in dispute with another country there is a forum where they can resolve their dispute.
When we talk about rules also governing investment there is nothing to worry about because nobody is robbing anything from anyone. All we are saying is that we want to have a level playing field all over the world when it comes to countries that presently are or eventually will be members of the World Trade Organization and the OECD.
We want to have a proper level playing field so that we know what we are talking about. Billions of Canadian taxpayers' dollars are invested abroad, in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere. We want to make sure these investments are protected.
I am not fearful. We have one of the most open economies in the world. We are not afraid of a takeover because our country is wide open for investment. We welcome investment. Investment creates jobs.
There is no fear here because simply put, with the multilateral agreement once and if it is signed, there is no need to change anything when it comes to existing Canadian laws. Canadian laws will not be affected. It will not take anything away from the Government of Canada when it comes to its ability to introduce new laws or to change existing laws, providing it treats everyone on the same basis with equality. There are exemptions. A lot of our industries are exempted.
I do not know what this is all about, trying to blame the poverty of the world on the multilateral agreement on investment or blame world poverty on globalization. Ask the people in Malaysia. They will say that thanks to investment in their country the level of income and the gross domestic product have multiplied many times over. Speak to the people in Singapore, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Latin America and elsewhere in the world. They will say one by one that thanks to trade and thanks to our investment in their countries and their investment in our country, there is a much better world. We have to bring down barriers, not build them up. Protectionism could kill an elephant.
Madam Speaker, you bet your life if this motion were ever to become votable I would be the first one to vote against it and I would not be blushing because it is a ridiculous motion. It is not a thoughtful motion.
No one has done anything substantial in order to convince me that as an elected official I should be voting for something that is against the interests of the people. A multilateral agreement on investment and globalization will work eventually in the best interests of the people.
Somebody told me a story about a company that went to India and invested in toothpaste, Colgate or whatever. As a result of that investment the quality of life of the people who work in the surrounding area has dramatically improved. As a result of that particular investment, another nail has been put into the coffin of poverty.
That is one example. There are hundreds of other examples across the land where foreign investment has helped to improve the quality of life for people in countries where they live and eventually narrowed the gap between the poor and the rich.