My friend asks “What are they?” If he had the courage to ask a single person in a cultural industry, and there are hundreds of thousands, how the government has let down cultural industries, he would be listening for hours to the concerns that legitimate people have.
Our friends in the Bloc say that we have to set up a committee to look into this. It is almost too late, but let us at least go along with that notion. We will support the idea of setting up a committee to look into the impact of globalization. I say to my friends opposite, what evidence do we have of the impact of globalization? Is the world becoming a better place for most people? The answer is no. The gap between those who have and those who have not is drastically expanding, not only around the world but in our own country as well. Never before has the gap between rich and poor in Canada and the United States been greater.
Is this protecting the 1.5 million children living in poverty? The figures are increasing. There are a litany of issues. My friends opposite represent the Government of Canada, which represents the people of Canada. They represent the people of Canada in every nook and cranny of the country. Madam Speaker, that is why we are here, to represent the people of Canada. When we listen to what the people of Canada are telling us today, are they saying “Rush into the World Trade Organization, go to Seattle and hold secret meetings about our future”? They are not saying that at all, but there are some people who are saying that. The elite of the country are saying that. For large corporations, this is their day. So far they are only stuck with Mexico, Canada and the United States. Now they have the opportunity of involving 100-plus other countries in the same deal to enable priorities to take priority over the people of those countries.
Somebody has to be on the side of people. Who is representing the people of Canada? Who is representing the citizens of Canada at these talks, because our government sure as heck is not. I say that because the Liberals are such enthusiastic cheerleaders when it comes to NAFTA. They now want NAFTA to include all of North America and South America. They want to make this a hemispherical deal because it is so good. So good for whom, for the people or for the average citizen?
As we arrived at work on Parliament Hill this morning, we heard on the news that corporations now want to come in and start running private educational facilities. Americans want to come in and start opening up our universities. They are saying that if we subsidize the university and college system in this country, they will consider this to be a major trade barrier. They want us to back off the support for public education. Can anyone imagine that they would want us to back off supporting our colleges, universities and technical and vocational schools across the country.
Somebody has to speak up for the people in the country. I heard members on the other side of the House mumbling about trade this and trade that. My friend in the Reform Party says that we are a great trading nation. Of course we are a great trading nation. We are one of the greatest trading nations in the world. We have been for many decades.
I get so infuriated with the Reform Party. The Reform Party says that we have to have two things. We either have to bow down and pray on the steps of the North America trade agreement or the WTO, or we have to get down on our hands and knees and say that whatever they want they should get. The other one says that we have to build some kind of a wall around Canada.
There is a compromise. We have to protect the human rights of the people of Canada. We have to protect the environment of our government. Why would we not want to do that? Why would we not want to have decent labour laws? My friends in the Reform Party are cheerleaders for child labour if they support this deal. They are supporters of child labour because that is part of the trading situation in the world.