Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time.
I will address the issue of the value of foreign investment for Canada.
First, we know that there is almost $300 billion of foreign investment directly into Canada each year. This is immensely important.
When companies from other countries invest in our country, they bring ideas as well as support jobs. One in ten jobs in Canada is supported by that nearly $300 billion investment per year. They also bring ideas and technology to our country. Also, in an increasingly cyclical way, they support 50% of our exports by investing in this country. Investment into Canada is immensely important for jobs, the GNP and bringing in ideas and technology.
Investment outside of Canada by Canadians is even larger. It is more than $300 billion a year. This provides great opportunities for us to deal with other countries but it must be protected. Canadian companies and individuals investing abroad deserve protection. However investors in Canada also need the protection of rules.
Trade and investment inside and outside of Canada is immensely important to our country. We also have important domestic responsibilities. Those are to protect very strategic parts of our public services and our governance models. Our health care, education, social services and water absolutely need to be protected.
Canada has not put out its negotiating position yet in terms of the investment provisions in the FTAA because they are being developed. There is a great deal of consultation going on and more will continue. Those will be made public when they have been properly consulted on and prepared. The government has consistently said that it will protect and will not sign any agreement that does not protect those important strategic policy issues in Canada.
However our interests are not just domestic. Our interests and our social responsibilities are global. The democracy clause in the FTAA framework is a major first step toward this. We must ensure that other global issues of social importance, whether they be environmental, human rights, the rule of law or the promotion of democracy, are protected and linked in some effective way to our trade agreements. The advance that we have made in the FTAA discussions in Quebec City demonstrates that well.
The hon. member mentioned that he was aware of the North American agreement both on environmental co-operation and labour co-operation. He felt that they had not been perhaps as effective in allowing NGOs to challenge governments. However he did not answer the question whether those could be improved, just as chapter 11 rules, interpretation and processes need to be and will be in future agreements.
If those could be improved should NGOs be able to effectively challenge governments? I challenge hon. members to consider carefully the reality of new governance in a modern society where the market and civil society have a powerful and important role to play with governments. If NGOs should be able to challenge governments and other non-state actors, why not corporations as long as those rules are fair, transparent and they meet other social responsibilities?
I will talk about this concept of new governance a little further. NGOs will come up to the governance table as they are invited to do more and more effectively. We saw that opportunity in the FTAA lead-up consultations across the country and the people's summit and the civil society committee taking part in the negotiations of the free trade of the Americas. However, if civil society is going to step up to the governance table, it has to demonstrate its democratic nature and its representative nature, just as corporations must prove their social responsibility.
One of the most powerful forces to exact social responsibility from corporations trading abroad is the democracy of the market. If a company such as Levi thinks it is going to get 10 year old kids in India or Bangladesh to stitch its jeans, then the North American, European and increasingly other markets are simply not going to buy its product. We had a striking example of market democracy in my province of British Columbia where not only were civil society and the market involved in looking at land use planning and forestry practices on the mid coast, but they were making decisions without government.
We have powerful forces that need to be brought to bear. We not only need linkages between free and fair trade but also social responsibilities, environmental, democratic, rule of law and labour practices.
Finally, chapter 11 of NAFTA needs to be clarified. There are problems which have been properly pointed out. However that does not mean corporations should not have the opportunity, under a proper set of rules and processes, to challenge governments in courts as they do domestically.
Foreign investment helps developing countries. Globally, however, there is not sufficient public money or public interest to provide the investment necessary for countries to pull themselves out of poverty. Direct or indirect foreign investment through private companies is an effective way of supplementing the public money available for that purpose.