Madam Speaker, I would never deign to put words in the mouth of a MacNeil because they certainly were never afraid to speak loudly and, being somewhat superstitious, my good old Uncle Lindsay might actually pay a visit. However, I know one of the principles of trade that he always talked about was that one needed to have a really clear agreement in place. I think that is what we are talking about.
It is not that an agreement with Liechtenstein and Switzerland is not in the national interest. I certainly think the more trade agreements that we have the stronger we are because we are a trading nation, and the more that we can actually get our products out there, with rules based, that is what we need.
I believe there are problems with this agreement and we need to look at them.
We can look at the complete unwillingness of the European Union and the Americans to play by the rules by which Canada always plays. There are EU export subsidies on agricultural products and it is dumping its products internationally. The U.S. is continually mucking with the price of grain and distorting the price. Our farmers and our industries play by the rules internationally and we are always on the losing end.
We need to learn a lesson when we sit down with trade partners. Liechtenstein might not be the biggest country that we have ever dealt with but it becomes an equal partner and we need to ensure there are not huge flaws in the agreement. The fact that we would be losing our shipbuilding capacity in a country that has probably the largest sets of coastlines in the world is simply not good public policy. The refusal of the government ideologically to actually have a coherent industrial policy is clear.
General Motors is musing publicly about leaving Canada. Ten years ago that would have been unheard of. The government sits back and tells us all to whistle a happy tune and everything will be all right. The lack of an industrial sector strategy is devastating, particularly in Ontario right now and regions of Quebec.
As I said earlier, we can count on one hand the amount of sawmills that are running from northwestern Ontario to Abitibi. That would have been a situation unfathomable 15 years ago and yet we see a government that shows complete and utter indifference to the devastation in the forestry communities and the devastation facing forestry families as they slip through the EI cracks.