This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jordan.

Topics

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure I stand in my place to talk about free trade. I have had the opportunity to talk about it on a number of occasions, most recently last week. Today I would like to emphasize a couple of important industries in the perspective of free trade and the benefits of free trade agreements. Our Liberal Party critic talked at great length about some of our concerns in regard to the specifics of this free trade agreement between Canada and Jordan. To avoid sounding overly repetitive, I will try to take a different angle on it, and maybe refer to some of the things I had talked about when I was referring to the Panama-Canada Free Trade Agreement and free trade in general.

Let me first start off by commenting on the whole idea of the amendment, which I thought was somewhat bizarre for the government to put forward. There is a natural instinct it seems, more and more every day, for the government to do something to limit rights of members inside this chamber.

One of the favourite things of the Conservatives is time allocation. On a few occasions they have brought in a motion to prevent amendments from being introduced. It is somewhat discouraging, given that the Conservatives have witnessed this afternoon something that is fairly noteworthy, when the New Democratic Party critic brought forward the NDP's official position with regard to this bill. History would likely show that previous votes on this agreement may have reflected negatively coming from the NDP members, but the critic has made the determination that they will be supporting the bill.

When I posed the question earlier, I was a bit surprised. Most people would be surprised because it was only last week when we were debating the Panama agreement and as members may recall, there was an exchange between myself and a member of the New Democratic Party from the front bench. We were asking about the whole free trade concept and what it would take for the NDP to support an agreement. The conclusion at that point was that an NDP trade agreement would have to be signed in order for the NDP to support it.

Something has happened between last week and this week. The NDP has come on side with the rest of the progressive world in recognizing that there is merit to trade. We welcome that as it tries to nudge a little bit closer to the centre, quite possibly. I do not really know why per se, but it is encouraging that the NDP has recognized the value of trade.

As we look forward to having more discussions in the months and years ahead, we need to talk about freer trade. It is not just the formal agreements we need to be concerned about. There are other areas in which we encourage trade. I want to pick up on a couple of those. I made reference last week to what I had thought was a great attempt back in the nineties by the then Prime Minister Chrétien to gather a number of stakeholders, provincial jurisdictions, politicians of all political stripes and stakeholders within the business community. There was a wonderful label put on it, Team Canada. They went out to countries around the world. I believe the first one was in Asia. There were just amazing results when they brought different stakeholders from Canada to another country.

By having that strong presence, there is a series of doors that open as a direct result of the interest by the national government in saying that it wants to be able to broaden opportunities for both countries and afford the ability of those stakeholders to communicate directly. Ultimately, I believe that tens of millions of dollars flowed from that. At the end of the day, many economic ties were established by that agreement.

I have made reference to what I have always believed was one of the greatest agreements, if not the greatest, which was the Auto Pact. It was an agreement between Canada and the United States where Canada would be guaranteed a certain percentage of the manufacturing of automobiles and parts in return for purchasing vehicles or having a freer trade with the automobile industry. As a direct result of that agreement over the years, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created.

Whether in the manufacturing industry, tourism or information technology, there are many opportunities out there. When governments take the initiative to go abroad, in whatever form, and in this case it is a formalized free trade agreement, then all Canadians can benefit. It creates employment opportunities here as well as for the other countries. We see that as a good thing.

One of the examples I used when I made reference to Panama was an important industry in the province of Manitoba, the potato industry. I am glad that not only are we supporting the principles of the bill for Jordan, but also the principles of the bill for Panama. If we look at the Panama agreement, in the province of Manitoba the potato industry is huge. Panama consumes a great deal of our potatoes and not just the raw product, but processed potatoes as well. We have three large processing plants which create 1,000 plus direct jobs, not to mention indirect jobs. When we looked at the agreement, we saw that there was value to it and we supported it.

On the Jordan agreement that we are now debating, again there is benefit, not only for Manitoba, but for all provinces. Perhaps some provinces may benefit a little more because of the industries that Jordan might want to focus on in Canada. This is one of the nice things about being such a diverse country. However, at the end of the day, we have been fairly consistent in recognizing the value of freer trade agreements.

Having said that, we have some concerns. We have been consistent on those concerns. We need to be aware of the environmental impact and how other countries treat and respect environments. We also need to be aware of labour conditions. That is why committee members, whether it is the critic of the Liberal Party or other stakeholders, are quite willing to share stories or concerns regarding labour standards and environmental laws. Where we can, we have to try to protect both those areas of interest. By doing that, I believe that we are making the world a better place to live and allowing a more equal and level playing field.

On an equal, level playing field, Canadians can compete with any country in the world. Having said that, we are far from being able to achieve that playing field but I think it is worth pursuing.

We have other concerns that we have talked about at length. I want to be able to share some of my thoughts on those concerns. There is the whole idea of the manufacturing industry and the global competitive market. If the government does not do its job, we could lose a lot of valuable jobs. For the most part, I think we would find that Canadians are supportive of freer trade, and the benefits of freer trade, but there is also a great deal of concern about those quality jobs. A lot of those quality jobs that we really have to watch out for are within the manufacturing industry.

It saddens me to hear of these massive layoffs or companies that are going down and shifting to another region of the world. Some of it cannot be prevented from happening, but there are some things that government can do that would have an impact.

I would like to cite two recent examples dealing with the whole concept of trade. The first one is in regard to a debate that we had last summer when the government made the determination to get rid of the Canadian Wheat Board. By getting rid of the Canadian Wheat Board, I would argue that ultimately we are going to see fewer Prairie farmers dealing with grain as a commodity. We are going to see larger farms handling the same sort of capacity of grain, but there will be a smaller number of farmers. That will have a serious impact on the number of people employed in that industry. We will see smaller towns or communities that will also be impacted by the government's decision.

I have been around in politics for a number of years. My understanding was that in the whole debate on the free trade agreement there was a lot of pressure on Canada to end the Wheat Board, as far back as the mid-1980s. Governments, over the years, have resisted getting rid of the Wheat Board, because governments, both Progressive Conservative and Liberal, have recognized the value of the Canadian Wheat Board. It is only the Reform/Conservative government that has made the determination that this will somehow improve Canada's trade relations.

I would suggest that these types of things will have a very negative impact. When we talk about trade agreements, this is something the U.S. wanted so desperately that the government just kind of conceded it, handed it over to the United States and other international companies. I am not too sure exactly how much wheat Jordan would be getting from our Prairies, I suspect some. The minister says it is quite a bit, and I will take him at his word on that. The point is it does have what I believe is a negative impact, and it is a government policy. The government chose to go in that direction.

The other major issue that we have had here affected not only the Prairies, but Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal. It was the whole Air Canada and Aveos fiasco. I have walked the line with Air Canada workers on several occasions in regard to what has taken place there. As the world gets smaller, we have to look at those valuable jobs, those valuable industries. In Manitoba, the aerospace industry is a very important industry, as it is no doubt in Quebec and Ontario.

In those three provinces it employs thousands of Canadians. Air Canada had an obligation to sustain those jobs in those three provinces, but the government has let Air Canada off the hook; as a result, those jobs are gone.

The government does not recognize that it has a role to play in certain industries. I would suggest the aerospace industry is one of those industries. If it is not prepared to play a role and allows the free market to dictate where those jobs will be, my concern is that not only will those jobs be leaving Winnipeg, Montreal and Mississauga but also that potentially we will lose a very important industry. The reason is that other countries will be paying a fraction of the wages employees would earn in those three provinces working at overhaul bases or the like.

If the Government of Canada wants to move toward freer trade, in principle it is a good measure, but we have to remember that millions of Canadians are depending on the government to also protect those industries that feel threatened, because they are long-term industries with great potential for ongoing development to provide good-paying jobs going forward.

My last point is a question I asked my colleague in regard to the U.S. With Jordan, our trade is just under $100 million annually. As was pointed out earlier, Canada exports around $340 billion worth of goods internationally. The single greatest recipient of those exported products is the U.S. I believe the government has been neglecting that file. As a direct result, a lot more jobs could end up going south. We have already seen jobs going to the United States that could have stayed here in Canada. The government has been turning a blind eye to that particular trading partner or that issue. I do not quite understand why.

Another issue is with respect to Korea which, as my colleague pointed out, consumes a great deal of pork. Once again I will bring in the province of Manitoba, which is a billion-dollar trading partner with Korea. A number of months ago, the United States signed a deal with Korea. Manitoba has a wonderful pork industry, but it will have some serious hits because the government does not seem to give any priority to the tariff issues with respect to Korea.

As the government has now been sitting on this particular file since 2009, it is great to see that we are at a stage at which I suspect the bill will be passed through. I think it is important to emphasize to the government that it needs to focus more attention on countries we are dependent on in terms of being able to maintain and hopefully grow our industries, in particular manufacturing and other industries that have so much more potential here in Canada. As this bill passes through, I would hope that the government has some sort of strategic plan with respect to dealing with other nations around the world to ensure that Canada will continue to grow and prosper into the future, and that it starts thinking outside the box, as former prime minister Jean Chrétien did when he brought parliamentarians from across Canada into a Team Canada approach to selling Canada to the world.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's speech really describes the Liberal position on a lot of things. We did not really understand whether they are supporting it or not supporting it. The member used the word “focus”. I would like to see him focus on an answer to my question.

The NDP earlier accused the Liberal Party of flip-flopping. We remember the 1988 election, when they ran against NAFTA, and now they seem to be talking in favour of free trade, but in his speech the member talked about protecting certain industries, especially manufacturing.

There was a great editorial in the Ottawa Citizen today, talking about manufacturing output actually being up. Yes, jobs have gone down, and that is because we are becoming more productive and more competitive around the world. The member talked about the aerospace sector. Members are aware that Canada, a small country, is fifth or sixth in the world in aerospace because we have been integrating into the supply chain.

He talked about the auto industry, an industry that is is very important to me, coming from Oshawa. He talked about something called the Auto Pact. He seems to promoting that philosophy of trade; it was one car that we bought here to one car that exported—one car in, one car out—but with free trade, we are actually exporting almost a million cars more every year, which means the jobs are here in Canada.

My question for the member is—

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Why did we have the trade deficit for the first time in 30 years?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

I hear the member for Malpeque, who quoted statistics from the CAW economist that did not support any free trade.

Are the Liberals going to be supporting this free trade agreement with Jordan, or are they going to be promoting more managed trade and protecting different industries? When they are talking about free trade, what are they really talking about? Could the member focus on an answer, please?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure to what degree the member has listened, whether to me or to the Liberal Party's critic. We have been fairly consistent for a great deal of time, and I will put it as simply as I can for the member: we are voting in favour of the bill. That said, we do have concerns and we have expressed those concerns.

However, it is important to recognize that there has been a net deficit in trade for the first time, under the reformed Conservative government. To the degree in which it is there—

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Paul Calandra

Throw in a George Bush reference.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

I know the truth hurts. Reformed Conservatives—

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Paul Calandra

No good reformed Conservative—

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North has the floor.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is fine. I never mind the odd heckle or anything of that nature.

The point is that the Liberal Party has been consistent throughout the years. Not only do we believe in the potential of free trade and formal free trade agreements, but we also believe that there are other ways in which we can enhance trade between nations throughout the world. We need to be thinking outside of the box about developing those trade relations so that at the end of the day we would have more manufacturing jobs and more financial and hospitality industry jobs. There is so much potential within Canada. What we need is a government that is prepared to think outside of the box and fight for those jobs and for that trade.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, as always, I enjoyed listening to the intervention from the member for Winnipeg North and following on the Liberal critic, which is not an easy task.

I listened very intently to some of the things the member was suggesting. I heard him say that with international trade there will be times when there are winners and losers, and that is what often happens. I heard him say that it is extremely important for the Conservatives to have a plan mapped out for understanding who is going to win and who is going to lose so that they can develop strategies to ensure that the companies and employees who do lose are properly accounted for and that there are adequate transition programs.

Would the member confirm if that is in fact what he believes and if that is the kind of trade policy he would support?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, not necessarily. I would like to think through his question as he has put it forward. Not all trade agreements are a formal document. Not all decisions the government makes come out in a formal trade document. The example I used was the Canadian Wheat Board. Under the Canadian Wheat Board, there is a winner and a loser. The losers, unfortunately, are going to be prairie grain farmers. There are going to be hundreds fewer prairie grain farmers as a direct result. It was a bad decision and had a serious impact on trade.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have one question, but I have to make a point at the beginning. The member talked about potatoes and how important the potato market was to Manitoba. I see some Manitoba members here. I want to point out that Manitoba is still in second place. Prince Edward Island is the largest producer of potatoes in Canada.

My question really relates to the open collective bargaining part of the agreement. One thing that is outlined by Canada and the ILO is how important it is to have collective bargaining happen in Jordan. I want my colleague's response on this. The problem is that Canada is setting a bad example, because the Minister of Labour has cut the collective bargaining process off at the knees by always coming in on the side of management. That is not free and open collective bargaining.

Does the member think that might have an impact as we tell Jordan it should have free and open collective bargaining, when our own government is abusing that collective bargaining process in its use of government powers?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right in the sense that when we are looking at free trade, labour laws and environmental laws, we want to be on a level playing field. What message do we send, as my colleague points out, when the Minister of Labour brings in back-to-work legislation or does rollbacks on Canada Post workers and intervenes far too often on the side of big business over labour? There is a certain amount of hypocrisy, potentially, that might exist, which might be worthy of looking into.

The point is that there need to be labour and environmental considerations whenever we enter into any sort of free trade agreement or into agreements internationally.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are in kind of a bizarro world here, in that the NDP and the Liberals are fighting with each other to see who is more supportive of free trade. I have been here since 2008, and they have both been opposed to just about every single trade initiative we brought forward.

Of course, they have seen the result of 750,000 new jobs being created in Canada by small business, medium-sized business and large business. I am wondering if that means they are now going to start to support cutting taxes for families and businesses and support some of the investments we are making so that Canadian businesses can actually compete. In light of the fact that they have now come to the realization that trading with countries is a good thing, will they now be fighting with each other to support us on some of the other initiatives that we are bringing forward?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the record will show that the Liberal Party of Canada, whether in government or opposition, has consistently looked at trade agreements on their merits and has been very open to them. In fact, the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement would not have happened if it were not for the Liberal Party.

There has been ample evidence in the past to clearly show that, but this is not necessarily about the past. We should be talking about the future. The future will be good if the government does its homework and looks at nation building. We could explore the idea of enhancing trade relations in many countries, but let us not forget the top 10 countries that consume more than 90% of our product. The government has really been dropping the ball on those top 10 countries.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak for a few moments on this important issue in support of the member for Vancouver Kingsway who was up a little earlier this afternoon and spoke so well, articulating the increased clarity of the position of the official opposition as it relates to international trade. I want not only to support him but to reiterate a number of the very important points he made. I have said in this House before that we are a trading nation, that I am from a trading province, Nova Scotia, and that we have always engaged in trade and we will always engage in trade.

The question is: As a country, how are we going to do that? What is our relationship going to be like with countries around the world? Are we going to go into relationships with a formal economic deal? Are we going to come up with a pattern, with a template? Are we going to ensure we combine economic trade with relations as they relate to human rights, as they relate to the environment, as they relate to other international negotiations on issues relative to global security, for example? Is that the way we are going to go about presenting ourselves in the world?

I think that is extremely important as we consider where we are going.

The government has, on numerous occasions, attacked the NDP, the opposition, as being anti-trade and against any trade deal, saying for some reason that we want to hide our heads in the sand.

We have said in response to that, of course, time and again, far from it. The New Democratic Party has laid out a number of principles we have established that underline the values-based approach we want to take to our relationships on the international stage and how it is that we want to participate in the international economy. That is exactly what I am talking about and what I want to talk about a little more here today, the fact that as a country we are already negotiating deals, we are already participating, our companies are participating in economic relationships around the world.

As a responsible government, then, we need to ensure we are aiding those relationships, helping to encourage them, helping to foster them, helping to make sure they are sufficiently constructive, not only for this country but for the countries that were participating with that. I believe that is the responsibility we have as a nation.

We can stand aside and say that no deal is the best deal, or we can recognize that no deal is going to be perfect but it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can as a government, and as a Parliament I would suggest, to ensure we do everything in our power to make sure our relationship is as positive and as constructive as it can possibly be.

That is why, whether we talk about the free trade deal with the United States or whether we talk about CETA or whether we talk about the deal with Panama, there are certain principles in those deals about which we have had concern. They deal with things like labour rights. They deal with how the country we are participating with honours a principle that is in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms; that is, the right to freely associate and to bargain collectively. That is a principle we should ensure we support with any nation we are going to be working with, and we give some credit that it has been recognized to some degree in the deal with Jordan.

The ILO has recognized that Jordan is moving forward considerably in honouring free collective bargaining in that country. That is a good thing. Human rights is an area in some of the deals about which we have raised concerns. We talked in here about the deal that was passed last year with Colombia and its history with the attack on trade union leaders and human rights abuses that have been waged in that country affecting farmers, small business owners and other people in the community. That is a very serious concern. We suggested Panama has a very serious problem in terms of the lack of transparency as it relates to financial transactions. It has been identified as a tax haven. It has not been sufficiently transparent on the international stage on those matters.

These are contrary to principles that we have as Canadians and that I feel should be the basis upon which we negotiate or participate in relationships with other countries. With regard to the environment, how is it that the country in question administers some kind of control over the activities of companies and the development that happens within the country? Does it appropriately respect the principles that we would suggest are important in terms of environmental sustainability, that it not allow wanton development that destroys ecosystems and the ability of people in its communities to drink clean water, to breathe clean air and to ensure their children are able to play outdoors without being made sick by contaminated soil?

It is important to recognize that these are things that go on around the world in different countries, and we need to make sure we are, in carrying out our activities on behalf of Canadians, reflecting the values we share and hold so dear as a country. That is why in the past and continuing into the future, as these deals are brought before the House, these are the kinds of principles that members of our caucus will continue to be concerned about.

I want to move a little to talk more specifically about the whole question of a framework for future trade. I mentioned earlier that this government and the Liberal government before it tend to have a strategy on trade in which they have a template that they throw down on top of any trade deal or any negotiations, regardless of whether it is the European community or Panama. The contrast between those countries is huge, but they want the same template to apply. I am suggesting that is not appropriate; there need to be nuances and flexibilities, but ultimately we need to have some underlying principles that form the framework we are going to develop for moving forward.

I want to go over a few principles that I think are important. There are five key principles.

Trade needs to lead to more trade. In other words, and I have said this before in the House, most trading nations have an industrial policy so that the government understands where the strengths and weaknesses are in the economy in terms of resource development, manufacturing, biotech and innovation. The reason is that when the government is negotiating with another country, it can evaluate what that country wants and what we want on the basis of its impact on our overall economy. That is extremely important, because any negotiation is a give and take. Trade is going on and choices are being made at the table, in which we want this but we are willing to give up some of that.

We have to understand what the impact is going to be. We need to understand the other nation and the organizations and the companies within that nation. We need to understand what sectors are deemed a priority for the country. If industries are going to be negatively affected by whatever deal is negotiated, then we have to have already prepared an adjustment plan.

If a government has decided in its wisdom based on its industrial policy that whatever it is doing is considered a sunset industry, then it must build in some transition so that workers, for example, can be moved from that occupation to another. If environmental remediation is needed, we need to ensure it is provided for in the agreement.

My point is that when we talk about trade leading to more trade, we need to understand what we are trying to do. We need to understand what the impact will be. We need to engage in any agreement with our eyes open. A key point on this principle is that we need to ensure we are trying to do more than just get a deal signed, that we are building an economic relationship that has social, environmental and human rights aspects to it. We need to understand that this may be just the beginning or the midway point. The relationship is going to develop further as we go forward, so we need to make sure it is a deal that has some flexibility and some enforcement provisions and the opportunity to be improved as we go forward. Trade needs to lead to more trade.

The second thing is reciprocity. Canada is finding itself in the international world at the moment participating in bilateral deals, one-offs with individual countries. However we are not alone. We are trying to gain preferred nation status. We are trying to get in there before China or the European community or the U.S. We are trying to get ahead of somebody else so that we can get a one-up.

What happens with that is we get more short-term deals. We get people selling to the highest bidder, kind of thing. We find that not everybody is engaged and things are rushed and not complete.

Canada needs to work at the World Trade Organization, the WTO, table on the Doha round of free trade negotiations. We need to recognize that it is more important. This globe is getting smaller every day and every year. We need to ensure we are negotiating agreements that are in our best interests, not just the two parties at the table. We had better pay attention because countries in the southern hemisphere are recognizing the importance of that principle. Countries in the southern hemisphere are working together, I would suggest, much more proactively than are countries in the northern hemisphere.

It has been suggested to me that there are two worlds now. There is the developing world in the southern hemisphere and then there is the post-World War II alliance in the northern hemisphere, and that one, I would suggest, is increasing gaining ascendency, and that is the southern hemisphere, but they are working together to build a stronger economy that will benefit all of them.

The third principle is the whole question of job creation and innovation. We need to ensure that our trade deals are not just simply selling Canadian jobs down the road. We need to ensure we are building a stronger economy with family supporting jobs here in Canada, not at the expense of another country, but ensuring that the deals we are doing, the economies of scale that we are working on with other countries ensures a stronger labour force where the wages, benefits and the ability to pay are improved.

We also need to ensure, in our discussions with other countries that the principle of innovation, the principle of technological development, needs to be key and front and centre. Our deal needs to be nimble. We need to ensure that there are productivity targets. We also need to recognize that issues, like intellectual property, copyright laws and so on, are sufficiently protected to ensure we are building our asset value, whether that be intellectual, value added in manufacturing or our resources, for the long term.

The fourth principle is that no deal does damage or undermines the Canadian democracy. We need to ensure that our trade deals do not affect the ability of other levels of government to make decisions that are in their best interests or the best interests of their nation. There have been concerns raised about CIDA and the impact it has on subnational governments.

The final point is the principles with respect to protecting the environment. Trade deals should not weaken environmental laws simply to attract investment.

These are the kinds of things I am suggesting the NDP believes in. We believe in free and sustainable trade but we need to ensure that there is a clear trade agenda that advocates for free, fair and sustainable trading nations.

In closing I will reaffirm the commitment that our critic has made that we will be supporting the bill.

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

June 4th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this House has seen an amazing sight this afternoon as the NDP has swallowed itself whole with regard to the trade file. It is absolutely amazing because there is no difference in the principle of the Jordan free trade agreement wherein it is not a perfect world. We heard some of the most horrendous testimony in committee with regard to what is happening in some of the factories, which is no different from what is happening in Colombia, perhaps in Panama and in some of the other countries with which we have free trade agreements that the NDP says that it will not support.

The principle is the same. It is not a perfect world but we try to make it better by engaging not disengaging. It is absolutely amazing and I will ask a quick question.

The leader of the official opposition was just up in the oil sands of Alberta. He had to go to the oil sands of Alberta to pull his head out of the sand on the trade file. When is the next time that he will go up there to learn more about how important trade is and take the rest of his caucus with him?

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is the chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade and he and I have had discussions. I used to be on that file and participated in those committees. For him to suggest that what I am saying is somehow new, I, frankly, find a bit disingenuous, to say the least.

With respect to the leader of the official opposition, the NDP and our leader is participating in important discussions that affect policy across this country that are meant to ensure that we develop our natural resources in a way that benefits everybody, that ensures that people pay their way and that we do not devastate the environment at the same time we—

Canada–Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Unfortunately, we have run out of time.

The House resumed from May 31 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Employment InsuranceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It being 6:30 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, May 31, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the opposition motion concerning the business of supply.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #236

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion defeated.

The House resumed from June 1 consideration of Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.