Mr. Speaker, the part of the speech that the member for Vancouver Kingsway got correct is the fact that China is the second largest economy in the world. It will more than likely be the largest economy in the world by 2030.
The most egregious and incorrect part, among many, in his speech is that this would sign Canada up for 31 years. It would be renewable up to a period of 31 years; it does not sign anyone up for a 31-year period. The other issue on which he is, quite frankly, incorrect is the idea that it would prevent Canada from enacting legislation or public policy to benefit Canadians. That is absolutely incorrect.
I am going to try to sum up the issues. I know we have limited time, but it is an important issue and I want to take some time to discuss it. However, before I start, another point is the fact that prior to our government coming to power in 2006, treaties were not tabled in the House of Commons for 31 days and there was no opportunity to discuss those treaties. Yes somehow we are hearing a lot of rhetoric about the government not discussing this treaty. We tabled the treaty in the House of Commons for 31 days. They were 31 sitting days and thus 31 opportunities for any opposition members to discuss this treaty if they wished. However, the reality is that they really do not want the bright light of the sun to shine on this treaty because it would refute the accusations they are making against it.
Trade is part of the powerful engine that drives the Canadian economy. We moved forward with a very ambitious pro-trade plan, opening new markets for Canadian exporters, including in the very fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. We moved aggressively, expanding commercial relations in the region to create jobs and economic benefits. The economic benefits and opportunities are tremendous there. Asia-Pacific countries represent huge markets, with economic growth rates two to three times the global average. By doing this, we are creating the right conditions here at home for Canadian businesses and exporters to compete and succeed internationally.
An important part of the equation is ensuring that two-way trade and investment between Canada and other countries, including China, takes place in a stable and secure manner. That is why we have signed over 24 foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with key trade and investment partners, including China, the world's second-largest economy.
Let us be clear. What would happen if we do not sign these agreements? We would be working in a system without clear rules, without parameters, and without clear guidelines. Thus, it is important to note that as a result of this agreement, Canadian investors in China would no longer have to rely upon the Chinese legal system to have investment disputes resolved. Let me be clear: This agreement would give Canadian investors in China the same types of protections that foreign investors have long had in Canada.
I have to ask the member opposite, why would he deny Canadian investors the same benefits abroad that foreign investors have in Canada?