Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Prince Albert for an excellent speech. I understand why he is so passionate when he talks about free trade, because it is a subject that is near and dear to all of us who serve on the committee.
To paraphrase Patrick Henry, I regret that I have but 10 minutes to give to this because I think I could speak about this for a long, long time. Why do we benefit from free trade? We had the foreign affairs committee in front of us and it gave us a great tag line: simplify, modify, and standardize. Let us get a quick overview of Canada and why reducing trade costs by 14%—or 17% for the least developed nations—makes a big difference to Canada.
In 1970, Korea was one of the most impoverished nations in the world. Today, we know that Korea is one of the most advanced nations, with an advanced economy. It did that with virtually nothing but produced exports.
Canada, on the other hand, has very much to offer, very much to export. Let us begin with mining. We have large reserves of coal; 32% of the mining in B.C. is coal, 32% is copper, and there is silver and gold. In Alberta we have vast fields of oil and gas. Saskatchewan is the second largest producer of potash. Uranium is also there. I am just nabbing a few; there are so many others as well.
In Manitoba, copper, zinc, gold, silver, platinum, and a number of rare earth minerals are so important to today's market. In Ontario, we have the largest gold mines and nickel and copper as well as platinum and these same rare earth groups as well. Quebec is an amazing story as well. For a while it put the lid on mining, and today 1% of that vast province is mined and 5% is available for mining. The mining there is just incredible. There are so many opportunities. It has re-established itself as one of the world's most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world. I mentioned the minerals that are found there.
We can go on to the Maritimes: Nova Scotia where there is gold being mined; New Brunswick where lead, zinc, copper, and potash are also being mined; Newfoundland where iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt, and gold are being mined and many others are being discovered.
We could go on to forestry, and every province in this country has a forestry industry. It is a huge industry in B.C., Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
My colleague was talking about farming, and many of us have mentioned the importance of farming. In my riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington, we are the number one producers of wheat and the second for soybeans.
We could go on across this country. We have huge beef and pork industries, and in the west canola is being produced. Pulse crops are an amazing story: 25 years ago there were virtually no pulse crops grown and today the prairie provinces, particularly Saskatchewan, are becoming the world leader in pulse crops.
I talked in my last speech about the greenhouse industry, and I will do a little more bragging about my riding in Leamington, which has the largest collection of greenhouses in North America. Think about that. It is expanding in Chatham-Kent as well. It is larger than the greenhouse industry in California.
There are potatoes in P.E.I. and blueberries in the Maritime provinces as well. Cranberries are beginning to be an important crop in B.C., Quebec, and Ontario as well.
As we travelled with the committee, we had the opportunity to speak to Maritimers to see how important seafood is. It has been mentioned here before. The U.S.A. was our biggest customer, but today the Asian market is representing huge opportunities. There is Japan, with 120 million people, Korea, and Vietnam, with 90 million people.
Fish, of course, is what we think about with seafood, but snow crab, shrimp, lobster, and scallops are all beginning to be important industries as well.
A lot of times, we like to give up on manufacturing. We think we have lost our manufacturing, and we have suffered. My colleagues from my neck of the woods will tell members about that too.
However, we still have a strong manufacturing base, and we still are growing that base. We have a strong Japanese presence in manufacturing, in the auto industry, in my neck of the woods. The Detroit three are still producing: Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors.
Ford, as a matter of fact, in Oakville, is now going to produce a vehicle for the entire world. Think of the opportunities that will represent when we continue to expand our free trade agreements.
The Honda CR-V, in Alliston, which was moved, incidentally, from the United States, will be expanded to Europe.
We are a trading nation, and we all benefit from it. However, there is another that benefits that we can never forget, and that is the consumer. The free market system has created something for the consumer that rivals anything since the beginning of time.
Free trade, I should add, is the engine of the free market system. The unguided hand is released. Businesses can begin to expand, whatever the opportunity.
When we were travelling with our trade committee, I sat beside a businessman on the airplane who told me he saw an opportunity because of the expanded trade in the oyster industry. He was taking those shells and crushing them and had created a whole new industry in fertilizer. He was telling me how many people were employed as a result.
That is just one story in so many.
If we think back, in North America, to the turn of the 20th century, 40% of the workforce was on the farm. When that 40% was released, men like Henry Ford began to take their ingenuity and what they had learned on the farm to create a whole new industry. Here is a mechanic, from my neck of the woods, again, in Detroit, Ann Arbor, who created the Ford Motor Company. Along with that came so many other industries. The Goodyear, Goodrich, and Dunlop families all produced tires for the auto industry. The many fuel companies began to produce fuel for that industry. There was transportation, shipping, trains, trucking, and the roads. This is just a small piece of what the auto industry did for the North American market. The average American, the average Canadian, could own an automobile.
Competition ensued as a result of that. We had new companies that started up, with improvements and better cars, and it spread to other sectors.
We mentioned our food industry. We talk so much about food, better farming practices, healthier foods, and lower prices. Today about 10% of what we make is spent on food for the average family.
We could go on and on. I think we all agree that what has transpired as a result of the free market system and the free trade that has ensued has been good. It has been good for Canada, but it has not only been good for Canada; it has been good for the world.
As we close this debate, as we move on to vote, I encourage everyone to strike a yea vote for Bill C-13. Let us get this passed, and let us keep on down the road in a direction that we all know is good for this planet and for everyone who lives here.