Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his very responsible, very good question to all the members of this House.
We have a responsibility as parliamentarians not just to read the reports that come before us but to actually investigate how the trade agreements will affect us. These trade agreements have grown in size, exponentially. CETA is around 1,500 pages. The TPP is around 6,000 pages. I understand that is difficult for parliamentarians to digest, on top of our already busy schedules, but it is critically important that we do so and that we listen to stakeholders, not just in our communities but across Canada.
One of the things that has been highlighted at the trade committee level, specifically around the trans-Pacific partnership, is that many presenters to our committee only look at one or two chapters within this agreement. This trade agreement has far more to do with things other than just traditional trade.
We in the NDP definitely support the easement of tariff and non-tariff barriers, and we support trade flowing through our borders for those sectors that are anxious to get into markets that could benefit Canadians, bring more work here, more value-added work. We would like to see that out of our resource sector as well, that we have more of the actual value-added chain here in Canada versus just exporting our raw materials to other countries for them to enjoy the benefits of those jobs in those communities.
Returning to the member's point, it is critical that we look at this deal on balance, that we do not just laser focus into the few chapters that deal with that traditional trade. That is what we were able to do with Bill C-13, largely because of the size of its scope. It was quite small in comparison to the other agreements that we are facing, so we were able to commit ourselves fully to looking at the two provisions that would change in this very important piece of trade facilitation to which we are signing on.
I do think it is critical that, when we are looking at trade on the whole, we have a responsibility as party members and as members of Parliament to look at the entire deal, to look at the things that would benefit Canadians, and to look at the things that could potentially harm Canadians.
Although there are sectors that would benefit—and I would like to see that trade flow happen for them; I would like to see that increase—at the same time, when we are looking at trade agreements like those I mentioned, CETA and TPP, we do not want to see an increased cost of drugs for Canadians.
The labour mobility chapter is a prime example. One of the members mentioned earlier about consultations and who was brought in. Labour never entered into the conversation, because this is the first time we have seen this provision in a trade deal. How would they have known to go to the government and say, “You are negotiating a trade deal; I think we should be in on the conversation.” They had absolutely no knowledge that they would be included in the trade deal.
That speaks to the secrecy of the way these trade deals have been negotiated. These groups, even though they have seen things on government pages saying it is looking into a trade deal, have never been included in a trade deal before, so it has never occurred to them to actually go and consult with the government.
Now that we are looking at negative trade deals, where everything is on the table, unfortunately everyone in Canada has to go to the government with their concerns, because they could potentially be part of a trade agreement when they never had been before. We all have a responsibility to look at the trans-Pacific partnership on balance, look at every chapter, and speak to every stakeholder we can.