Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-30, an act to implement the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union and its member states and to provide for certain other measures.
Having had the unique opportunity of sitting on the Standing Committee on International Trade for almost a year now, I can attest that we have dealt with a number of priority issues, including the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement, or CETA.
Personally, I believe that implementing CETA and passing Bill C-30 is a real Canadian success. Many economies were hit hard by the 2008 world economic crisis, and even as we speak, some nations are still dealing with systemic social and economic challenges.
Fortunately, Canada has recovered, and so has the province where I was born, Quebec. During the economic crisis, our policies were applauded, and now we appreciate how lucky we all are to be Canadian.
When I was a member for the riding of Groulx in the National Assembly from 2007 to 2008, I can recall a number of conversations behind the scenes about the possibility of implementing an ambitious and exclusive trade deal between Canada and the European Union.
Back then, the idea was that, once CETA was implemented, Canada would have access to the two largest economic markets in the world: our natural ally, the United States; and Europe's major economies. At the time, the purpose of implementing such a massive trade agreement was to diversify our economy.
Now that it is really happening, I feel very privileged to participate in the debate on Bill C-30 as the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. However, we must be clear-headed about this because we all saw what happened in 2008. The reeling U.S. economy had a major impact on Canada and its provinces and territories too.
The main purpose of the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement is to diversify our economy because it is never a good idea to put all our eggs in one basket. Greater access to European markets is the natural next step because we have similar values and we want to strengthen our ties to our allies.
I am especially proud to be part of a government that will go down in history for building stronger ties with Europe. Our inclusive values, our belief in innovation, our progressive philosophy, and our professionalism have not only charmed Europe but have also secured the implementation of a quality trade agreement that will benefit Canada in many ways. Trade leads to growth, and growth leads to more jobs here in Canada and in our communities.
It was a pleasure for me to see the government officially sign CETA at the Canada-European Union Summit on October 30. This historic signature represents one more step toward implementing CETA. It goes without saying that, behind this treaty, there are men and women who have been standing up for Canada's most profound interests at the negotiating table since 2009. It is vital that we recognize their important work and their passion for implementing an agreement that will demonstrate Canada's and Europe's leadership on an inclusive and progressive approach to international trade.
I know that this agreement will result in growth and real opportunities to strengthen the middle class. As the world's second-largest economy, the European Union market represents an unprecedented opportunity for Canadian businesses.
The implementation of CETA will have an unprecedented impact on a number of businesses in my riding. The aerospace industry, the parts manufacturing industry, and the innovative technology industry in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, for instance, will be able to increase their production now that the European markets have opened to them.
As a result of this agreement, more Canadians will be working, the innovation chain will grow, and small and medium-businesses across the country in every sector will thrive.
The agreement has a number of chapters that are worth noting in the House.
First of all, CETA will provide privileged access not only to commodities and processed products, but also to the EU services sector, which is one of the most developed in the world. Conversely, it is our services sector that will benefit the most from the agreement, since the EU is the world's largest importer of services.
CETA also includes an important chapter on the environment and sustainable development, which are values that this government and European governments hold dear. With this trade arrangement, Canada continues to show environmental leadership on the international scene. The European Union understands, just as we do, that in order to leave a healthy planet for our children and future generations, we need to act now.
Furthermore, Canada can take advantage of an important opportunity presented by CETA, which includes a detailed framework for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. This important provision will help guarantee labour mobility, as well as the mobility of brain power between Canada and Europe. This measure allows not only labour forces to move freely, but also ideas and best practices. Absolutely everyone wins.
As a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, I would like to reiterate my support for Bill C-30 and for all of the provisions that bring into force one of the most progressive trade deals that has ever been on the table. Canada will benefit in many concrete ways from CETA, which will enable Canadian companies and small businesses to seize new business opportunities and diversify Europe.
Canada is a highly educated nation. We have an extremely skilled workforce, and the knowledge economy is the economy of the future. We can all be proud of signing this agreement and opening new markets with Europe thanks to the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement .