House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was support.

Topics

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

December 13th, 2016 / 12:20 p.m.

Mississauga Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development is conducting a study for the sanctions framework, and it is looking at, among other things, the Magnitsky proposal. However, I have a question for the member. If the Magnitsky Act was so clear cut, when his party was in government, why did it not implement it?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, under the previous government, important steps were taken with regard to supporting Ukraine and addressing human rights issues in Russia, and there was a commitment to move forward with the Magnitsky Act. In fact, the parliamentary secretary's own party committed with respect to supporting a Magnitsky Act before the last election. I do not know the precise timelines when this was proposed. The idea of a Magnitsky Act is something that has been developed relatively recently. It is not a form of sanctions that has been around for decades. This is a new piece of political technology that was developed to deal with human rights abuses. It is innovative, it has been passed in the United States and it works very well.

Obviously the commitment was there. Had the Conservatives been re-elected, we would have seen the implementation of the Magnitsky Act. The parliamentary secretary's own party made this commitment. If this is so ambiguous and it needs more study, the Liberals should have done the study before they made this commitment. Let us get this done, let us pass this common sense initiative and let us make it non-partisan.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was fascinated to hear the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan raise the issue of the provision to Ukraine of images from Canada's RADARSAT-2 technology, which is contractually provided to Canada by MacDonald, Dettwiler.

When the Harper administration first provided that satellite imagery and proposed it internally, my information, which I believe to be solid, is that it was opposed by both the Department of National Defence and the department we now call Global Affairs Canada. There were significant concerns about pushing through with providing this technology, and some of those concerns came from MacDonald, Dettwiler.

I am very pleased to hear that we are no longer providing those images because, in my vew, it posed a significant threat to our access to those images for the things for which Canada needed RADARSAT-2 and that we were putting ourselves in a position where, due to the conflict in Ukraine, we could have lost access to that technology.

Could the hon. member shed more light on this? He is the first member I have heard raise this in the House.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to comment on this when my colleague talks about her information on what she has heard may have been discussed in the Department of National Defence. I certainly never read anything on the public record suggesting anything of the nature of the concerns she has raised. If she has documentation to support some of these concerns, I would be interested in reading it and learning about where those concerns come from. I do not think that any of this is at least on the public record. The reality is that this was a decision taken by the previous government and it did not in any way negatively impact our access to these images. It was important for Ukraine and for Canada. Whatever hypothetical concerns may have existed beforehand, certainly they were not borne out in practice. We were providing these images and we had the positive effects for Canada as well as for Ukraine. These are very important for Ukraine's security.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North
Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I appreciated a number of words by the member across the way as he reflected on the situation we found ourselves in a few years ago when we had the Euromaidan movement. I had the privilege of being onsite three or four times, and it was an interesting experience. What I really appreciated was the degree to which people of Ukrainian heritage here in Canada got involved in the whole process in trying to help solve the problem. I was encouraged by that.

When the President of Ukraine spoke to this House, one of the things he talked about was the importance of getting a free trade agreement. Therefore, we are formalizing a free trade agreement here. Even though it might have been referenced in the past, and I know I referenced it many years ago in the House, it is great to see that we are fulfilling something that is of benefit not only to Canada economically but is also the right thing to do at the right time.

Could the member provide his thoughts on how important it is that we see this come to fruition?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would love to chat with my colleague offline about his experience there at that time.

First of all, I want to affirm the member's comments about the important role the Canadian diaspora plays in supporting Ukraine. One of the things I heard repeatedly in Ukraine was the value of Ukrainian Canadians in the relationship with Ukraine. This is something that we see across the board, in which communities in Canada with origins in other countries are able to help develop the friendships between Canada and these other countries and strong supporting both.

I completely agree about the importance of the free trade deal proposed today, both in terms of its economic and strategic benefits. Again, I am asking the government to consider doing more to support Ukraine and restoring some of the things it previously did in support of Ukraine. At least on the economic front, we have not seen any pullback. We may have seen pullback on the security and foreign affairs front, but we are full steam ahead in terms of economic co-operation by the current government with Ukraine. That certainly is a positive.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech in this debate.

It seems to me that the Conservatives are in the habit of fully supporting every economic and trade agreement without question, while we are always being accused of not supporting any of them. I think it would be fair to consider why they seem to fully support agreements without even having seen the text of those agreements.

Does my colleague think that his party is irresponsible in that regard because the Conservatives support trade agreements without having even seen the text? Can he comment on that and tell the House whether he thinks that this is a responsible way of dealing with free trade agreements?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it will not surprise members to hear that I do not share my colleague's characterization of things. The reality, of course, is that when we were in government, the trade deals that came before the House were obviously ones that we supported because we negotiated them. In all of those trade deals, we had naysayers who said that we could not possibly get a good deal for Canada, that we could not possibly preserve certain aspects of our domestic policy environment, and yet we were able to sign good deals for Canada.

Why did we support those deals? It is because they were good deals that we negotiated. Under the Conservatives, we were hard-nosed negotiators. We got good deals done for Canada.

Certainly, in a number of cases, we see the new Liberal government continuing with deals that were partially, or in the case of CETA, completely negotiated by the previous government. We see that as a positive. Again, obviously, members could expect us to support those deals.

In terms of the NDP's position on this, its members are sounding more and more like Donald Trump every day. They are saying they are okay with one-off bilateral trade deals, but that big multilateral trade deals, whoa, are a little too huge for them.

The reality is that multilateral trade involving multiple countries provides a great deal of economic benefit for our country. Obviously, there are certain cases in which moving forward with a bilateral trade deal, in this case with Ukraine, makes sense. However, that does not mean that we should be reluctant to sign trade deals with larger groups of countries, especially in the case of Europe, where it is not possible to proceed with individual, bilateral trade deals with one European country here or there if they are part of the EU. There is a need to negotiate on a multilateral basis.

However, this is good trade deal, and CETA is a good trade deal. Again, when the Conservatives were in government, they had a progressive, positive trade deals, but also effectively negotiated in the interests of Canada to get things done that maybe naysayers said were not possible, but that we were able to get done.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

It is my honour to rise in the House today on behalf of my riding of Parkdale—High Park to speak in favour of Bill C-31, Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement implementation act. Our government signed the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement on July 11, 2016. It is now time to ratify that agreement here in the House of Commons.

This deal represents an important milestone in the Canada-Ukraine bilateral relationship. The Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement is sound economic policy that will meet the needs of businesses, industry, and consumers in both Canada and Ukraine. It will also continue to strengthen Canada's relationship with Ukraine by fostering important cultural ties and social growth between our two countries.

Finally, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement makes an important contribution to Canadian foreign policy by helping consolidate Ukraine's place in Europe while keeping in check aggressive foreign powers in the region.

I want to begin today by outlining the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement's economic benefits. Not only does this agreement serve as an opportunity to export Canadian goods abroad, but Canadians across the country will also benefit from a diverse range of Ukrainian goods that will come into Canada. This will translate into dynamic business opportunities in both countries and means that Canadian consumers from Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian backgrounds alike will have easy, affordable access to the products they demand.

Our industries will benefit from tariff-free iron, steel, and minerals. Ordinary Canadians will find new occasions to sample specialty Ukrainian confectionaries and beverages. This includes enticing treats such as Ukrainian chocolate, baked goods, and even Ukrainian vodka, just in time to warm us up over the holidays.

These goods will all be tariff free, which means that middle-class Canadians will pay less in stores for the same high-quality goods. The same could be said of our Ukrainian allies. Their consumers will enjoy more affordable Canadian beef, pork, and seafood, which will translate into increased demand for our Canadian producers and manufacturers.

Canada and Ukraine are already important trading partners and our economic relationship continues to grow with each passing year. In 2015, bilateral trade between our two countries increased by 14% over 2014, totalling almost $278 million. Of that, Canada's exports to Ukraine reached approximately $210 million. This is clearly a business opportunity we cannot afford to miss out on, as it will accelerate the growth of both of our economies.

The evidence is clear. One need only consider the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Over a period of 12 years, merchandise trade between Canada and the United States has more than doubled. Over the same period, merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico has increased eightfold and continues to rise by 10% per year. Our economic integration with each of these countries encourages the development of Canadian businesses and makes them more competitive. The same thing will happen with Ukraine. We will see a positive impact throughout Europe.

However, this is not just about imports and exports. The Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, like all such free trade deals, would ensure that our trading relationships follow predictable rules and include reduced technical barriers. As a result, our businesses will be better prepared to offer value-added products and services to markets across the globe.

Despite the widely acclaimed fiscal effects of free trade agreements like the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, this accord has important implications beyond its economic benefits for both countries. Bill C-31 will strengthen Canada-Ukraine relations. That is why the 7,000 proud Ukrainian-Canadians in my riding of Parkdale—High Park have been advocating for free trade. That is why leaders like Paul Grod, Renata Roman, and Taras Bahriy of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have been working so hard to see the finalization of this agreement. That is why Marc Marzotto, the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Toronto, wants to see the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement ratified here in the House of Commons. That is why I receive numerous communications from my constituents, people like Leda Lada and Anna Semotiuk, who lead the Ukrainian social services; and people like Ludmila Kolesnichenko of the Canada-Ukraine Immigrant Aid Society; and people like Andre Sochaniwsky from the Ukrainian Credit Union. All of them all care deeply not just about this agreement but about the future of the Canada-Ukraine relationship.

I thank all of these individuals and groups for their continued advocacy.

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

All of these advocates know that concluding a free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine would strengthen the ties between our two countries. When we facilitate and promote trade relations with other nations, we open channels of communication with them. We create opportunities for dialogue, growth, and mutual understanding, and these channels inevitably lead to closer relations.

This means that Canada is building trust with Ukraine and, in turn, Ukraine is building trust with Canada. We are forging pathways to share more than just our trade goods. We will strengthen the cultural exchange between our two nations and will be in a better position to promote our interests in Ukraine and learn more about what Ukraine can offer in Canada.

We have heard many people today debate this issue. We know that Ukrainian culture and history are already woven into the tapestry of Canadian heritage. Canada is home to 1.3 million people of Ukrainian descent. We started to welcome Ukrainians to our shores 125 years ago, so Ukrainians' contributions to our country's history are vast and deep.

We celebrate those contributions each year in my riding at the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival, one of the single largest annual celebrations of Ukrainian culture in North America. In 1991, Canada was the first western nation to recognize Ukraine's independence, on December 2 of that year. On behalf of my riding of Parkdale—High Park and the thousands of members of the Ukrainian diaspora within my community, I welcome the opportunity, through the ratification of this trade agreement, to work even more closely with the Ukrainian community.

The ratification of this free trade agreement could not come at a more critical time. Crimea has been illegally annexed and a war is raging in the Donbass region. Our government has made commitments to defend Ukrainian interests against increasing Russian intervention and aggression, and free trade is yet another means of doing this. This trade accord is a symbol of our steadfast support and solidarity with Ukraine and its interests. This agreement would not only benefit Ukraine by contributing to the economic power it needs to assert on the world stage, but it would also strengthen the economic and cultural relationship between Ukraine and the European Union. Allow me to explain.

Canada and Ukraine both have free trade agreements with the EU. Thanks to our government's efforts, Canada has signed on to CETA, while Ukraine has a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU. These triangular trade relations are significant for several reasons. First, triangular trade means that Ukraine can enter trade markets worth roughly $500 billion. By entering into agreements with both Canada and the EU, Ukraine is opening itself up for investment. This investment means growth for Ukraine, as well as for Canada. The Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement has been cited as a means of reducing unemployment in Ukraine and helping strengthen the overall economy.

Currently, Russia has an economic blockade on Ukraine, so free trade with Canada is an opportunity for Ukraine to diversify its markets. It is also an opportunity for Canada to fill the void in the Ukrainian market left by Russian sanctions against Ukraine. Thus, through the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, Ukraine will be in a better position to stand strong against Russian economic influence and to take control of its own priorities on its own terms.

Members of the House will recall that Ukraine's assertion of economic sovereignty and its move towards Europe and the west was the very genesis of the original Orange Revolution in Ukraine against Russian influence. This free trade agreement would make the liberalization of Ukraine's economy more viable and facilitate Ukrainian self-determination and autonomy. Canada's involvement in this agreement would help ensure that the number and quality of Ukrainian exports would increase and match the EU and Canada's quality and safety standards. Thus, it strengthens incentives for Ukraine to move away from the soviet-influenced standards, with which it has been burdened for so long.

This demonstrates that Bill C-31 is not only economically sound for both Canada and Ukraine but is also ethically responsible. Ukraine's evolving regulatory standards can be aligned with Canadian and European standards for safety, intellectual property rights, and environmental protections, thus paving the way for responsible, clean, and ethical investment. This also means that Canada will be in a better position to support Ukraine's democratic transformation.

I want to conclude simply by re-emphasizing how important the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement is for the Ukrainian community in my riding of Parkdale-High Park and for the Ukrainian-Canadian diaspora across the country. The agreement would cement the deep historical, cultural, social, and economic ties between our two nations. This agreement is sound economic policy and would facilitate dialogue between Canada and Ukraine, social and cultural ties, and aligns with our ethical duties to support our allies in eastern Europe against foreign aggression.

I stand in support of Bill C-31, I stand in support of Ukraine, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the chamber to do the same.

Slava Ukraini.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives will be supporting the bill as well. When we were in government, we worked very hard to show our support for Ukraine.

The member talked about the importance of the Ukrainian roots that weave through the fabric of our culture and society. We have a community that is very rich in Ukrainian culture in Alberta, and that is Vegreville, which the government has turned its back on. It is going to cost that community 280 full-time jobs. The ripple effect through that small rural town will be disastrous. We have asked the government many times to present some sort of analysis of the financial impact, anything that was done on this, to show that the closure of that office in Vegreville is warranted.

We are talking about the connection between Ukraine and Canada. Vegreville has a very deep and rich Ukrainian cultural history. How do we support trade agreements with another country when we are not supporting that culture right here at home?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton

I recognize the hon. member for Foothills has tried to make a link with his question. It is not entirely pertinent to the motion that is before the House today, but I see the parliamentary secretary rising, and perhaps he will have a chance to address it just the same.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Ukrainian diaspora does not originate in one particular city in this country but is a truly national diaspora. The 1.3 million Ukrainian Canadians who populate this country and enrich our fabric are scattered from coast to coast to coast. That includes residents of my riding, residents in Etobicoke, and residents all the way across the Prairies, in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

We are concerned about the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora and assisting it in terms of its prosperity, in terms of the benefits that are provided to that community, and in terms of addressing the rich cultural heritage that it brings to our country.

In terms of the Ukrainian Canadian residents, and indeed all residents of the city of Vegreville, we are alive to these concerns. We have addressed them at frequent occasions in the House of Commons. We have reached out to the member whose constituents are being affected. We are trying to ensure that we provide balanced and fair processing in the immigration streams with the wise fiscal and prudent use of taxpayer dollars, while at the same time marrying the requirements and the job needs of the people who are working in Alberta. We have secured jobs for all of those people who are currently working in Vegreville. They will have the opportunity to work in Edmonton, another bona fide Ukrainian centre, and we will continue to work on this front.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I am pleased to inform him that the NDP will support this trade agreement, in part because it does not contain a parallel legal system for investor-state dispute resolution.

Can my colleague tell us more about that? Why is there no such mechanism in this agreement even though it is in the agreement with Europe? Why are these two agreements different in this respect?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague opposite.

For the Canada-Ukraine agreement, we settled on very specific conditions. We added a number of key issues. However, when negotiating a multilateral agreement that involves more than two countries, obviously there are going to be other conditions and features. The two approaches are not exclusive.

We will continue to pursue free trade around the world. We will negotiate agreements with some countries directly, but we will also continue to work very hard on multilateral agreements to open up and grow our economy and create jobs here in Canada.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I speak today in support of Bill C-31, an act to implement the free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine.

This agreement and the related legislation are part of the government's ambitious, consistent, and very progressive free trade agenda. They are part of our strong drive to get Canadian goods and services to foreign markets. The Canada–Ukraine free trade agreement represents an important milestone in the Canada–Ukraine bilateral relationship.

It would benefit Canadian businesses and Canadian workers. It would also benefit Ukrainian businesses and Ukrainian people. Since the 1880s, Ukrainian immigrants have come to Canada to embrace the opportunity to work, to prosper, and to raise their families in peace and freedom. For over 120 years, Ukrainian culture has enriched the Canadian landscape in every facet in our communities.

In my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, we have a strong, vibrant Ukrainian diaspora. Being married to someone of Ukrainian heritage, my wife Christina Yaremczuk, I see what Ukrainian Canadians bring to the community. Both of my twin boys dance in a Ukrainian folklore dance group. It is led by Pan Fedyr Danylak. It is a great dance group. It has travelled globally. It has visited many countries. It has been here in Ottawa. I had a chance to host the group here on the Hill. The Barvinok Ukrainian dance group really is an enlightenment of all the Ukrainian culture, and the members bring that to so many audiences through song and dance.

At this time of year, we also celebrated Yarmarok just recently and the harvest festival, and we are getting ready for the Christmas season. Having a wife of Ukrainian background means I get to celebrate Christmas twice. We have the Orthodox Christmas as well as the Christian Christmas. Our house is full of joy for a little longer

There is also a solemn time when we remember those who lost their lives in the Holodomor, in 1932 and 1933, in a genocide, a famine, constructed by Stalin, the starvation of so many Ukrainians. Millions of Ukrainians lost their lives, and we remember. I am so proud of St. Mary's church, just down the street from my house. There is a memorial to the victims of the Holodomor, those who lost their lives and their families.

In Canada's global market access plan, Ukraine is designated a priority emerging market with specific opportunities for Canadian businesses. This trade treaty is the result of Canada pursuing that priority and seeking those opportunities for Canadian businesses.

In addition to generating commercial benefits for Canadian businesses, CUFTA would support economic reform and development efforts of the Government of Ukraine, strengthen partnerships between our two countries, and help pave the way toward long-term development.

The business opportunities provided by this agreement would be particularly promising for agricultural industries, our seafood businesses, and our industrial sector. The strengthened business ties in these and other sectors would have obvious benefits across Canada. Regarding agriculture, specifically, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says:

Free-trade agreements such as the agreement with Ukraine will help Canadians involved in our globally competitive agri-food export sector....

This agreement would eventually see the Ukrainian tariffs on our agricultural products reduced from as high as 14% to zero. Given Ukraine's significant unconventional oil and gas deposits, opportunities for our oil and gas technology and related industries is very apparent. Co-operation and joint ventures are all possibilities.

Currently, a far too modest amount of trade happens between Canada and Ukraine, but this is no reason to forgo or to ignore the tremendous opportunity. Rather, these moderate numbers should spur us on to seize this chance to grow our mutual trade into a much more substantial economic relationship.

This agreement would eliminate tariff and other barriers to mutual trade; thus it would provide new and and growing export opportunities for Canadian business. Our goods and services would be more competitive in Ukraine. This would mean more good Canadian jobs and a wider range of less-expensive Ukrainian imports for our consumers. Canadians would benefit from both results of this free trade agreement.

This trade growth would result in more job opportunities here in Canada and in Ukraine. This would increase our middle class. I wish to remind everyone that export-related jobs are particularly important because wages in the industries that emphasize exports tend to be 50% higher than wages in those sectors that are not export oriented. Economically disadvantaged Canadians would be more likely to be able to work their way into the middle class because of this treaty.

Our other properly negotiated and implemented free trade agreements and our other non-trade related policies will further empower those struggling to join our middle class.

The opportunity to have a chance to seize with this free trade agreement and legislation is another illustration of how Canada derives strength and prosperity through its diversity. We are strong because of our diversity, not in spite of our differences.

In this case, we would utilize the talents of all Canadians, but particularly those Canadians with Ukrainian heritage. Ukrainian Canadians would contribute disproportionately to the strengthened business ties we would build with Ukraine because of this agreement.

The importance of this Ukrainian diaspora in Canada warrants mention of a few perhaps overlooked facts about these Canadians. These facts illustrate how broadly and deeply Ukrainian Canadians are woven into our Canadian fabric.

First, Canada is the home of the largest number of Ukrainian descendants in the world outside of Ukraine and Russia. They number 1.3 million Canadians.

Second, Ukrainian Canadians do not all live in the prairie provinces. Large numbers of Ukrainian Canadians are found from coast to coast to coast. Especially in the GTA, there are many Ukrainians, many of them living in my riding: I believe the number is around 8,000 or 9,000 Canadians of Ukrainian descent. These illustrations demonstrate what a mark Ukrainian Canadians have made on our fabric, and they have made it much richer and stronger.

While certainly there are differences between Canada and Ukraine, we have much in common. Canada and Ukraine are both middle powers. We share a similar climate. We have roughly the same size populations. Canada and Ukraine must trade to survive, and we both must trade intelligently to prosper. The Canada–Ukraine free trade agreement is exactly that smart free trade that we both need.

In addition to the mutual economic benefits of this free trade treaty, it is appropriate that Canada show strong support for the Ukrainian people. This support is warranted because Ukraine has added much to Canada's strength and prosperity. This was accomplished through the welcome and positive contribution of successive waves of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada. We have benefited from this immigration for over a century. There is not one aspect of Canadian life that these immigrants and their descendants have not enriched.

When we formed government, the Minister of International Trade's mandate letter highlighted our commitment to deepening trade links with traditional and new trading partners. This agreement, along with CETA, would do just that. Both these treaties can be seen as part of a worldwide attempt to build bridges. These bridges, while primarily economic, have broader non-economic implications. Those implications extend to strengthening culture, governance, development, and security. Further, each properly constituted free trade agreement between any two countries serves to build a global culture of mutually beneficial interdependence that benefits all the world's peoples.

During our successful campaign to win Canadians' trust in 2015, in our real change platform, we promised to get Canadian goods to market. We made it clear to Canadians that trade is vital for our economy. When implemented, this progressive agreement would generate opportunities for Canadians and Ukrainians, create new jobs, and help to grow the middle class. This agreement and this legislation is a significant part of our fulfilling that promise, and I wholeheartedly support it.