House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was service.

Topics

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It will be split then. Thank you.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me also congratulate my friend across the way. I see another friend from the trade committee. We are getting some great work done. As he is rightly pointing out, there are a tremendous number of opinions out there as to what constitutes good trade, what constitutes progressive trade, and what constitutes us giving away the country that I do not agree with.

Having said that, we are a trading nation. We always have been. It was traders who came to this great country and settled it many years ago. The first nations that were here when they arrived were traders, and they continue to be. We had several of them before committee yesterday. There is a huge contradiction, whether they are for it or against it, what the day is, and so on.

On Bill C-13, lucky 13, the trade facilitation act, a number of things come into play. The former minister was up just a moment ago talking about how difficult it was. I happened to be at that particular WTO meeting in Bali. It was one of the last ones I attended. It was always interesting to see the countries siding with certain other countries. He said that there is a tremendous amount of disagreement between the developed, the developing, and the underdeveloped countries and how we get from one level to the other, with everyone scrambling.

The unfortunate part with the WTO is that it seems to want to bring everyone down to a median as opposed to lifting everyone up. That is what caught my attention at my first WTO meetings, almost a decade ago in Geneva. What we were discussing then was already irrelevant, but we were trying to get that passed so we could move on. Rather than shift it aside and move on to something more relevant, they were stuck in a situation where everyone had a veto and they really could not move forward. To actually bring this through in the Bali package, as it was called, and India was very much against it, took another year of negotiation back in Geneva.

It takes two-thirds of the membership of the WTO to make this happen, so roughly 108 countries have to agree. Once we get this done here in the next little while, we will be number 82, so there is still a tremendous amount of work to do before it actually comes into play.

What it seeks to do is level the playing field to create more predictability and stability in trade corridors around the world. These are global trade corridors now. Certainly, Canada is part of all that global movement. However, it will also help the developing countries.

The parliamentary secretary talked about the women entrepreneurs around the world. I could not agree with him more. That is one of the strengths I see in the TPP, which hopefully we will get to at some point in this august House as well. There are labour and environmental standards, and it seeks to reinforce them throughout the world.

Countries that are involved in the TPP, like Vietnam, are looking forward to it. I had a good opportunity to be in Vietnam about a year or a year and a half ago. It is looking forward to using our level of labour standards, our workers' compensation, and a number of other things to reinforce its ability to grow. It has an economy of some 80 million people in a small area. It does a lot of secondary processing that goes into other economies around the world through any trade corridors that work. There are a tremendous number of women involved in what happens in Vietnam. It is looking forward to that. With the environmental standards, too, it does not have to commit the errors that a lot of us, as growing economies, did. It does not have to go through coal-fired generation. It can go right to something green. There are all those opportunities out there as well.

I agree with the parliamentary secretary on this. If I say that three times, someone slap me, because that will be enough.

At the end of the day, this is all about making sure that we have global standards that are enforceable. As obsolete as the WTO is at times on certain fronts, it really is the only rules-based organization that everyone belongs to. We used that operation when we were taking the United States to task on country-of-origin labelling. The parliamentary secretary will have an idea of how much work went into that over the two or three years it took to wind through the appellate body at the WTO. It started to come together fairly quickly when the United States realized that it had run out of options, and it finally put forward a piece of legislation and took that off its agenda.

However, they are the only rules we have on a multilateral stage. We have rules involved in NAFTA. We have rules involved in the TPP. There are rules involved with the CETA and ISDS adjudication, which is groundbreaking. We look forward to those rules being put in place and having the ability to argue our side, make our case, and move forward.

It takes things like this TFA, almost housekeeping, because it is sort of reactionary to what has happened before. It needs to be addressed, but it is not forward looking, as we see in some of the movement we have with the CETA and the TPP. It is today's economy.

When I was first elected to this place almost 20 years ago, cell phones were not in vogue. Few people had them, so at one point I took my garage door opener with me a couple of times just to make it look like I was part of the in-crowd. Now everything is done at the speed of commerce. We have to address those situations throughout the world and go back into some trade agreements and address how we download cultural products and so on.

There is a lot of concern about getting it right as we move to that in CETA and the TPP. I think we have. A lot of consultation went on with respect to both of those agreements as we moved forward page by page. The former minister of trade and I worked hard. The TPP agreement is 6,000 pages long. There is a lot of stuff in it. We went through it page by page as it developed over the years Canada was involved in negotiating it.

I want to take a moment to congratulate all the great people at DFAIT, as it was called at that time. Now it is called Global Affairs. I want to congratulate all the negotiators, the Steve Verheul, the Kirsten Hillman, who did the heavy lifting day after day, taking, some would say, a schizophrenic position that Canada always carried into those agreements and making it work. They did tremendous work, as did all of the people who worked with them. We owe them a tremendous amount of gratitude for getting us to this level today and for making Canada a broker in the world.

On my first trip to Geneva, we were still working on the Uruguay round of GATT. Everyone has since forgotten about those things and moved on, but they are still important, because they set the foundation.

I remember being with Steve Verheul on a number of different fronts. At that point, the director-general of the WTO was Pascal Lamy. He had the idea that if he kept everyone dangling until midnight then put them to work, he would get something done. That did not work. He just ended up with mad people around the table. We did not get anything done. He would break us into country groups of five and cherry-pick who he wanted. I remember going out with Steve for a beer afterward or supper late at night or whatever, and his cell phone never stopped ringing with calls from the five people who were in the room who were asking him what they should do. He was the broker involved behind the scenes for a lot of the countries. They relied on Steve Verheul and people like him.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work these people have done to get us to this point. Now they are watching to see how long it will take us to do the light lifting and put into play what they worked so hard to do.

This is a good first step, but there are so many other things that need to be addressed as we move along. It seems almost hypocritical to me that we are going to implement border-smoothing operations under the TFA while at the same time we cannot seem to clean up our own interprovincial trade. We have a motion coming forward, and the government has already said it will not support. The government is going to support this at the international level but we are not going to clean up our own house at the same time. That is a bit hypocritical and is something we will really have to bear down on.

Other countries are watching. We talk about rules and about how Canada is a global trader, but we have all of these anomalies right here within our own country we need to address.

The Senate has done some work on this. We will be doing some work on it, I am sure, at trade committee. I look forward to those future discussions.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would second my hon. colleague wholeheartedly on the capacity and intellect of our trade negotiators. I have now come to the conclusion that trade negotiators are among the most intelligent people I have ever met, including Steve Verheul and Kirsten Hillman.

I want to ask the member about the TPP. I want to ask him for a couple of specific examples, putting the best cases forward, as to why the TPP might qualify as a progressive trade agreement.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I think there are a number of chapters in the TPP that are unique to the TPP. I talked about cultural downloads, digital downloads, and a lot of different things like that. The rules and regulations, when it comes to moving products around the world, address what we really have here, which are global supply chains. It is not just raw materials going to Japan. It is goods that go back and forth to finish them up.

Canada is very good at certain things. We are not as good at other things. We export between 50% and 90% of what we produce on the agricultural side: what we raise, grow, and produce. At the same time, we import 50% of what we eat domestically. We have to have good, solid trade corridors for that to happen.

We have to diversify our trade portfolio the same as anyone would diversify a stock portfolio. If we rely strictly on the U.S. market, as we have done for years, when they have a problem, we face the same problem.

CETA, on one hand, is a very aged market, a very mature market. The Pacific Rim, on the other side, of course, takes into account a growing, emerging middle class we will have access to, so between the two, we will have access to some 80% of the global GDP. It is very important that we have both.

It is also very important that we have strength with the TPP countries in our hip pocket if and when we move forward on an agreement with China. The size and scope of the Chinese economy will swallow us whole overnight.

I have often said, from an agricultural standpoint, that if everyone in the middle class in China had a bacon cheeseburger and a beer once a month, we could not supply it. That is the size and scope of that market.

We have to move into that realm with caution. I am a firm believer in doing more with China. It is a tremendous opportunity, but I think we will do it and fare a lot better when we have the strength of the TPP in our hip pocket. It is the same as having the CETA agreement in our hip pocket. In the final days of negotiating the TPP, it was very helpful.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague on the trade committee for his hard work on this file, although we fundamentally disagree, certainly, on the TPP.

I think it is interesting that the member mentioned his own stock portfolio and worrying about that. Most Canadians do not have the luxury of worrying about whether their stock portfolio is doing well, and the TPP would severely impact these people's lives.

Getting back to this particular piece, he spoke a bit about the challenges we have here in our own country. Really, the inability of small and medium-sized enterprises to actually access these market is a huge problem. We have heard this on the trade committee. We are talking about over 80% of Canadian businesses. They are simply unable to get into other markets and get into an export situation.

I am confident that the hon. member believes, as I do, that the government has to focus more of its efforts on improving opportunities in trade for SMEs, such as the tax reduction that all three parties agreed to during the election campaign, which unfortunately, we have seen the Liberals fail on. That will end up costing small and medium-sized enterprises in our country millions of dollars that they simply cannot afford.

I wonder if the hon. member could actually speak to some ways we could improve trade avenues for small and medium-sized enterprises, such as things that have been identified at the committee.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, certainly my colleague and I disagree most of the time on the trade committee, but we do agree that Canadians need to be better off and that we cannot tax them into submission. They have to be able to have a number of different things at their disposal.

I never said I had a stock portfolio. I was a farmer. Before that I was a general contractor to pay for that nasty habit. I said that just as people would say that they should have a diversified stock portfolio, they should also have a diversified trade portfolio.

When it comes to small businesses doing trading, I consider myself, as a farmer, a small business, and I was not scared about selling my canola, my lentils, into other countries around the world, because there were corridors to do that. We educate ourselves, we find the knowledge, and we work with others to make that happen, and there are always people who will facilitate that.

First we have to have the ability to do it. Then we have to have the knowledge and the wherewithal to actually make that happen. Once one starts doing it, it is almost a drug. One can get hooked on the ability to move products through and watch them being enjoyed by other countries.

I had the great opportunity in my former role as the agriculture minister to be on pretty much every continent and in every country enjoying Canadian products. Without a word of a lie, there is no better product for consistency and quality of product, when it comes to foodstuffs, than the Canadian one in the world.

It is unbelievable. When we go into other countries and they serve what they consider to be a steak or lettuce or whatever, it does not measure up to ours at all.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to build on the comments of my colleague from Battlefords—Lloydminster. In his speech, he mentioned some of our remarkable trade negotiators. He mentioned Kirsten Hillman, who spearheaded our TPP negotiations, and Steve Verheul, who spearheaded our negotiations with the European Union.

There are others and I do not want to leave out. For example, Marvin Hildebrand negotiated our trade agreement with the Ukraine and our updated agreement with Israel. Ian Burney did that monumental trade agreement with South Korea and J.B. Leblanc was responsible for negotiating a number of trade deals within Central America and South America. All of these trade deals are driving prosperity and job creation within Canada.

Let us get back to Bill C-13. Those who are viewing across Canada may not understand what we are talking about when we talk about TFA, trade facilitation agreements, when we talk about the Bali package. We need to go back 30 years when there was a large number of like-minded countries around the world that realized there were no common sets of rules around the world to govern trade. As countries traded with each other, tariffs could be increased or reduced, protectionist measures could be enacted day upon day, and it made trade very unpredictable.

Back in 1986, negotiations started under what was called the Uruguay round and then in 1994-95, an agreement was finally reached, in which tariffs were eliminated or, in many cases, reduced. It also addressed some of the behind the borders challenges to trade. That was called the Uruguay round. That culminated into the creation of the World Trade Organization. Today, I believe there are 162 or 163 members in the World Trade Organization.

It was under this WTO that a second round of trade negotiations started back in 2001. Think about it. That was 15 years ago. Very little progress had been made over those years and I will get to the reasons for that in a moment.

Countries at least were able to get together and put together a small package under the Doha round, which we now call the Bali package. This was an outcome that included trade facilitation, which, in other words, improved customs processes and the ability to export and import products more efficiently.

There was a second piece to that, which involved food security for developing countries, things such as the public stockholding of food, and also addressed export competition. Certainly, there was financial support agreed to for the least developed countries, to help them actually take advantage of trade opportunities around the world.

During the Bali package negotiations, I was in Bali, Indonesia and at that time there were 157 countries. It was hard fought because there were so many different competing interests trying to come to a consensus. We finally came to a consensus on these three smaller packages, which we bound up in a ribbon called the Bali package.

We took it home and then, suddenly, we heard that India had a change of government. Prime Minister Modi was now in charge. He said he did not like the agreement and wanted to renegotiate it. That is an indicator of how difficult it is today to reach consensus within the World Trade Organization.

Fortunately, negotiations among India, the U.S., and some other partners were finally able to resolve that impasse and today, we are here in the chamber implementing one part of the Bali package, which is the trade facilitation agreement.

I want to be very clear that we in the Conservative Party strongly support this legislation. We strongly support trade facilitation because it would allow us not only to improve our own trade opportunities around the world but also give a hand up to other countries, in most cases the poorest countries in the world, to start to think about trade as a way of improving their own prosperity and raising up more people into the middle class.

The trade facilitation agreement is actually the first multilateral trade agreement to be concluded since the WTO was established over 20 years ago. It would likely eliminate up to 14% of the trade barriers and the costs related to those trade barriers around the world.

The biggest beneficiaries of this trade facilitation agreement are actually the poorest countries in the world. Of course, they cannot do that without receiving support from the developed countries, countries like Canada. We have agreed to support them. We are streamlining the flow of trade across borders.

The agreement sets forth a series of measures for expeditiously moving goods across borders based on best practices from around the world. Most of those best practices come from the developed nations, like Canada. It will also simplify customs procedures, reduce red tape, expedite the release and clearance of goods, reduce costs associated with border processing, and make international trade more predictable. As I mentioned, it will also establish a program to financially assist the poorest of the WTO members to actually take advantage of trade.

The reality is that the WTO has struggled to make meaningful progress and eliminate additional tariff and non-tariff barriers. The Doha round was started 15 years ago, and we have the Bali package, which is actually relatively small compared to the aspirations of the Doha round.

Many people have asked me what has made the WTO somewhat sclerotic, in other words comatose, in achieving the kinds of trade goals and trade ambitions that we as Canadians have for the world.

It is all about the emerging economies. Countries like India, which I already mentioned, Brazil, China, Russia, and South Africa, the BRICS countries that are flexing their muscles, realizing they have some economic clout within the global marketplace, and are exercising that clout, often preventing consensus from occurring at the WTO.

That is why it is so difficult to get this Doha round completed, to make meaningful progress in eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers around the world.

What has Canada done? In the absence of a robust trade agenda at the WTO, we are doing bilateral agreements, trade agreements with countries like South Korea and Ukraine. We have negotiated trade agreements with countries like Jordan. Of course, the largest agreement of its kind is our free trade agreement with the 28 countries of the European Union.

This is an economy of some 500 million consumers with whom Canada will now have preferred access. The same thing is true for the trans-Pacific partnership. I am quite disappointed that the Liberal government does not seem to understand the importance of being a leader, showing leadership in moving forward with ratifying this very important agreement.

This agreement, the TPP, actually involves 12 countries that want to raise the ambition for trade, have high level rules for trade within the Asia-Pacific region. We are talking about partners like Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, but also other partners that are less developed, like Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru, and Chile, all countries that want to work together to eliminate trade barriers, to drive prosperity in our own countries.

Our previous Conservative government really worked hard to embark upon the most ambitious trade agenda Canada had ever seen. Over a 10-year period, we were able to negotiate free trade agreements with 46 different countries, bringing to 51 the total number of countries with which Canada has trade agreements.

I am issuing a challenge to the Liberal government that has yet to show a sustained interest in trade. In the previous 13 years, under the Chrétien and Martin governments, very little was accomplished, just three small trade agreements. It left Canada far behind in the global marketplace, in the global trading world.

We need to be ahead of the curve, otherwise we lose out. Our Canadian businesses lose out because they do not have preferred market access that other countries have.

This is my message to the Liberal government. Take trade seriously, as perhaps the most significant driver of prosperity our country has available. It is a key tool. Then get us to the next level, improving standards of living within Canada, providing consumers with the kind of value that they look for when they are buying goods, providing our businesses the kind of preferred access they need to expand their opportunities around the world.

Again, we strongly support this trade facilitation agreement and encourage everyone in this House to vote in favour of it.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member and former minister for his comments. I really would like to pick his brain, given his experience, and ask a reformulated question I asked the previous speaker from his side of the House.

What arguments can you give this House to say that the TPP is an agreement that would actually raise standards as opposed to lower standards?

Unlike CETA, it is an agreement with a variety of different countries with a variety of social, labour, and environmental standards. Perhaps the member can give us his best arguments as to why this is an agreement that would raise all those as opposed to just foster a race to the bottom?

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before I recognize the member, I want to remind hon. members to speak through the chair and not ask questions directly.

The hon. member for Abbotsford.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to answer that question.

The trans-Pacific partnership, of course, involves some highly developed countries, like Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, that have very high standards not only when it comes to non-tariff barriers and disciplining non-tariff barriers but also have high standards when it comes to things such as intellectual property.

One of the biggest challenges Canadian companies have around the world is doing business in places like China and Vietnam where those standards are not robust. Canadian businesses lose value. The TPP actually raises those standards for everybody within that partnership.

The same thing is true for labour and environmental standards. There are separate chapters for each of those that would impose upon the parties much higher standards than many of them have been accustomed to actually applying within their own jurisdictions.

This is a huge opportunity for Canada to carve out preferred market access within the Asia-Pacific region. That is a region that is difficult to do business within because often it is a very opaque trading environment where we do not always know exactly what the rules are or how they are going to be applied.

The TPP actually sets out very strong disciplines on how behind the border issues, such as standards, regulations, and rules are applied in a manner that actually facilitate trade rather than hinder it.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Abbotsford for his wisdom and insight. Being a former minister on this particular file, he certainly has some insight to bring to this House. I want to let the member know that the trade committee is working extremely hard, not only on the TPP and the pre-study that we are doing but certainly on every endeavour that we undertake.

When we talk about trade, we must talk about the responsible approach and look at the way that it is going to impact Canadians. There is a group of people who are often left out when we are talking about the types of changes to our trade facilitation that we are talking about today. They are the ones who are most responsible for its implementation.

I am talking about our Canada Border Services Agency people, who do an incredible job every day to ensure that our borders are safe. These people are on the front lines of facilitating trade while enforcing regulations and keeping our country safe.

Does the member believe that CBSA requires additional support to make our borders more efficient and secure, in particular when we are looking at expanding the ability of things to move through our country?

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, yes, we do need to have a border service that is able to process the billions of dollars of trade that travels across our borders from other countries around the world. However, it is important to note that the trade facilitation agreement that we are debating in this House today actually would apply mostly to countries that do not have an already high standard of customs processes of trade facilitation within their own jurisdictions.

When we look at this agreement, virtually everything that is outlined in this trade facilitation agreement as being required of the partner countries to implement, we have already implemented. In fact, we have implemented them many years ago.

We do not expect that this agreement would impose any substantive additional burdens upon our border officials who have to ensure not only that excise duties are paid but also that smugglers are not using the borders for illicit gain. We understand the work that the the border officials do is absolutely critical to keeping our borders safe and ensuring trade happens in a legal manner.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order, please. Resuming debate, the hon. member for Essex.

Before the hon. member starts, I want to compliment the room tonight. This could be a very emotional topic and everyone has been very respectful. We often hear the Speaker talk about when things go bad. However, things are going very well. Thank you.

The hon. member for Essex.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, thank you for that wonderful compliment to the House this afternoon.

I rise today to speak to Bill C-13, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act, the Hazardous Products Act, the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Pest Control Products Act, and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

As we know, the legislation before us today would enable Canada to implement the World Trade Organization's agreement on trade facilitation, the TFA.

Bill C-13 will bring various acts it seeks to amend into conformity with Canada's obligations under the TFA. There are about 71 clauses to this bill, not including related and coordinating amendments. It will be important to carefully look at each clause. However, I will not focus my remarks today on attempting to provide a detailed clause-by-clause analysis.

I would like to thank the department officials for providing me with a helpful briefing on the bill.

I would like to discuss more broadly what a trade facilitation agreement is, how it will impact global trade, and it what it means for Canada.

The TFA is the first multilateral agreement concluded since the creation of the WTO in 1994. It emerged from the WTO Bali ministerial conference in 2013, and it was a priority for developed countries. It aims to liberalize trade by harmonizing customs and border procedures among all 162 WTO member states. This could lower trade costs and boost trade. It makes sense that developed countries would want to see greater trade facilitation as it could provide greater opportunities for our companies to do business abroad.

Developed countries, such as Canada, are already in vast compliance with the measures proposed in the TFA. We have modernized customs and border procedures with a highly skilled and professional workforce at the Canada Border Services Agency.

On the other hand, developing countries may require a lot more changes to both their legislation and practices in order to implement the TFA. These costs are difficult to estimate. It is important to acknowledge that TFA implementation could divert resources and energies away from other development priorities.

The TFA has two main sections. Section I is about how the TFA will expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods in transit. Section II sets out how developing and least developed countries will implement the TFA. It stipulates that they should receive assistance and support for capacity-building. I wonder what this would mean in practical terms, and I would like to hear more from the government on what mechanisms will be in place and what role Canada may play in this.

Overall, Canada should support the promotion of a more level playing field at the WTO that encourages sustainable, inclusive development.

There are two specific articles in the TFA that Bill C-13 addresses, Article 10.8.1 on rejected goods and Article 11.8 on goods and transit.

On rejected goods, TFA Article 10.8.1 requires that a country must allow importers to return to exporters goods rejected when they do not meet prescribed sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical regulations. A set of criteria outlines how these rejected goods should be dealt with. They can be returned, reconsigned, or handled in other ways, for example through seizure, detainment, forfeiture, or disposal.

Five of the six acts being amended by Bill C-13 are in relation to the issue of rejected goods and how Canada deals with them. Bill C-13 would give Canada the authority to take action on non-compliant goods and avoid having to maintain indefinite care and control of non-compliant goods.

In the bill we see some examples of what these goods could be, such as products with improper labelling or products that may contain certain hazardous materials. In some cases, if attempts to locate the rejected goods' owner are unsuccessful, the WTO member may now have the option to destroy the rejected goods.

The second TFA provision addressed by Bill C-13 is article 11.8, which states:

Members shall not apply technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures within the meaning of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade to goods in transit.

In order to comply with article 11.8, four federal acts require amendments, as follows: the Food and Drugs Act, the Pest Control Products Act, the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999.

Currently, certain Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada statutes prohibit the transit through Canada of goods that do not comply with Canadian technical regulations. This restricts food, drugs, cosmetics, or devices that are not compliant with Canadian regulations from passing through our borders.

Bill C-13 would create the legal authority to allow Canada to exempt goods in transit from the technical regulations outlined in these four acts. I would like to see some close study of these amendments at committee stage and look at some examples of what could be allowed to transit through Canada under these new provisions.

For some statutes under the administration of Health Canada, Bill C-13 would impose conditions that identify goods in transit that may not comply with Canadian technical regulations, so that in case these goods are diverted into the Canadian market, we know what they are.

Conditions would also be imposed under Bill C-13 that would provide oversight on products, such as certain pesticides and pharmaceutical drugs, not captured under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act of 1992, which are currently not permitted to transit through Canada but will be once this TFA is implemented.

The government asserts that this oversight maintains safeguards that protect the environment, health, and safety of persons who may come into contact with such goods. I am interested to hear more from witnesses at committee to ensure that this is the case, as the health and safety of workers is of paramount concern, as is the protection of our environment.

On the surface, many of the changes we see in Bill C-13 are seemingly minor, but we need to hear from experts in order to fully understand that this is the case.

For example, Bill C-13 would make changes to the product safety information section of the Pest Control Products Act, section 8.3. While much of the language remains the same, it deletes specific reference to a requirement to provide material safety data sheets, or MSDS. I wonder why this is the case, as we all know the importance of MSDS for workers who handle potentially hazardous products.

I talked about the TFA and its specific articles, and now I would like to discuss the potential benefits of the TFA to Canadian exporters.

We often see in trade agreements the tendency to overstate the potential benefits and understate the potential costs. We certainly see that with the trans-Pacific partnership. Initially, the previous Conservative government touted the benefits of the TPP. However, when we look at the studies conducted so far in this agreement, we see a different story.

On the one hand, we have a study by the Peterson Institute, which predicts a 1.3% rise in the real income of Canadians, but this is only a modest increase, and we have to question some of its assumptions, such as the assumption that we have full employment. In contrast, several have predicted negative or negligible impacts.

The independent study by the researchers at Tufts University actually criticizes other studies for using unrealistic assumptions in their TPP analysis. The Tufts study predicts that Canada will lose 58,000 jobs by joining the TPP. Negligible GDP growth for Canada is also reported in this study, and the same is true for the results produced by the World Bank, and the C.D. Howe Institute.

There are many reports, some suggesting gains and some suggesting losses; however, none of these reports are replacements for a full economic impact analysis that we are still waiting on the minister to provide.

At trade committee this week, we again heard calls for an impact study, and first nations groups also called for a human rights impact assessment. The government needs to provide this analysis to Canadians and their elected representatives so that we can get a better understanding of the potential benefits and costs of the TPP.

In the same vein, I wonder if the government has done any modelling or deep analysis of the trade facilitation agreement. Therefore, I approached the WTO numbers on the potential gains of the TFA with some caution, but let us talk about them—

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I am sorry that I have to interrupt. It is time for private members' business.

The member will have 11 minutes the next time this matter is before the House.

The House resumed from June 10 consideration of the motion that Bill C-210, An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender), be read the third time and passed.

National Anthem ActPrivate Members’ Business

June 15th, 2016 / 5:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-210 under private members' business.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #100

National Anthem ActPrivate Members’ Business

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

[Members sang the national anthem]

The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion that Bill C-223, An Act to establish the Canadian Organ Donor Registry and to coordinate and promote organ donation throughout Canada, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Canadian Organ Donor Registry ActPrivate Members’ Business

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-223.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #101

Canadian Organ Donor Registry ActPrivate Members’ Business

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion defeated.

It being 6:22 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.

The House resumed from April 18 consideration of the motion.