House of Commons Hansard #351 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tariffs.

Topics

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the member stated is true. This is Canada's position because we are a party to UN Security Council resolution 2334 that we signed in 2016, which includes two very important statements. The first is that we reaffirm “that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”. It also calls on states to bear in mind the first paragraph of the resolution, calling on them “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.

One amendment New Democrats will be proposing is something that we saw in the EU-Israel agreement, namely, recognition of the distinction made in this Security Council resolution, as well as human rights provisions that can and should be included in this agreement.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. I rise today to speak to Bill C-85, the free trade agreement with Israel.

We heard some remarkable speeches today in the House from the Prime Minister, the opposition leader, the leaders of the NDP, and from the Bloc and the Green Party in apology for Canada's turning away of the MS St. Louis.

Remarkably, right after the speeches, we heard my colleague, the member for Calgary Nose Hill, give an impassioned speech in support of concurrence with the committee report on the resettlement of Yazidi women and children in Canada. I really hope that people took notice of that. It is about the same issue, namely, people who are facing genocide in a foreign land and that we are not doing our part to help. I hope the government will listen to the comments by my colleague, the member for Calgary Nose Hill, so that Canadians do not have to sit here a generation from now to hear another apology for turning our backs on these people.

Before I get back to Bill C-85, I want to express, as I am sure everyone in the House does, my sorrow about the horror of the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue a short time ago, an act of violent anti-Semitism and a reminder that this hatred still exists in our world today.

On a per capita basis in Canada, anti-Semitism is unfortunately still the most prevalent hate crime reported. The main synagogue in my riding of Edmonton West, Beth Israel, is a place of worship for a lot of friends of mine. I often visit for events, and I was there this Saturday for the drop-in for Shabbat. One thing I noticed as I approached was a police car across the street providing security and security at the door.

We do not see that security at any other place of worship in Canada, not at the Catholic church I attend, nor the Baptist church that one of my sons goes to for sporting events, nor at other places of worship, such as the mosque that several of my friends attend. It is only at the synagogue. It is disgraceful and very unfortunate in this day and age that this is still required in Canada, the United States, and other parts of the world.

What does this say about our society in Canada in this day and age that a synagogue still requires security? What does it say when a lunatic spouting violent anti-Semitic remarks goes out and kills 11 worshippers in a synagogue? It says that anti-Semitism, unfortunately, is still alive and well and strong.

I belong to an organization called Christians United for Israel. We have about 90,000 members in Canada. There are about 3 million members in the U.S. Why do I belong to it? Well, it is because the scourge of anti-Semitism still flourishes.

Today's debate is on trade with Israel, and I cannot discuss trade with Israel without noting the burgeoning anti-Semitic movement in Canada called BDS, the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement, which works to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. I will call the BDS movement what I believe it is, an anti-Semitic movement.

BDS supporters, hand over heart, will claim they are not anti-Jewish, that they are just anti-Israel. I think we need to call a spade a spade. BDS supporters claim its intent is to move Palestinian-Israeli negotiations forward. Fine and dandy, but it is funny that they are oddly silent about Turkey and Iraq bombing Kurdistan. They are oddly silent about Turkish products from illegally occupied Northern Cyprus. They are oddly silent in response to calls to sanction Morocco for its seizure of Western Sahara.

I have to ask, where is the outrage of the BDS supporters about Russia's illegal invasion and occupation of parts of Ukraine? It is funny, I do not see them marching at universities over the tenfold increase in Russian imports into Canada over the last 10 years. Where is their outrage about the Saudi war in Yemen? I do not see them protesting up and down the St. Lawrence as tanker after tanker of Saudi crude sails in. However, I am sure we will see these same people screaming about the injustice of having an Israeli soda stream device for sale in a local store.

The leftists complain that Trump promotes violence with his rhetoric. I believe that BDS and its proponents do the same thing: they promote anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish messaging. To those who say they are not anti-Semitic, just anti-Israel, I say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

Why should we support this updated agreement with Israel? Well, Israel is the freest and most democratic nation in the Middle East. It is the only Liberal democracy in that part of the world, and reflects many of the values and beliefs that Canadians hold dear, including respect for democracy, the rule of law, tolerance of a multi-racial and multi-religious society, and tolerance of gender and sexual expression rights.

Israel is called a start-up nation for a reason. It is probably the most innovative nation in the entire world. It ranks first in the world for its attitude toward entrepreneurial risk and for the growth of innovative companies, and it is second, only after the U.S., for venture capital availability. It ranks 20th out of 140 countries listed in the latest competitiveness report for the freeness of economy. Canada can only gain by partnering and having stronger economic ties with such a country.

The fastest growth rates in Israel, averaging 8% annually, are to be found in its high-tech sectors, and 80% of its high-tech products are exported. However, despite all of this, despite its investment in R and D, despite 5.5% of its GDP going for national defence, I would like to point out to my colleagues across the way that the country of Israel still manages to have a budgetary surplus year after year.

As I mentioned, economically, Israel is a high-tech powerhouse, and we can only gain by strengthening our relationship with it. For Canadian companies, we can get improved access to it our agriculture, agri-food and seafood exports. We can get improved border efficiencies, better regulatory transparency and reduced red tape. However, it is odd that the Liberals, who are so in love with regulatory red tape and never pass on a chance to further burden our economy with it, love Israel for the fact that it is going to reduce red tape.

The bill has several new chapters. The new chapter on electronic commerce would commit Canada and Israel to not introduce tariffs and other barriers to commerce. The chapter on intellectual property would affirm commitments between Canada and Israel under the World Trade Organization to ensure proper protection of IP rights. The technical barriers to trade chapter would ensure that technical regulation, conformity assessment procedures and other standards-related measures could not be used as unjustified barriers to trade. The trade and environment chapter would ensure that Canada and Israel pursue high levels of environmental protection while realizing the benefit of liberalized trade. There is a new chapter on trade and labour, which would ensure effective enforcement of labour laws. The chapter on trade facilitation would enhance border efficiencies, increase regulatory transparency and reduce red tape for Canadian businesses. If only the government were as committed to reducing red tape in Canada as it is to trade with Israel. However, both countries would also benefit from an updated dispute settlement agreement and better rules of origin labelling.

We have much to gain from our friends in Israel. As I mentioned, it is literally the only Liberal democracy in the Middle East. It is a world leader in technological innovation. We also see that it leads in pharmaceutical innovation.

Before a friend of mine unfortunately passed away from ALS, he was a test subject who had his body equipped with a robotic walker so he could enjoy the final year of his life being able to walk. These are all advancements made by the Israeli tech industry, which is something Canada can gain from very much.

I would like to end with a quote from the great Milton Friedman about trade, who said:

The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.

I believe the amendments to this trade agreement would benefit both Canada and Israel, as well as our allies.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:35 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate many of the comments by my colleague and friend across the way.

I want to pick up on the wonderful national apology, which was long overdue, that we heard today. I sensed, not only on the floor of the House but from all of those watching in the gallery, that all the speeches given were heartfelt.

I think it is an appropriate debate that we are having here this afternoon, as we discuss the very special relationship between Canada and Israel, and the importance, not only in tangible terms of having a trade deal like this between two great countries, but also, in good part, in terms of extending a hand of friendship. Yes, there are economic benefits, but there is also a friendship benefit with a trade agreement of this nature.

As well, there are some areas that we are putting a little more emphasis on, such as the issue of equality for women and dealing with some of the inequities that might be in the current agreement.

I wonder if I could get my friend's comments on the general thrust of my remarks.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, for a change, I actually want to thank the member for Winnipeg North for the question. It nice to need the earpiece as well to hear his question instead of his yelling.

I tease him, but I agree with him. For Canada, it is not just a trade deal. We have very deep bonds. The newest rabbi for Beth Israel Synagogue in my riding replaces the wonderful Rabbi Daniel Friedman, who was one of the architects and the main driving force behind the Holocaust memorial in Ottawa. The new rabbi, Rabbi Claman, was born in Winnipeg, grew up in Ottawa and came here after 10 years in Jerusalem.

We have a lot of ties with a lot of families. The deputy governor of the Bank of Israel is a Canadian lady from McGill. One of the youngest members of the Israeli Knesset is a Canadian-born young lady from Montreal as well.

This goes a lot deeper than mere trade ties. It reflects our shared values, liberal democracy, freedom of religion and so many other things that go far deeper than just a simple trade deal.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, does my colleague believe that this agreement between Canada and Israel should apply only to the territory of the State of Israel or does he believe that it should also include the territories occupied since 1967? What is his party's position on that?

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, a year and a half ago I was in Israel in the summer. We met with members of the Israeli Knesset and one was from the Arab list coalition. It has a proportional representation program. The member from the Arab list said that he believed the biggest hope for peace, and please do not laugh at this, was President Trump. It was not because of what Trump was doing, but because the intent was to take the politics out of it and focus on prosperity and trade. That is what he believed would move the Palestinian people forward and to a peaceful resolution, not the politics but creating wealth. This trade agreement will help create wealth for everyone over there, not just the people in Israel but in other areas as well.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague about a number of the new initiatives in the bill. This was a Conservative-initiated project that took place as a result of the bill we signed in 2014. Part of that bill was a memorandum of understanding to renegotiate it at this time. I am pleased to see that and a number of new chapters on labour, environment, trade, gender, small and medium enterprises. I wonder if he could elaborate on the importance of those.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is quite funny. Earlier we heard a Liberal member say that this was the fourth trade agreement the Liberal government had signed. That overlooks the fact that the Israeli agreement had been in existence for 20 years, and this is an update. The U.S. trade agreement, which it almost dropped the ball on, is existing free trade. CETA was 99% done. The Liberals kind of took it over the edge, despite scoring a goal into an empty net and then claiming that they were the heroes of the game. It is the same with CPTPP, or whatever they want to add to the acronym. The Liberals try to claim success for things brought in under the previous Conservative government.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Edmonton West for his excellent and relevant speech. It reiterated the position of our party, the party of free trade and the economy. I also want to thank him for sharing his time with me. I am proud to do so.

Today is a very special day. Earlier in the House, we spared a very special thought for those of the Jewish faith. We reflected about them, apologized, and acknowledged the fact that they, as a people, experienced one of the greatest human tragedies and are still standing. I have a lot of respect for the Jewish people.

Unfortunately, on October 27, a synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked. That is unacceptable. It reminds me of the massacre at the mosque in Sainte-Foy, where people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time fell victim to barbaric acts. These types of attacks are unacceptable in a civilized society. The government needs to put measures in place to eliminate as much as possible these barbaric acts motivated by race and religion.

Today I will be speaking to Bill C-85, an act to amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act and to make related amendments to other acts. We, the Conservatives, are the party of the economy, as I said at the outset. We are very proud of the markets that we opened up and developed. We are consistent, and we not only talk the talk, we walk the walk. We are going to support this bill at second reading because it is important to create trade routes, and this is one of them.

As a long-standing trade partner to Israel, Canada has a duty to continue this business relationship. Israel is a major market for Canadian goods and services. The relationship between Canada and Israel is based on shared values and interests. Canada derives tangible benefits from this strong relationship.

First off, with regard to security, Israel is an island of stability amid the turbulence that engulfs the Middle East. The knowledge and experience that Israel and Canada share are ever more important. We all know that in our modern world, threats do not stop at national borders. The security agreement signed by Canada and Israel in 2008 under Mr. Harper's Conservative government has permanently established this collaboration, which is so beneficial for Canada.

Second, there is the economy. Since 1996, Canada and Israel have had a free trade agreement that has significantly boosted trade between the two countries.

Third, there is technology. Israel has the second-largest concentration of high-tech companies after Silicon Valley, in the United States. Israel is a model of innovation. I would add that when I had the privilege, as a parliamentarian, of visiting Israel and Palestine, I observed that the people who live there are determined, intelligent and highly skilled. Canadian start-ups should take a page from their book.

Israel has an impressive approach to supporting and encouraging start-ups. For example, universities are involved in developing start-ups, and there risk is part of the equation. We should be looking at allowing more risk when it comes to start-ups in Canada, because when a company becomes a world leader, even if it is just one in a hundred, that definitely gives us an advantage.

It is therefore in our best interest to come up with a model for start-ups that aligns with the Israeli model.

We are already linked through the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation, or CIIRDF. That foundation takes in proposals for R and D projects in all areas of technology that have no military or defence applications. There is however a special focus on projects in aerospace, agriculture and processed food, financial services, information and communications technologies, life sciences, oil and gas, and sustainable technologies. These relationships are beneficial for both our countries.

The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, or CIFTA, was signed on July 31, 1996 and came into force on January 1 of the following year. It has therefore been in effect for more than 20 years. This bill seeks to expand the scope of the agreement and deliver on negotiations that were launched in 2010 and 2014. In July 2015 Canada and Israel concluded negotiations on reduced tariffs on all agricultural products, investment protection mechanisms, sanitary measures, intellectual property and non-tariff barriers.

The Government of Canada website on the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement states, under the heading “Modernization overview and chapters”:

In July 2015, Canada and Israel completed negotiations to update four chapters in the Agreement: Dispute Settlement, Goods Market Access, Institutional Provisions, and Rules of Origin. The Agreement was also expanded to include seven new chapters: E-Commerce, Intellectual Property, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade and Environment, Trade and Labour, and Trade Facilitation.

That, to me, shows that three years were wasted updating an agreement that had been signed in 2015 under the Harper government. I might add that the protocol amending the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed three years later in Montreal on May 28, 2018, but has yet to come into force. Until that happens, the 1997 free trade agreement continues to apply.

The discussions concluded in 2015, and we are now nearing the end of 2018. That means we wasted three years. This government's sluggishness has cost us billions of dollars. The Conservative government is the one that negotiated the agreements, while the current Liberal government is just patting itself on the back and signing the agreements.

Let us not forget the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This multilateral free trade agreement, which was signed on February 4, 2016, aims to integrate the economies of the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas. The negotiation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership began in 2008 under the Harper government. In June 2012, Canada and Mexico joined the negotiations. On February 4, 2016, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed. It must now be ratified by 12 countires, and that process is still under way. Once again, this shows how slowly things move under the Liberals.

Then there is the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. Who put that in place? Once again, it was the Harper government. It was the Conservative Party, the party that understands the economy and seeks to open new trade routes. I think that is a very legitimate thing to do since our neighbour to the south is unpredictable. Unfortunately, again this morning, I read that our Prime Minister announced that we are going to sign the agreement with the United States even though the tariffs on steel, softwood lumber and aluminum have not been lifted.

It is good to sign agreements, but we need to use our bargaining power. Unfortunately, when this government signs agreements, it uses our agreements and our objectives and simply continues the work we started. Things would not have gone the way they did with the USMCA if the Conservatives were in office.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the member across the way is trying to rewrite history. We can share some of the credit. A good example would be the Ukraine trade agreement. There was a lot of work done on both sides, by the Conservatives and this government, to ensure that the deal was actually signed off. The Prime Minister was in Ukraine to further advance that sign-off. To imply that the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership agreement was complete is wrong, not to mention CETA, with Europe, which was virtually off track. Our most capable and able minister, who helped secure the agreement with the United States, was in Europe trying to get it back on track.

It is important to recognize that we have some of the best trade negotiators and civil servants in the world when it comes to this, and it should be highlighted on all sides of the House.

As the Liberals will want to take credit and the Conservatives will want to take credit, we should at the very least join hands and acknowledge our negotiators.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, let's not get into a debate over who is the best. I just want to say that, as parliamentarians, we have to rise above partisanship and forge international ties so we can get free trade deals that benefit Canadians.

With respect to the latest agreement, the USMCA, Canada was the last one to get to the negotiating table. Negotiations took 13 months. Unfortunately, the negotiations did not eliminate all irritants. There are American taxes on aluminum, steel and softwood lumber. There are consumption taxes on products here.

As I have said in the House before, a business in my riding with headquarters in Canada does manufacturing in the United States. This Canadian company produces chewy granola bars in the United States and has to pay taxes to export its products to Canada. That is unacceptable.

I think we need to rise above partisanship to accelerate the process that gets us the best free trade agreements with several different countries.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. In the first part of his speech, he tried to make a clear distinction between the Conservatives and the Liberals. I would group those two parties together and include the NDP, because when it comes to developing trade agreements that enable our business owners to export and grow, we all agree. Where we differ is that the NDP is wondering why we are not using these international treaties as leverage to advance human rights.

The proposed new treaty makes the adoption of corporate social responsibility standards voluntary. The Liberals and the Conservatives take the exact same approach. There are no protections for the people whose resources are being taken.

Have things changed under the new Conservative leadership, or do they still support the same approach taken by Mr. Harper and the previous Liberal government?

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières for his interesting question.

Our job as parliamentarians is to improve bills. This evening, I allowed my colleague to share his thoughts on the bill introduced by the Liberals. We are currently at second reading of Bill C-85, and we are debating this bill because we want to make things better. I hope his message was heard.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-85, which implements the new Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

Earlier today, the House acknowledged the atrocities suffered by the victims of the Shoah, particularly the passengers of the MS St. Louis. Because of a heartless policy, indisputably motivated by anti-Semitism, Canada prevented these 907 passengers from finding refuge here at home. We all bear some responsibility for what awaited them when they returned to Europe.

Ironically, this afternoon we are discussing Bill C-85 to modernize the free trade agreement between Canada and Israel. In 1939, Jews did not have a country they could consider their own, where they could be confident they would be safe. Maybe that is what made them so vulnerable and almost wiped them from the face of the Earth, victims of the madness of some and the indifference of others. Today, almost 80 years later, they have a prosperous country and we are talking about modernizing a free trade agreement linking Canada and Israel. We have come a long way.

We note that Bill C-85 is not introducing free trade between Canada and Israel. It is updating an agreement that has existed since 1997, so for 22 years. Israel is one of the first countries in the world with which Canada reached a free trade agreement. In terms of trade, Quebec and Israel have a lot in common. Israel is a modern country, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, especially in communication and information, and so is Quebec. In any given year, between 40% and 45% of Canada's technology exports originate in Quebec. Also, Israel is a global leader in the electrification of transportation. Quebec is poised to become one. The only thing missing is a little boost from Ottawa.

In those two areas and in many others, there are numerous and logical linkages between Quebec and Israeli companies. That is why we will be supporting Bill C-85 at second reading.

That said, I want to point out an anomaly in the agreement as drafted that must be corrected. Although we are supposed to be debating a free trade agreement between Canada and Israel, that is not what the text states. In fact, this seems to be an agreement with Israel and the occupied territories. By ratifying the agreement as written, Canada would be in some way recognizing that the occupied territories actually belong to Israel. Such a position is in contravention to Canada's foreign policy, international law and the will of the UN Security Council.

To properly understand this point, let us look at the history. In 1947, the United Nations adopted a partition plan in order to create two states in the territory of British Palestine: a Jewish state, which today is Israel, and an Arab state, which would become Palestine. Unfortunately, things were not so simple.

Arab countries rejected the partition plan, war broke out, and to the surprise of many, the Israeli army forced back the Arab forces throughout the territory. It was in this context of war that the State of Israel was created. When the warring parties agreed to the ceasefire in 1949, the international community accepted the ceasefire line as the Israeli border. Palestine, however, was not born. Egypt occupied Gaza while Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. There was no peace, however, this was just a ceasefire.

After years of tension, war broke out again in 1967, and Israel, after driving out the Arab armies, began occupying all the Palestinian territory.

Since 1967, the conflict has been frozen. The international community's position has not changed. The State of Israel's territory is what belonged to it in 1949. The rest of the territory it occupies does not really belong to the country. Any change should be the outcome of a bilateral agreement, not a bilateral agreement between Canada and Israel such as the one we are discussing today, but an agreement between Israel and Palestinians.

Canada supports the international consensus. As the Global Affairs Canada website states

:Canada does not recognize Israel's unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. ...Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967.... Israeli settlements in the occupied territories... constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

Canada's position is clear. It is in line with international law, which the Bloc Québécois fully supports.

That is why I mentioned an anomaly earlier. The free trade agreement appears to deviate from that stance. Article 1.7 specifies that Israeli territory is the territory where its customs laws are applied.

An occupied territory is a territory on which laws are imposed and enforced. This is the very meaning of an occupation.

The agreement as is includes the occupied territories, and in particular the settlements. It states that they are part of Israeli territory, which is at odds with Canada's foreign policy.

When the agreement was signed in May, the Minister of International Trade said the following to The Canadian Press: “In international trade law, the way a territory is defined is the physical territory where the customs laws apply.”

However, this does not have to be the case. Europe chose to make its trade policy comply with its foreign policy. Article 83 of the Europe-Israel free trade agreement quite simply states that the agreement applies to the territory of the State of Israel.

There has been no movement in the Israeli conflict, and it is festering. As settlements continue to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for Israel to put an end to the occupation, and it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve what everyone here in this House wants, which is for the two states to live in peace, side by side, within recognized borders.

The UN Security Council understood that well. It also understood that a provision like the one in the agreement does not promote peace. In resolution 2334, which was passed unanimously in December 2017, the Security Council called on all states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.

Quebeckers are friends with Israel, but they are also friends with Palestinians. Above all, they care about peace. That is why, after passing Bill C-85 at second reading, we will ensure this anomaly is corrected.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 7th, 2018 / 6:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in anticipation that this bill will ultimately be passing, it is encouraging to see the type of support for what I believe is a fantastic piece of legislation. There are some very progressive aspects to the bill.

We have seen a very positive trade agenda from day one with this government. We have highlighted Ukraine, the EU, the comprehensive TPP, and the new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. The real beneficiary of all of this is Canada's middle class, and those aspiring to be a part of it, from getting into those markets.

We are the only country in the G7 that has these trade agreements with all the other G7 countries. It is a very powerful statement. It is encouraging to see what appears to be virtually unanimous support for the legislation.

I would ask my colleague across the way if he would provide his thoughts on how important it is that we get these trade relations with other countries around the world, because they will enhance opportunities for our businesses, creating great opportunities for job growth here in Canada.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and comments.

The Bloc Québécois does indeed recognize the importance of having fair trade deals for all parties. This puts me in mind of former Quebec premier Bernard Landry, who passed away yesterday. He was one of the first people to speak out and say that for Quebec, it is important to get involved in global trade. As he noted, half of what Quebec produces, roughly equivalent to half our economy, is due to our exports.

Quebec is a small, open economy. For us to have so much wealth and so many jobs—I am thinking of our technology shift and our high-tech and high value-added jobs—it is vital to have trade deals with other partners. Half of Quebec's wealth depends on it, so it is very important.

I would remind my colleague, however, that all too often, including in the last three major deals—the one with Europe, the new TPP and the new NAFTA with the U.S. and Mexico—major sectors of the Quebec economy were offered up as bargaining chips without adequate compensation from our point of view and that of Quebec. Obviously, I am talking about our farmers, our dairy producers and other supply managed producers. Breaches were opened in this sector, which is supposed to be protected. There is great inequity, which must be compensated.

However, I am very pleased to have moved a motion in the House that was unanimously adopted. It calls for full compensation for all supply managed producers before the new USMCA is ratified in the House. We will be following this very closely.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague who is from Quebec, as am I. Indeed, Quebec is a nation that is dependent on international trade, as he said. I would like to hear his thoughts on the USMCA and dairy producers.

Two committees are going to be struck, specifically to ensure that dairy producers are adequately compensated and to hear from the sector as a whole. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on the two consultation panels that have been created.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for her question and her concern for our farmers.

Our farmers do not like being compensated. They tell me that they did not want to be sacrificed in the agreements, but that is what happened to them in the last three agreements. I am pleased to hear today that there are two consultation panels, but unfortunately I fear that the consultations will not end with full compensation for the sacrifices they made in the last three agreements. Nevertheless, it is a very good start. Let us hope that this leads to full compensation and that the House will never again sign trade agreement in which our dairy farmers and other supply managed farmers are sacrificed.

In my speech I announced that we would support this bill at second reading, but that we would propose an amendment to ensure that the land occupied since 1967 is excluded. I would have liked to know whether the Liberal Party members will accept our amendment.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Is the House ready for the question?

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed will please say nay.