House of Commons Hansard #436 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Fredericton will come to order. If he wishes to yell, he can do so—order. If the hon. member for Fredericton wants to yell, he can do so somewhere else. Order.

The hon. member for Durham has the floor.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, if only we had seen that passion from the member for Fredericton a few years ago, we might have been able to avoid some of the disastrous results we have had on the trade front.

On nights like this, I wonder if he is reflecting on that fact and on what he is going to say when he goes back to Fredericton. He will have to say that we are rushing through bills like Bill C-100 and Bill C-101 in the final hours of Parliament because we were not able to secure good outcomes for Canada. This is despite the fact that we were able to join a deal that Mexico and the United States had signed.

As I was saying before he had his outburst, if there is a trilateral agreement being negotiated and one of the three parties is no longer at the table, we should ask how we let that happen. As I said in my remarks on Bill C-100, this year is the first year that Mexico has surpassed Canada as the number one bilateral trade partner for the first two months of this year. Mexico surpassed us, negotiating the USMCA. It had a deal on 232 tariffs before Canada, despite the fact we are NORAD partners and we have had free trade with the U.S. for years before Mexico did.

We have to work with what the government has been able to table. We have to make sure that we do not have the tariffs come back on, because steel fabricators in Fredericton and MacDougall Steel in Prince Edward Island cannot afford another year of tariffs.

In fact, I can summarize and conclude with this. Canadians cannot afford another four years of the Liberals.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I hope this is parliamentary, because I would like to quote the hon. member for Fredericton, who said that the member for Durham talks all kinds of crap.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

That is unparliamentary, and I ask the hon. member for Malpeque to apologize for using an unparliamentary word.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I was trying to make the point that the doom and gloom from the member for Durham and what he tries to allege as facts are not facts at all.

I would give him credit in terms of the shipbuilding deal. The Conservatives like to talk about that deal. That is because the best proposal in terms shipbuilding came from the Irving shipyard in Atlantic Canada, and I congratulate the shipyard for putting that proposal in.

What the member for Durham failed to mention was that the lowest spending in Canadian history in terms of the military in this country was under the Stephen Harper government, in which he was a member of cabinet.

The member also mentioned that the United States spends more on agriculture than Canada does on the military. That, in fact, is true. However, for farmers in this country, for primary producers in this country, who he talks about from time to time, the Harper government, under the leadership of Gerry Ritz as minister of agriculture, cut the safety net for farmers in this country by 50%. What a failure.

The member loves to talk about the section 232 tariffs. Who negotiated those tariffs away? The fact of the matter is that this Prime Minister and this Minister of Foreign Affairs negotiated those tariffs away. They protected Canadian interests so that we could move ahead with prosperity.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please.

Again, I ask members to contain their enthusiasm. The hour is late. Let us try to maintain not only our good humour but also some decorum.

The hon. member for Durham.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:30 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the interventions tonight from the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, the member for Fredericton and the member for Malpeque, there must have been a really good Atlantic reception tonight in Ottawa these members were attending before late night debate.

I talked about how impressed I was when I toured the MacDougall Steel facility in Borden-Carleton. I know that the member from there is proud. He knows that they were hurting under the tariffs, which is why we are trying to work with the government.

I refer the member for Fredericton to Tek Steel, L&A Metalworks and Ocean Steel in St. John, which does work across the region. They were hurting because they were being boxed out of North American bidding opportunities. In fact, in this trade deal, we still see buy American provisions in the United States.

I invite that member for Fredericton to meet me this year at Tek Steel, and let us talk to them about the damage that has been done with tariffs, with trade uncertainty and with taxes. Remember, Tek Steel and MacDougall Steel are run by the people the Prime Minister thinks run small businesses to avoid paying taxes. The Liberals already had their war on small business two years ago.

Canadian businesses have had enough. On October 21, they can choose the Conservatives.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I have had the chance to debate the member for Durham both inside this chamber and out, and I always find it regrettable when the member descends into remarks that are so partisan as to be lacking in any kind of credibility. It undermines the hard work that went into the negotiations to modernize the NAFTA agreement, negotiations that involved not only members on this side of the House but former members and alumni from his party. It is a testament to the achievements and the progress made in modernizing this agreement.

The new NAFTA will protect millions of jobs that exist today, and will likely create more as a result of making advancements in the auto sector, with favourable rules of origin for high-paying jobs in our home province of Ontario in particular, and in agriculture by protecting the supply management side, which one of his leadership contenders does not believe in. When it comes to the environment, the new NAFTA will reduce pollution. It will also protect gender and women's rights, and in particular labour, whom we invited to the table to ensure that we got the best possible trade deal and that hard-working Canadians' labour rights would be protected.

It is one thing to hear the member for Durham complain about all this progress, but when we listen to the former leader of his party, Rona Ambrose; when we listen to James Moore, a former colleague of his; when we listen to former prime minister Brian Mulroney, former prime minister Kim Campbell and now the premier of Alberta Jason Kenney speak very favourably about this deal, and when the member is very likely going to vote in favour of this new NAFTA, is it not the height of hypocrisy to hear all of the criticism laid bare?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 11:30 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, if Canadians are still watching, I want them to know that we have lots of respect and friendships across the aisle, and I am friends with the member for Eglinton—Lawrence. I will try to tone down my partisanship. I would like to thank him for asking his last question in the House of Commons.

I find it interesting that a lot of members keep quoting elements of this deal that are not in the deal. We know the Liberals made really big news about the progressive agenda, but there is no chapter on gender. In the Chilean deal, in which they updated an appendix, it was non-binding provisions. They are pointing to things that are not even in the deal but are still in the brand talking points of the Prime Minister, and that is the problem with the Liberal approach to trade. It is the problem with the trip to India. It is the problem with China. It is the problem with Saudi Arabia. It is the problem with the Philippines. It is the problem with Italy, which has imposed tariffs on durum wheat.

Right now, Canada is not seen as being serious under the Liberal Prime Minister, because he puts electoral prospects in certain parts of the country and his own brand and image in photographs ahead of our trade, ahead of our economic future and ahead of our security.

When France asked us after the Bataclan attack to step up our fight against ISIS, the Prime Minister was the only western leader to pull back, and countries noticed. As the foreign affairs critic, I meet with them, and near the end of the meeting it is clear they are wondering what has happened to Canada.

We do not need more photographs or hashtags. We need more principled Canadian leadership in the world, and that is what the world will get with a Conservative government.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:35 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of concerns about this agreement, including the potential import of dairy containing bovine growth hormone, the extension of patents from eight to 10 years, and Article 22, which is about state-owned enterprises and the carve-out for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion; we are seeing now that we have this state-owned enterprise that is excluded from this deal.

I would ask the hon. member about the provisions for investor state dispute settlements. He said that we do not have enough time to debate this issue, but investor state dispute settlements are part of the FIPA agreements that the Conservative government pushed through, including the Canada-China agreement, which allows Chinese state-owned corporations to sue Canada for laws and policies that get in the way of their profits.

I would like to hear—

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order.

The hon. member for Durham. I am sorry, there is very little time, 30 seconds.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:35 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. It is my first time responding to his question.

I share his concern about the loss we had on data protection with respect to biologics. I have seen the impact of those drugs, personalized medicine, and I think that was one of many losses.

ISDS is one, as his leader would know. However, it is interesting that the Liberals do not seem to recognize that foreign companies operating here can already use our court system, which is the most fair in the world when they are not interfering with it like in the SNC-Lavalin affair. We need that certainty in other countries. With the FIPA with China, we were giving Canadian exporters the right to sue there.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:35 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton Centre.

When we get in that global competitive environment, which is what we do when we are in the midst of a trade negotiation, I could not ask for anybody better than people like the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook in my corner. I could not ask for anybody better than the Prime Minister and our Minister of Foreign Affairs. This team on this side of the aisle stood up for Canada, stood up for Canadians, and made sure that we delivered a good deal that will deliver millions of jobs to Canadians.

Over the last three and a half years, over one million jobs were created, and a 40-year low when it comes to unemployment.

I was listening to the member for Durham, who is a revisionist. He forgets about the 10 years, the decade of failure, under the Conservative government and the failure with the economy; the lowest economic growth, anemic growth; the failure with trade and the environment; the failure with indigenous people and veterans. It goes on and on, failure, failure, failure under that Conservative government.

If we listen to the Conservatives, they have a defeatist attitude. They are weak and that weakness shows through. We are seeing it with Doug Ford.

Doug Ford and the federal Leader of the Official Opposition right away put up the white flag: “We give up, we give in, give them everything they want, and capitulate on this whole deal”. That is not what Canadians are asking of their government. What they are asking of their government is to hold firm, hold strong and deliver for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, but that is not what we heard from the Conservatives.

When President Trump came into office, the first thing he was talking about was ripping up the NAFTA. However, under this government, we went down to Washington, we worked with our friends in Washington and on all sides of the aisle, and made sure that we had a team Canada approach. That team Canada approach included the business council, labour groups and stakeholders right across our country. We had not just hundreds but 1,000-plus meetings with these stakeholders, which is something the Conservatives fail to do every time. They do not consult with others, they do not listen, but that is what we do. This is why we have been successful when it comes to trade deals. We have been successful when it came to the CPTPP, because we did travel this country and we did listen to Canadians. We were able to get a better deal for Canada and Canadians on the CPTPP. We got CETA past the finish line.

The Conservatives failed. They could never do it. They cannot finish anything, and that is why the Liberal government came into power and made sure that we put in progressive elements to these trade deals. We made sure that we had gender equity so that everybody had a chance at success. This was not made for what the Conservative look for, which is just for big business and not caring about the workers or people. When we look at a trade deal, we look at it as how it will help our greatest resource, which is the 36 million Canadians who call Canada home, and we are very proud of them.

That is the approach that we took, and what we are hearing right across the spectrum of stakeholders is that this has been the right approach. This has been the way to get progressive trade deals done. Today, the rest of the world is looking to Canada, seeing how this model that we were able to use in the negotiations of NAFTA worked so well and how they could incorporate this type of model globally. Therefore, it is making not only an impact here in North America, but an international impact for our country.

The modernizing of this agreement is good for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses. This agreement is also profoundly beneficial for our economy, Canadian families and the middle class.

When we began working to update NAFTA, we kept our focus on what really mattered. It is this new agreement that we need to preserve jobs, foster growth, expand the middle class and support people working hard to join the middle class.

CUSMA proves that the team Canada approach the government implemented was a success. It was not a time for partisan differences.

We cannot thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs enough. We also cannot thank Steve Verheul enough, as well as his negotiating team that was down in Washington. We thank all other members of the team involved in this, who sacrificed many hours and days to get us here. Even some Progressive Conservatives, such as Rona Ambrose, were part of this.

The leader of the official opposition, as I said, had a defeatist attitude, put up a white flag and wanted us to give the Americans everything they wanted. That is not the approach we wanted. It is not what Canadians were asking for. They want us to compete on this very competitive, challenging file when it comes to trade negotiations. That is what we did, and that is why we have been able to deliver.

When we were first faced with the prospect of renegotiating NAFTA, there was a lot of anxiety. We heard it from businesses and workers and from those who thought the auto sector would be decimated. However, we provided certainty and stability to them, which are the same things we were looking for in the agreement. We wanted to bring in certainty and stability and continue providing that access.

Did we deliver? We delivered in spades. With respect to the auto sector, we have increased rules of origin from 60% to our current 75%. This will mean many more new high-paying, middle-class jobs in that sector and throughout the whole supply chain.

We heard today from our parts manufacturers. They have said that, with this deal, we are looking at another $6-billion to $8-billion investment in Canada just in the auto sector. We also heard from the business council. It said the renegotiated deal was very good, and it gave us kudos for the approach we took. It noted that by our providing certainty and stability, there will be a great lift in our economy.

We asked various sectors about this. Some sectors were holding off on making equipment purchases or adding new workers. However, what we have heard is that, with the new NAFTA, they are ready to go. Therefore, not only is our economy doing well now, but it will be doing so much better with the new NAFTA.

I have been asked many questions in my riding by constituents. They wondered if we were going to get the deal done, and they were anxious. We gave them the reassurance that we had a great team, which was working together to deliver for them in every sector, whether agriculture, auto or the arts. Right across the board, Canadians understood how important this was, and they understand how important it is now. That is why we had broad consultation and why we made sure that everybody understood the importance of the deal and what was getting done.

This government undertook many consultations with stakeholders, and many hours were spent hearing from witnesses on the international trade committee, of which I am a member. We also travelled to the U.S. to make our southern friends aware of how important this relationship is not just for our country but also for theirs. As we have heard, there is $2 billion worth of trade every single day.

I am so happy that we took on this challenge. It was the largest challenge in U.S.-Canada relations in decades. Through negotiation, we have achieved all the outcomes and benefits for now and well into the future. CUSMA is a great deal for Canada.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:45 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the member served in the Ontario legislature with my father, and my father had good things to say about him. He got off the HMCS Titanic before the Wynne government took down the Liberals in Ontario, in many ways because they made the Ontario economy less competitive. A high-tax, high regulatory environment was driving investment to the U.S. and other jurisdictions.

Added to that competitiveness challenge that our PC cousins in Ontario inherited after 15 years of the Liberals, we now see trade uncertainty, tariffs and potentially reduced market access around the world, further complicating Ontario, Mississauga and the GTA as a place for investment.

It is not lost on many people that the retreat of the auto industry, hitting the auto parts industry in Durham, is the culmination of the three Ts, high taxes, tariffs and trade uncertainty, all things brought in by Liberal governments provincially and federally.

Does he see the threat of the reimposition of steel and aluminum tariffs as a serious competitive threat for Ontario?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did have the opportunity to serve with the member's father, a good man, John O'Toole from Durham. One thing I can tell the member is that his dad would not like what he sees right now under Doug Ford as Premier of Ontario, with the cuts to our competitiveness, cuts to education and cuts to health care. He would not stand for that. He would stand up on principle. He made cuts to children with autism and their parents. It is horrible.

The member has to know that there was complete anemic growth under the Conservative government. It is this government, with the approach we have taken, that has worked together as a team to lift the section 232 tariffs. We heard from the steel and aluminum industry, as well as the supply chain, that we did everything right to make that happen. Section 232 tariffs are off the table and we are delighted.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, continuing with the auto industry, the government often advocates, quite falsely, though it likes to take that position, that it has made $60 billion in auto investment in its four years in office. That pales in comparison to Detroit alone that has around $12 billion. In fact, since signing this agreement, Oshawa has been closed and a shift has been lost in Windsor, whereas General Motors is investing billions in Detroit in autonomous new vehicles with electrification. Chrysler and Fiat investments in Detroit are upward of $6 billion to $8 billion. Others have invested, Ford included, in just one city alone. In fact, Brazil and other countries have received more than Canada.

Dennis DesRosiers has shown that the Liberals' plan for auto has decreased our overall footprint to the United States. Given the fact that there is more investment and there are restrictions on it in Canada, how can he claim this deal will be good for auto when there are more taxes as production increases?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to take what the member has to say, I am going to listen to the stakeholders and experts in the field. At the international trade committee, the parts manufacturers said they were going to look at a $6 billion to $8 billion investment in auto. I heard from Jerry Dias and Unifor. Jerry Dias said that this was a great deal for auto. This is a deal that was not done 24 years ago and he is so delighted that today, 24 years later, we are getting the NAFTA that we need when it comes to auto.

The member may know, or ought to know, that we have increased the parts of origin in North America 75%. That means great growth, more jobs, high-paying jobs, middle-class jobs.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to speak at this late hour. With the few minutes I have at my disposal, I want to share a story about the most comprehensive and important trade deal that Canada has negotiated in modern times. Let us talk about the evolution of a trade deal that transformed how our economy and those of the United States and Mexico have become intertwined to the benefit of Mexicans, Americans and all Canadians. Let us talk about a failed Conservative administration that poisoned the well with the Obama administration and had no chance whatsoever to negotiate a new deal with an administration that had no time for the then Canadian government because Prime Minister Harper went on national TV to tell President Obama how to do his job. It is an odd strategy when one is trying to build bridges, not fences or walls.

When it was clear that our government would be working with President Trump and his administration on negotiating a new NAFTA, our government got to work. We assembled a true Team Canada, not one geared to narrow partisan interests, as the other side had done, but one that was putting the interests of Canadians first. We reached out to former interim leader, the Hon. Rona Ambrose. We reached out to former prime minister Brian Mulroney, even to then premier Brad Wall and then premier Rachel Notley, individuals at the polar ends of the political spectrum in Canada working on behalf of Canadians in the face of a deal that was essential to our survival.

Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, the MP for University—Rosedale, took charge and got busy to develop an approach that would reach out to decision-makers across the U.S., to leaders in the Mexican government and industry associations across both countries.

When I was knocking on doors during the negotiations, Canadians were understandably concerned. They had had 10 years of failure from the Conservatives, and $2 billion of cross-border trade daily was at stake. They told me, and I agree, that it was no laughing matter. In fact, access to and integration with the U.S. and Mexican markets are the fabric of small and big businesses here in Canada.

At the height of concerns for people in my riding of Edmonton Centre, at the height of that anxiety over a trade deal that for many seemed to be an existential issue for our country, that is when the Conservatives showed their true nature. At the point when the Trump administration was trying to wear us down, that was the moment when the Conservatives could not handle the heat.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil and others will come to order. They do not need to be heckling and interrupting. We should have one person speaking at a time. We do not need this nonsense.

The hon. member for Edmonton Centre.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I understand that my remarks may be getting under the skin of the Conservative opposition. That is the nature of this place. That is the moment when the Conservatives threw up their hands and said to capitulate, cave in, give in on culture, give in on supply management. Forget labour, throw out the dispute resolution mechanism, forget women and indigenous and LGBTQ2 people. They really do not count in trade. Just take any deal, even a bad deal. It is shocking and shameful. I am glad that they were not in the kitchen cooking the deal, because it would have been a colossal flop.

Instead of taking the advice of the Conservatives to capitulate, our Minister of Foreign Affairs held fast. Our government stayed strong. We let the Americans and the Mexicans iron out their differences and then we came back to the table. The new NAFTA was always going to be about three economies. We committed to that, as did our Mexican partners, and ultimately so did the United States.

Now we are debating the passing of a deal that is central to our economy and to our modern self-identity. I understand the sour grapes from the Conservatives over trade deals like the Canada-European trade agreement because they simply could not close the deal. They did not have the mettle of our Minister of Foreign Affairs, who knew that the German Social Democratic Party would not be able to deal with a new modern trade deal with Canada. What did she do? She did not take advice from the Conservatives. She did not sit here and sulk. She did not yell at them from across the Atlantic. What did she do? The Minister of Foreign Affairs went to the convention of the German Social Democratic Party, spoke at it and convinced the Social Democrats. Germany signed on to a historic deal.

That is exactly the same kind of mettle that the leader of our NAFTA negotiations put toward this historic deal. That is leadership. That turned the tide. That is exactly what makes them so mad on the other side. The opposition cannot handle innovative trade deal-making because they think that they know how to run an economy when, in fact, what they know how to do is add $150 billion to our debt and have nothing to show for it.

What did we get? Since day one of the NAFTA negotiations, our objective was to get a good deal for Canada and for all Canadians. We wanted to safeguard more than $2 billion a day in cross-border trade, 70% of Canadian exports.

What is in the new NAFTA? Let us talk about energy, because that is important to my province and to the whole country. The new NAFTA deals with energy issues through the modernized agreement.

On this day when we approved TMX and when we are no longer going to rely on one U.S. market for 99% of our exports, when we are going to see shovels in the ground, and when we are going to see $15 billion of trade repatriated to this country because we will be able to have world prices, this is when we want to make sure that there is no more proportionality clause so that we do not have to sell the Americans more oil than we want to.

On autos, we have heard exactly from my colleague from Mississauga that the CUSMA deal and Canadians working in the auto sector are better off than ever before. That is the new NAFTA. That is what we promised. That is what we got.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, Midnight

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 12 a.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28 and pursuant to Standing Order 24(1) the House stands adjourned until later this day at 2 p.m.

(The House adjourned at 12 a.m.)