House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was deal.

Topics

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome my hon. colleague from across the way to this House for great debate and discussion.

The focus of my conversation today in debate was on agriculture, but I know members heard the minister today, and we will make sure that aluminum and steel are looked after in this way forward with the new NAFTA.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, my ears perked up when the member talked about Canadian whisky. Shelter Point Distillery in my riding makes some of the best whisky in the world. Recently, in Canada, they won several awards. I am really impressed with their product, and they are doing a great job. It is good to see that is going to be protected.

However, as the whole NAFTA process unfolded, we were told, “NAFTA is good; hopefully, we will not have to negotiate, and it is the best deal.” Then we had CUSMA come back to us and we were told that was the best deal we could get. The NDP was very clear: “Let's send this back and see what can happen with the U.S. Democrats”, and they were not interested in that.

Now, here we are again. Finally it has been fixed by the U.S. Democrats, and we are here again, hearing that it is the best deal ever. I wonder at what point do we measure, and how do Canadians measure, what the best deal is, ever.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Mr. Speaker, in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, we also have some incredible distilleries. Maybe we will have to bring up some samples sometime. As a matter of fact, we have one that is based on seaweed.

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. colleague has left the House, but I look forward to working with her on the new NAFTA, which has been ratified and supported by many people.

Bruce Heyman, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada said that:

Canada should be especially pleased with [the new agreement]. [It is] a really good deal....Every so often you're able to come out with what I call 'win-win-win' solutions, and this is it. We're here.

I would like to take the advice of the past U.S. ambassador and listen to Mr. Heyman.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kenneth McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, I noticed in the member's speech that she mentioned the importance of the fishery to her riding. I would like to expand on that, as it is so important to the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador. She said that this deal had great benefits for the fishery, which is the economic driver in just about all of our communities in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I wonder if the member could comment further on that aspect of the agreement.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague and friend, the member for Avalon. We share a passion not only for the fishery but also for our province.

Some folks might not realize that Canada exports nearly $4.3 billion worth of seafood every year to the U.S. market. That is 62% of all exports from that sector. Therefore, a stable and protectable tariff-free arrangement is critical to maintaining the growth of those exports, especially from Atlantic Canada.

This will have significant benefits in coastal and rural communities where processing facilities are situated. I know that the lobster and snow crab fishers and the processing companies are excited about the benefits and the stability that this new trade agreement will allow.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to participate in this historic debate. I want to start by congratulating the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the former leader of the official opposition, all of whom have made significant contributions to getting this agreement to the place it is now, and indeed all colleagues, particularly colleagues who were part of the Canada-U.S. parliamentary group led by the hon. member for Malpeque. Indeed, all of us were down to Congress many times in many senators' and congressmen's offices to extol the virtues of an agreement. It really was a team Canada approach, and I think all members should see themselves in this agreement as we debate it and ultimately, I hope, ratify it.

I want to take a slightly different approach to this agreement and talk about its security benefits. It is trite but true that countries that trade together do not very often go against each other in war or any other form of conflict. If I may, I would like to take these few moments to talk about the security element that is generated by virtue of this agreement and other agreements.

We in Canada are extremely fortunate. Possibly the public and even members in the House do not realize how fortunate we are to have a European trade agreement. We also have a Pacific trade agreement and we are about to have a North American trade agreement. That is 1.4 billion customers we have access to in those markets in 41 countries. I dare say there is no other country in the world that can claim such privileged access to such a large pool of customers.

Of course, it is up to us to take advantage of not only the North American agreement but the European and Pacific agreements as well. There are 1.4 billion customers, and we should look at these customers not only as trading partners but also as allies. That gives us, without going into the business of NATO or anywhere else, 41 new allies. Those allies provide us with a level of security that we have not enjoyed for a long time.

I contrast that with, say, Russia. Who can Russia say is an ally? Maybe Belarus, Kazakhstan, Syria, or Iran. These are maybe not the A-list of allies that one would want. Then there is China. Who can say who is actually China's ally? Possibly it is North Korea. It may not be the most reliable ally that China has ever had.

We can contrast that with these three agreements taken collectively, whereby in effect we put together not just 41 trading partners but 41 allies. That is all to our collective security. The collateral benefit of this trade agreement is clearly security. In fact, the two are mutually reinforcing, because security creates trade and trade creates security. These trading alliances are huge assets to Canada.

Some would argue that trade comes first and security follows, and they point to the Auto Pact, to the first free trade agreement, to NAFTA 1.0 and now the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade deal. I would like to suggest that actually security came before trade. I will go back 80 years, and I know as soon as I say that, someone starts to nod off, because not a lot of people appreciate history. However, I direct members' attention to a meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King in Ogdensburg, New York, where the two leaders negotiated a security arrangement for North America known as the Permanent Joint Board on Defence.

From that agreement, the entire security architecture of Canada and North America was revamped. In 1941, we were in the middle of World War II. At the time the prime minister and the president were meeting with each other, the Battle of Britain was taking place, and at that point there was no assurance that Britain would emerge from the battle as the victor. In that context and at that time, there was enormous resistance by the American public, particularly led by the ambassador to Great Britain, Joe Kennedy, to engaging in any European conflict, let alone another war, yet President Roosevelt realized that North America was a vulnerable space. It was vulnerable on the Pacific side and it was vulnerable on the Atlantic side.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King was in a very delicate position because he realized that while we were going to continue to be allies of Great Britain and continue the fight, the shifting of empires was pretty obvious. We were going to be taking ourselves out from the security blanket of the British Empire and placing ourselves in the security blanket of the emergent American empire. That has been our security reality for the last 60 or 70 years.

Out of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence, a number of real decisions were made which continue to this day. Gander airport, for instance, was developed as a military airport. It existed prior to the war, but it was really enhanced over the course of the war. That was a result of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence. The Alaska Highway was a result of the Americans' concern that the Japanese might come in through the west coast of Canada and separate Alaska from the continental United States.

There were quite a number of other institutions and military-to-military arrangements that were made, the most significant of which is NORAD. NORAD is clearly our most significant military treaty, and it was a direct result of the negotiations between Prime Minister Mackenzie King and President Roosevelt. Hence, we created a security environment, and that security environment, in turn, led to the Auto Pact. That, in turn, led to the first free trade agreement with the United States. That, in turn, led to the first NAFTA. That, in turn, leads to where we are today, because nations that have good security also have good trade, and those that have good trade generally have good security.

Prime Minister Mulroney used to say that job one of any prime minister is to manage the U.S. relationship. There is great truth in that statement. I want to just recognize that in very difficult circumstances, our Prime Minister has managed this relationship as well as it can be managed; hence, we are here today with an agreement that many members of this House will be able to sign onto in good conscience.

The other consequence of this agreement was that we have preferred nation status with respect to military procurement. In military procurement, we are treated as a domestic supplier. Similarly, we treat the Americans as domestic suppliers. That has relevance to the peripheral debate about aluminum and steel in particular. That is what was so silly about the section 232 tariffs. We are effectively making each other's military security more expensive. That is the difficulty with tariffs.

I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. However, in my judgment, the next most important treaty to be renegotiated is the NORAD treaty, because, as I say, good security makes for good trade and good trade makes for good security.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my friend from Scarborough—Guildwood on his re-election. He is one of the senior members of this House, and his constituents obviously love him because they vote him in over and over again. It is good to see him in this Parliament. I must say that his ties are getting much better too.

I listened to the member's speech and I am in agreement with him that the link between these trade agreements and security is extremely important. I am also in very strong agreement that the NORAD treaty is very important to us. He also talked about the importance of economic collaboration in our manufacturing and defence sectors, especially in supply chains.

In business, we are seeing the importance of being connected internationally, and I want to talk about the 5G network. The Americans seem to be very far ahead of us, and we will be in a trade agreement through which there will be easy flow back and forth. I am wondering if the member could explain to the House the importance of moving forward with this 5G network, and whether he has any insight into the government's plan for implementing one here in Canada and the date that it would be functional.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Oshawa for his kind remarks. It is probably the last time that it will happen in the House.

With respect to the 5G network and in particular a decision about Huawei, the Americans have taken a very clear position and have said that this will not happen. We, of course, are in the Five Eyes. The British have arrived at another decision. They feel they can secure critical infrastructure while still using the Huawei 5G network, while the Australians and New Zealanders have been very firm about not going to 5G.

That decision will have to be taken sooner rather than later. I hope we will all have some significant input into that decision, but I do know that it is before the minister as we speak.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. He talked about national security and the importance of the auto industry, but how does CUSMA protect industries that are important to Quebec, such as supply-managed agriculture and aluminum?

Other provinces may benefit, but Quebec is once again left behind in this agreement.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would defer to the opinion of Premier Legault, which is to the effect that this agreement needs to be signed sooner rather than later. I believe he has done an analysis of all the sectors that affect Quebec. The protection of the dairy industry, in particular, is critical. The hon. member will recall the assiduousness with which the president wanted to dismantle it. The government has done a magnificent job of protecting the supply chains.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Lehoux Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. I enjoyed his history lesson on security. My question is about another aspect of security, namely food safety.

Opening up our markets is great, but what assurances do we have that other countries will apply the same standards as we do here on our products? In the dairy industry, for example, our neighbours to the south allow the use of hormones that are banned in Canada. When it comes to food safety, I have questions, and I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about this issue.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's raising that question, to which I do not have a specific answer. I do know that there are all kinds of chapters that go to each level of negotiation, and the inconsistencies are generally resolved between the trade negotiators. I expect that food safety will be the paramount intention of any negotiation on the part of our government.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have addressed the House on a few occasions, but always during oral question period. Therefore, I have not yet had an opportunity to thank the people of Jonquière for electing me. I am pleased to stand up for them here, although today's circumstances are quite unfortunate, since my riding relies mainly on aluminum. However, let me stress that I will always be there for my riding and that I intend to see this little battle over aluminum through to the end.

Before I begin, I would like to give some background on Quebec's economy, to put the free trade agreement into perspective. As we know, Canada is an oil-producing country. The Canadian economy is driven by two major sectors, namely Ontario's automotive industry and Alberta's oil industry. Members will recall that Ontario received $10 billion in financial support in 2008 to help it overcome the financial crisis.

Alberta, meanwhile, has been struggling to make tar sands oil profitable. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, that sector received about $70 billion, which is a huge amount of money. At the time, Jean Chrétien mused that, if he had invested as much money in Quebec as in Alberta, Quebec would have elected Liberal members in every riding and would have been red all over.

Quebec has seen no economic spinoffs from the oil sands. In fact, for Quebeckers, it was like an own goal, because our manufacturing industry was completely destabilized by Dutch disease, when the dollar rose because of the oil sands industry, resulting in heavy job losses.

Everyone knows that, for the past 25 years, Quebec has not been considered in Canada's economic policy. Quebec's economy depends on three sectors, and I am sure everyone knows what they are.

The first is forestry, of course, a sector that has gone through crisis after crisis and is in crisis again. The new NAFTA does nothing to support forestry.

The second is supply management, which has been compromised repeatedly. When the Conservatives negotiated the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, they severely weakened supply management.

The third, which we are talking about today, is aluminum. If I were not such a nice guy, I would say enough already. We have had it up to here.

For 20 years now, Quebec has been the one to suffer in any negotiations involving the federal government. Canada is an oil-producing country that is moving in the opposite direction of every other country on the planet. By all accounts, even the economic indicators used in Canada, the best thing to do is to shift to renewable and transitional energy sources.

Today in Canada, we have the issue of the Teck Frontier project, which I see as completely unacceptable and frankly insane. That project would increase greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes a year and make it impossible for Canada to meet its Paris targets. It is going to take a major wake-up call to free Canada's economy from its dependence on these two key sectors, which, in my opinion, is paralyzing Quebec's economy.

Now that I have given a brief history of Canada's economy, I would like to come back to what has happened in the past few weeks. Before the holiday break, we learned that aluminum would be sacrificed in the new NAFTA. Oddly enough, we were told that aluminum had been protected until the end of the negotiations, but that two days before the agreement was ratified, Mexico put the pressure on. We do not know why the Canadian government decided to abandon aluminum workers. We asked many questions about this. We asked the government why it decided to give the steel industry a guarantee while abandoning the aluminum industry.

The government has not responded, so I will try to answer. The fact that 90% of Canadian aluminum is produced in Quebec may be a clue. The steel industry is concentrated in Ontario. Ninety percent of Canada's aluminum is produced in Quebec, and 10% is produced in British Columbia. Quebec's market is the U.S., but B.C.'s market is Asia.

British Columbia is not affected by the agreement that the government just signed. Its aluminum industry is not affected because it will be able to continue to export its aluminum to Asia on an ongoing basis. The only ones affected are us. Again. When all these things are taken together, a man starts to get fed up, as my father used to say. Today, I get the impression that we need to re-establish the balance of power in the House so that Quebec's voice is heard. We need to make MPs aware of the situation so that cabinet listens to Quebec's concerns. I get the impression that such has not been the case for some time now.

Our situation is unique. Economically speaking, we are, to some extent, the disadvantaged of this federation. In recent weeks, we have wanted to show the government the real impacts that the new NAFTA will have on the aluminum industry. In order to do that, people from my region formed a huge coalition of municipal officials, union representatives, aluminum experts and business people. All of those people decided to come here to make MPs aware of our situation. People from the region really rallied together. They travelled here this week. They came with the numbers that I will talk about momentarily, which are accurate and credible. The methodology of their study is ironclad. I will talk about that in a moment.

The thing no one has been talking about all week is the fact that when the first NAFTA was signed in 1994, one of biggest aluminum producers in the world was Canada, and Canada's aluminum came from Quebec. The biggest aluminum producer was Canada and China played a marginal role. Today, China produces 15 times as much aluminum as Canada. China has no problem inundating the North American market via Mexico, completely burying every effort we have made in the past 20 years to maintain this aluminum cluster in my region. It is easy for China because they are getting help from the Canadian government, it seems to me. All we ever wanted is for the government to admit that aluminum was not getting the same treatment as steel. We asked about that again in question period today. We get the same answer every time, that 70% of auto parts manufactured in North America will have to be produced in North America. If that is satisfactory to the government, then I fail to understand why it gave steel special status. Why does this special status not apply to aluminum?

My colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean had the wonderful idea of explaining the difference between parts made of steel and parts made of aluminum to his eight-year-old daughter, Simone. With the wisdom and insight of her eight years, Simone came to understand the difference. Maybe the government should have a discussion with Simone in the next few weeks. Maybe it will come to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I want to come back to this unprecedented mobilization. We must understand that, in Quebec, six major projects to expand aluminum smelters are currently on ice. As soon as Rio Tinto Alcan found out what was in the agreement, they announced that, in their opinion, market conditions were not good enough to go ahead. We wanted to know what the impact of scrapping these six major projects would be. To me, the numbers are quite astounding. For the construction phase alone, we are talking about $6.242 billion. To this amount, we must add the 10-year period during which the aluminum smelters will be operating. That comes to a staggering $16.242 billion. This means that, for the period from 2020 to 2029, Quebec will have to miss out on $16.242 billion.

Why is Quebec going to miss out on that money? Because the federal government did not want to fight for aluminum. It is déjà vu all over again. The government wanted to save Ontario's steel industry and the auto industry. Now it is moving surprisingly quickly to save Alberta's oil industry by buying a pipeline that is not viable. When it is our turn, all we get is crickets because everyone has left the building.

Sixteen billion, two hundred and forty-two million dollars over the next 10 years is going to make a significant dent. It is going to put 60,000 jobs in jeopardy.

Today, one of the members opposite was bragging about how his government created wealth for the middle class, reduced unemployment and raised the standard of living. The government may have done that for the rest of Canada, but it is definitely not doing that for Quebec. Even with 60,000 jobs at stake, the government does not seem to care.

The government said in the throne speech that it was open to dialogue with the opposition. We are open to discussion. Unlike what some members claim, we are not against free trade. Far from it. We want to ensure respect for the economic sectors that make Quebec strong. In recent years, this respect has unfortunately been lacking. Any negotiation should start with consideration for Quebec's economic sectors.

I mentioned the staggering figures of $16 billion and 60,000 jobs. As members can see, without access to a guaranteed market, Quebec's economy will experience a slump over the long term, and the aluminum industry will slowly collapse, or even disappear, in the face of China's massive output.

The government also said in its throne speech that the environment was a priority. If the environment is one of the government's priorities, it has no choice but to support the aluminum industry. The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec produces the greenest aluminum in the world. Elysis has developed technology to produce carbon-neutral aluminum.

On one hand, we are talking about carbon neutral aluminum with Elysis in Quebec and, on the other, we are talking about 4 million tonnes of GHG emissions with the Teck Resources Frontier project. Even if an alien arrived in Canada and was presented with these statistics, the choice would be easy.

We need access to the aluminum market. That seems essential, but the new NAFTA does not allow for that because it allows China to dump its aluminum.

The United States recognized that China is dumping its aluminum through Mexico. Canada recognized that China is dumping its aluminum through Mexico. We are not making this up. It is a proven fact.

How can we address this situation? Quebec aluminum needs to be granted the same coverage as Ontario steel.

Expanding an aluminum plant is not something that happens without big investments. In order for those big investments to happen, the main producers are always saying that they need a certain amount of predictability in the market. Unfortunately, we are not seeing that predictability. What we have been saying to date is that we unfortunately had to vote against the government's ways and means motion. It was unacceptable to us because it did not recognize aluminum.

We in the Bloc Québécois are not just looking for confrontation, but also co-operation. We want to find solutions with the government. However, for us to work together, we must speak the same language. That means recognizing the wrongs. To date the government has refused, at least in question period, to acknowledge that it has sacrificed aluminum and that aluminum does not have the same status as steel. Perhaps a good starting point for discussion would be this acknowledgement on the part of the government. It is sometimes said that it takes two to tango. We are open to discussion. I hope the government will be as well.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2020 / 5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, while my hon. colleague was talking, I was thinking about the beautiful Saguenay region and the Alcan Rio Tinto plants being up there because of the hydroelectricity. The hydroelectricity is there because of the beautiful rivers and the nature that surrounds that region.

I am thinking of the aluminum coming from Quebec to Ontario to the auto manufacturers and the agreement that was presented to us by the negotiators a few nights ago. All parties were able to be at a meeting where they told us that the regional value content threshold of cars has gone from 62% to 75%. This means the content of the goods and services going into the cars has to come from the North American region.

The stronger regional content is going to protect jobs in Quebec. Seventy per cent of the aluminum and 70% of the steel have to come from within our region. Where else is one going to get aluminum in North America, other than Quebec? One could go to British Columbia, but that is a long way from Ontario. The partnerships we have in place have only been strengthened because of this agreement.

The new labour content would require a minimum of $16 per hour, and there are safety provisions for the plants where the labour is carried out.

I think we are protecting Canadian jobs. We are protecting jobs in Quebec. The hon. member is not realizing that the change from 62% to 75% includes components from Quebec. Could the hon. member comment on that? Was he at the briefing the other night?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important to understand that repeating a lie does not make it true.

The aluminum sector has not been protected. Let me point out again that it seems to me that the 70% of auto parts was mentioned because the idea is to protect the automotive industry, not the aluminum industry. Those parts may be made from aluminum that comes from Mexico, which is already the case. If my colleague wishes, I will provide him with a nice chart from Radio-Canada showing the surge in imports of aluminum auto parts from Mexico over the past two or three years.

I would also like to tell my colleague that in Alma, in my region, a project for a billet plant was proposed and the groundwork was already done. However, everything was left unfinished. The proponents changed their minds, and the investments were cancelled. The reason the proponents changed their minds midstream was that the market is not in our favour right now because China is being allowed to dump aluminum.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to share some of the thoughts that I have about the agreement.

We need trade agreements that have enforceable protections for workers, the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples and women. We need trade agreements and processes in Canada that make government more accountable and allow all parliamentarians to play a greater role in this—

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I will just interrupt the hon. member, as I am not too sure if she is posing a question or a comment for the hon. member for Jonquière. Is that the intention?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Good. I just was not sure whether she was starting into some remarks pertaining to the question that is before the House. I will let her go ahead and finish her comments, and then we will go back to the hon. member for Jonquière.

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, during the agreement, the Liberals have over-promised and under-delivered in terms of holding consultations and working with all parliamentarians in a meaningful, comprehensive and public way.

Even though I would agree that there have been some positive amendments with the new NAFTA, there continues to be this disturbing trend in trade agreements of giving more rights or favouring the privilege of corporations rather than real people, the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples and women.

Trade agreements should always guarantee—

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. The time is limited. We have about a 10-minute period for questions and comments, which we open up to other members.

I will say that certainly members can pose comments or questions to the hon. member. We will take what the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre has said as a comment.

The hon. member for Jonquière can now respond to the comments.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

I also care about indigenous communities. Canada is made up of three nations, namely the Canadian nation, the Quebec nation and the indigenous nation. Unfortunately, the indigenous and Quebec nations are often left out of multilateral agreements.

I agree with her that indigenous nations deserve better care, especially considering completely insane projects like Teck Resources' Frontier project, which indigenous communities oppose, though they are going unheeded.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I was listening very closely to what the member for Jonquière was saying. I take a different approach in the sense that on this side of the House, Liberal members of Parliament advocate for all regions of the country. We see the benefits of this trade agreement universally applied to all regions of the country. At no point in time would this government ever consider taking an area and writing it off in any fashion whatsoever.

The Premier of Quebec is encouraging members from the Bloc to support this agreement, recognizing the value of this agreement to Canada and particularly the province of Quebec.

Is the Premier of Quebec wrong in advocating that we pass this legislation?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I find it astounding to hear the member opposite refer to the Premier of Quebec, because it is probably the first time he has ever listened to him. My colleague has selective hearing. He only hears what the Premier of Quebec says when it suits him.

I could also point out that the Premier of Quebec is asking for a single tax return. In addition, he is asking for an increase in health care funding, which is something the government has been refusing to do for years, and it is a disaster in Canada. This is what we call fiscal imbalance.

The federal government has a much broader tax base than the provinces, it does not spend as much, and it constantly balances its budget by reducing transfer payments to the provinces.

That would be a good start. If the government does that, I might consider voting for the project.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a section on indigenous peoples that was presented to us a few nights ago by the panel that was negotiating on behalf of all Canadians, including indigenous peoples.

This agreement does have government procurement protections for indigenous-owned businesses and enterprises, outcomes around the environment, protecting the role of indigenous peoples and protecting our environment. The sections are in there, and I really wish that the hon. member across the way could refer to those sections when he is speaking in the House.