Mr. Speaker, I want to raise a further question with the Liberal member for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
I certainly respect his very considerable knowledge of agricultural issues. It would not be my intention to challenge his assessment that, on balance, the concerns about the agricultural aspect of this free trade agreement may in fact still warrant supporting the agreement. He has a lot more in-depth knowledge than I do about the agricultural issues at stake here, coming as he does from Prince Edward Island. We do not have a huge agricultural industry in our Halifax riding, not that I would not have a real interest, but I will bow to his superior experience in this regard with respect to agriculture.
I do, though, want to pursue for a moment the question of the shipbuilding sector. To his credit, the member has acknowledged that there are very major concerns of shipyard workers and shipbuilders about the negative impact of this agreement, which is without any real protections for the long term interests and what is really the long term survival of the shipbuilding industry.
I agree with some of the comments he has made about how there are reasons why it would be desirable to reach an agreement with these countries, which generally are higher wage countries with which we have a lot in common and so on. However, I am very surprised that his position and that of his Liberal colleagues is to basically toss the shipbuilding industry overboard with respect to the devastating impact that this agreement could have without having provided some kind of extra carve-out. We know that was not impossible when it came to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and we had the Jones act absolutely protected, which has had a devastating impact on Canada's shipbuilding. So now this is a sort of double whammy.
I would just like to understand better his view on this. Instead of taking a stand, which we could have done as opposition parties knowing this is going to be devastating for some in Quebec and other parts of the country, certainly in Atlantic Canada, the member and his colleagues decided to not take a united stand. I am surprised and I want to understand that decision. We could have prevailed in insisting upon protections for the shipbuilding industry in Canada, which otherwise may be very adversely impacted by this agreement.