Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of International Trade was in Vancouver yesterday admitting that “Canadians are missing out on opportunities” in emerging foreign markets, a global competitiveness report released by the World Economic Forum showed that Canada dropped from 12th to 15th place in its annual ranking of global business performance.
This continues the downward spiral which began after 1998 when Canada placed sixth. Under the Liberals' watch, Canadian exports are down, border problems continue to drive up costs, and drive away investment in Canada.
Just last week the Conference Board of Canada classified our productivity performance among the entire OECD as mediocre. It is the role of government to provide the right economic environment for our tax structures by supporting education, and research and development, so that Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs can compete in this fierce global marketplace.
The Liberals need to understand that trade is not about abstract numbers but rather about quality of life. Trade is our lifeblood. The issue of competitiveness will determine the future prosperity of Canada.