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NDP MP for Windsor West (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2015, with 51% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Automotive Industry November 28th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, in the past two decades, Canada has lost and continues to lose auto jobs to China, Mexico, and Japan.
Despite solidarity between the manufacturers, the unions, and the chambers of commerce, who all agree that Canada needs a national auto policy, this minister is still a holdout.
The workers have done their job by creating a billion dollars worth of opportunity for investment in jobs and productivity in this country, but the Ontario Liberal minister believes we do not need a strategy, and the federal Liberal minister is just indulging him.
When will the minister put aside partisan interests and instead be truly innovative and side with Canadians, not his Liberal cousins?
Mr. Speaker, that was actually kind of bizarre.
First of all, our automotive industry is integrated with the United States. With the United States going into free trade with South Korea, we had no real option in the sense that we had to pursue that.
Similar to CETA, there is greater protection for other industries than what Canada gets. It is similar to what has been happening in other trade agreements, like the TPP. Malaysia out-negotiated these guys. Malaysia gets 12 years for auto. We get five years.
This is the immature element of the argument: “If we do not have a trade agreement, we are not actually going to trade with these people.”
England is our third-largest trading partner. We are still going to trade with it, even if it is out of CETA, with Brexit. It is going to happen. It is a choice of whether we enhance WTO trading privileges. It is not whether we are actually going to trade with some countries.
Mr. Speaker, every nation state requires trade. They have been doing it for decades, generations, and centuries. That is obvious. The question is about trade agreements. That is the difference.
We are still going to have trade. For example, we have the South Korea trade agreement. We did not address, which I pushed hard for, non-tariff barriers. That is why, interestingly enough, with the TPP and others, non-tariff barriers are the things that prevent an open market from developing.
What South Korea does is block, directly and indirectly, for example, dealerships from opening in South Korea. Canada can sell there all it wants, but good luck to people who actually buy a Canadian product, because they cannot get it serviced. That is what has to stop. If we did the same thing, those South Korean cars would not be dumped here.
There are good cars produced across Ontario. There is no doubt. Workers do that for Canada, not the government.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and talk about CETA, the trade arrangement between Canada and Europe. What is interesting is that we have this agreement coming forth, and one of the things that we have not heard much about in the debate is the measurables of a trade agreement. I have raised it a few times myself. The measurables of a trade agreement that matter for Canadians are whether or not they are getting a job or their children's future is going to be better because of the agreements that Canada signs.
I will include the Liberals and Conservatives in the ideological right. Remarkably the right argue that, if we just have free trade, everything gets better. We hear that argument that we should just open these markets and have trade that goes back and forth. Then they start to realize and complain later that the reason we do not do well in these agreements is that Canadian labour is too high and that the governments do other things. They have the concerns in the same sentence, but they never connect the two.
When we try to add labour rights, environmental rights, and social responsibility rights, they are often put on the side of these trade agreements. There is an advantage in this agreement because we have Europe, which has some commonalities with us for that, but we also do not take into account the massive corporate subsidizations that take place in the European Union. I can point no further than to the auto sector, for example, which receives massive and state involvement.
Liberal members say it is going to be a fair market, but meanwhile they promote and sacrifice industries like the auto industry in deals like the one with South Korea, for example, where state-owned companies compete against us. They close their markets as well. They do non-tariff barriers. The Liberals say we are going to trade more and we are going to have more accessibility and, by the way, we are going to compete against state-owned car companies that are owned by the people, have a national strategy, and get massive subsidization that imports millions into our country over the terms of the deals and we hardly get any back to South Korea; just dozens. It is not reciprocal, but the Liberals are okay with that.
I know there are fireworks today because the Prime Minister is attending fundraisers with the Chinese and other business people from a Communist state government, but the reality is the use of their dollar and their environment and their dirty energy competing with Canadian companies. We brag and boast about the fact that we are going to sell our energy everywhere and make a difference in the world. However, we sell it for fire sale prices to countries that use the energy that is subsidized to build things and put Canadian workers and companies out of business and attract other business there, because they use energy as a subsidy for development and production of goods and services.
However, we cannot talk about those things. We do not have that type of mature debate in the House of Commons. The reality is that we actually facilitate the demise of Canadian jobs, not based on competition but on the fact that we are okay with others' manipulation of the so-called free market economy and state intervention, and state subsidization against our workers here who beg for a national strategy on certain issues but get nothing.
Take, for example, our exports of automobiles to Japan. Canadian automobiles are equal or better on J.D. Power and other types of independent assessments of vehicles for quality, workmanship, production value, and for consumers; yet we cannot produce and ship into those markets. How fair is that? It is not. Yet this says that if we just opened more markets, then we should be doing great and we should be doing well.
From the year 2000, for trade agreements, promotion and protection agreements, and investment agreements, this is where we are at. We basically go to countries and we increase corporate rights. We do the work that taxpayers fund and we have no expectations on these agreements leading to Canadian jobs. We do the work for the corporations to get them into these markets without any expectations of what is going to take place with regard to jobs.
I will give the House an example and this one is really sad. Over the last number of years I have heard both the provincial and federal Liberals talking about trade and doing missions in India. Some companies have gone over there on the Canadian taxpayer's dime. I coach hockey and I know the people who come out with their kids. These are working people. Some are engineers. These engineers are in the process of losing their jobs. They are training people from India who come over here with an engineering degree and take their jobs. Congratulations on a great strategy. Those people are funding the trips from India and the expenditure and now are going to subsidize the fact and deal with the reality. They have to deal with the reality that day to day they will work with the people who will get their jobs even though those jobs are considered value-added jobs in Canada. These are well-paying jobs in Canada. This is taking place in a tool and die and mould-making company that is a stalwart of our local economy. It is a Canadian success story that is unequalled in the world in terms of quality and workmanship. It cannot be denied that tool and die and mould-making in Canada is the best. We are facing subsidization of our jobs.
Since 2000, we have signed agreements with countries, agreements that are supposed to give jobs to Canadians, that are supposed to increase the chances for economic improvement for not only themselves but collectively for the nation. Here are some of the countries that we have signed agreements with since 2000: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Guyana, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Mali, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Tanzania, and Ukraine. These agreements were signed just in 2000 alone. There has been no talk about the others.
Let us be clear about this. Some of the provisions in CETA will crush Canadian industries. We have signed all of these agreements but where are the jobs? The Conservatives get up on a daily basis and tell the Liberals that they have not created a single job despite the fact that we have signed a number of different trade agreements over the last number of years. Where are the jobs? We would like to know. We would like to see what they are so we can at least measure them.
We will have certain exposures in these agreements that are well known. The cost of pharmaceuticals is a huge one. Investment-state provisions is another, and the dairy industry.
We need to at least hear from the government about what the measurables are that we are going to put in. The government pulled a number out for the agricultural industry in terms of supply management. We need to know, just like the Chilean agreement and others that we have signed in the past, where the jobs are, where our neighbours are employed, and most important, if there will be an adverse effect on the cost of living. We need to know what the agreement will do for us because we have subsidized it.
Mr. Speaker, since I have been here, there have been several trade agreements signed, or trade investment promotions and protection agreements. They are kind of the precursor to that.
I will name some of the countries involved: Peru, Panama, Romania, Senegal, Slovak, Nigeria, Korea, Kuwait, Tanzania, Liechtenstein, Mali, Jordan, Latvia, Benin, Burkina, Columbia, Guiana, Hong Kong, and Ukraine. The claim by the Conservatives is that the current government has not created a single job. If that is so, why do we have all these trade agreements? Where are the specific jobs? For example, what jobs have been created from the trade agreement with Liechtenstein?
Mr. Speaker, one of the things that was clear in the member's comments, which were very helpful in this debate, is the unintended consequences with regard to trade deals. It is an extremely relevant point, one that is not just localized in my community, but across this country. When we joined NAFTA, one of the consequences became a challenge from Japan on our auto pact with the United States. An auto pact created tens of thousands of Canadian jobs. We were number two in the world with regard to auto assembly and production. Since that time we have dropped to 10th in the world. One of the reasons was because Japan, after we signed NAFTA, challenged this trade agreement that we had with the United States. We went to the WTO and we lost that trade dispute, so the auto pact was ripped up in Canada and that has caused consequences to this day.
The investor-state provisions are very important and I would ask my colleague to expand about that with regard to say, for example, our water. Water quality is a big issue for me with the Great Lakes and being a critic for that for our party. What can she talk about with regard to water quality and sovereignty?
I hear a lot of cheering, Madam Speaker. I would ask the hon. member, given his party has identified that the Liberals have really created zero jobs given their last year, why then, with all these accolades to these signed agreements, has there not been an increase in jobs related to all these trade agreements? It is a simple measurement system that we need to look at, and I would like to know specifically. We could use Latvia as an example. Where are the Canadian jobs that have come from the trade agreement with Latvia?
Madam Speaker, it has been interesting to listen to the debate on trade and what we are putting into it. It is amazing how much time we have spent in this House of Commons on trade, but so very little on economic strategies related to, for example, manufacturing.
This is not a full list, but it is a list of trade agreements, investment promotion agreements, and protection agreements that we have signed over the last number of years. It is Peru, Panama, Romania, Senegal, Nigeria, Slovak Republic, Korea, Kuwait, Tanzania, Liechtenstein, Mali, Jordan, Latvia, Benin, Burkina, Colombia, Ghana, Hong Kong, and Ukraine.
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the intervention of my colleague with regard to the submissions to committee. It is almost unheard of that this government-paid committee, or more importantly, this taxpayer-paid committee, would be shut off from receiving information. I have never heard of that before. It requires a special procedure. It would mean that we do not want to hear from constituents.
I was on that committee at one point.
Britain is Canada's third-largest trading partner and is one of the secure anchors for Canada in this deal, and it is leaving the European Union. There is going to be quite a difference between what was in the past agreement and how it was arranged versus what we will have now.
Why would we not want to hear from Canadians and businesses on how to deal with that new reality?
Automotive Industry November 16th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, it is not “all members”, because the Liberals have excluded women and persons with disabilities by their own purpose and intent.
The Liberals and Conservatives' trade and economic policies have driven the Canadian auto industry from second to tenth in the world, costing tens of thousands of jobs. For more than a year, the Liberals have copied the Harper Conservatives at the expense of workers in Canada, with zero results. The Liberals now have a bailout from the auto workers and Unifor who, unlike the government, successfully negotiated a billion dollars' worth of new investment in Canada.
The workers have done their job. When will the minister do his? If he is looking for jobs, they are right here. He just has to come and get them.