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Liberal MP for Don Valley East (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2015, with 58% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Madam Speaker, we are an interconnected world. If we want to increase the middle class, trade is an important opportunity. I thank the Prime Minister for going to South America to build better relations and better trade treaties so that we have wider exposure to markets, rather than sticking with one country.
Madam Speaker, the same question was posed to the Minister of International Trade, who has worked with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to ensure that the trade agreement really is beneficial to our farmers. When we open up our trading partnerships and our markets, there is supply and demand. Also, when we reduce tariffs, it makes goods cheaper and makes different varieties of goods accessible to different populations. I am sure that the minister has taken great care to ensure that there is enough protection.
Madam Speaker, I have just finished consulting Canadians on Canada Post. I do not think anyone is afraid of negativity or input. There are certain rules that committees follow, and it is my understanding that the trade committee did not rule out input from any other witnesses. I am not sure whether the member is misinformed, but transparency is important and that is why we have been extremely transparent in getting input from everyone.
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Laurentides—Labelle.
It is with pride that I rise today to speak in favour of Bill C-30, an act to implement the comprehensive, economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, or CETA.
I will frame my remarks by reminding the members of the House that our government has chosen an ambitious agenda to strengthen the middle class and those trying to join it. Job creation for Canadians depends on our domestic as well as our foreign trade policies.
Our government promised to review the trade agreements that were in process when we took office one year ago. We reviewed the provisions for CETA and through the extremely hard work of our Prime Minister and our very capable Minister of International Trade, we were able to get it done.
Based on recent statistics, almost 1.7 million highly-skilled Canadians are employed full time in Canada's manufacturing sector. By eliminating all tariffs on manufactured goods and creating a mechanism to address non-tariff barriers to trade, this agreement will unlock opportunities for Canadian businesses and advance our government's commitment to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
Bill C-30 would cover a wide breadth of economic sectors and issues. Under CETA, certain skilled professionals will find it easier to work temporarily in the EU. This aspect of CETA is welcome in my riding of Don Valley East, which is home to skilled professionals from all around the globe. Working in the EU for these skilled professionals will not only boost their skill sets, but will provide cultural opportunities that they may have never considered possible.
We live in a world which is increasingly interconnected and where the free movement of people, goods, services and ideas happens at rapid speed. Progress and availability of opportunities for Canadians cannot increase unless we look beyond our borders. In 2014, Canada was the 12th largest trading partner of the EU-28. The EU is Canada's second largest partner after the United States.
From 2013-2015, Canada exported an annual average of almost $33 billion worth of manufactured goods to the EU. On average, these exports currently face tariffs of between 4% to 22%.
Under CETA, 99% of Canadian manufactured goods will enter the EU market tariff free. Within seven years, 100% of Canada's manufactured goods, including autos, will benefit from the duty free access.
Canada stands to gain even more by way of investment, opening new markets for our goods and services, and creating more stable jobs for our workforce. Workers in Canada's multi-billion dollar chemical and plastic industry will also benefit directly from CETA.
Canadians are world leaders in research, innovation and production in advanced manufacturing sub-sector, for example, scientific instruments, construction equipment and aerospace products to name a few. These goods, including robotics, are in high demand. In this area, Canadian exports to the EU totalled $9.2 billion. Current tariffs are as high as 22%. Under CETA these tariffs will be eliminated
In the agriculture field, we will be well positioned to reap benefits to the new market. This is a win-win for our agri industry across Canada.
CETA will not only open new markets for Canadian businesses and employees, but CETA is also the first trade agreement which has a stand-alone chapter on regulatory co-operation.
This very important provision will promote good regulatory practices and level the playing field. Our government is committed to creating opportunities for our businesses and our citizens. We want to expand the horizon, think outside the box, and ensure that Canadians are not disadvantaged by non-action.
It is with this in mind that CETA also contains provisions under which dispute settlement will be more open, transparent, and institutionalized. Our government will always protect the interests of Canadians and Canadian businesses. My riding contains some of the most innovative and forward looking technological small and medium-sized companies. Under CETA, companies such as Neuronic Works, Thales, Pearson Printing, Jansen, etc., will have access to European markets on a fair and even basis. Europeans and Canadians will benefit from a shared knowledge base and mutual higher standards of living.
In the area of safety and environmental protections, CETA builds on previous trade agreements that have explicitly safeguarded provided health, safety, and environmental protections. These protections are critical for our government and we will not abandon our principles. Under CETA, any EU producer interested in exporting goods to Canada will have to abide fully with the Canadian regulations on environmental protection.
Canadian culture will continue to thrive, as it will have new markets under CETA. I have spoken to many arts and cultural organizations who see this trade deal an an opportunity to expand into the global markets.
CETA is a progressive way forward for Canada and the EU. This trade agreement will set a precedent for the way international agreements are negotiated and agreed upon. We are a country rich in technology and innovation. We know how to operate businesses, whether in pharmaceuticals or manufacturing or family farms. Canadians have always been forward looking. In this increasingly connected world, we cannot afford to be insular. This trade agreement will provide opportunities for all Canadians and ensure real protection of our environment, our indigenous peoples, and the diversity of our cultures.
I hope all members of the House will support our collective effort in making Canada a highly competitive global player that wishes to see Canadians benefit from growth and opportunities.
New Circles Community Services November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the work of New Circles community service, a not-for-profit organization in my riding of Don Valley East.
New Circles operates the largest clothing bank in Toronto, GLOW, gently loved outfits to wear. GLOW donates contemporary used clothing to those in need, including Syrian refugees, in a retail setting where they can pick outfits for themselves and their families. It also trains youth in retail marketing.
In addition, New Circles has a mobile mall, which travels to six Toronto community housing seniors residences, enabling them to shop at their leisure.
I applaud New Circles for the generosity of the organization and the positive impacts it has had on so many people.
Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her questions and for her concerns. In my riding, I have held more than 21 coffee meet and greets and town hall meetings, combined. The one thing I hear, as a business owner, as an accountant, as somebody who has been guiding businesses, is that people want investment in infrastructure. To be productive, they need rail, transportation, and the infrastructure that helps them move their goods along. They are quite happy that we have invested so much money in infrastructure. Municipalities and mayors have been very reflective and very happy with our investment money.
When we talk about child care spaces, I would remind the member opposite that, under the Martin government we had a child care agenda and it was the NDP who voted against it. In my riding alone, it would have created 25,000 child care spaces. So I think the budget is on the right track.
Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member of a little bit of history. When our government, the Martin-Chrétien government, took over, we took over a bankrupt country. The Conservatives had left it bankrupt. We left them with a $13-billion surplus. What did they do with it? Economists called Mr. Harper the worst economic manager. GST is a regressive tax. They took boutique tax cuts without creating any jobs.
We do not need to learn any lessons from them because there they were stagnant, they were inward looking, and they put more money into advertising and in building gazebos instead of people.
Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and speak on Bill C-29, the budget implementation bill.
As we all know, the Budget Implementation Act provides the legislative framework to implement the key campaign promises that were reiterated in budget 2016. In this bill, our key focus is to grow the economy by investing in people through tax cuts, as well as investing in the environment.
For the past 10 years, there has been no growth. The economy was lethargic, because the previous government did not take measures to invest in the economy. It made a lot of announcements and spent millions of dollars on advertising but not on people. Our government is more focused on investing in people and in helping to grow the middle class.
We know that middle-class Canadians are working harder than ever, but they are not getting ahead. We know that there is a growing consensus globally that governments need to invest in the economy, and that this investment has to be on a long-term basis and not short term. Therefore, to grow the economy, we need an ambitious agenda and an innovative agenda, which is the focus of our government. If we wish to move forward and not be stagnant, we need to think outside the box.
A strong economy starts with a strong middle class. When the middle class grows, so does the economy, because there is more purchasing power, and more money to save and invest. For example, in my riding of Don Valley East, our government's budget has had a great impact on the constituents. The riding is primarily a middle-class riding. Youth unemployment is above the national average. Our government's tax cuts have helped 90% of my constituents. This has put more money in their pockets. In my riding, I have seen a renewed sense of hope.
Families with children have also benefited from our government's Canada child benefit. This has alleviated the poverty level for nine out of 10 families in the riding. We know how expensive raising a child is. Families work hard to provide for their children. Our government's Canada child benefit program has been a welcomed impetus for these families.
As well, in the area of youth unemployment, we doubled our investment in the Canada summer jobs program. In my riding of Don Valley East, 66 businesses employed over 234 students. This was very important for these students, because it provided them with the skill sets and resources to help them through their university years.
While we are talking about employment and the area of creating jobs for the future, our government has been bold in not only taking steps to invest in infrastructure, but working with provinces and municipalities to help them address the issues of falling bridges, tracks, bicycle paths, walking trails, switches, etc. These were neglected by the former government, because it never participated or talked to the provinces or municipalities.
These are important first steps. In my riding, I have seen that there is an investment of over $125,000 in walking trails and paths. How does that benefit the residents? It benefits the citizens, because it is an area where people walk and build healthy lifestyles. As well, we help the environment.
Also in my riding are engines of growth, which have benefited from our government's innovation agenda. The companies in my riding have been able to create over 100 good-paying jobs for young professionals.
Confident, ambitious countries invest in their own future. They invest where the economy is growing. They do not shy away from progress. This type of progress is not easy. It takes smart investments in infrastructure, in technology, and most important, in the skills and creativity of its people.
Our government has taken that bold step. We have worked with provinces. We have worked with municipalities. We have invested where there are shovels in the ground, when municipalities have come as our partners, when provinces have come as our partners, and we are seeking to expand that pool as well.
Through our budget implementation bill, Bill C-29, that is what we are doing. We are moving forward. We are thinking outside the box. I would urge members opposite to participate in this bold, innovative agenda.
Business of Supply October 27th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for her passion and commitment to transform a system so we can get concrete results for the aboriginal community on the issues that plague them.
For the past 10 years, the Harper government did nothing. In fact, the Conservatives were accused of not protecting the children. They were accused of systemic racial discrimination.
What are some of the challenges the minister faced when she took over a file that had not been acted on?
Interparliamentary Delegations October 26th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports of the delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
The first concerns the bilateral visit to Providentiales and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, and Georgetown, Guyana, from February 7 to February 14.
The second report concerns the International Parliamentary Conference on Energy, Sustainability and Development, held in London, United Kingdom, from March 14 to 17.