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41st PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 119

CONTENTS

Tuesday, September 30, 2014




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 147 
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NUMBER 119 
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2nd SESSION 
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41st PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Speaker: The Honourable Andrew Scheer

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayers


  (1005)  

[English]

Board of Internal Economy

The Speaker:  
    I have the honour to inform the House that Mrs. Ambler, member for the electoral district of Mississauga South, has been appointed member of the Board of Internal Economy in place of Mr. Merrifield, member for the electoral district of Yellowhead, for the purposes and under the provisions of section 50 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs 

Mr. Joe Preston (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present in both official languages the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs regarding membership of committees of the House.
    If the House gives its consent I should like to move concurrence in the report.
The Speaker:  
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.

Petitions

Sex Selection  

Hon. Ron Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in the House. This morning I would like to table a petition on behalf of numerous constituents. They are requesting that the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex selection pregnancy termination.

Agriculture  

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present. They are all with regard to the right to save seeds. Petitioners are calling upon Parliament to refrain from making any changes to the Seeds Act or to the Plant Breeders' Rights Act through Bill C-18, an act to amend certain acts relating to agriculture and agri-food, that would restrict farmers' rights or add to farmers' costs.
    Further, they call upon Parliament to enshrine in legislation the inalienable right of farmers and other Canadians to save, reuse, select, exchange and sell seeds.

Asbestos  

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by tens of thousands of Canadians who call upon Parliament and the House of Commons here assembled to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known. In fact, they point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than from all other occupational or industrial causes combined, yet Canada still allows asbestos to be used in construction materials, textile products and even children's toys.
    Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers to end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad, and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention.

Impaired Driving  

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present four petitions from citizens of Canada from Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario. These citizens want to see tougher laws and implementation of new mandatory minimum sentencing for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death. They also want the Criminal Code of Canada to be changed to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death as vehicular manslaughter.

[Translation]

CBC/Radio-Canada  

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, today it is my honour to rise to present two petitions.
    The first is about CBC/Radio-Canada.

[English]

    This is our national broadcaster.
    The petitioners presented petitions in English, so I will continue in English. The petitioners are from all over Canada. They are from Toronto, Markham, but primarily from British Columbia, from Vancouver, Nelson and throughout my constituency of Saanich—Gulf Islands. They are calling for stable predictable funding for the CBC.

Waste Reduction  

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is entirely from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands, from North Saanich, Salt Spring Island and Victoria. They are all calling for the Government of Canada to work with the provinces to put in place a national program to reduce waste through extended product responsibility and extended producer responsibility.

Canada Post  

Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present petitions in the House today in respect to the reduction of Canada Post services. The signatories to these petitions note that the elimination of door-to-door mail delivery will have a particularly adverse impact on seniors and the disabled. They call upon the Government of Canada to reject Canada Post's plan to end door-to-door mail delivery and increased prices, and instead explore other options for modernizing the postal service.

Questions on the Order Paper

Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
The Deputy Speaker:  
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

    The House resumed from September 25 consideration of the motion that Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise today to speak to a bill dealing with free trade. The Liberal Party, traditionally through decades, has been fairly clear in terms of recognizing the value of world trade. The Liberal Party does not fear having trade agreements. In fact, we have been advocating and are very supportive of the movement toward additional agreements. We see the value in the sense that Canada is very much a trading nation. We are very dependent on trade. Trade equals jobs here in Canada. It is important to our lifestyle. The way we live here is dramatically affected by the amount of trade that we have throughout the world.
    Liberal governments in the past have demonstrated very clearly that we understand the trade file. In fact, going back to the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin era, we find that we consistently had trade surpluses. This is something that is highly achievable if the government understands the complexities of the whole file of trade. This is something that the current government has been somewhat challenged on. Yes, the Conservatives talk about free trade agreements and they have entered into some free trade agreements, but where they have been found wanting is in the area of overall trade. When it comes to overall trade, we will find that since this Prime Minister has become Prime Minister, we have been going down from the original high of billions of dollars in trade surplus to where we have seen billions of dollars in trade deficit.
     That is important because at the end of the day a healthy trade surplus means more jobs for Canadians. It means that our middle class is going to be doing that much better economically. On the one hand, we recognize the value of entering into free trade agreements, but on the other hand we want to emphasize to the Conservatives that they are not doing their jobs when it comes to overall trade for our country. This is where the government really needs to improve. Regarding our manufacturing industry, one only needs to look at the devastation in Ontario in terms of our manufacturing jobs. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost because the current government has been asleep at the switch and not addressing the needs of our manufacturing industry, not only in the province of Ontario but in other areas also.
    Today, we talk about the free trade agreement with Korea. The Conservatives like to pat themselves on the back, saying how wonderful they are for getting this free trade agreement with Korea. The reality is that Korea has been attempting to get free trade agreements with countries around the world since about 2003. Shortly after the Koreans initiated that bold initiative of wanting more free trade agreements, Paul Martin expressed an interest in Canada being a part of that free trade initiative by Korea. In 2004, the negotiations actually began. Looking at what Korea has been able to accomplish, we see it has agreements in place with several nations, including the European Union, the United States and smaller nations like Chile, and I believe, Peru, a number of nations.
     Canada, on the other hand has been asleep again at the switch and there has been a significant cost. I have referred to it in the past and I will reinforce it this morning. The pork industry in the province of Manitoba could have had more pork sales to Korea had the government acted in a more prompt fashion, or had it followed the lead of Paul Martin in 2003-04.

  (1010)  

    At the end of the day, that is just one industry, albeit an industry I am very proud of in Manitoba because of the jobs that have been generated, whether in Brandon, Winnipeg, or rural communities, through pork production. Some of the huge pork farms that are out there contribute good, strong, valuable jobs to our economy. There is no doubt this free trade agreement would enhance certain industries in Canada, and Liberals look forward to that. However, there should be no doubt that the government was not doing its job by allowing other countries to move forward, and in essence, take a bit of the share away from what Canada could have had if the government had been a little more aggressive on this file.
    The government talks a lot about the European Union agreement. The Liberal Party was again supportive of going forward with a trade agreement with the European Union.
    It was interesting that when the president of Ukraine addressed the House of Commons, one of the things he made reference to was the need to have a free trade agreement with Ukraine. When one thinks about it, Ukraine is moving rapidly toward freer trade association with the European Union, yet Canada seems to be putting that issue on a back burner. Liberals would ultimately argue that there is merit for us to be looking at a free trade agreement with Ukraine.
    What about other Asian countries? A few years ago, I would have been standing in my place and talking about the Philippines. The Philippines is a beautiful, wonderful country. Today, we continue to be very dependent on the Philippines for immigration. Tens of thousands of people come to Canada from the Philippines every year and we have benefited immensely, economically, socially and more, because of immigration from the Philippines.
    Why not take advantage of this relationship with the Philippines and look at other ways, outside of immigration, to expand relations between the Philippines and Canada? We should look at trade. There is so much more that we could be doing on the trade file and again we see the government falling short on a number of occasions.
    I was on a panel with the New Democrats and Conservatives and we were talking about trade. The NDP seemed to be of the opinion that they have supported trade agreements in the past. The reality is that the New Democratic Party is very different when it comes to world trade. It seems to be willing nowadays to change. For the first time, it appears it might vote in favour of this legislation.
    I have challenged New Democrats in the past and I will do it again because they still like to say that they supported other free trade agreements, in particular the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. New Democrats should review some of the comments they made about the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.
    It is fair to say that there has not been a day inside the House of Commons where New Democrats have stood in their places and voted for a free trade agreement. If I am wrong, I challenge any New Democrat to stand in his or her place when it is time to ask questions and tell me the date so that we can look up in Hansard when New Democrats voted in favour of a trade agreement. There is always hope. This could be the first agreement that they vote in favour of.
    The point is that we in the Liberal Party have recognized the value of free trade. We hear lots of words from the Conservatives, but they suffer in terms of tangible action. Yes, agreements have been signed, but let us recognize the fact that they have not been all that timely in terms of their announcements, and so forth. Many of the agreements we have today are there because they were initiated by the former Liberal government.

  (1015)  

    There is lots of room of improvement, both for the Conservatives and I would even suggest for the New Democrats, on this particular file.

[Translation]

Mr. Denis Blanchette (Louis-Hébert, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. Naturally, we like to talk about the NDP's position on free trade agreements. Unlike the Conservatives and the Liberals, we prefer to look at the agreement itself to see if it has any benefits. In our speeches, we have said that we have three principles and that we rationally analyze the merits of each agreement. I would like my colleague to tell me what he thinks of this approach, of analyzing agreements before supporting them. Does he think that is a good way to do things?

  (1020)  

[English]

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:  
    Mr. Speaker, in fairness, the New Democrats have been consistent on that particular point.
    The New Democrats say they would like to be able to see the details, analyze, and so forth. I have been inside the chamber and I hear that all the time from them. However, in fairness to the Liberals, the New Democrats have to acknowledge that as much as they like to see the details and do the analyzing, the fact remains that they have never, ever stood in their place inside the House of Commons and voted in favour of a free trade agreement. That is the reality.
    No members of the NDP caucus can actually stand in their place and say that they stood and voted in favour of free trade deal x. We know that for a fact.
    The New Democrats can say that as a political party they analyze and look at agreements, but the reality is that at their very core the New Democrats just do not believe in it for whatever reason.
    This is where the Liberals differ from the New Democrats. We recognize the world for what it is, and it is not that large a place. We need to have trade. Canada is dependent on world trade. The Liberals have delivered on trade with multi-billion dollars in trade surplus, which has generated tens of thousands of jobs. For 20% of the people employed today, it is because of trade.
    The Liberal Party recognizes the value of trade. The New Democrats have never done that. That is something—
The Deputy Speaker:  
    Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary to the Minister of International Development.
Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that the Liberals are on side with this trade agreement. It is really unfortunate that they did not get any done during their 13 years in office.
    The member spoke about issues related to Manitoba. We know that, between 2010 and 2012, the average annual exports for Manitoba were something over $106 million. Examples of tariffs that would be removed are wheat, pork and most pork-processed products, rye and rye seed, oats and oat seed, kidney beans, potatoes, and pig fats.
    I wonder if the member could talk about the benefits that would come to his province of Manitoba when we get this free trade agreement signed.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:  
    Mr. Speaker, maybe I could indicate to the Conservative member that—had the Conservatives done their homework—back in 2003 when Korea approached the world and said it wanted free trade agreements, Paul Martin's Liberal government was one of the first governments to actually act upon what Korea had initiated.
    The current government sat for over decade, doing nothing. I should say virtually a decade. It waited until 2013 or 2014 to actually get into serious negotiations. As a result, countries like the United States, the European Union, I believe Peru, and definitely Chile beat us to it.
    The member made reference to Manitoba, which lost opportunities for further increased trade with Korea in industries like our pork industry, because the Conservatives did not aggressively pursue a free trade agreement with Korea in a more timely fashion.
    If the member wants to compare administrations, I would suggest that all she needs to do is take a good look at and analyze the free trade agreement with Korea, compare what the Liberals did, acting within 18 months of the desire to achieve the agreement, with the government taking over 6 years to even come to the table in a serious way to get an agreement.
    I would suggest that the government has a lot of room for improvement in terms of negotiations with other world countries.
Mr. Don Davies:  
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The hon. member went on and on about the New Democrats not standing in this place and not voting for an agreement, and he challenged us to prove him wrong. I have the Journals from Monday, March 5, 2012, and I would like to table this document showing the New Democrats stood in the House and voted in favour of the Canada-Jordan agreement at second reading. Where he is confusing it is that, at third reading, we let that agreement go by a voice vote, which happens all the time in the House. As a matter of fact, we understand that the Liberals have sent a request to New Democrats to allow the South Korea agreement to pass by a voice vote.
    The hypocrisy and the inaccuracy of the Liberal Party is again breathtaking. I would ask for unanimous consent to table this document in the House, so that the member will once and for all be quiet and no longer state that the New Democrats have not stood in the House and voted for the Jordan agreement, because we did.
    Moreover, maybe he can answer a question. Besides the Liberals not supporting the free trade agreement in the 1980s—he prattles on and on about how the Liberals have always supported free trade, but Canadians remember they did not—the Liberal trade critic has said this about CETA:
    We have been supportive of the deal from the start....
    It's important to say this is a great step, but also we really need to start seeing some details. At some point though we need to see what it is we're actually supporting
    Now is that not a classic description of the Liberal Party to support something without ever reading it, or—

  (1025)  

The Deputy Speaker:  
    I think the member is moving beyond the request for unanimous consent, into debate. Does the member have unanimous consent to table the document?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Deputy Speaker: There is no unanimous consent.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my hon. friend from Winnipeg North about an aspect that is often confused with trade agreements but has nothing to do with liberalizing trade and has everything to do with putting foreign corporations in a superior position to domestic government, and those are what are referred to generally as investor state agreements. As the member may know, the Green Party opposes investor state agreements because, by their very definition, they are anti-democratic.
    I know there are some concerns within the Liberal Party, but it seems members are generally in favour of investor state agreements, and I wanted to ask my friend from Winnipeg North if there are any limitations on Liberal Party support for investor state agreements such as the Canada-Korea agreement we have before us now?
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:  
    Mr. Speaker, I am not too sure of the terminology of investor state agreements that the member is referring to. I will take her at face value. Obviously in any sort of an agreement there are always certain aspects that raise concerns. What we are talking about is the overall principle of having free trade agreements, and the benefits to Canadians as a whole have been, generally speaking, very positive.
    There are always going to be concerns. When I think of the Korea agreement, for example, one of the biggest concerns that I and members of my caucus have is in regard to the automobile industry. We are very sensitive to that industry and the needs of that industry. This is an industry where, again, through time, we have seen very progressive, liberally minded prime ministers talk about ways in which we can expand that industry and complement it.
    Whenever there is a trade agreement, one of the more responsible things to do is to look at where and how that agreement would impact real jobs here. For example, in the Korea agreement, part of the concern I have, and I know many of my colleagues share it, is the automobile industry. When we talked about the European Union agreement, I raised the issue of the impact on cheese sales. There are always going to be different aspects of an agreement, but in general I believe that free trade agreements are a positive thing and we have to recognize that in principle.
    As for the point of order from my New Democratic Party colleague, this is the first time in all the months or years of my challenging the NDP that they have actually suggested a date. I look forward to doing the follow-up and I will look into that date. I would be shocked to find that all the members of the New Democratic caucus actually voted in favour of that agreement. However, I will wait and do a little research on that date. I was encouraged. This is the first time in which an NDP member has actually stood and declared a date, but I would still be surprised if every member of the New Democratic caucus actually voted in favour of a free trade agreement.
Hon. Ron Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege and honour to rise in the House. This morning I rise to speak on this historic free trade agreement between Canada and Korea.
    I am delighted to be sharing my time with my hon. colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and member for South Shore—St. Margaret's, with whom I have had the opportunity to be on the trade committee for the last eight and a half years. He used to be the parliamentary secretary to the trade committee as well, and so we have a good working relationship. He also has a thorough understanding of the importance of this agreement for not only his constituents but all Canadians.
    I want to touch on some of the aspects of this free trade agreement and how it would strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific.
    This agreement would increase the prosperity of both countries and result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as investors, workers, and consumers.
    I do not think members will find any government or any prime minister in Canadian history who better understands the importance of trade to our economy. Trade represents one in five jobs and accounts for approximately 60% of our country's annual income. We also understand that Canada's prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders into new markets for economic opportunities that serve to grow Canada's exports and investments.
    As I said, no government in Canada's history has been more committed to the creation of new jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers, and their families. Deepening Canada's trading relationships in dynamic and high-growth markets around the world is key to these efforts.
    I would also like to thank the opposition parties for their understanding and support of why it is important to ratify this agreement quickly and have it implemented by January 1, 2015.
    I worked together with my honourable colleague across the aisle, the member for Vancouver Kingsway and the NDP official trade critic, who stated last week in this House that:
    This agreement offers the opportunity for Canadian producers and exporters to increase trade with a modern democratic country with a high-income complementary economy.
    He went on to say that:
    It will level the playing field for Canadian exporters, who can compete with the best in the world....
    Finally, he said:
    There is no doubt that Korea is both a significant and a strategic economic partner for Canada.
    I could not agree more, and in that regard I would like to highlight the key elements of our trade strategy for Asia and South Korea.
    The economic potential of Asia is immense, with a constantly evolving political transformation and a monumental demographic shift. Asia is important to Canada because it offers new opportunities to expand Canada's economic prosperity.
    The importance of this agreement is that it would be the gateway to the Asia-Pacific, which has a population of 50 million-plus. This agreement would open the doors. That is why our government has taken such a rigorous and strategic approach to trade with Asia.
     My hon. colleague, the Minister of International Trade, has travelled numerous times to various parts of Asia, including the conclusion of this agreement with South Korea and the pursuit of agreements with India and Japan. He will be leading a delegation to India next month. These agreements would lead to increased trade and investment, enhancing Canadian prosperity for generations to come.
    Investment is a key driving force for economic growth and competitiveness in Canada. Canadian companies that invest overseas can expand their client base significantly and bring capital back into Canada, which can create jobs. Foreign companies that invest in Canada create jobs as well, boost our economy, and contribute to economic growth that benefits all Canadians.
    While Canada and South Korea enjoy a strong investment relationship, ample scope remains for further growth in both directions.
    South Korea's direct investments into Canada have risen from $397 million in 2005 up to $4.9 billion by the end of 2013. South Korea is the twelfth-largest investor country in Canada and the fourth from Asia.
    South Korea is one of the world's great science and technology powerhouses. I am very interested in innovation and technology, and I had a chance to visit Taiwan a couple of times, as well as Korea, earlier this year.
    South Korea has one of the highest expenditures on research and development, R & D, as a share of GDP among OECD countries, spending 4% of GDP. While most private sector R & D takes place domestically, South Korean companies have begun investing in research centres overseas, including Samsung in my home province of British Columbia. Others are becoming more active in utilizing overseas R & D staff and resources.
    With this agreement's investment-related provisions and Canada's world-leading, cost-effective R & D environment, Canada would become an even more attractive destination for South Korean R & D investment.
    Other examples of South Korean companies' continued interest in Canada are not hard to find. KOGAS, South Korea's national gas company, has already invested heavily in a Canadian LNG project.

  (1030)  

    My colleague across the way will be interested in knowing that Green Cross, a South Korean biopharmaceutical company, will be opening a new company, a manufacturing facility in Montreal, as it breaks into the North American market. For these companies and many more, Canada is the destination of choice.
    Something that is near and dear to the constituents in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country and to wine lovers across Canada is also something that is very appealing to the palate of the people of South Korea, and that is our great Canadian icewine.
    As I alluded to, I had the opportunity and the honour of travelling with the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade on March 11 to Seoul, Korea, for the signing of the free trade agreement with President Park. It was an historic moment and an incredible experience. At Blue House, President Park's house, we were able to enjoy a toast of Canadian icewine, which was the icing on the cake.
    A champion of the Canadian wine institute is the president, hard-working Dan Paszkowski, who indicated:
    The Canadian wine industry is pleased to support the Government of Canada in its work to finalize negotiations for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. South Korea is an important market for Canadian wine producers, as evidenced by the significant growth in the value of Canadian icewine exports, which increased nearly 25 percent between 2012 and 2013. With a successful FTA, the Canadian wine industry anticipates even stronger export growth in the coming years.
    I recently spoke with Dan, who said that about 95% of the market right now is the export of icewine to South Korea, but there is a huge potential for other products once the South Korean community starts to taste our product. Something of interest is that the highest price point for red wine is South Korea. These are great things to raise our glasses and cheer about in the future with this agreement.
    In other investments abroad, Canadian direct investment in South Korea has fluctuated over the years. We have seen an upward trend in recent years. Specifically, at the end of 2013, Canadian investment stock in South Korea was at $534 million, up from $390 million in 2012.
    Canadian companies continue to show increased interest in investing in South Korea. Major Canadian companies such as Magna International, Bombardier—whose facility in South Korea and we had an opportunity to tour with the Prime Minister—and Pharmascience have already invested in South Korea, and more investments and partnerships are on the horizon. Just this past May, the clothing brand Joe Fresh announced it would open its first store outside of North America in Seoul, with plans to open nine more retail outlets in the South Korean capital by the end of the year.
    This agreement will level the playing field for Canadian companies in the South Korean market, which we all agree is important. Canadian businesses can compete with the world when they are on a level playing field.
    The agreement sets out transparent and predictable rules, something also very important for businesses. They want stability, predictability, and transparency.
    The agreement will ensure that Canadian businesses in South Korea will be treated no less favourably than South Korean businesses. It will protect Canadian businesses from discriminatory treatment and provides access to an independent international investor state dispute settlement mechanism. The same rules will apply to South Koreans investing in Canada, further increasing the attractiveness of Canada as an investment destination. I do not think anybody would disagree with each country being treated the same way, respectfully and with the same rules. These rules have been a standard feature of Canada's comprehensive free trade agreements since NAFTA and have been shown time and time again to be in our national interest.
    For Canadian companies that invest abroad, there is no substitute for being on site where their clients are. Canadian companies that invest in South Korea will now find it easier to have their professionals on site in South Korea. The agreement will provide new preferential access for professionals from both Canada and South Korea and will facilitate greater transparency and predictability for the movement of businesspersons between the two countries.

  (1035)  

    Our Conservative government is committed to protecting and strengthening the long-term financial security of hard-working Canadians. Thanks to these actions under our government's free trade leadership, Canadian workers, businesses, and exporters now have preferred access and a real competitive edge in more markets around the world than at any other time in our history.
    The global market is shifting. More companies are looking to Asia for growth. The South Korean market provides a landmark opportunity for growth in neighbouring markets in Asia, Japan, and China. This agreement will provide fair access to the whole South Korean market and ensure continued growth for Canada.
    Trade has long been a powerful engine for Canada's economy, and it is even more so in what remain challenging times for the global economy. By continuing to actively pursue broader market access and new investment opportunities, we are providing Canadian businesses and exporters with access on preferred terms to the largest, most dynamic, and fastest-growing regions around the world.
    I would ask for a quick ratification of this agreement by all parties.

  (1040)  

[Translation]

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, Canada has an agreement with Korea, a country that respects human rights. For example, the agreement will help improve working conditions in a number of sectors, including the aerospace industry.
    In Canada, manufacturers are closing their doors. Companies are trying to extract minerals from the earth, but sooner or later, there will be none left.
    In addition to the agreement that will improve things for the aerospace industry, does the government plan to do anything to ensure that the industries of the future—which create good unionized jobs—can grow and diversify our economy so that it does not depend solely on natural resources?

[English]

Hon. Ron Cannan:  
    Mr. Speaker, aerospace is something that is near and dear to my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country. Kelowna Flightcraft is the largest private employer in my riding. Aerospace and aviation, with their innovation and technology, are sectors that are very important to Canadian communities across the country.
    Canadian companies are leading the way. Jim Quick, the president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, said:
    Our industry depends on exports and access to international markets to remain competitive and continue creating jobs and revenues here at home. This agreement is imperative to restoring a level playing field for Canadian firms in the South Korean market, which is especially important given the considerable growth the aerospace industry will see in the Asia-Pacific region in coming years. We congratulate the Government of Canada on this achievement, and thank its representatives for their ongoing commitment to boosting Canadian competitiveness in international markets.
    As we can see, the aerospace industry is very supportive of this agreement. It would benefit all of us across Canada.
Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from British Columbia for his great speech outlining many of the benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement.
    All of us in the House know that during the 12 months following the Korea-U.S. agreement, our exports to Korea dropped dramatically. One of the sectors that was impacted most severely was the agricultural sector. In fact, in Ontario, there are current tariffs on pulses of 607% and of 30% on pork.
     In my riding one of the producers, which is co-operatively owned and produces processed pork, knows that its exports stand to rise dramatically with the signing of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. I am sure that if my colleague had had more time, he would have outlined many of the other agricultural areas in British Columbia that would benefit as well from the signing of this agreement. Could he take a few minutes to outline some of those benefits?
Hon. Ron Cannan:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the question and for his hard work for his constituents in his riding of Kitchener—Conestoga, another innovation centre in our country.
    This agreement is very important for agriculture in British Columbia specifically. My riding has vineyards, orchards, and a variety of different crops. There would be a reduction of up to 45% in tariffs for blueberries and cherries, for example. I know that the vice-president of the BC Cherry Growers' Association was very excited about this development. The Minister of International Trade is also the member for Abbotsford, which is the blueberry capital of Canada. He is also very excited.
    In agriculture and agri-foods, there is a 10% tariff to be removed on frozen rays, skate, whitefish, sole, flounder, salmon, frozen crab, and seafood. We are looking at other agricultural products throughout Alberta, such as wheat. The pork and beef industries are going to be big winners. Of course, the Canada-U.S. agreement took a lot of that market away, so we are going to get our market share back to our customers through this bilateral agreement with South Korea.
    Agriculture is a big component, as is seafood from both the Pacific and the Atlantic.
    Another winner will be the forest sector. I have Tolko mills in my riding, so it is a win-win all around the country.
Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is as real pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to the Canada-Korea free trade agreement.
    Before beginning my comments, I would like to thank my colleague from Kelowna—Lake Country not just for his support for this particular agreement but also for his work on trade and on behalf of Canadian exporters during his tenure on the trade committee.
    This free trade agreement is an ambitious state-of-the-art agreement covering virtually all sectors and aspects of Canadian-Korean trade, including trade in goods and services, investments, government procurement, intellectual property, labour, and environmental co-operation.
    This free trade agreement, Canada's first with an Asian country, is yet more proof that our government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country.
    I would particularly like to focus on benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement to Canada's fish and seafood industry. Surrounded by the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans and home to the Great Lakes, Canada has one of the most valuable fishing industries in the world.
    In 2012 alone, the fish and seafood industry contributed more than $2.2 billion to Canada's GDP and provided some 41,000 jobs for hard-working Canadians. It is also the economic mainstay of approximately 1,500 communities in rural and coastal Canada.
    Canada exports most of its fish and seafood. It is the world's seventh-largest exporter of fish and seafood products, exporting an estimated 73% by value of our fish and seafood production.
    Asia is an important market for Canadian fish and seafood products, and with this dynamic market, it is rapidly growing in importance in global trade.
    Canada has a proven ability to export to Asian markets, including South Korea. Between 2011 and 2013, Canada exported an average of $49 million in fish and seafood products to South Korea. However, there is still much room to grow in this vibrant Asian market, and Canada must act now.
    I must say that during this debate I was able to listen to the words of the MP for Winnipeg North, although he mainly concentrated on volume and was a little light on facts. I have heard in this House that all of the parties intend to support this trade agreement and I thank the opposition parties for that.
    However, let us be clear on the Liberal record on trade: in the 13 years they were in government, they signed three agreements. We have been in government for eight years and we have signed 43 agreements. There is no comparison.
    Times were good when the Liberals were in government. The dollar was low and exports were high. It was not anything they did that caused that; rather, it was the free trade agreement signed by Brian Mulroney's government that caused that increase in dollars in the country. However, the danger of doing nothing in the good times was that when the recession hit in 2008-2009, we were left in a virtual trade deficit. We had to work extremely hard to find markets for our exports, and Canada is an exporting nation.
    We took the risk of falling behind. We have not fallen behind. We have actually caught up; now we are moving forward again, and times are getting better.
    Canadians well remember that the last time the Liberals tried to talk seriously about trade, they campaigned to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was happy to see that once they got into government, they forgot their campaign promise, and Canada was actually able to move ahead on that.
    Once fully implemented, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would eliminate South Korea's tariffs on all fish and seafood products. South Korea's tariffs in this sector, which include fresh, frozen, and processed fish and seafood, run as high as 47%. With the elimination of tariffs, Canadian products would become more competitive, allowing Canadian firms to increase exports in this dynamic market. As we know, exporters from the U.S. and the EU are already benefiting from preferential access to the South Korean market.
    Some of the products that would benefit from immediate tariff elimination include frozen lobster and Pacific and Atlantic salmon, whether fresh, chilled, frozen, or smoked. They currently have duties of up to 20%.

  (1045)  

    In all, 70% of fish and seafood tariff lines will be duty free within five years of the agreement's entering into force. All remaining duties in this very sensitive Korean sector will be entirely eliminated within 12 years.
     The outcome for Canada's top fish and seafood export interests is on par with or better than those agreements obtained by the U.S. and EU. Compared to the U.S., for example, Canada obtained stronger results for fish and seafood for roughly half of Canada's key exports, including lobster, hagfish, and halibut. By year five, Canada will have duty-free access for more fish and seafood products than either the EU or the U.S. will have at their five-year mark under their respective FTAs with Korea.
    The benefits do not end there. In addition to tariff elimination, this agreement contains robust provisions that will ensure that Canadian fish and seafood exports are not undermined by unjustified trade barriers. The chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary measures negotiated with Korea is a good example. In this chapter, Canada and Korea have agreed to build on their shared commitments under the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The chapter fully recognizes the rights of the WTO members to take the sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary for the protection of human, animal, or plant health, as long as they are based on science and are not used as disguised measures to unnecessarily restrict trade. Far too often we see phytosanitary measures becoming non-tariff trade barriers. The agreement we have signed with Korea should prevent that from happening. It also establishes a committee of experts who can collaborate and consult on phytosanitary issues to enhance bilateral co-operation. The committee will provide a forum in which issues can be discussed and resolved before they become major problems.
    At this time, I would like to take a moment to elaborate on the benefits pertaining to lobster. Lobster is an iconic Canadian crustacean, Canada's top and most valuable export in the fish and seafood sector. It is certainly an important product in my part of the world, in southwestern Nova Scotia. The south shore, along with West Nova, are the main lobster exporters in Canada. In 2013, Atlantic Canada's exports of lobster were worth $888 million and accounted for 95% of all Canadian lobster exports. Canada's exports of lobster to South Korea were worth an average of $18.2 million annually between 2011 and 2013. Again, we accounted for nearly 37% of Canada's total seafood exports to South Korea.
    Current duties of up to 20% on lobster products faced by Canadian exporters will be totally eliminated. This summer we got a taste of what increased lobster trade with South Korea will look like. Korean Air Cargo launched weekly service to South Korea from Halifax to transport an expected minimum of 40,000 kilograms of live lobster. This happened only a few months after the announcement of the conclusion of negotiations on this agreement. This is the type of opportunity that can be generated across this country from coast to coast to coast.

  (1050)  

    Given the many benefits of the agreement, the stakeholders from the fish and seafood industry have shown great support for the Canada–Korea free trade agreement.
    I will quote the Lobster Council of Canada, which supports the agreement:
...it will greatly enhance our industry's competitiveness in South Korea. Tariff elimination and improved market access for lobster exports helps to ensure long-term prosperity of our industry and the thousands of people it employs in [Nova Scotia].
    It is not just about Nova Scotia. We have a huge inland fishery in Canada, worth nearly half a billion dollars, in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Great Slave Lake, and Great Bear Lake. We have a major fishery in the Arctic Ocean for arctic turbot. We have a fantastic fishery in British Columbia. We are surrounded. We have a very viable wild fishery in this country and an aquaculture industry that will now have a marketplace for its products. For B.C. halibut and arctic turbot, we are looking at a reduction in tariffs of 10%. That is a huge difference for these fishermen and plant owners.
    This is a great agreement. This is a smart agreement for Canada, and it is a great agreement for fish and seafood.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

Mr. Pierre Dionne Labelle (Rivière-du-Nord, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the Canada-Korea agreement. The NDP leader has considerable experience from decades as a provincial minister and in government and the public service. We can trust him to develop trade and economic policies for Canada. The Conservative government is tired and corrupt. The NDP is ready to work at finding real solutions to the real problems facing Canadian families.
    Does my esteemed colleague agree that this introduction shows that the NDP is a good party?

[English]

Mr. Gerald Keddy:  
    Mr. Speaker, it may have been the translation I was getting a little wrong. I will not repeat in English everything the hon. member said in French.
    Here is the reality. The reality is that this is a good agreement for Canada. If the NDP continues to support this agreement, it is the right thing for that party to do. Unfortunately, its record on trade is not great. It has not supported free trade agreements in the past. However, if it changes its tack and supports this one, I will be thankful for that, absolutely. It is the proper thing to do.
    More importantly, this agreement is exactly like all other agreements we have ever signed. It would improve the quality of life for Canadians, create jobs and opportunities, and immediately put more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians. It also has investor state provisions the NDP is supporting that would allow companies to be on a level playing field with their competitors in Korea.
Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his discussion about the fish industry in his own province of Nova Scotia.
    We know that by removing tariffs and barriers, goods become available to consumers at a lower cost and people's purchasing power increases, as they have access to more imported goods. I wonder if the member could speak a bit about how the increased purchasing power of the people in Nova Scotia is going to translate into a higher standard of living for the people of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Gerald Keddy:  
    Mr. Speaker, it is extremely clear. Canada is a trading nation. Roughly 50% to 60% of business in Canada is export related. What the hon. member is asking about is trickle-down economics. Every time a wild blueberry producer in Nova Scotia is able to eliminate a 25% or 10% tariff, that is more dollars. That is real money.
    Let us understand how insidious a tariff is. A tariff is on top of all the other costs. Producers have already covered their cost of production, have already paid wages, have already paid a lot of taxes on that and certainly all the remittances. Then, on top of that, there is a 10% tax called a tariff. That would be a 100% profit that would go back to a business and go into trickle-down economics in the form of wages and more goods, if producers were buying that product from another distributor. That money would go back into the economy and end up at the local service station, grocery store, and furniture store. It would be very good for the Canadian economy.
Mr. Arnold Chan (Scarborough—Agincourt, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his contribution to the debate with respect to what this agreement would mean to the fishing industry.
    My question to him is actually in respect of investment in South Korea, in particular as it deals with the highly integrated chaebol system in South Korea. I would like to get the parliamentary secretary's comments with respect to whether there would, in fact, be an appropriate balance between Canadian companies being able to invest in such a highly integrated industrial economy like South Korea's compared to South Korean firms that would be able to invest here in Canada.

  (1100)  

Mr. Gerald Keddy:  
    Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question.
    Up to this point, quite frankly, it has been difficult for Canadian firms to invest as much money in Korea as they would like to invest. We understand the protection in the South Korean economy.
    However, for the first time, this levels the playing field. Canadian firms will have every opportunity to invest in South Korea, as South Koreans have to invest in Canada. That is really what these trade agreements are about. If we break them down to the lowest common denominator, there is rules-based trading that is fair for everyone.
Mr. Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-41, an act to implement the free trade agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea. Before I start, I would like to note that I will be splitting my time with the member for Trois-Rivières.
    There are a few points I want to make on this bill. First, I would like to praise our critic in this area, the member for Vancouver Kingsway. This member is a lawyer with a very good reputation. He has spent a lot of time on this file making sure that he is using the utmost of his knowledge to understand and digest this deal and has explained it to the rest of us.
    I feel very confident when the member says to us that we should be supporting this trade deal. The diligence he has put into this file gives me a lot of confidence that this is something we should do. I have been looking through the deal myself, and I concur with the critic's recommendation. I will be supporting this at second reading and look forward to this deal going ahead.
    It is not just the local links with my neighbour from Vancouver that also gives me great confidence that this is a good idea. We also have a local MLA, Jane Shin, from Burnaby, who is the first Korean-Canadian MLA elected in British Columbia. I have spent many hours talking with her about how we could build closer links between our country and Korea.
    Ms. Shin has been doing fantastic work in Burnaby. I look forward to hosting a round table with her and the member for Vancouver Kingsway on this issue in the near future.
    My inclination on trade deals goes back to my Scottish roots, which make me hope for the best and plan for the worst. When I see trade deals, I like to think that perhaps we can support them. We start with the idea that we can support a trade deal, then we look at it in as much detail as we can to decide whether it is good for Canada. In fact, the NDP uses three important criteria to assess all trade agreements.
    First, is the proposed partner one that respects democracy, human rights, adequate environmental and labour standards, and Canadian values in general? That is very important. I think most Canadians would agree that priority for trade agreements should be given to countries that share our values.
    Second, are these deals of significant or strategic value to Canada? We do not want to sign frivolous deals. Is it just an announcement for the sake of an announcement, or is this really going to lead to economic growth in Canada?
    Third, are the terms of the proposed agreement satisfactory?
    Looking through this deal, and talking to the critic and local representatives, we think this free trade deal with the Republic of Korea passes all these tests.
    I am happy to say that along with the deal we have signed with Jordan, this is another trade deal we can support, and I will be voting yes.
    One of the reasons I am favour of this is that it is also different from some other deals, such as the FIPA with China. Where I think Canadians should draw a distinction is that the deal with Korea is reciprocal. That means that both countries will have more or less equal access to one another's markets. The terms of the China FIPA deal are not reciprocal, in my understanding.
    It is important to go through the various clauses of these agreements to make sure that we are getting the absolute best deal we can.
    I am especially excited about building better links with Korea, because in my capacity as the critic for science and technology, I have had the pleasure of meeting with a number of advisers to the President of Korea regarding their investment in science and technology.
    The President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, is an engineer by profession and has decided to continue her country's investment in science and technology in order to build their economy. I applaud this.

  (1105)  

    In my conversations with the advisers to the President of South Korea on investment in science and technology, a number of very interesting things came to light.
     First, the President of Korea has made a commitment to ensure that 5% of their entire economy is reinvested in research and development.This is a massive amount of money, both from the private and public sector. It actually leads the world in the proportion of money invested in research and development.
     It was explained to me that the reason Korea was so gung ho on science investment was that after the war Korea was essentially bombed flat with very few energy resources, so Koreans decided to invest as much as they could into innovation to grow their economy. We can see through the companies Korea is famous for, like Samsung, that this investment has paid off.
    In conversations with presidential science advisers, they have said their goal is to make Korea the leader in the world in science and technology, not only in investing in applied sciences but also basic sciences. In addition to committing to investing 5% of the GDP into research and development, the President of Korea recently said that there would also be extra investment in basic sciences. That is in stark contrast to what happens here. Where Korea is aiming at 5% of GDP to be invested in research and development, Canada is only at about 1.7%, and that is a decline over the past few decades from about 2% when the Liberals were in power.
    These trade deals will provide windows. We are often boastful in Canada, thinking we are the best in the world and there is not much we can learn from other countries. Closer ties are important to us because maybe here we will see the importance of investing in science and technology.
    What is also extremely interesting with the Koreans is that they recognize the link between basic sciences and applied sciences. We cannot have companies building new types of widgets if we do not invest in the basic infrastructure of science and technology. That is exactly what the Koreans do and I hope we will learn from them.
    The other thing the President of Korea has also said is that Korea will invest in stable funding for its science community. It is critical not to lurch from year to year with unstable investments, wondering if a lab is going to continue on. Rather, the President of Korea has said that Korea will invest in stable funding, not just increases but longer term.
    The value of such agreements is that we get to see what other countries are doing, and Korea is leading us at this point in investment in science and technology.
    The New Democrats have a number of proposals going forward that we would like to put in place which would complement this kind of Korean approach to science and technology. At a recent policy convention, we developed a national science strategy just like Korea has. More important, we passed a unanimous resolution that we move to match the percentage of GDP invested by public and private sectors in research and development as found in other global leading countries, such as the United States.
    It is not just Canada that is trying to catch up to Korea in its investment in R and D. Korea invests 5% of its GDP into research and development and the United States is at 3%. We are at 1.7%. However, if the NDP became government, this resolution would build on these types of deals in order to increase Canada's investment in R and D.

  (1110)  

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, a number of years ago, I travelled to Seoul with the then foreign affairs minister. While I was there, we had a briefing from some of the people who were conducting the efforts to achieve this agreement. At the time, I asked them if there were provisions to allow for Canadian automobiles to have access to the country. The room went rather cold in a hurry. They had not reached that stage of the agreement.
    Being the critic for international human rights, for me a concern is the standards of labour law, labour respect and human rights in that country. My belief is that it is more solid than any other agreement we have seen the government sign. In fact, Colombia's and some of the others were disgraceful. What is the member's opinion of this?
Mr. Kennedy Stewart:  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the great work he does in and outside of the House. If we take post-war Korea, there is a dedication to rebuild the economy first and then a commitment from the late eighties onward to democratic reform and human rights. I think those are present in the labour force in Korea, the labour standards, and I would think they would be equally as strong in Korea as in Canada. Again, this is another reason why I support the agreement.
Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on my colleague's concerns about reciprocity in the auto sector. Coming from Ontario, the auto industry has been a huge player in the Ontario economy and we have heard a great deal of concern expressed about the lack of reciprocity when we deal with other markets, especially the emerging car markets.
    My question for my hon. colleague is about the protections that have been negotiated to ensure we maintain a strong and vital car industry in Canada, as well as being able to trade into markets like Korea. I would like to hear my hon. colleague's concerns on this issue.
Mr. Kennedy Stewart:  
    Mr. Speaker, again, I appreciate the great work my colleague does in his riding and in the House. We have some concerns about the impact on the auto industry, but where we should start is the lack of effort on the other side of the House to support our automakers. The industry has essentially been abandoned by the Conservatives. On this side of the House, we have done our best to protect it, and that is where things have to start.
     Again, there are clauses built into the agreement to protect our auto industry still and we will monitor those as they go along. I share my friend's concerns, but wish the government would actually do more to encourage and boost the auto industry in Canada.

[Translation]

Mr. Marc-André Morin (Laurentides—Labelle, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague if he agrees with me on that. I get the sense that the potential problems the auto industry could face have more to do with the Canadian government's lack of a strategy for the industry than with possible competition.
    Korea has overcome absolutely extreme difficulties. Its economy was based on subcontracting: it manufactured low-end vehicles for competitors. However, it invested heavily in research and development and achieved a level of excellence that makes it competitive. Why do we not do the same thing here?

  (1115)  

[English]

Mr. Kennedy Stewart:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a quote from Jerry Chenkin, president and CEO of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada, who said:
    Free and open trade with priority markets in Asia, most notably Korea and Japan, is vital to Canada's national interest to be globally competitive, create jobs and increase prosperity...
    We have consulted widely on the bill and support it because we feel it is a great deal for Canada and for all sectors of the economy.

[Translation]

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am tremendously pleased to rise this morning to express my point of view on the free trade agreement with South Korea. I very humbly but very fervently hope to dispel or shatter the false impression that the New Democratic Party is a party opposed to free trade agreements.
    Unlike the other opposition party, the NDP understands that people think we should take the time to thoroughly analyze an agreement before deciding where we stand on it. That way, we can provide crystal clear explanations of why we support it, what its weak points are and what can be improved.
    We take this thorough approach to studying these files and figuring out the real benefit to Canadians, whether they are workers or business people, because of the analytical ability and experience of our leader, the member for Outremont. He is very capable of sharing his analytical ability and his experience with the whole caucus, and I believe that makes us all better analysts.
    Getting back to the free trade agreement with South Korea, one of the key principles around trade policy is the diversification of export markets. The slowdown in demand from the United States in 2008 made each and every one of us realize the risks involved in concentrating all of our exports and investments in just one market.
    The vagaries of current economic conditions are pushing us to gradually reduce our trade dependence on the United States. Supporting the measures set out in Bill C-41 is therefore crucial. However, we must not forget to use our critical thinking skills when it comes to certain controversial measures in the bill, notably the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
    It is important to bear in mind that NDP support for free trade agreements depends as much on democratic criteria as it does on criteria related to Canada's economic interests.
    In fact, those criteria must be analyzed together when we assess the social and economic effectiveness of a free trade agreement. It would be completely absurd and counterproductive, for instance, to sacrifice respect for labour and environmental standards on the altar of economic effectiveness.
    Accordingly, we support the implementation of this free trade agreement, especially given that South Korea represents a successful model, both politically and economically. Moving from a dictatorship to civilian rule, the Korean political system has proven its openness to civil society by allowing freedom of expression and promoting a multi-party system. The Korean political system rests on a vibrant trade union movement that is working to provide social protection for workers by guaranteeing labour standards comparable to ours here in Canada and offering relatively high wages.
    The South Korean government's budget for 2014 includes a significant increase in spending on improving that country's social safety net and support for local communities. In economic terms, South Korea has a diverse industrial base, bolstered by high public spending on research and development, to the tune of 4% of GDP. Canada can learn something from the Koreans in that regard, since Canada is far less involved in research and development. A top-notch education system supports the efforts by the government to strengthen the industrial fabric.
    These criteria are vitally important. Other countries offer attractive economic opportunities for Canada, but the absence of democracy, minimal social protection and transparency makes their political system completely unpredictable and therefore naturally detrimental to trade and investment. Accordingly, having South Korea as a preferred trade partner is a good choice on many levels.
    South Korea is Canada's seventh-largest trade partner, with Canadian exports to South Korea worth $3.7 billion.

  (1120)  

    It is interesting to see that the Canadian and Korean sectors that will benefit from this free trade agreement are complementary markets rather than competing markets. There is a high demand for raw materials in South Korea, while Canada has a limited ability to export its energy resources. The free trade agreement will create a market for Canada's energy resources, thereby creating jobs in the energy sector in Canada. This is an important part of the NDP's analysis of each free trade agreement: looking at how it will improve the everyday lives of Canadians, no matter which province they live in.
    What is more, with regard to Korea's social and environmental standards, Canada's economic sectors will not fall prey to social and fiscal dumping measures, and neither will the social safety net that our workforce enjoys.
    Korea has also worked on improving its corporate governance. Some groups broke up or restructured in the wake of the Asian crisis in order to rebuild on a more solid financial and management foundation. Korea has an economic profile that is highly favourable to us. Rating agencies have assigned Korea an A2 risk rating. In other words, its political, social and economic situation is conducive to business and long-term investment.
    Of course, Bill C-41 will allow us to win back the market shares lost to our American and European competitors, whose countries have already ratified free trade agreements with Korea. This has had a negative impact on the Canadian aerospace industry, whose exports to Korea have dropped by 80%.
    I would also like to point out that free trade agreements rarely obtain the consensus and support of all of the economic sectors involved. I am thinking here of the Canadian automobile industry's concerns about this free trade agreement. In reality, it is up to the government to support the automobile industry's growth. The evolution of this industry strongly depends on the growth recorded in countries such as China and Korea. The same could be said for the forestry industry, which specifically affects Quebec and the riding and region that I have the pleasure of representing.
    However, Bill C-41 provides for a dispute resolution mechanism that promotes the export of Canadian automobiles to Korea, and includes transitional safeguards if there is a sudden increase in imports affecting the Canadian automobile industry.
    Finally, let us look at the unfortunate investor-state dispute settlement mechanism included in this bill. It is a regressive and undemocratic measure. Under this mechanism, private companies could take legal action against the Canadian government if the government were to pass legislation that would reduce the future profits of those private companies or investors.
    With such a mechanism in place, private companies would have the ability to undermine Canadian health policies, social policies and financial regulation policies by suing for damages in courts outside Canada's jurisdiction. What is more, the investor-state case law shows that the courts more often find in favour of investors, calling into question the sovereignty of states over their own jurisdictions. An NDP government would repeal this provision, which is opposed by the main opposition party in South Korea. We have found some kindred spirits there.
    The free trade agreement between Canada and Korea provides a momentous opportunity to diversify the Canadian economy and promote the creation of quality jobs in Canada. Some of the terms of the agreement are not what an NDP government would have negotiated. However, a cost-benefit analysis shows that the advantages outweigh the risks involved.
    A critical examination of free trade agreements can be vital since such agreements can undermine local producers and entire sectors of the economy that were once thriving. Nevertheless, it will allow Canada to gain market shares in an area of the world where economic growth has not yet reached its full potential.

  (1125)  

[English]

Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I specifically thank my colleague for his support for this initiative.
    Before I ask my question, I would just like to bring to the attention of members in the House a very interesting article in the fall edition of the official news magazine of the Canadian Snowbird Association. It is on fascinating South Korea, story and photos by Barb and Ron Kroll, talking about some of the tourist opportunities that are coming in South Korea. It looks like a fascinating place to visit. I have visited several countries in Asia, and I sincerely look forward to the opportunity to visit Korea if this article is any indication of what is available there.
    One of the things we know about free trade is that countries can work on what is their comparative advantage. The province of Quebec has a real comparative advantage in the forestry industry, and I wonder if the member could talk about some of the advantages he sees for the forestry industry in Quebec with this Canada-Korea free trade agreement.

[Translation]

Mr. Robert Aubin:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague. If an all-party delegation one day tours Korea, I would be pleased to go.
    Let us get back to her question, which has two parts. First, my colleague thanked me for supporting her government with respect to this free trade agreement. The NDP is proving that when members take the time to carefully analyze bills, it is possible to greatly decrease or even eliminate the partisan approach that hinders debate and the continued development of this country.
    All parties in the House should follow the example set by the New Democratic Party in that regard. Just this past Saturday there was a very well-attended walk in support of forestry in the region I represent. In Shawinigan, plants in the forestry industry, especially pulp and paper plants, are still closing.
    If we focused on research and development, for example in the area of new fibres or value-added wood products, my region would flourish with this free trade agreement. It would be a great support because there are large quantities of this resource in the area.
    We have to develop exports of value-added products rather than raw materials.
Mr. Denis Blanchette (Louis-Hébert, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. While listening to him earlier, I was thinking a lot about Descartes's Discourse on Method, and I think we should reread the classics.
    My colleague has clearly shown the reasoned approach taken by the NDP to free trade agreements, which is quite the opposite of the ideological approach of saying yes to everything, regardless of the consequences, as long as there is business to be done.
    I am convinced that my colleague is a person of reason. Could he tell me a little more about the problem caused by extrajudicial tribunals in the conduct of government business? That is one of the NDP's concerns.
Mr. Robert Aubin:  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the philosopher from Louis-Hébert for his question.
    Every country needs to protect itself against the loss of self-governance. The dollar sign should not be put on the economic altar above the best interests of citizens, the very people we are supposed to serve.
    When we look at each party's approach to free trade agreements and economic measures in the House, we can see that there will be choices to be made when it comes to choosing a government in 2015. There is indeed a variety of choices; these choices have to do with the development and vision of a society.
    We want to do everything we can to serve the Quebec and Canadian public, to ensure that no one is left behind because of a measure we would not have control over.

  (1130)  

[English]

Mr. Erin O'Toole (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to stand today in the House to speak to the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. I am proud of the work done by our Prime Minister, our Minister of International Trade, and truly our government in growing new markets for Canadian employers, because one in five jobs is directly attributable to trade. It is an honour for me to talk about yet another important trade agreement that this government has brought to Canadians and to Canadian exporters.
    I am also going to use some of my remarks today to talk about why I am very proud of this agreement in particular, as a Canadian and as the member of Parliament for Durham, for bringing together two peoples who have a deep and rich shared history, although it is only about 70 years long in duration. Our relationship was forged in the battles of the Korean War and has emerged as an important relationship for Canada and Asia. I will dedicate a few remarks to that aspect of the relationship.
    Trade promotes dialogue between nations, and it also promotes security. The deals we are negotiating are not just huge wins for Canadian employers, but they are also huge wins on international security and helping make sure that globalization allows all people to benefit. The result will be a mutual dependence between countries on the trade and commerce front and more stability and security for their citizens, particularly in Asia.
    This is truly yet another incredible free trade agreement negotiated by our government. The Korean GDP is $1.3 trillion. Korea's economy is the 15th largest in the world and it has roared into that position in the last few decades. It is already Canada's seventh-largest trading partner, which is an important point that we focused on. It is a market of 50 million people, and increasingly, a market that is seeing a middle class emerge in the country, and with that middle class comes the demand for quality of products, particularly food and agricultural products, from a country like Canada. People want to provide the best food in the world for their families, and we are seeing that in Asia, particularly in South Korea.
    We are following a pattern of engagement to make sure we also keep the playing field level with our main competitors in global commerce. The European Union negotiated a free trade agreement with South Korea in 2011. The United States negotiated a free trade agreement with South Korea in 2012. We have been at the table pretty much alongside our friends and competitors from Australia. We want to make sure our exporters have a level playing field and the opportunity to grow in an important market. Since the U.S. free trade agreement with Korea came into force, we have seen a reduction of $1.5 billion in exports to South Korea because of the tariff elimination that some of our competitors saw.
    We were still able to forge a great deal. We do not rush and make a poor deal on behalf of our exporters. We make sure we stay at the table to negotiate an ambitious and important outcome, and that is where we are at.
    A review of this free trade agreement has led to estimates that our exports to South Korea would increase upon implementation of this deal by 32%. That is almost a $2 billion addition to our gross domestic product. When fully implemented, the agreement would remove duties on 98% of tariff lines.
    I will go back to what I said at the beginning of my remarks. One in every five Canadian jobs is attributable to trade. Deals like this not only secure those jobs that are there now, but they grow more, because as a modest country in the 33 million to 35 million range, we need to sell beyond our borders.

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    I would remind the House, particularly people who are just waking up to the benefits of trade such as my friends in the NDP, it is Conservative governments that have granted Canadian exporters access to 98% of the markets that are available to Canadian exporters. Pretty much every trade deal or all of that access is attributable to this government and the last Conservative government. That is a fact that as a free trader I am very proud of. Our exporters, once given a level playing field, can compete with the best. Those are the opportunities, an almost $2 billion addition to our GDP from this deal.
    What are the big winners? As parliamentary secretary, I have had the good fortune of visiting parts of this country to talk trade, to talk this agreement and to help industries consider market access to take advantage of these agreements. The big winners are all regions of the country because of their particular products, and I will run through those, but also our agricultural sector. In the years of our best friend and trading partner to the south playing games on the trade front with country-of-origin labelling and things like this, our beef and pork producers needed secure access to a growing market. Korea is big beef- and pork-consuming market. It is only going to grow more. The Koreans want access to high-value, high-quality products, yet we could not get in there.
    First, there were regulatory issues that we had to smooth out, but also a tariff rate of up to 72% on beef and beef products. Adding 72% to the cost means we cannot access that market; it is as simple as that. Pork and pork products had a 30% tariff rate with most pork products and processed pork products. The tariff walls that Canada has had in reverse on some South Korean products are trivial in comparison. We are talking about 4% or 5% nominal tariffs that an efficient business can perhaps absorb. We cannot absorb a 30% or 72% tariff rate, so those markets are essentially not accessible. Now they will be.
    Another huge winner is a part of the country that is dear to my heart. Atlantic Canada will have immense wins with this deal, and British Columbia as well and potentially the Arctic. Seafood tariffs were another one of those high-tariff ranges, ranging from 16% to 47% tariff rates. That is essentially a tariff wall.
    I had the honour of being in Korea a few a weeks ago, and I will speak to that in my remarks shortly. We were there a few days before the beginning of Chuseok, which is the Korean thanksgiving celebration. The Koreans were happy to tell us about this and we were talking about the differences between our Thanksgiving and theirs. Theirs is more of an ancestral history event where they go back to the town where they grew up, and it is a point of honour for them to bring a special food to their ancestral home and their family at Chuseok. The most popular food in the last year to two years was Atlantic Canadian lobster. That is a product that already had a 20% tariff rate, yet people were recognizing that the best lobster in the world comes from Atlantic Canada and they were still absorbing that 20% hit. That is going to be eliminated.
    I was also fortunate to be at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport some months ago to meet with Korean airlines officials as they sent their second of many dedicated cargo flights to Halifax to take Atlantic lobster back to South Korea, where most was consumed in South Korea or traded in Asia. That is a market we have already been forging, and it will only benefit more from this deal.
    Wood and wood products, another major export for us, had tariffs in the 5% range on most wood products and 10% on processed wood products. I have seen first-hand Viceroy Homes, which employs people in both Port Hope, Ontario, and in Burnaby, B.C., a Unifor unionized workplace that has predicted it will double the size of its workforce as a result of South Korea alone. It already had market access as a high-value wood-product company of windows and homes. With the reduction of the 10% tariff, it is now very competitive and it is hiring Canadians because of that.

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    In Newfoundland and Labrador, frozen shrimp and a lot of crab products have a 20% tariff wall. In Nova Scotia, known for its blueberries, there is a 45% tariff on fresh and 30% on frozen. In Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, parts of our country known for potatoes and processed potato products, such as french fries, of which I perhaps have had a few too many from time to time, there is an 18% tariff rate, making it hard to be competitive in that market.
    In Quebec, maple syrup has an 8% tariff. As for flight simulators, CAE is a company I visited while I was in South Korea to see its investments in that country. On flight simulators there is a 5% tariff rate that will come down. In Ontario, aerospace and rail has an 8% tariff. On nickel products and a lot of refined metal products, there is an 8% tariff. In Manitoba, chemicals have an 8% tariff. On pork, as I said earlier, there is a 30% tariff. I toured the Maple Leaf site in Brandon, which is waiting for access to South Korea. It has made the investments and is ready to do it. It just needs the markets that we are now opening up.
    In Saskatchewan, canola oil has a 5% tariff. One of the craziest ones is unroasted barley malt, which has a 269% tariff rate. That is a wall. That is a tariff cage, I would suggest. In Alberta, industrial machinery is at an 18% tariff rate. Once again, Alberta beef, which we just enjoyed here in Ottawa last week, has a 72% tariff rate. We cannot access those markets. In B.C., of course, which has a robust, diverse economy but is also known for its wine, wine has a 15% tariff rate. I know my friend, the MP for Kelowna—Lake Country, is quite keen to see access to that market increase.
    This is our first free trade agreement in Asia. As I said at the outset of my remarks, the cultural and historical bonds between the countries make this a perfect partner for our first FTA in Asia because its dynamic economy, which is now the 15th largest in the world, with brand names we all recognize, that opportunity and freedom was secured by Canadians.
    There were 26,000 of our young men and women who served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, and 516 gave the ultimate sacrifice. When I was in South Korea last month, I was amazed. From schoolchildren to ministers of the government, every one of them thanked us for that commitment 60 years ago. That is the foundation upon which our relations are built. This is a lovely evolution to that relationship now, that we will drop our tariff walls and fully trade as partners.
    Many of us took part in the PPCLI, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry's 100th anniversary just last week on the Hill. There was a wonderful parade, joined by the Van Doos, another proud regiment also celebrating its century. That regiment distinguished itself on the battlefields of South Korea.
    In the battle of Kapyong, the PPCLI was one of the few units, the only Canadian unit, to receive a presidential unit citation because its bravery over the course of several days, repelling a communist Chinese advance and saving the lives of Americans, New Zealanders, Australians, and Koreans. They were surrounded. They called in fire on Hill 677, their own position, to make sure they held that line. That is the Canadian commitment to countries such as South Korea and that is why I was so touched to see that first-hand in Seoul.
    I also had the honour of joining Minister Park, Korea's Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, at the national war monument and national hall of honour, where our delegation, which included the MP for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock and Senator Yonah Martin from British Columbia, laid wreaths at the hall of honour and at the 60th anniversary marker that our government erected when we tried to make sure that our veterans from the Korean War do not think of it as the forgotten war anymore. We have been trying to show them how much we appreciate them. Minister Park laid those wreaths with us and spoke with fondness of the Korean War veterans from Canada he has met over the years.
    In the hall of honour and in the war museum, we got to see the spectacular artwork of Canadian war artist Ted Zuber. It was really Korean veterans themselves who raised a lot of the money to hang that spectacular painting by a Canadian artist, a war artist who, incidentally, served in the Royal Canadian Regiment. Now I have named all three of our regiments. His work depicting our service and sacrifice in South Korea is stunning and sits in a place of honour in that war museum.

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    On a personal level, in Durham, my friend who lives quite close to me, Doug Finney, is currently the president of the Korean Veterans Association of Canada representing those veterans in Canada. I was honoured that he was able to join our government, the Prime Minister and the Governor General at a state dinner just last week at Rideau Hall honouring the visit of President Park from South Korea, the night before the historic signing ceremony for this trade agreement.
    We are forged in the history of war and of conflict, but what has emerged is a robust, strong democracy in Asia that is now our gateway into a fast and growing part of the world.
    The Koreans I met were truly inspiring. Our first evening in Korea we met with children from H2O Pumassi, who had just two months earlier visited Canada to come and thank our veterans. In fact, in solemn ceremonies, they even washed the feet of some of our veterans. These are children whose parents may not have even born when the conflict took place. Their deep remembrance of our sacrifice is palpable and moving for us. That was our first dinner. They hosted us to show us photos of their trip to Canada. It was truly inspiring.
    Many Korean Canadians came here for opportunity, have done well and are now trying to help out back in their home country. Mr. Ron Suh was on the ground in Seoul and joined us for some of the events. He has been working to build bridges for decades as the regional president of the National Unification Advisory Council. It is a position that the president of South Korea asked Ron to fill so that he could work as part of the diaspora toward unification, which is something I think all of us would like to see to eliminate some of the horrors of oppression in North Korea. People who have been building these person-to-person ties between our countries since the war are inspiring.
    Similarly, there are South Korean veterans who fought in the war and then immigrated to Canada afterward. They have an association and I have been very fortunate to meet some of these veterans in my travels across the country. They are the living embodiment of the bridge between our countries.
    Our work in the national assembly during that visit was to make sure that our friends in South Korea ratified the deal on their side quickly, as we will in the House. I have to thank Minister Park and Minister of Education Hwang; Representative Chung, the speaker of the national assembly who met with us and hosted a meeting; Representative Kim and the trade committee, who we met with us directly to ensure quick passage of this free trade agreement.
    We also met with members of their opposition to make sure that events in their country at their national assembly and other things did not interfere with the passage of this important new evolution of our relationship as countries. We met with Representative Woo, the policy chair for the opposition coalition, NPAD.
    I thank all of those representatives for the meeting and for helping forge the bonds between our countries.
     Durham is an area with a history of a strong and productive auto industry with General Motors in Oshawa. My father is a GM retiree. As the member of Parliament for Durham, I am happy to say that our government has secured an outcome on automobiles that is as strong or stronger than some of the provisions our U.S. friends have. Not only do we get immediate duty-free access to those markets, but we have a permanent specialized dispute settlement procedure for non-tariff barriers.
    This is not a five-year dispute settlement such that the U.S. secured in its agreement. We have a permanent dispute resolution so that we can make sure that our automakers have access.
    An important point that some of my friends in the opposition like to ignore is that the decision on what vehicle rolls off the lines for our great and productive workforces in Oshawa, Oakville and Windsor is not made at the Canadian subsidiary. That decision is made in Detroit.
    How could our government possibly allow our country and those plants to have one less market that they could access? How could we possibly do that? I said to Unifor and representatives of one of the big three that it would be against our national interest. We want to make sure our plants, which are some of the most efficient in North America, have the same market access as their counterparts in the U.S. because they compete for new products to roll off their lines.

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    I hope that, with my remarks today, I have shown why South Korea is our partner in Asia with our first free trade agreement there. It is a relationship forged in sacrifice, service, and mutual respect. This agreement would be a tremendous win for both countries.
Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I listened with intent to my hon. colleague's comments, and he definitely made some good points.
    However, since 2012, Canadian exporters have lost about 30% of their market share. When it comes to the EU and the U.S. implementing trade agreements with South Korea, they got preferential access.
    I wonder if the member could comment on why the government has taken this long and why it was not able to negotiate as good a deal or a better deal than the U.S. and the EU on that?
Mr. Erin O'Toole:  
    Mr. Speaker, I did address that direct question in the beginning of my remarks. We are actually following directly on the heels of a lot of those partners, including the U.S., and there has been a drop in exports from 2012 until now, when we have a trade deal close to completion.
    The important thing to remember is that, in negotiation, Canada is going to stay at the table until it has a deal that is in the net national interest of all of our exporters in all of our sectors. It would have been imprudent to rush a deal just because the Americans had one. I will tell members why. We needed better outcomes on agriculture, and we secured them. More importantly, on autos, we have a better dispute resolution process for non-tariff barriers than the U.S. was able to negotiate, because we could use their negotiated outcome as a reference point.
    Our permanent dispute resolution procedures are far superior, so not only is this a well-timed deal, but it is a better deal.
Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, my mother was born to parents who had had a first family very early in life. As a result of that first family, I have a cousin who is one of the 516 Canadians who are buried in South Korea.
    My cousin was Lance Corporal John Howard Fairman, who died on October 13, 1952. He was part of the Royal Canadian Regiment, and his service number was SM-9462. He was the son of my uncle Howard and my aunt Blanche Fairman.
    My colleague here has spoken about the people-to-people ties that we have between Canada and South Korea. I wonder if he has any further comments on how the commitment and service of the Canadian Forces has helped to forge this relationship, which is some 60 years old.
Mr. Erin O'Toole:  
    Mr. Speaker, I love it when members of this place honour it by sharing those personal reflections and their personal memories of sacrifice. I would like to thank the member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora for doing that.
    The sacrifice of Lance Corporal Fairman is appreciated today, not only in Canada but in South Korea. The children of Pumassi came to Canada to thank us for the sacrifice of people like Lance Corporal Fairman.
    This sacrifice is the foundation of our relationship. From that have sprung cultural, business, and international ties, but it is still the foundation. To see the names in the Hall of Honour was touching, because it was a snapshot of Canada 60 years ago. There were names from all provinces and places in Canada. There were French names and English names. There was diversity. Some of the veterans who died had only just served in the last decade in World War II.
    Our government has tried to make sure those veterans did not feel that their conflict was a forgotten war. They actually helped to secure democracy for South Korea in Asia. Look at what that country has done with that. Now, we have the ability to continue that strong relationship through this agreement.
    I would like to thank the member for her reflections.

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[Translation]

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his speech. In this free trade agreement there are many more things we agree on than not. However, I could not help but think about the people in my region and about my desire to see the forestry industry play a bigger role as a result of this free trade agreement. Although we would be exporting wood, I once bought a fully made Young Chang piano, which was manufactured in Korea.
    My question is a simple one. Does the parliamentary secretary believe that his government is doing enough in terms of research and development? An analysis showed that the Koreans spend 4% of their GDP on research and development. Does the parliamentary secretary's government do enough to ensure that we will be in a position to trade value-added products through this free trade agreement, and not simply natural resources?

[English]

Mr. Erin O'Toole:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that, as I said in my remarks, the wood and wood products sector would be a huge beneficiary as a result of this agreement. That is what we love about this agreement. I am sure the one in five jobs in his riding that are due to trade will see benefits. Wood products have a 5% tariff rate, up to 10% for finished wood products and plywood, those sort of products. I used this example in my remarks, that the finished wood products, the higher value added—so we are getting two levels of job creation from this product—are already accessing that market, because Canadian finished wood products are among the best in the world, but they have a 10% duty.
    Viceroy Homes, which is a neighbour of my riding in Ontario and has employment in B.C., would double its workforce in the next 10 years as a result of this new market alone. It has a beachhead in these markets, but that beachhead was made with a 10% burden on its back. We would get these tariffs eliminated. That would only lead to more jobs across Canada, including in the member's riding.
Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my hon. colleague's speech, and he recognized the contributions that the minister and the Prime Minister have made to this agreement, but he really did not recognize his own. It is high time that the rest of us in the House did recognize the contribution that the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade made to this extremely important agreement.
    The reality is that we have about a $1.7 trillion economy in Korea. We expect to boost our trade balance with it by somewhere around $1.7 billion or $1.3 billion. Those sound like big numbers, but my question for the hon. member is very simple. We have a great base level of trade; we have a chance to expand it across all fronts on which we trade with Korea. I think the $1.7 billion number is modest.
Mr. Erin O'Toole:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his kind remarks. Certainly I have been able to perform in this role because of the confidence of the Prime Minister and of my minister, but the parliamentary secretary was modest himself. There were big shoes to fill because he was the parliamentary secretary for International Trade, and in his work, particularly on growing a lot of the markets we see being opened to Canadian exporters now, he was a big part of that. His work is deeply appreciated.
    Estimates are sometimes hard to nail down. The GDP injection of $1.7 billion to $2 billion as a result of this deal over time could very well be modest. South Korea already represents the seventh-largest trading partner for Canada. It has been going up and I know, Mr. Speaker, because you have been doing a lot of work growing this relationship over time, we are on the fast-track. As I said in my remarks, the emerging middle class in South Korea and greater Seoul, with 12 million people, wants high-value, high-quality Canadian products, particularly food products. I talked about Chuseok and the rush to get Atlantic lobster. There is a desire for beef. E-mart, one of the chains in Seoul, had a sale and test market on Canadian beef and the scores were off the charts. They are demanding top world-quality food from a safe and strong regulatory regime. The member is right that these numbers could be far bigger, which is even more of an impetus to get this deal passed.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin):  
    Resuming debate, we are at the point, now, where speeches are 10 minutes instead of 20.
    The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.
Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House today to support this Canada-Korea free trade agreement—appropriately, Canada's first in Asia.
    Contrary to the incessant rhetoric about our position from the government side, we in the NDP have always supported balanced trade. When evaluating trade deals, we have been clear about the criteria that should be applied. New Democrats believe that, in fact, there are three essential criteria that should be used in deciding whether to endorse any trade deal that is before us.
    First is the question of who we should prioritize when it comes to doing business.
    If we are going to have special deals in place, who are the partners with whom we should be dealing? This is not just a question of values, like practising democracy and respecting human rights—important as those are—but it is also a question of fair trade. Does the prospective trade partner trade on a fair basis? Is it a nation that ensures fair labour laws and necessary environmental standards are in place at home; or is it a nation engaged in a race to the bottom and one competing solely on the basis of who can pay workers the least and endanger the environment and health of workers the most?
    The second criterion is the question of the strategic value of prospective partners to Canada. Can both countries benefit from a trade deal; or is this a case where one will take the other for a ride?
    Finally, there is the question of the deal itself. Are the terms of this agreement acceptable for Canadians? Is this a fair deal? New Democrats have consistently voted against trade deals that have unfairly bound Canada to losing deals for decades at a time.
    However, when it comes to Korea, I believe members will hear universally from this side that we believe this deal with Korea meets those criteria.
    Korea struggled for many years in what proved to be a very painful transition to democracy, but now, Korea has arrived and is a stable multi-party democracy.
    Korea's human rights record is generally good—one of the best in Asia. It is a country with rule of law and very low rates of corruption. Even on a topic very dear to my heart, LGBTQ rights, the situation is rapidly improving in Korea, even including movement on transgender rights.
    The role of Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, as a strong advocate for recognizing LGBT rights as human rights seems to have resonated in his home country, and social acceptance for the LGBT community in Korea is growing rapidly.
    Perhaps down the road, as even closer friends, Canada and Korea can give each other a nudge on LGBTQ rights. Equal age of consent, for instance, exists in Korea, though not formally in all provinces in this country and, of course, equal marriage is not yet a reality in Korea.
    On the second criterion—is Korea a strategic partner for Canada—as both are trading nations, the answer to this is, clearly, yes. Korea is Canada's seventh-largest trading partner and our third-largest partner in the Asia-Pacific.
    In 2012, manufactured goods accounted for more than half the value of Canada's exports to South Korea and, with a GDP that is very high for Asia, about 75% of Canada's, the South Korean population has the resources to consume the full range of products—from technology to agri-food and from consumer goods to culture—that Canada has to offer.
    In fact, to maintain our present position in trade with Korea, we actually do need this deal. Canadian exporters have lost 30% of their market share in Korea since 2012, when the EU and the United States implemented agreements and secured preferential access for their companies.
    This deal is needed to help Canada level the playing field for Canadian exporters and protect the jobs they provide. It raises the question of why this deal was not prioritized over some of the others that we have had in front of us, in this House, previously. When, in fact, Canada and Korea have largely complementary economies, then that means, in most areas, we will not be in competition with each other.
    There are also some great opportunities here. As Korea is rapidly becoming a world leader in renewable energy technology, there are some great opportunities in the exchanges of new ideas on how we reach a sustainable energy future together.
    In one area where we do compete, autos, it is important to note that many of the Korean cars coming into Canada are already being manufactured in North America, in the United States or Mexico, so they already enter our markets duty free. Plus, this deal would see the gradual reduction in Canadian auto tariffs, from their current level of 6%, but the immediate elimination of duties on Canadian autos going to Korea.
    In fact, I believe this is a balanced deal, even in the one area where we do compete.
    I have already entered the realm of the third criterion: are the terms of this deal fair, in and of themselves? My conclusion is that this deal is a fair trade deal.

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    This deal does not include some of the things I find most pernicious in other deals. As a former municipal councillor, I am very glad to see that sub-national procurement is not part of this deal. We have seen too many agreements come before the House which tie the hands of municipalities and local governments in attempting to achieve their objectives by requiring them to submit to some free trade requirements, which are quite onerous.
    We do have some concerns about this deal. We are opposed to the investor state mechanism in this agreement as is the main opposition party in Korea. When the New Democrats form government, we will work to have this provision dropped.
    Fortunately, and unlike the Canada-China FIPA, this agreement does not tie the government's hands for 31 years. In fact, if things go wrong, it can be renegotiated or cancelled after only six months.
    Beyond the three criteria that we think apply to all deals, there is another reason that Korea is a good candidate for closer economic relations, and that is the long-standing relationship between Canada and Korea. That relationship is not just based on immigration, though as of 2011 were more than 161,000 Koreans were living in Canada with over one-third of those, more than 53,000, living in British Columbia. While Koreans are still not a large community in my riding, they are a growing presence in greater Victoria.
    This long-standing relationship is not just based on the large number of Korean students studying in Canada each year, more than 20,000 Koreans, but that makes Korea the fifth-largest source of foreign students in Canada.
     I also note that there are more than 100 active exchange agreements in place between educational institutions in the two countries, including agreements with institutions in my riding. Camosun College, where I taught for 20 years before coming here, teaches the Korea language and also hosts Korean exchange students every year. These international exchange students help provide an important element of diversity in the student body at Camosun and, as I know from my own teaching experience, an important value of diversity within the classroom.
    This close relationship is also not just a result of a large number of Canadian teachers who have taught in Korea, but there is an amazing number of Canadians teaching in Korea right now. I note that even the current occupant of our chair taught English in Korea. There are some 5,000 Canadians teaching English in Korea right now.
    This relationship is not just a consequence of the fact that 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Canada, but we do have an important shared history in what is sometimes to referred to the Forgotten War; that is the Korean War from 1951 to 1953 and the two-year period when Canada remained in Korea following the ceasefire.
    A total of 26,791 Canadians served in Korea during the Korean War, plus another 7,000 served there in the ceasefire in 1953 through 1955. While 5,000 women were recruited and served in the Canadian Forces during the Korean War, only a small number of nurses actually served in the combat zones, while the rest played key roles here at home.
    Of those who went to Korea, 516 died in combat, including 378 buried at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea. Over 1,000 more were seriously wounded. These losses had a huge impact on many families in Canada, not forgetting the much greater losses and the enormous scar left on Korean society to this day, a society which remains technically at war in a war which has been largely forgotten.
    In Canada, the Korean Veterans Association struggles to keep the memory of those sacrifices alive in the face of dwindling numbers as a result both of the passage of time and unfortunately of illness and death.
    Unit 27 of the Korean Veterans Association has remained active in greater Victoria under the leadership of Ken Kelbough as president from 2011 to 2013, and now Ray Renaud as the 2014 president.
    In conclusion, I would argue that Korea is the best prospective trade partner the government has presented to the House. Who better to trade with than a developed country that is a stable democracy with high labour and environmental standards? Who better than a country that is the world's eight largest importer? Who between than a country with whom we have a long-standing series of close relationships? Who better as a partner than Korea with which Canada has had this relationship for the past 50 years, including blood shed in a common struggle?
    Who better than Korea? Few nations I can think of. That is why I am proud to stand in the House and support Bill C-41.

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Mr. Erin O'Toole (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, we were quite amazed that the NDP had discovered the importance of trade. It is not hard as one in five jobs come from it.
    In the three principles the member discussed, I am trying to contrast those alongside some of the comments his colleagues have made with respect to the South Korean trade deal. The member for Windsor West and the member for Parkdale—High Park suggested that we should not do a deal with South Korea.
    How did the NDP forge consensus on South Korea being, on his second pillar, one of those strategic countries? It certainly runs counter to what several of his colleagues have suggested in the House.
Mr. Randall Garrison:  
    Mr. Speaker, I believe there is a question of timing here, as we often hear from members on the other side. They take old quotes from before the time we were actually discussing the deal in front of us now and try to bring them forward.
     If the hon. member were to look at what we have had to say about the current deal, he would find there is a great deal of unity on this side of the House.
Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague. For many Canadians, when they think of Korea, they think of the fact that many of our uncles and fathers served there.
    On September 1, the 100th anniversary of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry took place in the town of Elk Lake. The Princess Pat's came there to celebrate Jack Munroe, who saved people in the porcupine fire, who was a founder of Elk Lake and who fought Jack Johnston who was heavy-weight champion of the world. Jack Munroe was also a vaudeville star and a professional football star. He was also the first Canadian to set foot in France in 1915 with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. That is a historic fact.
    As we were there with the veterans, we counted, and it was the Princess Pat's who were in first in the first world war, in first in Sicily, in first in Korea and in first in Kandahar.
    What does my hon. colleague think about our tradition of remembering the people who served our country?
Mr. Randall Garrison:  
    Mr. Speaker, with a bit of regret, we were a bit slow in recognizing Korean veterans. It is only very recently we completed the Korea Veterans' National Wall of Remembrance in the Meadowvale Cemetery in Brampton. That was 2013.
    Then this summer we added a tribute in black granite in Burlington to the ships of the Royal Canadian Navy that sailed to Korea.
    While World War I and World War II had larger conflicts with many more Canadians involved and have occupied our memories more, recently we have turned to those sacrifices and made some good steps in honouring those who served in Korea.

[Translation]

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP is regularly attacked and criticized for not supporting economic agreements with other countries. Could my colleague tell us in a few words why it is important to avoid acting like the Conservatives, who support any old economic deal with countries like Honduras and Colombia, or acting like the Liberals, who give a blank cheque to the Conservatives for any economic agreement?

  (1215)  

[English]

Mr. Randall Garrison:  
    Mr. Speaker, I will use the example I talked about when we dealt with the question of Honduras, which has an absolutely awful human rights record and has the highest murder rate for transgender people anywhere in the world, in contrast to Korea, which is making great strides toward protecting the rights of all Koreans.
    We have to look at the deal in the context of which of these nations is striving to achieve the standards and values that we all hold important.
    I was one of those who was very firmly against a deal with an unelected government of Honduras, with a terrible human rights record and with very little to offer Canada. I am not sure why we were prioritizing that relationship at all. In contrast, Korea has a democratic government, a good human rights record, complementary economies and great opportunities for Canadians, plus these long-standing relationships with students and people teaching in Korea.
Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about one of the historic agreements that Canada has embarked upon and what it means in the creation of jobs and prosperity, not only for the individuals in Canadian businesses but for individuals and their families as well.
    I am pleased to talk about the Canada-Korea free trade agreement and the effects it will have on our economy.
     My riding is Lambton—Kent—Middlesex in southwestern Ontario, so I am likely going to focus a little more on the particular area of southwestern Ontario. However, in Ontario in general, Ontario's exports to South Korea were an average of about $516 million. When this agreement comes into force, Ontario's key exporters and providers will see a significant amount of new opportunities. Exporters to South Korea will benefit not only from markets that open, but from non-tariff provisions as well. These provisions will ease regulatory barriers, reinforce intellectual property rights and make open, transparent rules for market access.
    Today, colleagues will be speaking, and from what I understand, we are going to see consent to support the agreement, which is good.
    I want to also direct my comments and appreciation for the Minister of International Trade, who spends so much time not only travelling but with his colleagues across the world to make agreements like these come into place. In this case it is South Korea.
    A little while ago we heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade speak. He spoke in depth about the trade and benefits that would be seen, not only by Canada but also the reciprocal benefits for South Korea. He spoke with compassion that comes with the history of why Canada and South Korea were able to make such a strong agreement that would give Canada, in some cases, such preferential treatment.
    We have talked about the Korean war and its effects on Canadians. Because of our government wanting to recognize that significant conflict, these tributes have been made across Canada to recognize our veterans who died in that conflict.
    This agreement will not only improve market access, but it will also look at the interests of Ontario in many areas. We think about agriculture, minerals and metals, but in many cases we do not think about aerospace, medical devices and clean technology. We are a leader in the environmental aspect of clean technology. We have food manufacturing, information, communications technology and life sciences. Canada and Ontario are leaders in these areas. It will also improve access to professional services with Ontario, with greater and more predictable access to a diverse South Korean market.
    The agreement would also provide predictable and non-discriminatory rules for our investors and ensure that investments benefit from greater protection in the South Korean market. Suppliers from Ontario would also benefit from preferential access to procurement by South Korean central government agencies for contracts that would be valued above $100,000.
    There will be strong provisions in the agreement, such as on non-tariff measures. That is a critical point. When we talk about developing trade agreements, we need to talk about effective dispute settlement provisions for non-tariff measures.

  (1220)  

    As was said earlier, particularly by the parliamentary secretary, the benefits for Canada in terms of those dispute settlement provisions in this agreement will give strong reference to Canada, should those issues ever arise. We often look at how that would work for Canada in relation to the examples of Europe and the United States. What we have is a stronger agreement with South Korea than even Europe or the United States have. That is not in all areas, but they are comparable, and in some areas we are preferred.
    Let us talk a bit about the industrial goods sector, which accounts for about 12% of Ontario's GDP. It affects about 525,000 workers in Ontario. Once this agreement is in place, 95% of tariffs on industrial products will immediately go away. This is going to be a huge benefit to Ontario and to the industrial sector. Unlike in the United States, where they will go in three to five or 10 years, the majority of ours will go right at the start.
    In terms of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, most of us in this House recognize the name Jayson Myers, who is its representative. He said:
    Our Free Trade Agreement with South Korea is...a first step in gaining more open access for Canadian exports.... this agreement should make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and manufacturers, create jobs and opportunities for Canadians and level the playing field for Canadian businesses making them more competitive on the global stage.
    I want to also touch a bit, as others have, on the automotive sector, which will benefit from this agreement. It looks at going beyond the traditional North American markets and reaching into South Korea. It will provide a level playing field for competition for our auto industry. In fact, in terms of this agreement, Canada got preferential treatment over the EU and the United States, particularly around accelerated dispute settlements. Our agreement between Canada and the South Korea government will have an expedited dispute settlement agreement provision.
     I want to get to an area that is close to my heart, and that is agriculture and the processing part of agriculture. As we know, the agriculture and food processing industry is a significant driver in Ontario, with some $44 billion in GDP generated by that industry alone. Almost one-third of that $44 billion comes from agriculture and food processing. As well, the total agriculture-agrifood system, which includes primary agriculture, processing, food services, retail, and wholesale accounts for almost 12% of jobs in Ontario.
    Since the implementation of Korea's free trade agreements with the U.S. and EU, Canada's share has dropped significantly, which is the other reason this agreement is so important to get into place now. This agreement will eliminate tariffs, in whole or in part, on 86% of current agricultural exports. This duty-free access will give Canadian products, particularly beef and pork, preferential access to the South Korean market.
     We know that there are other products in Ontario, and those are our great wines. This will take away that 15% tariff on our ice wine, something that is unique. The 20% tariff on Canadian rye whisky will also disappear. Spirits Canada has been very supportive of that.

  (1225)  

    We are looking forward to getting the agreement signed by January, because it is not only good for Canadians as a whole but is good for Ontario and Lambton--Kent--Middlesex.

[Translation]

Mr. Denis Blanchette (Louis-Hébert, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech.
    The NDP will support this agreement, not because it is a free trade agreement, but because we think that it is reasonably worth supporting.
    Obviously, some aspects of the agreement bother us. No agreement is perfect. For example, there is a mechanism for settling disputes between private companies and the government.
    Could my colleague tell me whether he is comfortable with the idea that a state or a government could be partially limited in what it can do because of a dispute settlement mechanism? Can a private company have the upper hand on its own government and prevent it from doing what it wants to?

[English]

Mr. Bev Shipley:  
    Mr. Speaker, I had a little trouble with some of the translation. I do not want to answer the member's question wrongly, so I am wondering if he could give a summary and maybe I could pick up the translation a bit better. Maybe it is a problem with my hearing piece.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin):  
    Questions and comments. The hon. member for Saanich--Gulf Islands.
Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am very troubled by this legislation. I do not know if the Green Party is going to be alone in opposing it. Maybe the Bloc Québécois will join us, and we will have a mighty force of four.
    It occurs to me that this deal is not going to be in Canada's best interests, and I say that because I am concerned about the investor state provisions and because of Korea's history of robust economic policy and its success in continuing to expand the trade deficit the EU and the U.S. were experiencing even after the EU and U.S. concluded deals with Korea.
    Korea manufactures high-value exports, particularly cars, and has a frankly brilliant, but difficult for competitors, trade strategy, with the government of Korea working strongly with its private sector. It leaves us in a situation where we can see on the record that neither the U.S. nor the EU were able to close the gap in their trade deficits with Korea after signing deals. In fact, those gaps widened.
    Could the hon. member tell me why he thinks Canada will be any different?
Mr. Bev Shipley:  
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member touched on the auto industry. When the United States and Europe signed agreements with South Korea, their exports to South Korea doubled.
    Our auto industry supports this initiative. Last year Ford Canada had the largest exports to South Korea in its history.
    The companies and individuals who support this deal belong to chambers of commerce. Perrin Beatty, for example, told us that he saw first hand how Canadian companies were losing their footing in markets in other countries. Some were even making the difficult choice to shut down their marketing offices.
    A free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea will help our businesses and will increase growth opportunities across our industries, industries such as ag-food, aerospace, infrastructure, energy, and chemicals, and the list goes on.
    We have a list of industries, companies, and organizations that all support this deal, because it will give Canada a great opportunity not only to expand its markets but to expand its investments.

  (1230)  

[Translation]

Ms. Isabelle Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted and very proud to rise in the House today to speak in favour of Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea. I would like to congratulate the minister for his work on this file.
    The vast majority of Koreans who live in Quebec live in my riding. I speak with them a lot, and I take part in many of their activities. This agreement was a frequent topic of conversation in recent months. They are proud that such a free trade agreement has been concluded with Canada. They are very happy. This Thursday, I will be in Montreal with them to celebrate the Republic of Korea's national day. I am sure that we will have some very rewarding discussions about this agreement.
    This will be the first time that the NDP will vote in favour of a free trade agreement because the NDP has a very rigorous position on this. We use three key criteria to support or reject this kind of opening up of markets, which will be the focus of my speech.
    First, the proposed partner must have utmost respect for democracy and human rights, as well as adequate environmental and labour standards. The partner must basically share Canadian values. If those criteria are not met, the country must be on its way to meeting them.
    Second, we look at whether the proposed partner's economy is of significant or strategic value to Canada. Finally, the terms of the agreement must be satisfactory.
    In this case, the NDP feels that this free trade agreement has net benefits for Canada. I will address these benefits sector by sector in my speech.
    The reason why we have been opposed to most free trade agreements, whether under the Conservatives or in the past, is that the environmental, human rights and labour law criteria were not met. To me and my party, entering into a free trade agreement with a country is a lever that Canada can use to raise the standard of living of people in the country. South Korea is a very democratic country with a high rate of unionization. It upholds human rights and is quite advanced in green technology.
    Since its transition from a dictatorship to civilian rule in 1987, South Korea has become a vibrant, multi-party democracy with a very active trade union movement. South Korea's economy made it possible to industrialize the country and raise the standard of living of the Korean people.
    Two years ago, I travelled to Asia with some of my colleagues in the House. We went to Thailand and Cambodia. I found that the standard of living in Asian countries is unfortunately not adequate sometimes. The leaders of those countries must raise the bar, because the world is becoming more industrialized and is developing more and more positively. That is why Canada must do its part on the world stage. I am glad that we are signing an agreement with a country that is well aware of that.
    South Korea is currently ranked 15th on the human development index, the highest ranking of all East Asian countries. South Korea has introduced social programs and sound rule of law. It has low levels of corruption and provides high access to quality education. South Korea has the highest level of post-secondary education participation in the OECD. That is quite impressive, and I congratulate them.
    Furthermore, Korea has emerged as a world leader in renewable energy and green technology. Canada could increase its trade with Korea in this important sector. Canada should be thinking more about the green economy and renewable resources. Perhaps we could learn from Korea.

  (1235)  

    The right to unionize is very important to us, and Korea allows that. Here, convenience store owners are going out of business because they are not allowed to unionize. In contrast, Korea is trying to encourage people to unionize and have good working conditions, specifically humane working conditions, and decent wages. We are very proud of that aspect of Korea.
    We are still wondering if this proposed partner's economy is of significant and strategic value to Canada. As I said earlier, Korea is Canada's seventh-largest trade partner and its third-largest in Asia, behind China and Japan. Canada already does a great deal of trade with those countries.
    In 2013, Canadian exports to South Korea were valued at $3.4 billion, while South Korean exports to Canada were worth $7.3 billion. Canada and Korea already do a fair bit of trade. Canada imports roughly the same amount from Korea as it does from the United Kingdom. Our exports to Korea are about the same as what we export to France. Thus, it is already a reliable market.
    South Korea is an important player in Asia's global supply chain. In fact, South Korea is the gateway to Asia. A free trade agreement will allow Canada to potentially discover new markets through this country.
    However, there is a caveat. Right now, Canada and South Korea have complementary markets. To date, the two countries have not developed the same specialities.
    Many sectors have already indicated that they are in favour of this free trade agreement, including some very significant segments of the manufacturing industry. For example, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada has indicated that it will benefit from the agreement. Bombardier, in my riding, is also very happy about the agreement. The Aluminum Association of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada, which represent heavy industry, have said that this is a good agreement. The agreement will certainly be good for wood products. By all accounts, Canada will be able to export many forestry products. Canada will also have to expand its agricultural sector. The food processing, seafood and high-tech sectors have already indicated that they support the free trade agreement and that it will be beneficial for them.
    The terms of a free trade agreement are the third criterion the NDP uses to determine whether it will support that agreement or not. For example, what will the agreement do for jobs in Canada? It will level the playing field for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses that export their products to South Korea. Ever since the European Union and the United States signed free trade agreements with Korea, Canadian exporters have been losing market share. We are going to try to gain it back.
    Every year, Korea's tariffs are reduced for European Union and United States exporters. Right now, tariffs are costing Canadian producers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. We are going to try to recover that money.
    Since I only have a minute left, I cannot talk about all of the sectors that I wanted to. Personally, I support the agreement. Had the NDP negotiated this agreement, we would have made some small changes. My colleagues spoke about the automotive industry, which may be affected. Parliamentarians will be responsible for discussing this situation and finding measures to help that industry. The automotive industry provides good jobs, and we must make sure that those jobs are not lost. I admit that I am a bit concerned about that.
    I would like to state once again that I will vote in favour of the agreement and that I am proud of it. I am now ready to answer my colleagues' questions.

  (1240)  

[English]

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, earlier in the debate we heard a number of Liberals talking about the fact that the NDP had chosen not to support a majority of the free trade agreements, but I would like to point out some of the reasons that this is different from other free trade agreements.
    This is a reciprocal agreement. The Korean FTA does not apply to provincial, territorial, or municipal procurement, unlike other agreements, and it does not apply to or negatively affect supply management of agriculture. As well, shipbuilding is completely exempt.
    Those were some of the areas that were very troubling to us in other free trade agreements. Would the member say this is perhaps indicative of our relationship with South Korea, which has been in place since the 1950s?

[Translation]

Ms. Isabelle Morin:  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend for his question.
    Indeed, I based my speech on the NDP's criteria. I know that the Liberals and some Conservatives have attacked us, saying that this is the first time we have voted in favour of a free trade agreement. I explained why we are in favour of this agreement. Canada has had a good relationship with Korea for many years. Last year, or two years ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Korea. This is very important to us and to my constituents. As I said, there are hundreds of Koreans in my riding. This is a free trade agreement with a democratic country that respects the unions, human rights and workers' rights. That is what our party advocates, and I hope that is what our country advocates. Of course we should be entering into free trade agreements with ally countries that share our values.
Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.
    My question has to do with what the hon. member from Hamilton was asking about this agreement with Korea. He may not be right. This is about investment and the possibility of lawsuits for damages following decisions by provincial and municipal governments. I will cite section 8.1.

[English]

    I only have it in English in front of me, but it says in section 8.1, in relation to scope and coverage of investment, in subclause 3:
    For the purposes of this Chapter, measures adopted or maintained by a Party means measures adopted or maintained by:
(a) a national, sub-national, or local government and authority...
    This to me means that all levels of government are open to suit by Korea if Korea's investors do not like the provisions of those measures.
    Could the hon. member comment?

  (1245)  

[Translation]

Ms. Isabelle Morin:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. I did not have time to get to that, but as I mentioned at the end of my speech, if the NDP were to negotiate a free trade agreement with Korea, some of the provisions would not be included. Some aspects would not exist. We would perhaps have spent more time studying the provision mentioned by my colleague.
    That said, we have to consider the benefit to Canada at present. When the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada, the Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia, the Lobster Council of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada and others too numerous to mention all say that they support the agreement, we have to ask ourselves whether it will benefit Canada.
    I would say to my colleague that we would not have included some elements in the bill. However, I believe that Korea will be a very strong ally. We should have free trade agreements with countries that, as I was saying, have the same values as we do. I think that is part of it.

[English]

Mr. Colin Mayes (Okanagan—Shuswap, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand before the House today to speak about the benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement.
    This free trade agreement, Canada's first with an Asian market, would create thousands of new jobs in Canada and provide Canadian businesses and workers with a gateway to Asia, enhancing their global competitiveness.
    No government in Canada's history has been more committed to the creation of jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses and workers and their families than this government. Deepening Canada's trade relationships in dynamic and high-growth markets around the world is a key to these efforts.
    I would like to focus on the benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement in relation specifically to small and medium-sized enterprises. Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, make up the backbone of the Canadian economy. This importance is highlighted in our Conservative government's global markets action plan. In fact, a key part of this government's pro-trade plans is to provide SMEs with new and improved market access so that they can expand and win in the global marketplace.
    The reality is that many barriers exist that prevent SMEs from accessing new market opportunities and taking advantage of global and regional value chains, and one of the most significant barriers for SMEs is high tariffs. High tariffs pose a significant barrier for any business trying to break into a new market, but this is especially true for SMEs, which tend to have fewer resources and a smaller market share. As we know, tariff reductions are at the core of the Canada-Korea free trade outcome.
    Our Conservative government understands that when SMEs sell more of their goods, they create jobs, so when our free trade agreements bring tariffs down, helping our SMEs compete and win, those free trade agreements create jobs for Canadians.
    I am happy to report that the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would eliminate tariffs on virtually all current exports from Canada to South Korea. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement would result in the elimination of 100% of South Korean tariffs on industrial goods, forestry and wood products, and fish and seafood products, as well as the elimination of the vast majority of South Korea's agricultural tariffs. In all, once the agreement is fully implemented, South Korea will remove duties on 100% of non-agricultural exports and on 97% of current agricultural exports. This would significantly improve South Korean market access for Canadian SMEs.
    To help business owners, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement contains simple and clear rules of origin that would make it easier and less costly for Canadian SMEs to do business in the South Korean market. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement also contains clear and transparent origin procedures that would ensure the effective and consistent administration of the rules of origin so that they do not represent costly barriers to trade.
    Non-tariff barriers are a growing concern in international trade. Non-tariff barriers, whether in the form of unjustified trade restrictions or lack of transparency, could seriously undermine gains made in market access. The effects of non-tariff restriction barriers tend to be magnified for SMEs that do not have the level of resources of a large national or multinational corporation. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement contains strong disciplines on non-tariff measures that would help SMEs reap the benefits of this agreement.
    For instance, the agreement promotes and requires the use of internationally accepted standards to minimize duplicative certification and testing of products. Moreover, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would improve transparency with respect to standards and regulatory development by ensuring that SMEs and other companies have access to information such as laws, regulations, and administrative rulings that can affect trade.
    I would like to note that these strong disciplines on non-tariff measures are backed up by the Canada-Korea free trade agreement's fast and effective dispute settlement provisions.

  (1250)  

    The benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement do not end there. In addition, through tariff elimination, user-friendly rules of origin, transparent origin procedures, and reduced non-tariff barriers, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement contains strong provisions that would improve access for services and facilitate business mobility.
    With regard to services, Canadian SMEs would benefit from preferential market access in key areas of export interest, including research and development services, professional services, environmental services, and business services, among many others.
    In addition, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would enhance business mobility by giving Canadian business people new and preferential access to the South Korean market by removing barriers to entry, such as economic needs tests. It would also ensure that new barriers in this area, such as quotas and proportionality tests, will not be introduced in the future.
    Some of these provisions are the most ambitious that South Korea has ever agreed to in its free trade agreements, and they would allow Canadian SMEs to compete with key competitors in the U.S. and the EU on a level playing field.
    Lastly, I want to speak briefly on investment.
    Canada already has significant foreign investment in South Korea, including in the automotive, transportation, financial services, and life sciences sectors. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement includes a robust framework of rules that will result in an environment characterized by greater predictability and stability for Canadian firms that already have investments in the South Korean market and for companies that wish to expand their investments or make new investments. This is relevant to Canadian SMEs whether they exist on their own or are looking to partner with larger Canadian firms.
    These are just a few examples of how the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would enhance market access for SMEs and make them more competitive in the global market. As we can see, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement is a much needed, high-quality agreement that would bring significant benefits to Canada's small and medium-sized enterprises as well as to Canadian consumers and other businesses.
    Our government understands the importance of trade and exports to our economy. Exports are responsible for one out of every five jobs in Canada. The prosperity of Canadians depends on the continued expansion beyond our borders into new markets that serve to grow Canada's exports and investment.
     However, this past summer the NDP's critic protested alongside well-known radical anti-trade activists, like The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives at an anti-trade protest.
    The NDP's record is just as bad and shameful as the Liberal record. During 13 long years in government, the Liberals completely neglected trade. When our government was elected in 2006, Canada only had trade agreements with five countries, the most important two being the United States and Mexico, and that agreement was signed by another Conservative government.
    The Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game of trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in the era of global markets. With the free trade agreement with Korea and the historic agreement between Canada and the European Union, Canada will have ratified free trade agreements with 43 countries.
    Only our government is focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement is just another example of how this Conservative government is getting the job done.

  (1255)  

[Translation]

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my esteemed colleague for his remarks. I did not realize that I was a radical activist and that the people who had the decency to vote for me did not have political judgment.
    In the case of this agreement, we should not confuse South Korea, a developed and democratic country, with Honduras, where drug traffickers have the upper hand.
    It is vitally important that we ask how this government will ensure that Canada exports not just fish, but high-value-added manufactured goods.
    What mechanisms will again spur the industrialization of Canada so that we actually export high-value goods?

[English]

Mr. Colin Mayes:  
    Mr. Speaker, taking tariffs off will just make Canadians more competitive, and I really believe that Canadian companies and workers can compete in the global market.
    Just to give members an idea, British Columbia trades $1.76 billion a year with Korea. A small item of that is fish and seafood exports to South Korea. There are currently tariffs ranging from 10% to as high as 20% on those exports. They would disappear. That would make our fishery more competitive. It would open the market and maybe even expand the market. That would be a positive thing for Canadian companies.
Mr. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the member said that when the Liberals were in government, they had a difficult time with trade agreements.
    However, I am looking at the statistics since 2003. For the years 2004 through 2008, on average, we had a trade surplus of at least $50 billion per year. Then from 2008 to 2011 and all the way to 2013, there was only one year when we had maybe half a billion dollars of trade deficit. In all the other years, we are looking huge amounts of deficit in trade.
    Would the member agree that the trade agreements they are signing are insignificant and are maybe not doing the job?
Mr. Colin Mayes:  
    Mr. Speaker, history shows that when a country with a strong economy competes in the marketplace in a world economy as it was in 2008, it really suffers, but we will find that the countries that suffer the most are doing most of the exporting to try to get their economy going.
    Canada had the luxury of being almost a net buyer of goods and services from other countries, and that was helping those countries recover from the recession that we had in 2008.
    However, I can assure members that as we open more markets, it just means that our balance of trade will improve, because Canadian companies are aggressive and are well-equipped to compete in these global markets.
Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, certainly in Ontario one of the concerns has always been the lack of reciprocity in the auto markets. Our automakers are a powerful force in the economy here in Canada. We receive competition from the Asian markets, but we have seen in the past a real reluctance to allow us to export a fair share into their markets. We have seen all manner of blocks put up. Meanwhile, we certainly have dealt with a wide array of Asian vehicles coming into Canada.
    I would like to ask my hon. colleague what provisions made it possible for us to get access to the Korean market, which has not been the most open in terms of access for automobiles from Canada?

  (1300)  

Mr. Colin Mayes:  
    Mr. Speaker, as we go into a free trade agreement with any country, we make sure that those barriers are eliminated and that there is market access.
    As we have stated, in the agreement we have an easier mechanism to sort out any challenges that we would see as barriers. I believe we have to have a certain amount of faith in the agreement and have faith that those we are signing an agreement with are going to uphold those values.
    The purpose of the agreement is to open up markets to both countries, and I have full confidence that Korea will give Canadian companies access to their market.

[Translation]

Mr. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to debate Bill C-41 on the Canada-Korea free trade agreement.
    The Liberal Party and I support the initiatives that lead to free trade agreements. There are definitely many advantages to free trade agreements, and it goes without saying that Canada's economy gains strength when markets are opened. That is why we will support the bill to establish a partnership between South Korea and Canada.
    We believe that it is important to establish a special relationship with South Korea, since we do more than $10.8 billion of bilateral merchandise trade with this country. Furthermore, South Korea already has free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States, which is an incentive for us to act quickly. We are now playing catch-up. We could end up at a serious disadvantage if we delay an agreement with South Korea even further.
    Canada already lost more than 30% of its share of the South Korean market when South Korea signed agreements with the United States, the European Union and Australia. Since negotiations have been going on for nearly 10 years, we sincerely hope that this agreement will take effect quickly. Strategically, we are lagging far behind on markets we should already have access to.
    This is the first free trade agreement that establishes an agreement with an Asian country, yet our primary trading countries are Asian countries, including Japan, China and Korea. The government is lacking a clear vision when it comes time to targeting new markets or quickly carving out a space in emerging markets.
    The government boasts about signing free trade agreements, as we saw with the last member who spoke, but we have had some significant trade deficits since 2009. The announcement of a free trade agreement with South Korea will not magically fix that situation, as the Conservative government hopes. We think that the government needs to commit resources and make investments to increase trade.
    For example, since the free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States was established, Canadian pork producers have lost the Korean market to the United States. This situation is unacceptable. We should have acted much more quickly before these kinds of things happened. Now that the agreement has been signed, this government has the duty to protect these industries and ensure that they regain their market share.
    As the Liberal critic for small business, I am aware of the importance of this agreement for Canadian workers. Removing tariffs is often the support small and medium businesses want, to ensure that they have an equal chance of being competitive on the markets. The agreement can only help Canadian companies doing business with South Korea and the many subcontractors involved.
    This agreement is even more beneficial when you take into account that the customs tariffs imposed by South Korea are about three times higher than Canada's, and they will be eliminated, on different schedules, once the agreement is in effect. These are small things that will matter a lot at the end of the year for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses.
    I am pleased to hear the news for Canadian entrepreneurs who do business with South Korea, but I hope it is not too late for those who would like to enter the Korean market. Indeed, the various competitors from other countries have already become well-established since the signing of free trade agreements that preceded ours.
    From another perspective, what concerns me about the free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea is the current situation with the Canadian automobile industry and what will happen once this agreement is implemented. The Canadian and North American auto market has already been significantly infiltrated by Korean vehicles.
    About 100,000 Korean vehicles worth $2.6 billion are imported into Canada annually, while Canadian or North American vehicles do not really reach the Korean market. One hundred or so Canadian vehicles worth about $12.5 million are exported annually to South Korea.

  (1305)  

    Objectively speaking, it would be wrong to believe that free trade will create a balance. The government is really turning its back on the auto industry under this agreement.
    In the final agreement summary, only South Korean imports from Canada are mentioned. There is no mention of Canadian imports from South Korea. We can therefore neither compare nor see the scale of the imbalance.
    The government has gotten us used to that kind of thing: hiding important information to make it easier to pass bills that might be controversial. My concern is that the gap will only grow wider.
    According to Unifor, Canadian auto sector imports from South Korea have increased by 1,010% since 1997. In that sector, the benefits are exclusively South Korea's. A greater number of Korean cars will enter the Canadian market, and it will get harder and harder to compete.
    Another important and interesting aspect of the bill we are debating today is that it would not change anything in terms of intellectual property. Since becoming a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, I have seen how big a global issue this has become. There are increasing demands to improve intellectual property protection, and there is a lot of pressure around that in various agreements.
    From negotiations with the European Union to creating a trans-Pacific partnership, there is always disagreement about intellectual property. The surprising thing is that when a country complies with international intellectual property protection standards, a negotiating partner can ask it to do even more than the good things it is already doing, can expect all the parties to an agreement to use the same system. I am surprised but pleased to see that a free trade agreement that respects each country's system can happen.
    Will the government be able to respect and protect our own Canadian standards as it negotiates agreements with the European Union and the countries working on a trans-Pacific partnership? It is difficult to tell at the moment, but our preliminary information suggests that the European Union's high expectations regarding intellectual property seem to be finding their way into the final agreement.
    Over the course of the committee meetings, we repeatedly heard concerns about increased protection for intellectual property from representatives of various fields, including the pharmaceutical field.
    Just this week, since the text of the final Canada-EU agreement was released, Canadians have already expressed concern about the potential increase in costs for drugs, as well as the possibility of higher costs in our health care system. I sincerely hope that their concerns will be taken seriously by this government.
    To get back to the bill being debated today, I wish to support it so that it can be sent to committee for further study. I hope that we will have the viewpoints of all the sectors and stakeholders of society in the testimony at committee.
    I hope that this agreement will not add significantly to the imbalance we can see in the automotive sector or that the government will at least keep an eye on the health of the Canadian sector.
    I also hope that this agreement will help Canadian businesses by fostering more and more trade between the two countries. I think the elimination of trade barriers can only benefit the majority of Canadian businesses.
    As I said before, such agreements have significant repercussions on local entrepreneurs. In fact, customs tariffs alone can account for many unnecessary direct and indirect expenses for small businesses.

  (1310)  

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for his speech.
    He was very silent on an issue that comes up in every free trade agreement. It is something the NDP has many concerns about. I am talking about the settlement of investor-state disputes. This requires the state to compensate a private company for what it would estimate to be a potential loss of profit, because the government is doing its regulatory duty to safeguard the public good.
    Do the Liberals agree with this type of provision, which we routinely find in the free trade agreements negotiated by Conservative and Liberal governments?
Mr. Massimo Pacetti:  
    Mr. Speaker, that is a great question, but it cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. It is a double-edged sword because some areas of technology require us to intervene pretty much right away. During testimony before the Standing Committee on International Trade, people from the technology sector said that they cannot wait years, as was the case during the softwood lumber dispute, which was dragged through the courts for years. Canadian technology companies like BlackBerry expect disputes to be resolved pretty quickly. They need a system that can hear both sides and reach a verdict as soon as possible.

[English]

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague asked a brilliant question just before his speech in which he juxtaposed all of the Conservative free trade deals, which they have agreed to, signed and boast about on the one hand. On the other hand, we went from a situation of trade surpluses under Liberals and descended into deep trade deficits under the Conservatives.
    The NDP might say that free trade deals cause deficits, but I am enough of an economist and a Liberal to think that free trades are good for the economy and should normally lead to improved trade balances.
    When the Conservatives sign free trade deals, they should be good for the economy and trade, yet they have descended into massive trade deficits. Is there some other aspect of Conservative mismanagement which, notwithstanding these trade deals, led to huge trade surpluses?
Mr. Massimo Pacetti:  
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if that is a loaded question, but I will try to answer it in a non-partisan way as much as possible.
    It is one thing to sign trade deals and another thing to follow up on. The world is changing and we see it as one world, a global economy. Leading trade partners in the last number of years are Canada, Japan and Korea. We started negotiating with Korea over 10 years a go. Japan has been negotiating more or less the same period of time. We are one of the last countries involved in TPP negotiations, and that has been going on for years.
    Since the Conservative government came to power, we are always last. Signing a free trade deal does not provide us with extra trade. It is nice to say we will sign a free trade deal. The Prime Minister has signed a free trade deal with Europe I do not know how many times, I think at least three or four times in the last six months. However, it is not yet in law because we do not even know what Europe will do. It has not even begun. It just released the text. There is a bit of a disconnect between reality and announcements and what really goes on the business world.

  (1315)  

Mr. Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to talk to the Canada–Korea free trade agreement, or CKFTA, specifically the benefits and opportunities created by the agreement for the Canadian beef and pork farmers.
    Canadian beef and pork are world renowned and a significant contributor to our national economy. In every region of our country, hard-working beef and pork producers produce reliable and high-quality products that are constantly in high demand. The size of the industry is staggering. By 2014, there were 12.2 million head of cattle on over 82,000 Canadian farms and ranches. In the pork sector, there are approximately 12.9 million hogs on over 7,000 farms.
    Our government, along with Canadian beef and pork producers, understands that Canada's prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders into new markets for economic opportunities that serve to grow Canada's exports and investments.
     While the United States is a major export market for Canadian beef and pork, diversification and ensuring that Canadian farmers have access to a wide range of export markets for their products is key to their success. That is why our most recent Speech from the Throne committed to expanding trade in the Asia-Pacific region to benefit hard-working Canadians and businesses, especially to our crucial small and medium-sized enterprises and industries across Canada.
    South Korea represents a significant market for beef and pork, and there exists much potential for increased Canadian exports. Between 2010 and 2012, South Korea's global imports totalled an average of approximately $1.3 billion annually, while global pork imports were worth an average of approximately $1.1 billion annually. Currently, Canada supplies only a fraction of South Korea's beef and pork markets. Canada's market share is also currently falling due to the competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis the United States and the European Union that benefit from lower tariffs and preferential access due to the FTA they presently have with South Korea.
    Specifically, following the implementation of the Korea-U.S. or Korea-EU FTAs, Canada's share of South Korean fresh, chilled and frozen pork imports dropped from 14.2% in 2010 to 8.9% in 2013, representing a loss of export value in excess of $22 million. During the same period, U.S. and EU market share increased from 66% to 76%.
     In 2012, following the resumption of Canada's access to South Korea's beef market, Canada's fresh and chilled beef exports to South Korea were valued at around $10 million. However, in 2013, Canadian beef exports declined to $6.7 million as a result of a growing tariff differential, again vis-à-vis U.S. competition.
    Our Conservative government is committed to levelling the playing field and opening new markets for high-quality Canadian beef and pork as Canada's first free trade agreement in Asia. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement provides critical new market-access opportunities in a dynamic region where there is significant demand for both beef and pork.
    Starting with beef, exports to South Korea of fresh, chilled and frozen beef, which totalled over $43 million in 2002 prior to the BSE outbreak, are in the rebuilding phase following the restoration of access to the South Korean market in 2012. Canada's exports of beef to South Korea reached an average of $5.5 million from 2011 to 2013, while exports of bovine genetics, offal and tallow averaged at over $15 million.
     Importantly, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would eliminate high tariffs that serve as a barrier for increased Canadian exports. Specifically, the 40% tariff on fresh, chilled and frozen beef cuts, as well as the 72% tariff on some processed and prepared beef, will be eliminated within 15 years. Tariffs of 18% on most beef offal will be eliminated within 11 years, while tariffs on beef fats and tallow will be eliminated upon entry into force of the free trade agreement. In addition, the 18% tariff on embryos will be eliminated upon entry into force.
    Beef stakeholders from across the country have unanimously and publicly supported this agreement. These include the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Canadian Meat Council, Manitoba Beef Producers, British Columbia Cattlemen's Association, Alberta Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and Beef Farmers of Ontario. Martin Unrau, past president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said, “This announcement means Canadian beef will be able to compete for meaningful access in the South Korean market”.
     Canada's export of fresh, chilled and frozen pork to South Korea reached an average of $138 million from 2011 to 2013, while exports of processed pork, pork offal and fats reached $9 million during the same period. Although Canadian pork farmers are already exporting to South Korea, high tariffs remain for many of the pork products they produce. Thus, there is remaining significant untapped potential for this industry to export to South Korea, potential that can only be accessed through a tariff elimination pursuant to the Canada–Korea free trade agreement.
     Under the agreement, the 22.5% and 25% tariffs on fresh, chilled and frozen pork guts will be eliminated within five to thirteen years. The 18% to 30% tariffs on most processed and prepared pork will be eliminated within six years. As well, the 18% tariff on pork offal will be eliminated within five years, while the 3% tariff on pig fats and oils will be eliminated upon entry into force of the Canada–Korea free trade agreement.

  (1320)  

    In addition to the industry associations mentioned above, key pork stakeholders across the country have publicly voiced their support for the agreement, including the Canadian Pork Council, Canada Pork International, Éleveurs de porcs du Québec, Alberta Pork, Maple Leaf Foods, Olymel, HyLife Foods, and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.
    This agreement also recognizes the integrated nature of this industry in the North American economy. It provides the rules of origin that would allow these world-class products to benefit from preferential treatment in South Korea. This is important as it allows Canada to continue to compete with other exporters of beef and pork to South Korea, including the United States and European Union, competitors that have benefited from lower tariffs since the implementation of their own respective free trade agreements with South Korea.
    Take what Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said, “This agreement is a major win for Canada's agri-food industry”.
    Shamefully, despite all the evidence that trade creates jobs, economic growth, and economic security for hard-working Canadian families, the NDP, together with its activist-group allies, is always ideologically opposed to trade. Just as bad are the Liberals, who during their 13 years in power completely neglected trade. The Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game in trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in the era of global markets.
    In these uncertain times our prosperity depends on our ability to take advantage of economic opportunities in emerging markets. Not only would the Canada-Korea free trade agreement provide robust outcomes for Canadian beef and pork farmers, but it would allow Canada to level the playing field with key competitors and reverse the decline in beef and pork exports to South Korea.
    Our government understands the importance of trade to our economy. It represents one out of every five jobs in Canada and accounts for more than 60% of our country's annual income.
    Any delay in ratifying this agreement would place Canadian farmers at a further disadvantage against their competitors, and Canadian jobs and opportunities. As Australia is nearing the implementation of its own FTA with South Korea, there is even a greater urgency for Canada to implement the Canada-Korea free trade agreement and gain preferential access as soon as possible so as to establish an even stronger foothold in this most important export market.
    In order to support Canadian farmers and expand their export opportunities, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement needs to be passed now. This would create jobs and opportunities and contribute significantly to Canada's long-term economic growth and prosperity.

[Translation]

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my distinguished colleague for his remarks.
    One element of his speech really stood out: he referred to this government's most recent throne speech. I clearly remember that in the last Speech from the Throne, the government said it was going to prohibit companies from charging customers a fee for paying their bills through the mail. We are still waiting for that.
    Therein lies the problem. We are always waiting for this government to do something positive for Canadians, and I mean for people, not just corporations. That is the crux of the problem. Since this government came to power, the manufacturing sector has lost 500,000 jobs. We would like to know what the Conservatives plan to do with this agreement, which could be very good, to ensure the return of Canada's industrialization and to ensure that Canada is not merely a source of raw materials.

[English]

Mr. Randy Hoback:  
    Mr. Speaker, this is the government that brought in close to 1.2 million net new jobs since the global recession. This is the government that reduced taxes for families and provides some $3,200 in additional benefits to the average family.
    One thing that the NDP does not understand is that companies employ Canadians, so if we give market access to Canadian companies we can improve their chances of employing more Canadians. If we give market access to Canadian farmers we are allowing them to take advantage of higher prices, so they too can expand their operations and have a better quality of life.
    I wish the NDP would get this. Those members just do not seem to understand what trade really means for Canada.

  (1325)  

[Translation]

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I think that what my Conservative Party colleague fails to understand is that we are voting in favour of a free trade agreement with South Korea. I do not see what there is to criticize about that.
    However, I have a question for him about something concerning at least 100,000 workers with well-paid jobs in Canada. The concern has to do with the automotive sector and Korean cars. We want to know what is the government's plan for protecting the car manufacturing sector in Canada and for supporting these jobs in light of the Korean competition. What does the hon. member's government propose for defending Canadian jobs?

[English]

Mr. Randy Hoback:  
    Mr. Speaker, here is one thing I find very interesting about farmers. When farmers make money, they buy things. They buy vehicles, cars, trucks, tractors, and combines. They reinvest in their farming operations. Where are those jobs located that make those types of products? They are in Ontario in the manufacturing sector. Therefore, as we strengthen the agricultural sector, thus we strengthen the manufacturing sector that provides input into the agricultural sector.
     I think if NDP members understood that, they would vote more aggressively on more free trade agreements.

[Translation]

Mr. Marc-André Morin (Laurentides—Labelle, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the smears by my colleague across the way do not really bother me because I know that the entire Conservative Party has gotten into the habit of reciting and reading House briefing notes.
    The Conservatives say that the NDP does not understand certain things, but I will provide an example of things that they do not understand. Korea used to manufacture Toyota Corolla replicas on old assembly lines bought from the Japanese. The quality was questionable. Today, the Koreans are at the forefront of the automotive industry because they developed serious industrial strategies and invested in research and development.
    Would it not be nice if our government learned a thing or two from the Koreans?

[English]

Mr. Randy Hoback:  
    Mr. Speaker, one thing a free trade agreement does is bring in forced rules for both parties to follow, so that they understand what they can or cannot do. Of course, patent protections and licence agreements fall into those types of rules.
    Again, I will come back to the Canadian farmers and producers that I talked about here today. They look at this agreement for the benefits. They understand what can happen when a market gets shut down, such as what happened to our beef producers when the U.S. closed the border due to BSE, or the country of origin labelling and the frustration they have been experiencing with that. They get it. They understand that the more market access they have around the world, the more chance they can sell all the products they produce.
    When farmers are looking at marketing a cow, they may look at marketing steaks to Canada, parts of the beef to the U.S., and different parts to Asia and the Middle East. They need a variety of markets to take the different types of cuts that come from a cow.
    Of course, these are the types of advantages they get from a free trade agreement. They can efficiently use the entire animal and sell what they can, most of the product and byproducts, to the variety of markets that have these different needs and desires.
    It is the North Korea, or rather the South Korea free trade agreement—I was thinking the NDP was supporting the North Korea free trade agreement, which we have not done, which is why I was kind of confused when NDP members supported this agreement. I thought they must have heard the word “North” instead of “South”, but it is actually the South Korea free trade agreement.
     This is a really good agreement for Canadian farmers and producers. I think everybody should get behind it.

[Translation]

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP does not usually rise in the House in support of a trade agreement, a free trade agreement with another country. In the past, we have been rather skeptical. We are still skeptical, because we are critical thinkers and we want trade agreements to benefit our economic sectors and workers, and to protect and defend our jobs. That being said, we are also aware that we must diversify our exports.
    Canada and Quebec have always been nations of traders. Ever since we traded with the aboriginal peoples when we arrived, traded furs and dealt with our neighbours to the south, the Americans, we have always worked in production and commerce. We know that this is part of our economic and social fabric and that, today, we need to provide our goods and services to the whole world in order to keep thousands of jobs in the country and to sell our products, be it in Africa, Japan, Europe or China. We are aware that this is key to the economic well-being of our workers in all our economic sectors. However, we must consider and assess each trade agreement on its own merits and what we will or will not gain from it. We must ask ourselves certain questions every time we sign a treaty with another country.
    The NDP determined that the trade agreement with South Korea had more advantages than disadvantages for many economic sectors. I will come back to that, but I must say first and foremost that we conducted a careful study to assess the benefits, the losses, the costs and the profits. I would like to point out that, unlike the Liberal Party, which gives the government a blank cheque by voting in favour of any free trade agreement without considering its contents, we think that we must do some serious work and determine whether it is truly advantageous for our businesses and the workers they employ. There are some very interesting things in South Korea's case.
    We believe that we should always ask ourselves three questions before signing a treaty. For the most part, the Conservatives have botched these negotiations, which are not always to our advantage. That is why we have opposed these agreements many times in the past. In some cases, it was because we came out on the losing end; in others, it was because we were signing agreements with governments that had abysmal human rights records. Sometimes, the governments were linked to crime or there were politically motivated murders of union activists. For example, we were very concerned about the Conservatives' free trade agreement with Honduras, which we refused to support.
    Question number one: Does the proposed partner respect democracy and human rights, and does it have adequate environmental and labour standards?
    Question number two: Is the economy of the proposed partner of significant or strategic value to Canada and our exporters? We are a nation of traders, therefore exporters, and we are trying to diversify our exports. Opening up a new market can be a very attractive prospect, but does it have a significant strategic value?
    As they say, the devil is in the details. The third question is the following: Are the terms of the proposed agreement satisfactory?
    According to the NDP's assessment, the trade agreement with South Korea is positive and satisfactory overall. Why?
    I have been involved with unions and the defence of public services. I believe that protecting our public services and procurement for various levels of government is vital when governments have to make purchases or provide services. In the proposed agreement with South Korea, there is absolutely nothing that affects procurement for various levels of government.

  (1330)  

    Our public services are not at all affected by any aspect of this trade agreement. It really affects only the private sector. That is very important to me and to the people I represent. The agreement proposed today does not pose any threat regarding the privatization of public services, but we have serious doubts about the proposed agreement with the European Union. We still have not been given any details or seen the text of the agreement.
    This is a fundamental value for me and for many progressives and social democrats. Some safeguards are in place in the private sector. Agricultural production, a supply managed industry, is not subject to this agreement. That is good news for most producers and farmers in Quebec and Canada, and we are very pleased about that.
    First, this agreement does not privatize anything or attack any public services, which is a good thing. Second, we are concerned about the dispute resolution mechanism as it now stands.
    Every trade agreement contains a dispute resolution mechanism for the two partners, in case a company deems that it has been treated unfairly with regard to its investments or its production capacity, for example.
    One of the mechanisms in this agreement is not what the NDP or the main opposition party in South Korea would have negotiated.
    It is clear that, next year, when the NDP takes office, we will sit down with our South Korean partners and review this dispute resolution mechanism to ensure that companies will not be able to take legal action against a government or a level of government over future loss of profit. This seems undemocratic to us and we are particularly concerned about it. We want to resolve this issue.
    We are able to live with this agreement as it stands because it contains a clause that allows us to terminate our relations or a dispute with six months' notice, unlike the trade agreement with China, which ties our hands and is binding for 31 years. This clause protects us and it protects our workers and businesses in Quebec and Canada.
    We can live with this, even if we are concerned about it and it seems undemocratic to us. We want to renegotiate with South Korea when we take office.
    Third, we are concerned about support for the automotive sector in this agreement. The agreement has some huge benefits for a number of economic sectors, including the forestry, aerospace and agriculture sectors, and I think we have everything to gain. This will enable us to increase our exports and sales to South Korea, the 15th biggest economy in the world, which has 50 million inhabitants with purchasing power similar to that of Quebeckers and Canadians. It is a very attractive market in which to sell our products.
    However, we also know that this country produces a huge number of automobiles. There are 100,000 good jobs in Canada—not in Quebec anymore—in the automotive sector, and we encourage the Conservative government to adopt measures that will support the jobs in Canada's automotive industry.
    We do not think that the existing 6% tariff really protected us from exports coming from South Korea, especially since they had plants in the United States, and later Mexico, so that 6% tariff did not exist.
    However, we are concerned about the potential increase in the number of South Korean cars coming into the country. We would like the government to be more proactive about protecting and defending the automotive industry to protect these good jobs.
    I remind members that this agreement will help our farmers and our aerospace companies, such as Bombardier, which is why the NDP will support it.

  (1335)  

[English]

Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the member, like his colleagues, continues to bring up the auto industry.
    I would remind the member that before he was a member of Parliament, this government introduced the first national auto strategy, a four-pillar auto strategy, in 2008, with former Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. This resulted in a significant number of investments in the Canadian auto industry, some of the most recent being in Ford in Oakville. These are good, high-paying jobs, as the member will well know.
    The auto strategy, particularly the auto innovation fund, focuses on two key elements. One is the types of vehicles, and the significant investments that will go with them, and technology that will meet very stringent fuel economy standards by 2025. The second is the requirement that companies bring green research and development to facilities. When we reopened the Essex Engine Plant in 2008, for example, Ford was required to build a major engine research facility there, which is employing Canadians for the next generation of jobs and platforms.
    We renewed the auto innovation fund in 2013. That member voted against it, and so did his colleagues. In 2014, we added $500 million to that fund, which he voted against.
    What further automotive support does the member plan to vote against?

  (1340)  

[Translation]

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. We believe that the government is not doing enough to support the automotive sector and that we should do even more to protect this sector, which is vital to many Canadian cities and municipalities.
    I also want to point out that we are playing catch-up here. It is all well and good to sign an agreement with South Korea, but we are about nine years late. The United States and the European Union have long had agreements with South Korea. This caused our exports to Korea in the aerospace sector, for example, to drop by 80%, from $180 million to just $35 million in 2012. The same goes in the agricultural sector. For example, Canada used to be the top exporter of pork to South Korea. Now, we are fourth.
    I think it is too bad that the government waited so long and that now we are forced to catch up to our American and European partners.
Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech. I will pick up where he left off and talk about the losses our economy suffered because of how long it took to negotiate a free trade agreement with South Korea.
    I am pleased that ridings such as mine will most certainly benefit from an increase in forestry exports; however, I cannot help but think that while we are considering sending wood to Korea—wood that may have been only minimally processed and turned into plywood or something similar—I bought a grand piano from Korea. That product has a much higher added value.
    I did not get an answer when I asked this question of my colleagues from the governing party. Does my colleague feel that the government is doing enough when it comes to research and development to ensure that the products we are exporting have significant added value?
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Trois-Rivières for his excellent question.
    No, and in fact the NDP has a very critical view of the government's current economic policy. It seems to be built on the idea that raw products and natural resources should be exported overseas as quickly as possible. Those exports will be processed abroad and then we will buy the final products. The other countries will benefit from the added value. Instead, we should have a solid industrial and manufacturing policy here in Canada. We have lost 400,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry over the past 10 years. That is completely unacceptable. Those were good, high-paying jobs.
    An economy cannot be based solely on the mass export of raw natural resources. We need to be able to process those resources ourselves so that we can sell finished, processed products, such as pianos, to the world. There is value in that, and Canadians could put their expertise to good use.

[English]

Mr. Blake Richards (Wild Rose, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is pleasure to rise on this debate today.
    Our Conservative government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of our country. That is why our government launched the most ambitious pro-trade plan in Canadian history. We are pursuing deeper trade and investment ties with many of the largest, most dynamic, and fastest-growing markets in the world. We are doing so to enhance Canada's competitive edge in a fiercely competitive global economy.
    To this end, our government has developed the global markets action plan, GMAP, Canada's blueprint for creating jobs and opportunities at home and abroad through trade and investment, the twin engines of economic growth. Under the GMAP, our government will concentrate efforts on markets that hold the greatest opportunities for Canadian businesses.
    In support of this, our government stands ready to harness Canada's diplomatic assets in the pursuit of commercial success by Canadian companies abroad, particularly by small and medium-sized enterprises. In fact, the GMAP establishes ambitious yet achievable targets over the next five years to expand the export footprint of the Canadian small and medium enterprise community.
    Throughout the GMAP consultation process, it was clear that the Asia-Pacific region is a crucially important one to Canadian companies. It is home to the high-growth markets of the future. As Asia continues to prosper, the implications for Canada are profound in both the short and the long term. Trade has long been a very powerful engine for Canada's economy, and it is even more so in what remains a challenging time for the global economy.
     It is shameful to note that during 13 long years in power, the Liberals completely neglected trade. They completed only three free trade agreements. The Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game of trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets. In fact, the last time the Liberals tried to talk seriously about trade, they were campaigning to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    It was also very disappointing to see this past summer the NDP trade critic protesting alongside well-known radical anti-trade activists, like the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, at an anti-trade protest. Fortunately for Canadians, they can count on this Conservative government to get the job done.
    With the conclusion of negotiations for the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, our government has taken a meaningful and concrete step toward ensuring that Canadian companies have increased access to the Asia-Pacific region. South Korea has been designated a GMAP priority market. In addition to being the fourth largest economy in Asia, boasting a robust, export-oriented $1.3 trillion economy, South Korea is also a key gateway to the wider Asia-Pacific region that offers strategic access to regional and global value chains.
    With a population of 50 million and a per capita GDP of more than $25,000, which is one of the highest in Asia, South Korea is one of Asia's most lucrative, dynamic, and advanced markets. It is home to many large global businesses, including household names like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG. I am sure almost every member in the House would be able to say they have products from some of those companies in their homes and offices, and I am sure most Canadian households would be able to say the same.
    The priority sectors identified under the GMAP as holding promising opportunities for Canadian companies in the South Korean market include, but are not limited to, areas like agriculture, education, oil and gas, mining, information and communications technology, and sustainable technologies.
    I will now touch on just a few of these priority sectors and emphasize how the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would transform these opportunities into engines of growth for Canadian companies and for the Canadian economy as a whole.

  (1345)  

    South Korea imported over 29 billion dollars' worth of agrifood and seafood products in 2013. Canadian exports to South Korea of those goods were nearly $416 million last year, representing less than 2% of the market share. This marks more than a 60% decline in Canadian agrifood and seafood exports over the proceeding two years. A key reason for this is the preferential access that our competitors have enjoyed since their free trade agreements with South Korea came into effect. Most notable are the Korea-EU and Korea-U.S. free trade agreements, which came into effect in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
    South Korea's growing per capita income and demand for high-quality food present considerable potential for our Canadian products. Export growth in agrifood and fish and seafood products depend on the full implementation of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. Only this would ensure that Canadian producers are on a level playing field with major competitors in the South Korean market.
    Based on 2011 to 2013 average trade values, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would eliminate tariffs on around 70% of agricultural imports from Canada into South Korea within five years, and about 97% of agricultural imports within 15 years. This includes all key Canadian products of interest. This duty-free access would give Canadian agricultural products, including beef, pork, canola and grains, the preferential access to the South Korean market that they need.
    South Korea was Canada's eighth largest market for all goods exported in 2013. Even so, Canada is not ranked as one of South Korea's top 10 suppliers of mineral resources. Obviously, what that tells us is that there are significant opportunities for growth for Canada in this sector.
    The Canada-Korea free trade agreement would significantly improve market access opportunities for Canada's metals and minerals sector by eliminating tariffs on all Canadian metal and mineral exports. This includes aluminum, iron, steel, nickel, non-ferrous metals, precious gems and metals, and other mineral products. Upon the agreement's entry into force, over 98% of South Korea's current metals and minerals imports from Canada, which currently face duties of up to 8%, would be duty free, and all remaining tariffs would be eliminated within five years.
    If I may, I will move on to another sector that would benefit from the Canada-Korea free trade agreement and boost the ability of Canadian firms to expand their access into the South Korean market and beyond. That is the information and communications technology sector. South Korea is a major manufacturer of ICT products. Significant opportunities exist for Canadian ICT companies to partner with major South Korean companies, many of which are global leaders, and to leverage their global value chains.
    In addition, South Korea is home to a large consumer base with a high propensity for adoption of new ICT technologies, particularly in telecoms, game development and entertainment. These are areas in which Canadian companies have significant expertise. The fast growth of 4G mobile services in South Korea also presents opportunities to be involved in the development of new wireless technologies and network services. South Korea has a high smartphone penetration ratio of 73% of its population, which is the highest in the world. That provides a great market base for Canadian game developers and digital entertainment producers.
    The Canada-Korea free trade agreement would significantly improve market access opportunities for Canada's ICT sector by eliminating tariffs on all Canadian exports. Products such as cameras, transmission apparatus, and electrical conductors, which have current duties of up to 13%, would enter the South Korean market duty free upon entry into force of this agreement.
    Without question, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would level the playing field for Canadian companies and enhance their ability to tap into lucrative global value chains, boosting their global competitiveness, profitability and long-term sustainability. Going forward, our government will continue to work closely with industry stakeholders to keep the GMAP attuned to global trends and to align it with our government's priorities.
    Working together, we will build on our past successes to ensure a prosperous Canada that remains a champion of global trade and investment. On that note, I urge all members of Parliament to join me in supporting the implementation of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, which would create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every single region of this country.

  (1350)  

[Translation]

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I took note of my distinguished colleague's strong desire to support international trade agreements. However, the NDP does not support agreements willy-nilly. It imposes conditions.
    First, the NDP requires the partner to be a responsible democracy when it comes to social, environmental and labour issues. Second, the partner's economy must be of strategic value. We sometimes want to trade in situations where we are not in competition. We do not want to allow someone to import containers of cocaine, for example. Third, the terms of the agreement must be satisfactory. We support the agreement with Korea because it meets those three criteria.
    Does my esteemed colleague not think that those three criteria should apply to all the trade agreements that Canada negotiates?

  (1355)  

[English]

Mr. Blake Richards:  
    Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the question from the hon. member. It was almost as if he did not get the memo. He has such a reflex to oppose free trade agreements, because his party always opposes them, it almost sounded like he was going to indicate that New Democrats were opposing this one as well, until he realized that he had to go against his reflexes and that they are actually supporting this one.
    Having said that, there were all kinds of reasons why they would not support free trade agreements. That is a typical NDP position, to not support free trade agreements. As a government, we know how important free trade is for our economy and how important it is for prosperity and growth of jobs in this country. It is something that we will continue to move forward on.
     I certainly hope he was not suggesting that this agreement with South Korea is not one that he indicated the criteria of having important trade value. Certainly the Asia-Pacific market is a very important lucrative market for Canada and one that we are very proud to be entering into. I certainly hope that the member, despite his reflex to oppose all trade agreements, will vote in support of this agreement.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I believe the Liberal Party has been very consistent over the decades in terms of supporting the idea of world trade. Where it is possible for us to enter into free trade agreements, we encourage and support that in principle. Canadians need to be very much aware that ever since the Conservative government came to power there has been a graph that is fairly alarming. That is the surplus versus deficit of trade in Canada.
    Ever since the Conservatives have been in government, we have seen a sharp decrease from when they took office and there was a multibillion-dollar trade surplus. Today we have a multibillion-dollar trade deficit. Even though the Conservatives like to crow about agreements, some of which, including this one, were initiated by Paul Martin, the former prime minister of Canada, why have Conservatives done such a poor job on the overall trade balance file? That equates to tens of thousands of jobs. Why such a poor performance on international trade?
Mr. Blake Richards:  
    Mr. Speaker, I really had to struggle to suppress my laughter when I heard the hon. member talk about the Liberal Party being consistent on anything. That is certainly not something that is a hallmark of the Liberal Party, to be consistent in its position on anything.
    Having said that, I would put forward the following facts to the Canadian public and let them judge for themselves. During the Liberals' 13 long years in office, the Liberal Party signed three free trade agreements. Our government has seen that expand to 43 trade agreements. Which one sounds like they are getting the job done? I would suggest it is our Conservative government.
Hon. Michelle Rempel (Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am expanding on my colleague's last comment. Part of what has happened in the last decade and certainly in the last decade and a half is that we have seen extreme growth in the Asian market. Canada needs to secure entry into that supply chain to ensure that the delta between our products going into that market versus those coming from the United States or the U.K., where there are already free trade agreements in place, does not continue to widen.
    I would like to give my colleague an opportunity, as a minister for a western economic portfolio, to talk specifically about the impact of this particular agreement on western Canada given the implications for the agricultural sector, as well as perhaps the Liberals' lack of knowledge on global economic dynamics, which have changed since their protectionist stance during their rule.
Mr. Blake Richards:  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that opportunity because she is absolutely right. The Asia-Pacific region is such a vitally important potential market for us and a growing area of the global economy.
     When I look at the time since the Korea-EU free trade agreement and the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, which came into force in 2011 and 2012 respectively, certainly we have seen a decline in terms of our share of the market share in agrifood exports. Obviously, that means there is a lot of opportunity for us with the implementation of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement.
    This is something the Liberal member who asked the previous question indicated was done under Paul Martin. We can speak about the famous words of one former Liberal leader to another of its former leaders, that they did not get the job done. Well, they did not get the job done. This Conservative government did get the job done and we are now going to have access to the Korean market.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

National Seniors Day

Mr. Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, October 1 marks National Seniors Day, and my riding of Etobicoke Centre is the home for 40,000 seniors, which ranks eighth in the population of seniors in Canada.
    I think we all agree that our seniors are the generation we commonly refer to as the “greatest generation”, who served our nation and established the principles we value today. We are still guided by the principles of freedom, democracy, and opportunity that this generation fought for and defended for us all. This is a debt we can never adequately repay.
    We must all ensure that our seniors live with dignity and with honour. We must ensure that those living with diminished capacities are treated with the respect, care, love, and security they deserve, in the way they treated us until we were prepared to take the torch from their hands.
    The totalitarian threats that our greatest generation fought against are once again threatening Canada and the world, and we, as a democracy, must address them.
    We owe it to our seniors to keep our democracy strong and our nation vibrant, so that our seniors can live in the peace that they earned and that we will one day pass on to the following generation.
    I stand in this House to honour our seniors today and to thank them for all they have done for us. Their legacy is our great nation of Canada.

Cuddles for Cancer

Mr. Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, Cons. Ind.):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to share with members the story of a remarkable grade 7 student from the Peterborough riding.
    Two years ago, Faith Dickinson decided she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. She thought everyone deserved to feel warmth, comfort, and love, especially those battling cancer.
    At only nine years old, Faith started her own non-profit organization, called Cuddles for Cancer. Since then, she has remarkably raised more than $15,000 and delivered more than 700 cuddles blankets to cancer patients across Canada and beyond.
    Faith has also been named an outstanding Ontario junior citizen and received the Peterborough County Award of Recognition, as well as being selected as one of Build-A-Bear's global finalists making a positive impact on their community and the world.
    This is a young woman who is enacting change in helping others. Now she is challenging all of us to do the same. The compassion and ambition Faith demonstrates is something to be admired.
    Later this week, in Peterborough, I will be joining Faith to announce her challenge formally and to discuss ways we can all get involved.
    Let us all join with Faith in making a difference in the lives of others.

[Translation]

Lac-Beauport Corrid'Art

Ms. Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment today to recognize the opening of the new arts walking trail in Lac-Beauport, in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, on August 21.
    The Corrid'Art, located in Gentiane park, is in fact an open-air exhibition where visitors can explore the works of 17 artists from the region. It is designed to be a permanent artistic attraction along the tourist route in the region and a great opportunity for showcasing our local talent.
    The Corrid'Art is a one-of-a-kind, enriching exhibition, and I invite everyone to take the time to explore it. The project was successfully completed by the Lac-Beauport arts guild, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
    I would like to acknowledge all the hard work of Sylvie Langevin, the president of the guild, and of many local artists, volunteers and supporters who selflessly helped create this arts walking trail.
    Through your passion and commitment, each and every one of you contribute to the cultural vitality of the riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier and especially to bringing artists and residents together, and I thank you for it.

[English]

Royal Canadian Legion Presentations

Mr. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I had the honour of attending two special presentations on the weekend at Branch 178 of the Royal Canadian Legion, a branch to which I have belonged for the last decade.
    First, I joined the Consul General for France and the French Defence Attaché in presenting the prestigious Legion d'honneur medal to Fred Brown.
    Fred is a signalman veteran from World War II who was wounded in France and then liberated France and the Netherlands, and for his service, he was presented with this honour.
    He remains, in his eighties, a proud member of the colour guard at our Legion, and I was privileged to join his family and friends that day.
    We also presented John Greenfield with the Palm Leaf for his Meritorious Service Medal from the Legion.
    John has been our veteran service officer at the branch for 15 years. In that time, he has helped 500 veterans, or their spouses, access benefits.
    Our veteran service officers at the Legion remain the front line for our veterans, and I thank them for their service.
    A Bravo Zulu to Fred and John from our branch in Bowmanville. Both their country and their city are proud of them.

  (1405)  

Jim Deva

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the untimely passing of Jim Deva leaves a large void in Vancouver's LGBTTQ community. Jim was an activist and a fighter. He never gave ground on principles concerning equality and social justice. He was an instrument of change that impacted everyone across the nation.
    It was Jim who educated me about the blatant discriminatory treatment by Canadian customs against LGBT bookstores. He was going to take the federal government to court if he had to. He did, and he never backed down. The story of Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada has become a legend.
    Jim was at every LGBT protest, march, or demonstration, leading, supporting, and bringing his unflagging belief that the goal of equality was worth the fight.
    Jim's life was cut short too soon. My condolences go to Bruce, Janine, and all of Jim's family.
    Jim will be missed. There are still windmills to tilt at and causes to fight for, like transgender rights, but wherever the fight for justice rages, his spirit will be there, urging us on, and his name will be on our lips.

Arthur Dunphy

Mrs. Tilly O'Neill Gordon (Miramichi, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the men and women in the armed forces are all heroes, but I would like to draw attention to an individual from my riding of Miramichi, Mr. Arthur Dunphy.
    Arthur was born in 1916 and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940. Flying the Halifax bomber into hostile areas, he and his crew were responsible for the delivery of personnel and supplies to the underground movement to help disrupt the enemies. During his tours, Arthur took part in 85 of these missions.
    After the war, Arthur was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his acts of valour and courage.
     To maintain his love of flying, he went on to buy a small plane and built the Dunphy Airstrip in his community of Blackville. Arthur loved to fly, and did so right up until the age of 61.
    Arthur Dunphy passed away on September 6 of this year. He lived a life of which his family and his country can be proud. He was a community-minded individual and will long be remembered.

Mural Routes

Mr. Dan Harris (Scarborough Southwest, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, for 20 years, Mural Routes has been using the power of art to beautify our community and capture our rich local history for all to enjoy. Mural Routes' 20th anniversary has also been one of its busiest, with 4 marquee murals.
    First is the Cultural Hotspots Gateway mural, creekside in east end Scarborough, a fantastic representation of Highland Creek.
    Second, working with local historians Barbara Dickson, Rick Schofield, and John Everest, the Scarborough Junction includes the women at GECO, our munitions plant that played a vital role in Canada's war effort, producing more than 250 million munitions. GECO holds a special place in my heart as both my grandmother and great-grandmother worked there during the war. Think of Bomb Girls.
    At the merge of Kingston and Danforth, a fantastic waterfront mural of life at the water's edge is still being completed today.
    Last is Birches and Bluffs, painted on my constituency office at 1674 Kingston Road.
    I congratulate Mural Routes for making it to 20. I am proud to support its work. I thank Karin Eaton, Tara Dorey, and all the others involved in Mural Routes for all they do to keep Scarborough beautiful and keep our history alive.

Human Rights

Ms. Eve Adams (Mississauga—Brampton South, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian people are honoured to set the international standard for human rights during times of complex emergencies around the globe.
    Twenty-four years ago today, the Dalai Lama unveiled Canada's human rights monument, located here in Ottawa. The human rights monument is a testament to Canada's proactive involvement in protecting and promoting human rights around the world.
    Whether we are punching above our weight in two world wars, peacekeeping in Cyprus, or managing conflicts in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, or the countless other places around the globe, Canada has shown time and again that we will not stand idly by in times of international peril.
    Canadians will not tolerate the rights of men and women being conveniently interpreted or dismissed wholesale because of the colour of their skin or the faith they practise.
    We showed international leadership when it came to apartheid in South Africa. We continue to set the international gold standard.

  (1410)  

Youth Mental Health

Mr. Mark Adler (York Centre, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow parliamentarians will join with the Canadian Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and the National Initiative for Eating Disorders here on Parliament Hill to discuss youth mental health.
    Today, an estimated 1.2 million Canadian youth are affected by mental illness. Two-thirds of adults living with a mental health problem report that symptoms first appeared during their youth. Therefore, establishing the foundation for healthy emotional development early on is vital to ensuring the mental well-being of all Canadians.
    Youth with mental illness can experience an array of challenges, from family difficulties, academic issues, and financial problems, to an eating disorder, to increased risk for physical illness and shorter life expectancy. The key to prevention in many of these cases is early intervention.
    Empowering youth, educators, and health professionals with a better understanding of mental health can help alleviate the impact of some of these disorders. Programs that provide youth and their families with the much-needed opportunity to discuss and address issues before they become a problem can go a long way to ensure healthy development.
    Tomorrow's meeting will be a key step in this direction.

Orange Shirt Day

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, today is Orange Shirt Day, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well-being.
    It is also intended as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters, particularly children.
    Phyllis Webstad went to St. Joseph Mission residential school for one year in 1973 when she was only six years old. Her loving grandmother bought her a new outfit, including a shiny orange shirt that Phyllis picked out for her first day of school.
    When Phyllis arrived at the residential school, she was stripped of her clothing and never saw that shirt again. In Phyllis' own words:
    I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! The colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.
    Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to talk about the effect of residential schools, about bullying and racism. However, it is not intended just as a look back. Survivors want us all to look forward and use this day as an opportunity to create bridges to reconciliation.
    It is a small action to put on a shirt. The bigger one is to consider how we as a country full of diverse peoples can come together to create a better tomorrow for all children.

Liberal Party of Canada

Mr. Terence Young (Oakville, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, in Ontario, people who want to become municipal candidates must avoid conflicts of interest by resigning their seats in provincial or federal parliament, which serves this Parliament well. However, no law currently prevents opportunistic municipal councillors from running both municipally and for a federal nomination at the same time.
    The Liberal leader has approved this loophole by allowing Oakville councillor Max Khan to stand as a Liberal candidate in next year's federal election for Oakville North—Burlington while he is running to be re-elected on October 27. It is a clear sign that they all know he cannot win the riding federally.
    However, Max Khan did the same thing in the last federal election, and the conflict became blatant when Liberal supporter Mayor Rob Burton cancelled three weeks of council meetings during the campaign to allow Mr. Khan to campaign full time and to avoid a contentious issue of taxi licences, which might have cost him federal votes. Now it is déjà vu all over again in Oakville.
    Will the Liberal leader put Parliament first and insist that Liberal candidates choose which level of government they are really running for?

[Translation]

Centraide Outaouais

Ms. Nycole Turmel (Hull—Aylmer, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, I attended the launch of Centraide Outaouais's annual campaign. The goal is to raise $5,224,000 to support 68 Outaouais organizations. Over the past 70 years, Centraide has been on the ground and has distributed over $115 million in our community.
    Unfortunately, things have gotten harder in the last few years. Because of the Conservatives' irresponsible cuts, hundreds of Outaouais families are now too poor to donate. Instead, they are asking for help. That is why the organization had to lower its campaign goal despite the desperate need of community organizations.
    My New Democratic colleagues in the Outaouais have joined me in encouraging people to give to Centraide Outaouais. We hope that it will beat its target. I would like to wish Centraide a happy 70th anniversary and thank the organization for its involvement, which makes our community better.

  (1415)  

Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Robert Goguen (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader seems to be in favour of letting terrorists travel abroad to commit horrible acts.
    When asked his opinion about revoking or refusing passports for terrorists, he said that the believed the Criminal Code was the best tool for fighting terrorism.
    He is not brave enough to take passports away from ISIL terrorists in order to prevent them from travelling abroad to decapitate journalists and murder innocents.
    On this side of the House, we believe that individuals who plan to go abroad to commit heinous crimes against innocent people should no longer have a Canadian passport.

Ulrick Chérubin

Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg (Bourassa, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Ulrick Chérubin, the mayor of Amos, who passed away last Thursday at age 70.
    He came to Canada from Haiti, his birthplace, in 1970. Three years later he moved to Amos, where he taught several generations of its residents.
    He switched to politics in 1994 and became a municipal councillor. Unopposed, he was re-elected in 2002. He then ran for mayor and served in that role until his death. Mr. Chérubin's journey is a perfect example of integration.
    On behalf of the Liberal Party, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Immacula, his son and all his loved ones.
    [Member spoke in Creole as follows:] Ulrick, si jodia mwen en politique, sé parce que ou trasé chemin pou tout kompatriot.
    Thank you and bravo, Ulrick Chérubin, for your outstanding contribution and your dedicated service to society.

[English]

Hong Kong

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is home to a large population of Canadians who were born in Hong Kong. I am proud to represent many in my riding of Thornhill and share their concerns regarding recent developments in Hong Kong.
    Over the past several weeks, peaceful demonstrators have expressed their anxiety about the uncertain future of the one-country-two-systems policy. This past weekend, tensions in Hong Kong peaked, with police cracking down on these protesters.
    Yesterday, our Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that “Aspirations of people of Hong Kong are clear. Canada supports continued freedom of speech and prosperity under the rule of law”.
    I know my constituents are grateful for Canada's consistent support of the basic law
    I am proud to stand with the people of Hong Kong, and I am proud that Canada continues to be a principled global actor that promotes our values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Question Period

Ms. Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, no sooner had the face palms ended and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister finished his apologies than up popped the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to retract the apology.
    The member argued that irrelevance is the cornerstone of the government's approach, but let us be clear: rules already exist governing the content of questions.
    You, Mr. Speaker, have yourself ruled a number of opposition questions out of order, but the government House leader does not believe that those rules should apply to ministers. He seems to believe that making Conservatives talk about apples when asked about apples is the first step towards a democratic apocalypse.
    Canadians disagree. Even members of the Conservative caucus disagree, and I know members across the way are embarrassed by what has been happening, so let us take a step in the right direction today. Let us show Canadians we are capable of improving accountability and of taking juvenile, irrelevant antics out of question period once and for all.

Ken James

Mrs. Patricia Davidson (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is with regret that I stand today to honour former parliamentarian Ken James, who represented Sarnia—Lambton in this place from 1984 until 1993.
     Mr. James served with both honour and integrity. From his beginnings on Sarnia Township Council in the 1960s to the near-decade spent as Sarnia—Lambton MP to his later roles in private business and his two terms as chair of the Blue Water Bridge in Point Edward, Ken met every role he faced with enthusiasm.
     His decades of representation across various public roles made him very well known to his home community and surrounding region.
     On behalf of all members, we send our sympathies to Mary Ellen and family. Ken James served Canada in such a manner that they can be extremely proud of his accomplishments. His country and community are better places because of his efforts. Ken will always be remembered for his dedication and valour.
    Goodbye, friend.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1420)  

[English]

Health

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, we are now six months into the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Can the Prime Minister update the House on what actions Canada is taking in response to this crisis? Will the Prime Minister consider sending DART?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, on this very issue. As members know, the Minister of International Development announced additional resources for this particular problem that we are seized with in consultation with the WHO, with our allies, and with the local governments in West Africa.
    My understanding is the DART's capabilities are not appropriate to this particular mission, but we are looking at any way that we can assist.

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister tell us whether he has informed cabinet of his plans to engage in Iraq?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, the government has already announced assistance for the Iraqi government in its efforts to counter the Islamic State. Obviously, our allies are doing more and more to counter the Islamic State, a terrorist caliphate that poses a major threat not only to the region, but also to us here in Canada.
    The government is examining its next steps. As I have said many times, the government's practice is clear: if there is to be a combat mission, there will be a debate and a vote here in the House of Commons.

[English]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister also considering airstrikes in Syria?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am not going to speculate on decisions that have not yet been taken. The government has been clear that we are strongly supportive of the actions undertaken at the initiative of President Obama and our ally to deal with the threat presented by ISIL, not just in the region but as the broader threat that this terrorist caliphate represents to all of us, including the security of this country.
    We are carefully considering what options are at our disposal to be helpful. We look for ways to contribute. If there is a combat mission of any kind, including an air combat mission, there will be a debate and a vote in this House.
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, when will the Prime Minister table his Iraq plans in the House for study, a full debate, and a vote?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as I just finished saying, the government's practice has been long-standing. If we are planning any kind of a combat mission, including an aerial combat mission, there will of course be a debate and a vote in this House. The government will do that when it actually takes that decision, which it has not done. However, we will make a final decision on that within the next few days.

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, before the Prime Minister considers extending the mission, will he report on the activities of Canadian military personnel during the first 30 days and also report on the outcomes of their contribution, if any?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, nobody should doubt the contribution of our military personnel in Iraq. They are there at the request of the government of Iraq and especially the minorities that were threatened with genocide.
    We are very proud to have people who are ready to serve our country and humanity in this way.

[English]

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister first talked about a Canadian combat role in Iraq while in New York. It is time for him to provide Canadians with answers.
    Precisely what military support has the Prime Minister offered Americans? What is the Canadian objective in our current 30-day mission, and how have we reached that objective?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as members know, the government has already indicated that we have sent some assistance to the Government of Iraq in concert with our allies some weeks ago. As our allies undertake a range of actions, we are contemplating next steps on how we can best be helpful.
    Let me be very clear. I believe that the mission undertaken by our allies—not just western allies, but a range of allies in the international community—are necessary actions and noble actions. When we think something is necessary and noble, we do not sit back and say only other people should do it. The Canadian way is to do our part.

  (1425)  

[Translation]

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should be open and transparent about such an important and dangerous mission. It is high time Canadians got answers to their questions.
    What was the objective of the first 30 days of the mission? What was accomplished? Did the United States specifically request deployment of CF-18s? How many did they ask for?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, we deployed forces to northern Iraq to help minorities withstand genocide. We have halted the advance of the Islamic State, and that is very significant.

[English]

    Let me just repeat that. The people in northern Iraq are facing an act of genocide from the forces of the Islamic State. That is why allies, including Canada, responded. We have gone there to assist the Peshmerga in that fight. They have halted the advance of ISIL in that part of the country.
    This is very important work, and we should all be thankful for the Canadian Forces and our allies for doing this.
Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has given Canadians very little reason to believe that his government is being open and honest with them about this very serious matter. He has, in fact, given every reason to believe the contrary.
    Right here in the House of Commons, will the Prime Minister present his case for going to war and his plan for fighting it?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the government's position on these matters since we came to office is unprecedented and has also been clear. Whenever we enter a mission that involves combat, including aerial combat, we present it to the House of Commons for a debate and for a vote. We are proud of that record. We are very proud of the actions undertaken by the Canadian Forces.
    This has a broad range of support from the international community, including not just Conservatives but Liberals and social democrats the world over, and I think we should put partisanship aside in this chamber as well.
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, how long does the Prime Minister expect the war in Iraq to last?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is really the power of the Prime Minister of Canada to determine how long international events will take place or not take place.
    The establishment, as I have said repeatedly before, of an Islamic caliphate that is beheading children, selling women as slaves, committing acts of genocide against minorities and captured POWs, and planning security attacks on this country is not acceptable, and the government will act. We will act with our allies to make sure those capacities are degraded in a way that they will not continue to be a threat to this country.

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister really believes that Canada is in immediate danger, why is he sending only a handful of aircraft and a few dozen soldiers to provide advice? Why is he not sending more personnel if he truly believes what he is saying in the House today?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the opposition leader is basically saying that the government is taking too long to act, that it is not doing enough. The NDP's position changes from one question to the next.

[English]

    The government is carefully considering its actions, obviously including the ability we have before us and our capacities to contribute. We will carefully consider these things. If they require a vote in Parliament, we will do that, but we will make sure we carefully undertake our actions and take the actions that are in the best interests of the Canadian people and in accord with our international responsibilities.

  (1430)  

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a right to know how long this commitment will last. Let us be even clearer: the original mission was supposed to last 30 days. The Prime Minister is considering expanding Canada's commitment, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs is now talking about a long-term commitment.
    How long will Canadian soldiers be deployed in Iraq? The Americans were there for more than 10 years. Canada sent 40,000 soldiers to Afghanistan over a period of 11 years. How long will the Prime Minister's war in Iraq last?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct that statement. This action was initiated by President Obama and our allies.

[English]

    This is an action undertaken at the initiative of President Obama involving not just their allies but a broad consensus of the international community. It is a very serious matter. We cannot go out and start throwing around timelines that we are not aware of. We simply have to examine what is in front of us and what we can do. We will come to the House of Commons with a proposal on that matter, and I look forward to a debate and vote on that.
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, how is victory to be defined in Iraq?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Once again, Mr. Speaker, let me just lay out how we see the situation. I think it is widely understood. We have at the present time the establishment of a quasi-state, an Islamic caliphate, stretching from Aleppo almost to Baghdad, up until very recently operating entirely in the open, planning attacks, not just genocide against large populations in the region but planning attacks against this country.
    We will work with our allies on a counterterrorism operation to get us to the point where this organization does not have the capacity to launch those kinds of attacks against us.
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, what is the government's exit strategy in Iraq?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, obviously the government could terminate present deployments at any moment. We obviously have not done that. We are looking at next steps. We will obviously look carefully at steps that we believe would not leave us there in a quagmire for years. That is something all governments are going to avoid.

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, how long has the Prime Minister been considering air strikes in Iraq? How long?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the government has made no such decision. However, as we have clearly said since we first came to power, any such decision will be brought before the House for a debate and a vote.

[English]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, were air strikes included in the letter that the Prime Minister says he received from the United States last week?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the United States and our other allies have taken a range of actions in Iraq and Syria. It is well known what all of those are. Obviously, they are seeking our assistance wherever we could be helpful, and we are obviously examining what options are most appropriate for this country.
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians first learned about this letter from an interview that the Prime Minister did with The Wall Street Journal last week. Is the Prime Minister going to make that letter public, yes or no?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the government will make public its own decisions. Ultimately, while we act with our American and other allies, this country is responsible for its own decisions, its own actions, and those are the things we will put to this Parliament to debate.

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, what are the rules of engagement for the Canadian soldiers currently in Iraq?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the rules are very clear. They are there to advise and assist Iraqi forces in the northern part of the country.

  (1435)  

Infrastructure

Mr. Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, to everyone's surprise, the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs announced that he was considering setting up tolls on a number of bridges to the Island of Montreal. True to form, he did not consult Quebec's transport minister or any of the mayors of the cities that would be affected by this news.
    Does the minister understand that consultation is a good idea and that it is always better to share the results of studies than to keep them secret?
Hon. Denis Lebel (Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, obviously our priority is to build the new bridge over the St. Lawrence, as we said. We will deliver a new bridge in 2018. We said there would be a toll on the bridge.
    Enough with the speculation and theories. We always said that we would be transparent, and that is what we will do. The tendering process is under way, and three consortiums will submit a proposal to build the new bridge. It did not take our government 13 years to do this. We are getting the new bridge built.

[English]

The Economy

Ms. Chrystia Freeland (Toronto Centre, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, this morning Stats Can delivered some bad news for Canadians. Economic growth was zero in July. Our stalled economy means we do not have enough good jobs. Canada lost a staggering 112,000 private sector jobs in August.
    According to the OECD, Canada ranks a dismal 16th out of 34 when it comes to employment. Even the Minister of Finance admits this is not good enough, at least when he is out of the country. He confessed in New York today that “We'd like to grow faster”, so where is his plan for growth?
Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Minister of State (Finance), CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters to Canadians. That is jobs and economic growth.
    The report she has referenced also reminds us that our economy has seen six consecutive months of growth, but we know that the global recovery and the global economy remain fragile. That is why we must stay the course. Our low-tax plan for jobs and growth is working.
    The report also showed that manufacturing showed strength and growth in the last month as well.
Mr. Arnold Chan (Scarborough—Agincourt, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the government remains out of touch with the needs of middle-class Canadians. In Ontario, families are struggling to make ends meet, and even the government's so-called favourite economist, the Prime Minister, says that employment has flattened recently.
    As I stated yesterday, the minister of state for economic development has only spent $79,000 out of his $177-million budget to stimulate Ontario's economy. When will the minister acknowledge his inaction plan and do something? If not, will the Prime Minister replace him?
Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Minister of State (Finance), CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, again, Stats Can has confirmed that families are better off under the Conservative government than under all previous Liberal governments. Median net worth for Canadians has increased by 45% since we took office. Canadian families in all income groups have seen increases of about 10% in their take-home pay. The lowest income families have seen an increase of 14%.
    Despite the Liberal leader's on-the-fly promise to reverse our tax cuts, the government will continue to keep taxes low for Canadians.

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the rules of engagement are to advise and assist the Iraqis, but the question is: assist them how? For instance, are Canadian soldiers currently going on patrols with Iraqis or Kurds?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I said: advise and assist the Iraqis.

[English]

    If I could just use the terminology in English, it is quite precise. It is to advise and to assist. It is not to accompany. I think that was laid out before the parliamentary committee.

[Translation]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, are they going into combat zones?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I just said that Canadian soldiers are not accompanying the Iraqi forces into combat.

[English]

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, have Canadian Forces assisted in targeting ISIS troops?
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, once again, as I have said, the purpose of Canadian Forces in Iraq is to assist and to advise the Iraqi forces as they have been resisting, particularly in the north, a force bent on the genocide of the people who live there. These are the actions they are undertaking. While there is some risk, there is not a direct combat role.
    I say once again, we are very proud of people who do this work on our behalf and keep all of us, not just in that part of the world but all of us here in Canada, safe.

  (1440)  

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, is targeting or coordinating attacks by others a combat role? Yes or no.
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as you can understand, I neither have the will nor the desire to get into detailed discussions of military operations here.
    As I have said repeatedly, the Canadian Forces involved in Iraq are not involved in combat. They are there to assist Iraqi and Peshmerga forces who are undertaking combat against a brutal enemy that is intent on their slaughter. We will go there and we will assist them and make sure we stop that kind of problem there and not at our own shores.

Regional Economic Development

Mr. Robert Sopuck (Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, recently the RCMP announced that it had decided to discontinue its use of the iconic muskrat hat. This unilateral move by the RCMP has outraged the fur industry, rural and remote communities, and thousands of trappers.
    The fur trade is vital to the economy of many remote rural communities, communities that often have few other economic options.
    Radical animal rights activists have as their goal the complete elimination of the fur trade. Will the Minister of the Environment tell the House what the government intends to do about this egregious anti-fur decision by the RCMP?
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, for the question.
    I would like to assure Canadians that the Minister of Public Safety has taken actions to ensure that the historic fur winter hats worn by the RCMP will not be discontinued, despite the efforts of radical animal rights activists. The RCMP decision, which is causing much glee among anti-fur activists, is being fully overturned.
    Our government will always stand up for Canada's hunters and trappers.

[Translation]

Employment

Mrs. Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Social Development has a problem with numbers, and not just the ones he gets off Kijiji. He is unable to get the facts straight when looking at a list of companies that employ temporary foreign workers. For example, according to the government, Sharico Holdings has 750 temporary foreign workers, when, in reality—surprise, surprise—it has only one.
    How can the minister convince us that he has fixed the temporary foreign worker program when he used bad data to make his decisions?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the data in question were provided by the employers. Our fundamental reforms have led to a significant reduction in applications for temporary foreign workers. In fact, employers' labour market opinion applications have dropped by 75%. We are ensuring that Canadians come first in the labour market and that this program is used as a last resort. That is what we have done.

[English]

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims (Newton—North Delta, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, we need an independent review. Clearly the government cannot get the job done.
    The minister keeps blaming the companies for providing false information, but it was his department that was supposed to be doing the verifying. Now he says that all information will be checked for accuracy, but only one in four employers will be inspected for compliance, and not all inspections will include a site visit.
    How does the minister call it due diligence, when inspections are limited to shuffling paperwork?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as part of our reforms designed to ensure that Canadians come first, to combat abuse of the program, and to ensure that it is does not distort Canada's labour market, we are quadrupling the number of investigators. We have expanded their powers. They can do searches at workplaces using this program. We are about to adopt regulations to make more stringent the administrative monetary penalties.
    We are taking real action to ensure that Canadians come first in our labour market.

  (1445)  

National Defence

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, Master Warrant Officer Dodsworth was denied compensation under the home equity assistance program. His family lost $72,000. Neil Dodsworth spent 33 years serving our country, including in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Haiti.
     The home equity assistance program is meant to protect Canadian Forces members from financial losses when required to relocate. CAF members should not have to hire lawyers to fight for compensation. Why are our soldiers denied this funding, and why has the government not fixed this problem?
Mr. Dan Albas (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, since this matter is before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment on this case.
Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time this has happened. The government knows about this problem and has not fixed it. It is a pattern under the government.
    Canadian Forces members serve our country proudly and should not have to come home to fight bureaucracy, whether it is Canadian Forces members fighting for home equity assistance, disability benefits, or accessing mental health services or veterans and their families fighting for benefits.
    Canadian soldiers are not getting what they deserve. When will the government treat Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans with the respect they deserve?
Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of National Defence, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, they get respect and admiration every day from this government. No government has done a better job of sticking up for all these issues, reaching out to assist these individuals and investing in them than this government. I am very proud of our record in that area.

Citizenship and Immigration

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, spouses are arguably the most important people in the lives of Canadians. In 2006-07, the government allowed more spouses to enter the country than its immigration plans had anticipated. Now we have a couple stuck in a Syrian war zone and mothers about to give birth who are being kept out of Canada simply because the government has already hit its arbitrary quota for spouses.
    Will the minister do the right thing and allow Canadians to be reunited with their spouses?
Hon. Chris Alexander (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite well knows, our economic immigration programs allow comprehensive sponsorship of spouses and dependent children. We brought in record numbers of economic immigrants to Canada with the highest skill levels, the highest education levels, the highest language skill levels in Canadian history. That is in stark contrast to the Liberal era of darkness in immigration dominated by backlogs and years of processing for families and economic immigrants. We have reformed these programs and that is helping spouses and families.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has made a mess of our system. He needs to realize we are talking about real people, real families.
    There are two cases of two pregnant moms living abroad who want to be with their husbands in Canada. Will the minister do the honourable thing and remove the freeze on issuing visas so pregnant moms are at the very least allowed to come to be with their families in Canada? I ask the minister to show some compassion as the Minister of Immigration.
Hon. Chris Alexander (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal campaign of absolute misinformation continues. There is no freeze on family reunification. This is a government that has worked through the Liberal backlog on parents and grandparents in an ambitious manner over three years.
     The Liberals forgot about it for 13 years. For three years we have been bringing in record numbers of spouses, children, parents and grandparents. We have been cleaning up a mess that the Liberals created over more than a decade. They should apologize to the Canadian people for the mess they left us and not misinform them.

[Translation]

Transport

Mr. Hoang Mai (Brossard—La Prairie, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the coroner who investigated the tragic death of cyclist Mathilde Blais was clear. If the truck that hit her had been equipped with side guards, the young cyclist would not have fallen under the truck's wheels.
    My Bill C-603 would make side guards mandatory on heavy trucks. We can save lives.
    What will the government do to protect pedestrians and cyclists?
Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of Canadians is an absolute priority for us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by this type of tragic accident involving bicyclists and pedestrians. We are always looking for ways to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists who find themselves in proximity to vehicles.

  (1450)  

[English]

Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, we have a simple way. The coroner's report on the tragic death of cyclist Mathilde Blais is clear. If the truck had side guards, she would still be with us.
     The NDP has been calling for mandatory side guards for more than eight years. We could have had fewer deaths, less heartbreak, fewer ghost bikes. We need to take action.
     The NDP has reintroduced Olivia Chow's bill to make truck side guards mandatory. Will the Conservatives support our initiative and ensure the safety of cyclists?
Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as I said a few moments ago in French, the health and safety of Canadians is our top priority. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been involved in these types of tragic bicycle and pedestrian incidents.
     We are always looking at ways to improve pedestrian and cycling safety in the presence of motor vehicles. The member will also know that any province or territory is free to require side guards on trucks operating within their boundaries.

Small Business

Mr. John Carmichael (Don Valley West, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government understands the vital role that small business plays in the economy. That is why we are helping them to succeed.
    While the Liberals and NDP want to increase the cost of doing business, we are leaving more money in the hands of entrepreneurs to invest and hire Canadians.
    Could the Minister of State for Finance please describe how our government is encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting small business?
Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Minister of State (Finance), CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as a recent report by RBC notes, the number of small and mid-size firms in Canada reached a record high in 2012.
    We are supporting job creators, not handcuffing them with increasing payroll taxes. That is precisely why our new small business job credit lowers EI payroll taxes by 15% and saves small business over $550 million.
    Small businesses and the eight million Canadians they employ can continue to count on this government.

Status of Women

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Labrador, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing to hear of the government once again playing political games, this time repeatedly cutting funding to the Native Women's Association of Canada.
    This is no surprise given the lack of respect the government has shown toward first nations individuals in our country.
    Could the minister tell us if these cuts are the result of the women's association's push for inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls in our country, or is there some other rationale that the government can give us for these cuts?
Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, that statement is categorically false.
    In fact, this morning I met with Michèle Audette in my office, where we talked about exactly what the Native Women's Association would like to do and how it would like to contribute to our action plan to ensure that those victims of crime, those aboriginal women and their families need to be supported.
    We had a very constructive conversation and I am look forward to working with her in the future.

[Translation]

The Environment

Mr. François Lapointe (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is consistent in her inconsistencies. On one hand, she is saying that she respects experts and the environment. On the other, she has been muzzling scientists in the science branch for over five months now and has undone 15 years of work by cancelling the marine protected areas project that, coincidentally, would have included the area off the coast of Cacouna.
    Her inconsistency has now reached new heights. The Canada-Quebec working group for the protection of marine areas announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans never actually met. Instead of working full time to make it easier for oil companies to carry out their projects, will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans finally take the protection of the St. Lawrence River seriously?

[English]

Hon. Gail Shea (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, we do take it seriously, and that is why we have only authorized a minor geotechnical survey to take place in the Cacouna area.
    The work was authorized based on scientific information and under the very strictest conditions that would mitigate any potential harm to the marine life there. The actual construction of the marine terminal has not been submitted or reviewed, and it has certainly not been authorized.

Forestry Industry

Mr. Richard Harris (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the forestry sector is vitally important to the Canadian economy and particularly to my riding of Cariboo—Prince George.
    Our Conservative government is focused on creating jobs and economic growth. That is why we have made unprecedented investments to renew and sustain Canada's forestry sector.
    Could the Minister of Natural Resources update the House on what action we are taking to promote this important economic sector?

  (1455)  

Hon. Greg Rickford (Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the member for Cariboo—Prince George for two decades of leadership in forest policy for our caucus and in this place.
    We will focus on supporting innovation and pursuing new export opportunities for Canadian wood products. That is why last week I signed a memorandum of understanding in Korea to enhance our forestry co-operation on technology and innovation and in keeping with our free trade agreement with Korea, creating more opportunity for export of our forest products.
    We will continue to showcase, celebrate and give Canada's forest sector the support it rightly deserves.

[Translation]

Marine Transportation

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois—Salaberry, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the government's inaction with regard to the Kathryn Spirit is completely unacceptable. This ship has been rusting in Beauharnois for over three years, while the Conservatives twiddle their thumbs. What makes the situation even more complex is that Transport Canada refuses to tell us whether this leaky old boat still contains chemicals that could pollute the banks of Lac Saint-Louis and contaminate the drinking water reservoir of the entire greater Montreal area.
    Will the Minister of Transport wake up and do something so that this ship does not spend a fourth winter rusting in Beauharnois?

[English]

Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for this government.
    The member should know that vessel owners must comply with stringent safety and environmental obligations before proceeding with towing operations. The Kathryn Spirit is under a departure prohibition from Transport Canada and will remain in place until a final inspection confirms that the regulations in fact are complied with.

[Translation]

Rail Transportation

Mrs. Maria Mourani (Ahuntsic, Ind.):  
    Mr. Speaker, in May 2013, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities published a document that recommended a minimum distance between main railway lines and new construction. However, regulations are still not standardized across the country.
    When will the government establish a minimum distance between the construction of any new building and railway lines in Canada?

[English]

Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities offers this type of guidance to municipalities when it comes to the issue of setbacks. That is valuable information municipalities should consider.

Democratic Reform

Ms. Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government House Leader complained about question period being too full of questions to the government.
    The government House Leader seems to misunderstand the basics of our parliamentary system. The Conservatives' job is to govern and then be accountable for their decisions to the House.
    There are already rules in place allowing the Speaker to intervene in a question if it is irrelevant. We want that same rule applied to answers.
    Will the Conservatives drop the excuses and allow a free vote on our motion?
Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, when one looks at any other jurisdiction in the world, there is no question period as accountable as Canada's.
     If we look at Britain, for example, which is held up by many as a paragon of virtue, on any given day, one can ask a question of only a handful of ministers and those questions must be done with advance notice. Here we answer questions any day, on any subject, fully accountable, and we do not need a one-sided motion from the opposition to tilt the balance heavily and force the government into a straitjacket that simply does not apply to the opposition.
     Let us have a fair and balanced debate that is fair to all sides.
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is pretty clear that Canadians want answers in question period. What do the Conservatives not understand about that?
    Far from being a straitjacket, it is the public business that is being conducted here and the Conservatives have a responsibility to answer. All we need to do is give the Speaker the power to enforce relevance rules. We know we have the support of some Conservative members, and hopefully that is growing.
    I will repeat the question because we did not get an answer. Will the government allow a free vote on our motion to have relevant answers in question period?
Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, if the subject of the question, which was sometimes hard to discern, is free votes, I would suggest that perhaps the NDP members could show some leadership for once and start holding free votes in the amount they see them happen on the government side.
    It is clear that when it comes to free votes, no party has as many free votes in the House of Commons as this party does.

  (1500)  

Employment Insurance

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Social Development boasted that the new Social Security Tribunal has reduced EI appeals by 90%. However, he has not told unemployed Canadians that their actual chance of winning an appeal has been greatly reduced.
    Before in the tribunal, Canadians appealing had the decision overturned over 50% of the time. The success rate has now dropped to 38% under the new system.
    Could the minister explain to affected Canadians why such a drastic drop in the success of appeals?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, when the Social Security Tribunal was created, my department, to its great credit, started a new internal process of reconsideration of refused EI applications allowing for those reconsiderations to happen in a matter of weeks rather than the months it took for the previous Board of Referees to render a judgment.
    I have been informed by my senior officials that about 50% of the reconsiderations end up overturning the initial refusal after more information is obtained. Therefore, I do not think the member's information is correct.

Committees of the House

Mr. Brad Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the procedure and House affairs committee. My understanding is that today at committee the NDP denied consent for the report concerning the committee. Can the chair of the procedure and House affairs committee explain his understanding as to why consent was denied?
The Speaker:  
    I am afraid that question would be out of order. Questions for committee chairs are very limited to certain parameters and I do not know that this question falls within them.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Mr. Marc-André Morin (Laurentides—Labelle, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to talk about Bill C-41, a bill that is important to all Canadians. People everywhere, including in the riding of Laurentides—Labelle, have concerns every time there is a new free trade agreement. They automatically worry about it because they have seen the government sign agreements with dictatorships and drug lords, and they have seen all kinds of agreements that do not work. Of course they are wondering why, this time around, we are supporting a trade agreement. However, it should not be that surprising because we always use objective criteria to assess the treaties Canada will be signing.
    I know that members across the way see our support of a free trade agreement as a historic event. That is not the historic event, though; what is historic is the fact that they have come up with something that we can support, something that makes at least some sense.
    To take a hard look at the situation, we use an analytical grid and ask whether the country with which we are signing an agreement respects democracy. Is it a modern country with appropriate labour standards? Are its environmental standards acceptable? Then, we look at the country's strategic importance. In Korea's case, obviously, the economy is very advanced, much more than our own, because Korea has an industrial strategy and an international trade strategy, unlike us. It does not make things up as it goes along.
    Then, we look at the terms of the agreement. We have reservations, of course. We would not have done things the same way, but the terms are reasonable overall and provide sufficient assurance that we know there will be no big surprises.
    One of the reasons we support this agreement is because it has been in the works for so long already. It is clear that Korea's agreements with the United States and the European Union hurt markets for our pork and beef producers and our aerospace industry. These sectors suffered considerable losses, and signing the agreement may allow them to catch up somewhat and give them some compensation.
    The Conservatives seem to look at international trade with rose-coloured glasses. There is a reason Korea is in the situation it is in today, with modern infrastructure and a very competitive industry. They adopted a consistent industrial strategy decades ago, while we winged it every step of the way. Korea had an economy based on subcontracting. It manufactured low-end automobile models for the American and Japanese industries. The Koreans decided to develop these niches.

  (1505)  

    They made investments in research and development, and produced high-quality products, which makes them probably one of most competitive in the world. If we had done the same, our manufacturing sector might not be floundering.
     A number of my colleagues alluded to the threat this agreement could pose to the manufacturing sector, in particular the automotive sector. However, this is only a threat because of the government's inconsistency, lack of industrial strategy, lack of investment in research and development, and improvisation, with respect to the free entry of Korean vehicles into our market through the United States and Mexico.
    I have to wonder why it has taken so long to sign this agreement. What caused this disaster for our exporters and caused them to lose a considerable share of the market? Do we simply have the government's diplomatic skills to thank for that?
    The government shut down consular services in our embassies in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, without even warning the Japanese government. That is not how you deal with parties who are serious and who care a great deal about details. These people run their country responsibly. If we surprise them and mess up, negotiations will drag on forever, and our manufacturing companies and farmers will be left to pick up the pieces.
    The NDP is not supporting the agreement because of magic formulas, mantras or messages from the Prime Minister's Office. We take the time to analyze things. Rhetoric and magic formulas do not work. We need to carefully negotiate each detail and know what we are getting into. Once this process is complete, we can support an agreement without worrying about surprises. We need to show respect for serious players and be serious ourselves.

  (1510)  

Mrs. Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his speech. I always enjoy listening to him.
    The NDP wants to strengthen trade ties between Canada and the Asia-Pacific region. We recognize that this is vital to Canada's prosperity in the 21st century.
    Could the member elaborate on our position?
Mr. Marc-André Morin:  
    Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain: Korea is becoming one of the most modern economies in the world and is a niche market for renewable energy. It is in our interest to learn from Korea. I am sure that Koreans are not creationists and global warming deniers, for instance.
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    Why is it important to have a coherent position based on facts and principles, unlike other parties that support any free trade agreement, without even looking at its terms? They are ready to fully support any proposed free trade agreement. That is why it is important to have a coherent position and see all the details of an agreement before we support it. Some agreements are bad for Canada and some, such as this one, are good. Sometimes we support free trade agreements, and sometimes we do not; we always have good reasons.
    Why is it important to take such positions instead of just agreeing with any random proposal without even seeing the details?

  (1515)  

Mr. Marc-André Morin:  
    Mr. Speaker, it is very important to take a serious and coherent approach and examine the facts.
    I am a bit more familiar with Japanese culture. Although the two countries have not always been the best of friends, many parallels can be drawn. They have conducted trade for hundreds of years. They are obsessed with detail and ensuring that nothing is left to chance. Human contact is paramount for these countries. It often comes before other considerations.
    We cannot go there unprepared and recite political slogans or read talking points from the House. They will not take us seriously.
Mrs. Anne-Marie Day:  
    Mr. Speaker, I really enjoy hearing about the economy and free trade.
    The NDP would not necessarily have signed off on or negotiated an agreement like this one. It includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, which is something that the NDP would not have included in this type of trade agreement. Could the member elaborate on that?
Mr. Marc-André Morin:  
    Mr. Speaker, all sorts of protection measures are necessary when we are dealing with dictatorships, narco-states or countries with questionable practices and flawed legal systems.
    It is completely unnecessary with Korea. Its justice system is every bit as good as ours. There is no reason to think that this is a corrupt country with a justice system that is biased or manipulated by the government.
    Clearly, we would not have taken the same approach to negotiating this agreement, out of respect for our economic partners.

[English]

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, there is a saying among economists that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Canada is certainly on the rising tide, and we believe that everyone in our country will see their fortunes rise.
    Hundreds of major resource projects are scheduled to begin over the next decade.

[Translation]

    New jobs are being created all the time. Middle-class after-tax incomes are outpacing those in the U.S. We have one of the strongest fiscal positions in the industrialized world.

[English]

    We will balance the budget by 2015. No wonder Bloomberg and the World Bank consider Canada to be one of the best places in the world to do business. Our economic future is bright.
    However, Canada's long-term prosperity also depends on increasing our trade. When we increase trade, prices for goods and services fall, making goods all that more affordable for families. These are goods like those sold by Baxter in Alliston, in my riding, or by Munro in Essa Township. Canadian families have a greater choice of goods and services, businesses can hire more workers, and wages go up. In other words, our standard of living improves in every way. There is no better job creator or economic growth generator than free trade.

[Translation]

    This is why our government made a commitment to the most ambitious trade plan in Canadian history. We are vigorously pursuing our free trade agenda and giving Canadian investors and exporters the tools they need to compete—and win—in the global marketplace.
    Since 2006, we have increased the number of countries that Canada has free trade with from 5 to 43.

  (1520)  

[English]

    These nations together make up more than half of the global economy and represent nearly one-quarter of the world's countries. Last fall, the Prime Minister announced a historic agreement in principle with the 28-nation European Union that will give Canadian businesses access to half a billion affluent new customers.
     Now we are discussing the free trade agreement with the Republic of South Korea, which has a large and growing market and a GDP of $1.3 trillion. This agreement is historic because it is our first bilateral agreement in Asia, a key market in Canada's expanding international trade role. The agreement will generate increased exports and investment opportunities for Canadians by creating a stable trade and investment relationship. This will bring significant benefits across many sectors in the Canadian economy. We estimate that it will increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32% and boost Canada's economy by $1.7 billion. It will also give a better foothold into the vast Asian market.
    At the same time, the labour provisions in the free trade agreement will ensure that these economic advantages are not made at the expense of workers' rights. Our government's first priority is economic growth. When Canada enters into trade agreements, we believe it is important that fundamental labour rights are respected. This is why international labour co-operation agreements and labour chapters are key components of our trade agreements. The Canada–Korea trade agreement has a labour chapter that includes several labour provisions. More precisely, under the terms of this FTA, Canada and Korea have committed to ensuring that our labour laws embody and provide protection for internationally recognized labour principles and rights.
     These include, in the International Labour Organization's 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the right to the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the effective abolition of child labour, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, and the elimination of discrimination in the workplace. Both countries have also committed to ensuring acceptable protections with regard to occupational health and safety, employment standards, and non-discrimination with respect to working conditions for migrant workers.

[Translation]

    Clearly, Canada sees the pursuit of liberalized trade and the promotion and protection of labour rights as mutually reinforcing and equally important. They go hand in hand.

[English]

    We believe it is important to defend Canada's competitive position by ensuring that our trading partners do not gain an unfair advantage by not respecting fundamental labour rights or by not enforcing their labour laws. The inclusion of strong labour provisions in our free trade agreement creates a level playing field for Canadian businesses and workers when they compete internationally. This is good for businesses all across the country, including Georgian Hills Vineyard in my riding and others.
    As Minister of Status of Women, one thing I am also proud to note is that Korea is just as committed to advancing women in the economy as we are here in Canada. We know that when women succeed, our economy benefits. This agreement will undoubtedly translate into more jobs for women in both our countries.
    It is clear that Korea is just as committed as we are to the success of this accord. However, as members can appreciate, the commitments that we make in these agreements are only credible if we have a means of enforcing them. To this end, the Canada–Korea FTA includes an enforceable dispute mechanism that may lead to financial penalties in the case of non-compliance with the obligations of the labour chapter by either signatory country. Members of the public can submit complaints if parties involved fail to meet their obligations.

[Translation]

    I am confident that this agreement will help create well-paying jobs for Canadian workers, without requiring us to compromise our values.

[English]

    I am confident that this agreement will help create well-paid jobs for Canadian workers without requiring us to compromise our values. Let us bring this agreement into force as soon as possible so that Canadian workers and businesses can access all of these benefits.
    I therefore ask my fellow parliamentarians to support Bill C-41 so that we can implement the Canada-Korea free trade agreement tout de suite.

  (1525)  

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I would have to say that I and my colleagues are encouraged that the government, in its negotiations with Korea, has decided to incorporate the environmental provisions in chapter seventeen, which we have been arguing for in the last dozen or so trade agreements.
    However, I have a couple of questions for the minister.
    I notice in article 17.6 that Canada has committed to now take into account scientific and technical information in setting standards, guidelines, and recommendations. This is encouraging. New Democrats are looking forward to how policies change in this area, and it is interesting that it is happening through trade negotiations.
    The Government of Canada has also committed to taking a number of other measures, including not to inappropriately encourage trade by downgrading environmental laws.
    My question is this: is the Government of Canada now reconsidering the changes that it made to federal environmental laws that have in fact downgraded the federal oversight of environmental management and review of major energy projects?
Hon. K. Kellie Leitch:  
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear. We have been very focused as a government on being responsible with regard to resource development.
    I can speak as someone who comes from one of those northern communities where significant mining takes place: Fort McMurray, Alberta. What those companies have done to reclaim land, make sure that it is reforested, and make sure that the wood buffalo are thriving throughout Alberta is commendable. We are very focused on responsible resource development.
    We are also very focused on making sure that Canadians have jobs. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement is central to that, providing huge opportunities for Canadians to have jobs in the future as we grow and expand our trade opportunities, just as we have focused on creating jobs here in Canada.
Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, for the first time, I would like to indicate my appreciation to the Minister of Labour for speaking French in this debate.

[Translation]

    The NDP has indicated that it supports this agreement. However, I must remind the House of the importance of having well-defined criteria. When deciding whether or not to support a bill, we in the NDP do not make such decisions willy-nilly or under the influence of lobbyists.
    Does the minister understand that when the NDP supports a bill, it does so based on objective criteria, and that the government should do the same so that, in the future, it always introduces bills that meet well-defined criteria and that are always in the best interest of Canada?

[English]

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch:  
    Mr. Speaker, one of the most important criteria to be focused on is how many jobs will be created for Canadians. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement is focused on making sure that we increase our exports by 32%, which would boost the Canadian economy because of the $1.7 billion annual increase. That is very important to Canadians. Making sure Canadians have full-time, well-paying jobs is probably the most important criterion.
    That is what this government is focused on: job creation. We are doing exactly that by passing this free trade agreement.
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to good value-added jobs, one of the challenges with South Korea is the disadvantage we have with non-tariff barriers in the automotive sector in South Korea. Hundreds of thousands of Korean vehicles are purchased in Canada; meanwhile, we have very little opportunity to sell into South Korea.
    I would ask my hon. colleague what the government is going to do specifically to ensure that the auto industry is not hurt by this trade agreement.
Hon. K. Kellie Leitch:  
    Mr. Speaker, evidence alone suggests that whether it be the export manufacturers here in Canada or the Canadian auto companies and their support for this free trade agreement, the total package of outcomes and tools for the Canada-Korea free trade agreement are as good if not better in many cases than those that have been negotiated with the EU and the United States.
    This is good for Canadian auto manufacturers and for Canadians, because it means that we will be creating more Canadian jobs by exporting more cars.

  (1530)  

Mr. Mike Wallace (Burlington, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak this afternoon to the trade agreement that we have been able to establish with our friends from South Korea.
    First of all, let me give my congratulations to the Minister of International Trade for making this happen. The minister has been very busy on the international trade files and meeting with a number of countries, including Korea and our recent announcement of CETA. He is working very hard on other issues in the Asian market, such as a bilateral agreement with Japan. There is also the TPP, the trans-Pacific partnership, which is a larger trade pact where countries from Asia and in the Pacific are working very hard to put together an appropriate free trade zone so that countries like Canada can take advantage of those large markets for our goods and services. Right now, due to trade barriers, we have an issue accessing them.
    We have to remember that Canada only has about 33 million people. The trade partners that we are after are much larger than Canada. Their markets are much larger than Canada's. It only makes sense that Canada would be a trading country. It started as a trading country, and it should continue that.
    I would like to congratulate, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our foreign affairs advocates, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of International Trade, who all work together to try to promote opportunities for Canadian business in other areas of the world. We simply cannot survive on the Canadian market alone.
    I have two stories that I would like to share. I am from Burlington, which is an urban riding. There is no one large employer. The largest employer in Burlington is a pork production facility. That is right. It is food processing. There are hogs that come in every day by the truckload and they are processed there. Its number one client in the past was South Korea, until South Korea signed a deal with the United States.
    The deal had a significant impact on the ability of our Canadian companies, such as this one. It is owned by Canadians who own a number of food processing facilities across the country. They are the largest employer in Burlington, with about 800 or 600 people who work there now.
    As a member of Parliament, the owners called me in. This was a number of years ago. They said that they were losing market share to their competitors because Canada was not at the table with a trade agreement with South Korea. This was not a secondary customer or a tertiary customer. South Korea was one of their primary customers. Some 90% of the product leaving this plant was for export, either to the United States or to Korea. The Korean deal with the United States had a major impact, not only on their bottom line but on our ability to maintain good-quality, high-paying jobs in Burlington.
    With that information, I came back here and there was a discussion. I did what all of us on this side of the House would do. We are all free traders here on this side of the House. Being a Conservative means that we support free trade, and we make no apologies for that. We do not make excuses for that. We believe that free trade will create opportunities and employment for Canadians here at home for their products and services abroad, so I was very happy to find out that we were working hard on a South Korean deal and that things were progressing.

  (1535)  

    The largest employer within the boundaries of Burlington is this food production facility for pork production. However, in the riding next to me in Oakville is the head office for Ford Canada. I had a number of meetings with Ford Canada, which is an automotive producer with an excellent production facility here in Canada. The workers, bar none, are the best automotive workers available to Ford in North America.
    Ford had some concerns about the South Korean deal. There was a tariff on the import of Korean vehicles of 6.1% or 6.2%. Ford was concerned that would give Korea somewhat of a market advantage. I was very clear with our friends at Ford, including the president for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect. I told the company that a Conservative government will continue to work on free trade agreements with key partners around the world because it is good for the overall economic business of this country. In my view, it is also good for Ford.
    The automotive sector south of the border signed on to the deal. Things are a bit different south of the border. The tariff in the United States on Korean-made cars was slightly over 2%, which on a $30,000 car is not as significant as 6%. Ford felt the protective tariff that was there was not nearly as severe. However, tariffs on automobiles going into South Korea were around 8%. This deal will provide us with the opportunity to reduce tariffs on both sides. I have heard many times from previous questioners that there are non-tariff barriers to getting into those markets.
    I have never been to South Korea but I have been to Japan numerous times. Based on the products that I have seen in Japan, we need to make vehicles that are designed for that marketplace to be successful and have access to that marketplace. North American manufacturers are getting there. They might be there already. It would be fair to say that before the recession, trucks and SUVs were not that popular in some Asian markets, including what I know of Japan.
    That is why I wanted to talk about this today. We need to understand that our free trade agreement with South Korea is comprehensive. It will affect all marketplaces across this country. It will even affect small Burlington. It will have a huge impact on employment and our ability to trade.
    Burlington has a close relationship with South Korea. A number of Canadians who fought for the freedom of South Korea live in Burlington. This past summer we unveiled a new naval monument on the lakefront to commemorate the activity of Canadian soldiers in the Korean War, particularly those in the navy. The HMCS Haida, which participated in that conflict, is in Hamilton. A lot of my constituents in Burlington served bravely for Canada in that conflict.
    I am happy that we have been able to develop not only a diplomatic relationship with South Korea but a much closer economic relationship. I look forward to this trade agreement coming into force in the new year. It will benefit all communities across this country.

  (1540)  

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, under previous trade agreements, specifically NAFTA, there was a sidebar agreement on environment, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, and under that agreement the provinces could step forward and sign on. To its credit, my province of Alberta was the first to step up to the plate and then several other provinces stepped up to the plate. In the Canada-Korea agreement, annex 17-B, there is a provision that Canada shall use its best efforts to make this chapter applicable to as many provinces as possible.
    My province and many provinces have established their own trade offices around the world. I am wondering if the member can speak to whether or not the Government of Canada has already put in motion dialogues with the provinces. If so, is it in negotiations with Alberta to sign on to this agreement?
Mr. Mike Wallace:  
    Mr. Speaker, it is clear through this agreement, and others that we will be signing, about our relationship with the provinces. It is a mistake to consider that the federal government has a parental role with the provinces. They are well-established, independent governments and duly elected. This agreement and other agreements we have treat provinces as partners. As the agreement says in the section mentioned, we would work with our partners at the provincial level for them to enact the environmental protections that the member brought forward.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member is aware that for the last decade Korea has been fairly aggressive in pursuing other trade agreements. It was able to achieve some with the United States, the European Union, Chile and others. I am sure the member would recognize that there is and has been an advantage to those countries that were able to achieve an agreement earlier. We have seen that in terms of the pork industry, in particular, the agreement between the U.S. and Korea and the potential loss of market that Canada had.
    I am wondering if the member might want to provide some comment in terms of what he believes it is going to take for Canada, in particular pork producers, to recapture some of the market that has been lost because Canada's the free trade agreement followed after the United States'.
Mr. Mike Wallace:  
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question hits home directly. As I said, our largest employer is a pork production facility in Burlington. It might be a competitor to some of them in Winnipeg. The free trade agreement with the United States has had a detrimental effect on the ability of that company to compete. I had a meeting with the president of that company recently and he was clear that signing an agreement on the first is not going to change things overnight, but it does level the playing field. Without that levelling of the playing field, the company has no chance of getting back that market share. They believe they can be competitive not just on quality, where I think our Canadian pork can beat other nations, but also on price. That is what this trade agreement will help us accomplish.

  (1545)  

Mr. Scott Armstrong (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, on that note, we recently negotiated a free trade agreement with the European Union. Looking at what happened with South Korea, we did lose some market share, which we now have to pick up. Does that not bode well to the advantage Canada is going to have with the European free trade agreement since the United States is now just beginning negotiations with that body?
Mr. Mike Wallace:  
    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, it does not take an M.B.A. to know that being there first in the marketplace, companies are going to be better off. They can get established with customers, and establish their products. They will be able to develop business relationships. That is what CETA will do for us. In my community, the vast majority of employers are at the 50- to 100-person level. I have done numerous plant tours and discussions. Almost all of them sell to Europe. This will help them to be more competitive and able to grow hopefully bigger than 100 employees.
Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West—Glanbrook, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, to the point by my colleague from Burlington, it is true that we are a trading nation. If we look at the size of our country, as the member for Burlington mentioned, it has some 34 million people. With the kind of GDP we have, $1.8 trillion and growing, these kinds of deals are important. If we look at what has happened with Chile over the years, it is not just trade; there is education and a whole bunch of factors that go into it. We have to consider the fact that as a small nation of under 35 million people, the only way we can grow our economy is by finding these kinds of deals to get our goods and services to the rest of the world.
    I am pleased to rise here today to speak to this historic Canada–Korean free trade agreement and how this agreement supports the government's firm commitment to expand international trade. It is our government that is focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. By pursuing an ambitious trade agenda, our government has provided Canadian businesses with access to new opportunities in dynamic markets around the globe.
     As an export-driven economy, Canada needs free trade agreements. Trade accounts for one out of every five jobs in Canada and is equivalent in dollar terms to over 60% of our country's annual income.Yet despite all the evidence that trade creates jobs, economic growth, and economic security for hard-working Canadian families, the opposition has been traditionally opposed to international free trade agreements. This anti-trade behaviour negates Canadians who depend on trade for their jobs and puts Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets.
    Our government recognizes that Canadian companies are at risk of being at a competitive disadvantage in key markets, as their major foreign competitors, such as the United States and the European Union, are currently benefiting from preferential access under existing free trade agreements. This is why Canada is pursuing the most ambitious trade negotiation agenda in Canadian history.
    Eight years ago, Canada had only five trade agreements, but since 2006, Canada has successfully reached free trade agreements with 38 countries: Colombia; the European Free Trade Association of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland; Honduras; Jordan; Panama; Peru; all 28 members of the European Union; and now South Korea.
    In addition, Canada has 28 foreign investment promotion and protection agreements in force. These bilateral agreements establish a strong regulatory framework for increased investment by protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally binding rights and obligations. Focusing on sectors and markets that offer the greatest opportunity for growth is a priority under Canada's new global market action plan, or GMAP.
    Let us turn now to the historic Canada–Korea free trade agreement. South Korea is identified as a priority market in the GMAP, and the Canada–Korea free trade agreement represents an important step in increasing access to this fast-growing economy. This agreement is a landmark achievement that will restore a level playing field for Canadian companies competing in the South Korean market. South Korea is a dynamic and important partner for us. This nation is already Canada's seventh-largest merchandise trading partner and the third-largest in Asia, with an annual GDP of $1.3 trillion and a population of 50 million people.
    Stronger economic ties with South Korea will create new jobs and opportunities and will contribute to Canada's long-term economic growth and prosperity. With this agreement, Canadian companies will become increasingly competitive in the region. With half of the world's population living a five-hour flight away from Seoul, South Korea offers strategic access to regional and global value chains. As a result of improved market access for goods, services, and investment under the agreement, Canadian companies can use South Korea as a strategic base or launching pad for growing their businesses throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
    The positive momentum of an agreement with South Korea will carry Canada forward in this vibrant region. However, creating new opportunities for Canadians in the Asia-Pacific region does not stop there. Canada is also actively pursuing a trade agreement with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, negotiations. The current TPP membership represents more than 792 million people, with a combined GDP of $28 trillion, or nearly 40% of the world's economy. A prospectively high-quality, state-of-the-art, comprehensive agreement, the TPP stands to provide broad-based benefits across all Canadian industries and regions.

  (1550)  

    We are also looking at new trade partners in Asia and other priority regions in order to provide a diverse range of opportunities for Canadians. By becoming a member of the TPP and signing more free trade agreements, our government is seizing new sources of export growth and opportunities for international trade and investment.
    Canada is committed to updating its existing free trade agreements to maximize benefits and opportunities for Canadians.
     During his official visit in January 2014, our Prime Minister announced the launch of negotiations to modernize the existing Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. These negotiations are well under way.
    Canada will continue to take steps forward in expanding the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. This modernization builds on our agreement with Chile, which dates back to 1997, and a trade relationship worth over $2.5 billion in 2013.
    This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement, the third anniversary of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the first anniversary of the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement.
    Peru, Colombia, and Panama are among the fastest-growing markets in the Americas and thus serve as a strategic base for Canadian companies to expand into Latin America. Bilateral trade between Canada and the Americas reached $57 billion in 2013 and will continue to expand with the government's commitment to the region.
    Let us not forget that this year Canada also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, another record accomplishment of a Conservative government committed to growing our economy. NAFTA has provided a solid foundation for Canada's future prosperity upon which Canada continues to build and advance North American trade and competitiveness.
    Twenty years ago, trade with the North American region was over $372 billion; in 2013, total trilateral merchandise trade reached over $1.1 trillion. Canada is now the top export destination for 35 American states.
    The comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA, with the European Union will be the most ambitious trade partnership Canada has ever negotiated. On August 5, Canada and the EU announced that the final CETA text had been reached, marking the end of the CETA negotiations. Once CETA is fully implemented, Canada will gain preferential access to the world's largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a $17-trillion GDP.
     Canada's competitive edge and combined access to these markets will lead directly to jobs and opportunities everywhere in Canada. Whether we are exporting meat, grain, fish, wood products, or industrial goods, the more markets we have access to, the more jobs are created for hard-working Canadians and their families.
     Canada's long-term prosperity is directly linked to market access and economic opportunities beyond Canadian borders. Our government understands the importance of trade and exports to our economy. Exports are responsible for one out of every five Canadian jobs.
     The prosperity of Canadians depends on continued expansion beyond our borders into new markets that serve to grow Canada's exports and investments.
    This agreement represents one of the key economic opportunities and is a watershed moment in our historical relationship with South Korea. For this and other reasons, stakeholders from across the country have called for the agreement's entry into force as soon as possible. That is why our government is moving to pass this bill.
    When the agreement enters into force, over 95% of South Korean tariff lines for industrial products will be subject to immediate duty-free access. This means a great deal to Canadian entrepreneurs and SMEs across the nation, which depend upon free trade to enhance their global competitiveness.
    Since it was informed by public consultation, this agreement has already received widespread support from Canadian businesses and stakeholders. Our government negotiated this landmark agreement to further the priorities of Canadian businesses while creating jobs and opportunities for Canadian taxpayers across the country.
     The agreement is expected to create thousands of new jobs in a wide range of sectors, including industrial goods, agricultural and agri-food products, wine and spirits, fish and seafood, and wood and forestry products. These industrial sectors are crucial for the prosperity of provinces and the continued development of local communities. The evidence demonstrating the growth to be had from agreements like this is overwhelming.
     When the United States and the European Union signed their own free trade agreements with South Korea, they both experienced a doubling of their automotive sector exports. Since it is one of the key industries in Canada, this free trade agreement will provide a substantial boost to our own automotive sector and our economy as a whole.
     With substantial increases in Canadian exports to South Korea, the agreement is projected to boost the Canadian economy by $1.7 billion a year. Strong trade partnerships are essential to Canada's long-term success.
    Canada cannot afford to be left behind, and it is this trade agreement that will provide Canadian businesses a foothold in South Korea and the Asia-Pacific market beyond, opening the doors to economic prosperity and growth.

  (1555)  

    The Canadian-Korea free trade agreement is essential for securing Canada's economic future and ensuring the sustainability of a high-quality of life for Canadians across this country.
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to ask this question. I want to preface it with some work that was done for me by the Library of Parliament. It is independent research on a question I asked about countries that had national automotive strategies. Twelve countries in the world have them, and Canada is not one of them. However, one of them is South Korea.
     This is what came back from the Library of Parliament. It is a short paragraph that I would like to read to the member to get his response.
    In The Republic of Korea, the national strategy for the automotive industry is entitled Strategies and Tasks for Developing the Green Car Industry to Become One of the World's 4 Major Car Making Countries. The tasks included the objectives of producing 1.2 million green cars, exporting 900,000 green cars, and occupying 21% of the local car market by 2015. The government also plans to support financing for the installation of 1,351,300 battery chargers at 168 locations by 2020.
    There is more on the parts division.
    What is the Conservative government prepared to do to ensure that there is going to be fair market access for Canadian companies to ship to South Korea? What is the government going to do if we get dumped on by South Korea?
    South Korea's national government has decided to intervene with this industry at a historic level, and it continues to do so as we enter a so-called free trade agreement. If the fair market itself is being interfered with by the South Korean government, what will the Conservative government do to protect Canadian auto workers?
Mr. Dean Allison:  
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Windsor West for his question on the auto industry. It is certainly an important industry for us here in Ontario and southwestern Ontario.
    I want to talk about some of the things that are going to be lifted as a result of this agreement, and the first thing is tariffs.
    In South Korea, there is an 8% tariff on Canadian auto imports, which will be eliminated immediately. Canada's 6.1% tariff will be reduced in three cuts over two years.
    The rules of origin will change. Canada will have the ability to source inputs from the U.S. and benefit from tariff-free access, which is not currently allowed under the U.S. agreement. There will be a number of other things in terms of safeguards, internal taxes, and emissions. There is a list of things this agreement has done to try to level the playing field.
    Again, I believe that our Canadian companies are among the best in the world. I believe that they can compete and that their products can compete with any products in the world, and certainly our automotive industry is no different.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I want to go back to overall trade. I have highlighted before Canada's rather large trade deficit.
    My question to the member is related to the agreement with Korea. We have a trade deficit with the Korea today. It is almost two to one. That is a bit of guesstimate.
    Does the member believe that Canada will be in a better position as a result of this trade agreement and could anticipate seeing a balance between Korea and Canada when it comes to trade?
Mr. Dean Allison:  
    Mr. Speaker, that is one of the reasons we enter into agreements. It is to create additional access. With trade deficits, we look at trying to get access to other markets, which is helpful to us.
    I want to talk about a few of the trade deficits that will be reduced. There is a list for different provinces. However, I will speak specifically to Ontario, and I apologize to my colleague, who is from Manitoba.
    In terms of examples of tariffs that are going to be reduced, we can look at aerospace products at 8%; clean technology products at 8%; and nickel, rubber, chemicals, and plastics at 8%. I have a list here of products that will be reduced.
    Once again, any time we can have reduced tariffs, it goes a long way to reducing the price of our goods that are going to other countries, which we hope, in turn, they will be purchasing more and at a fairer price.
    Quite frankly, we know that we can compete. This was said before by my colleague for Burlington. Take pork, for example. With the U.S. having a head start and our tariffs remaining high, this creates a competitive disadvantage and a disincentive for other countries to import our products.
    We believe that by looking at these deals and reducing tariffs, it will give countries an opportunity to buy our goods at a cheaper price and hence give us an opportunity to export more.

  (1600)  

Ms. Wai Young (Vancouver South, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Vancouver South, I am honoured to represent my constituents who pride themselves in being the gateway to the Asia-Pacific. It is very timely indeed for me to be speaking to the Canada-Korea free trade agreement today.
    As we know, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement is a historic initiative for Canada. It is an agreement that would strengthen our trade and investments ties across the Pacific and increase the prosperity of both our countries. It would result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as investors, workers and consumers.
    Canada is a trading nation. Trade has long been a powerful engine for Canada's economy, even more so now in what remains challenging times for the global economy.
    Our government understands the importance of trade to our economy. It represents one in five jobs, contributes 60% of Canada's GDP, and over 40,700 Canadian companies are exporters.
    Currently, Canada's trade is heavily weighted to traditional partners such as the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited Canadian and American businesses through increased export opportunities resulting from lower tariffs, predictable rules and reductions in technical barriers to trade.
    In 20 years, merchandise traded within the North American region has grown from $372 billion to over $1.1 trillion in 2013. There can be no doubt that NAFTA played a critical role in this dramatic increase.
    Nevertheless, Canada's traditional partners are not growing at the rate they once did, and neither has our trade with them. At the same time, Asia's transformation is reshaping the global economy. Driven by the rise of China, this transformation has also been influenced by the growth of India, the continued strength of South Korea and Japan and the expanding potential of Southeast Asia.
    Asia today is not only a source of a growing proportion of economic activity, including exports, services and capital, but also increasingly a centre of innovation. This is why Canada has prioritized trade with the Asia-Pacific in recent years. We recognize that Asia is one of the world's fastest growing economic regions and that it will be an engine of growth for the global economy.
    It is important to acknowledge that while trade with our mature partners remains important, it is no longer enough to secure Canadian prosperity into the future. Canadian companies need improved access to markets both new and old. Canada's prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders into new markets for economic opportunities to serve and grow Canada's exports and investments.
    The reality we face today is one where our international competitors are giving their companies an advantage through new trade deals. This trend is both eroding Canada's preferential access to the United States and threatening our competitive position in other markets, including high-growth emerging economies in Asia.
    Canada must respond to maintain Canadian access to existing markets and to open new ones. This means taking our guidance from our government's global markets action plan to conclude bilateral deals with important Asian markets.
    Let me take this opportunity to highlight some of Canada's ongoing trade initiatives in the dynamic Asian region, beginning with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an ambitious, next generation initiative that has the potential to be a leading mechanism for regional economic integration. It covers Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, and represents a market of close to 800 million people and a combined GDP of $28.6 trillion.
    Concluding a high calibre Trans-Pacific Partnership will achieve several goals. It will deepen our trade ties in dynamic Asian markets, set strong rules for the region and strengthen our traditional partnerships in the Americas.
    Canada remains as committed as ever to playing a constructive role in advancing the TPP initiative and bringing an agreement to conclusion as soon as possible. We continue to engage at all levels with our TPP partners with the resolute goal of achieving a high standard agreement that brings benefits to every region of our country.
    India is another priority market for Canada, and the comprehensive economic partnership agreement negotiations with India are an important part of the government's pro-trade plan. We view the CEPA as a building block in expanding our long-term commercial relationship with India. A trade agreement holds the potential for creating jobs and economic growth for both Canada and India.

  (1605)  

    Canada is committed to negotiating a high-quality trade agreement with India. We are looking to sign an ambitious agreement, which would improve market access for goods and services, eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade.
    Canada is also engaged in ongoing economic partnership agreement negotiations with Japan. Launched on March 25, 2012, by the Prime Minister, negotiations are proceeding well, with six rounds held to date.
    The sixth round of the Canada-Japan economic partnership agreement negotiations took place in July, in Ottawa, where progress was made in a number of areas. We are looking forward to a productive round seven this fall, in Tokyo.
    Given Japan's commercial significance, Canada is fortunate to have two ambitious, high-standard initiatives within which to pursue greater trade and investment ties with Japan. Canada and Japan view working together on the TPP to enhance greater co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region and working together bilaterally on our EPA as mutually supportive efforts.
    With all this progress, we cannot ignore China, Canada's second largest single-nation trading partner.
    In 2013, our bilateral merchandise trade relationship reached more than $73 billion. Building upon the positive momentum of the Prime Minister's visit to China in early 2012, bilateral commercial ties have been strengthened through the August 2012 release of the joint economic complementarities study, the July 2013 expansion of the Canada-China air transport agreement and, most recent, the ratification of the Canada-China foreign investment protection and promotion agreement.
    Canada and China have a long-standing and comprehensive relationship, which operates on many levels. We are committed to deepening trade and economic relations with this large and fast-growing market.
    As Asian countries are deepening their economic integration, Canada is also actively contributing to an important regional fora, such as ASEAN and APEC.
    It was to the detriment of our reputation as a trading nation that during the 13 long years in government the Liberals completely neglected trade, completing only three free trade agreements. In fact, the Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets.
    It is important to point out that the last time the Liberals tried to talk seriously about trade, they campaigned to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement. This is absolutely shameful.
    Thanks to our Conservative government, however, we now have the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, our first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, and it is projected to increase Canada's gross domestic product by $1.7 billion and boost our exports to South Korea by more than 30%.
    Moreover, South Korea offers strategic access to regional and global value chains for Canadian companies, and the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would increase their competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.
    The signing of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement by the Minister of International Trade, on September 22, was a momentous occasion that not only solidified Canada's bilateral relationship with South Korea, but also highlighted Canada's intensified focus on Asian markets.
    The Canada-Korea free trade agreement is a significant step in Canada's orientation toward Asia, a shift that is integral to continued Canadian economic prosperity.
     We must pass the bill quickly to ensure Canadians can start taking advantage of the benefits of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement and what it will bring to us.

  (1610)  

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to intervene again. I like to talk about autos and bridges in this place and will continue to do so. In this respect it has to do with the auto sector which will be affected by the Korea trade deal. We are really concerned because there is such an imbalance in our trade right now.
    The United States negotiated better tariff time periods in terms of the reduction period being longer. It also negotiated a snap-back provision. South Korea, as we know, has a national auto strategy and intervention at the state level for its industry. It has that national advantage.
    The U.S. has a snap-back provision that allows it to put a hold on the automotive component should dumping take place in South Korea. The Canadian version of the agreement does not have this. Why not?
Ms. Wai Young:  
    Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement is not as good, in fact, for the auto sector as the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. For example, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would provide immediate duty-free access to South Korean auto markets, with a five-year phase-out on the Korea-U.S. one. We also have safeguards against import surges, the same as the Korea-U.S. agreement, and a permanent specialized dispute settlement that are connected with the Korea-U.S. procedures, which will expire over 10 years.
    In terms of the snap back, we would like to make a point of saying that the U.S. snap back has a limited practical value and the U.S. tariffs are only 2.5% compared to Canada's 6.1%. This low tariff is why Korea agreed to the agreement. The U.S. snap back expires after 10 years and cannot be used in the first 4 years of the agreement.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I know the member could not seem to help herself reflect on what the Prime Minister's Office says Conservatives should talk about on this file. She went to great length to indicate to the House that while in government, the Liberal Party was ineffective on the trade file.
    I remind the member that even the agreement we have today was initiated under Paul Martin. It was Korea that pushed it. It started the process in 2003 and virtually within the year, then prime minister Paul Martin initiated discussions on Canada's behalf. It took the current government many years to put it together. In fact, the United States, the European Union, countries like Chile and Peru have already signed agreements.
    Could the member speak to the lost opportunities because of the government being so far behind in coming up with an agreement which many other countries around the world have already signed, sealed and delivered?
Ms. Wai Young:  
    Mr. Speaker, I remind the member that, in fact, I have raised my children in Vancouver and trade, as we know, is a very important thing for the Asia Pacific in Vancouver.
    In this area, the member is absolutely right. The Liberal government did not get it done. Just like Kyoto, it did not get done. Just like child benefits, it did not get done. As a government, we did get it done, and we have these agreements in place right now.

  (1615)  

[Translation]

Mrs. Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Ontario wants a team to be created to oversee the implementation of this agreement. Does the Conservative government plan to consult or work with that province? Second, what will the government do to protect Canada's automotive industry?

[English]

Ms. Wai Young:  
    Mr. Speaker, as we know, Canada is a federation of different provinces. Canada will support the Province of Ontario, just as it supports the Province of B.C. in opening up economic offices abroad, just as we have done with different countries. I am sure that with the signing of this agreement, Korea is a target for that.
     We look forward to working with the different provinces in expanding our trade into Korea, as well as the Asia Pacific region.

[Translation]

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):  
    Before resuming debate, it is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, The Environment; the hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Health; the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, Natural Resources.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Beaches—East York.

[English]

Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today in the House and speak to Bill C-41. The government's trade agenda has provoked widespread public concern. Representing the views of so many Canadians, we have opposed to date all of the trade agreements negotiated by the government, save one.
    Of these deals, the one with the greatest consequence to our economic future, and indeed our political future, has been the China FIPA. With respect to the China FIPA, business columnist and editor Diane Francis has said that the Conservative government demonstrated “the worst negotiating skills since Neville Chamberlain”.
    Most recently, on CBC Radio, she said that trade deals are either “fair and reciprocal” or result in “colonization and hollowing out”. Francis concludes that the China FIPA is decidedly not reciprocal.
    Of course, the NDP is waiting to see what CETA actually says. No breath is being held, however, in light of the unfortunate precedents set at the bargaining table by the government and its tendency to conflate increasing trade with expanding corporate rights and diminishing democratic rights and sovereignty, through the inclusion of investor state dispute settlement mechanisms.
    It will be well understood by now that the Korea deal also includes an investor state dispute settlement mechanism. Certainly, an NDP government would not have included such a mechanism, were we responsible for negotiating this deal. It should be noted that Korea's main opposition party also opposes the inclusion of such a mechanism.
    However, this is not the China FIPA deal, nor is it what we have seen of CETA as of yet. There are significant distinctions to be made here. The Korea deal is fully cancellable or renegotiable on six months' notice, unlike the China FIPA deal, which locks us in for a minimum of 15 years. This agreement has guaranteed transparency rules for ISDS tribunals, and hearings must be held in public. The agreement does not apply to provincial, territorial, or municipal procurement or crown corporations. Shipbuilding is, notably, exempt from federal procurement rules. The agreement does not apply to or negatively affect supply managed agricultural products. Finally, the agreement does not contain any negative intellectual property provision. I am happy to say that we are able to distinguish the agreement before us today from those that have come before it.
    The outstanding question, of course, is this. What is there to recommend this deal? We believe the agreement will have a net benefit for Canada's economy and Canadian workers. That assessment is made by employing essentially three criteria. First, is the proposed partner one who respects democracy, human rights, adequate environmental and labour standards, and Canadian values? Second, is the proposed partner's economy of significant or strategic value to Canada? Third, are the terms of the proposed deal satisfactory?
    With respect to the first of these, Korea has a robust multi-party system of democratic rule, an active trade union movement, and a diverse civil society. South Korea is a developed country ranking 15th on the human development index.
    On the matter of the Korean economy and its strategic economic value to Canada, Korea is a member of the G20, it has the 15th-largest GDP globally, and it is our 7th-largest trading partner. However, it is worth noting that we are on the losing end of this trading relationship currently, with a trade balance deficit of about $4 billion and growing. It is unfortunate but important to note that, in the nine years that successive Liberal and Conservative governments took to negotiate this deal, Korea has moved forward with a free trade agreement with the European Union in 2011 and with the United States in 2012, and further free trade agreements are pending.
    As a result, the market share of Canadian companies in Korea has dropped 30% since the full implementation of its free trade agreement with the United States. The losses have been particularly heavy in the agri-food, seafood, and aerospace industries. The Canadian agri-food business, which is a key economic sector here in Canada, responsible for 1 in 8 or 2.1 million jobs, was hit particularly hard.

  (1620)  

    Similarly, the Canadian aerospace industry was hit hard. Exports to Korea dropped by 80% from $180 million to roughly $35 million in the last couple of years alone.
    It is well past time to ensure that Canadian companies and workers can take advantage of a fair, reciprocal, and freer trading relationship with South Korea. That is why we see, almost without exception, Canadian business representatives and Canadian labour across all sectors of the economy in support of the deal.
    There is a notable exception: segments of the auto sector. They are important segments in the form of the Ford Motor Company and the union Unifor, in particular, which have withheld their support for this agreement. There are certainly positive provisions in the agreement for the auto sector, but this is not to suggest that the concerns of Unifor and the Ford Motor Company are unfounded.
    It is worth noting that, last year, Canada failed to attract a penny of the $17.6 billion invested globally in the auto sector. It is also worth noting that the United States succeeded in its deal with Korea, where the Conservative government failed. It built stronger protections for domestic auto production into its agreement.
    This raises the very important question of what the government is doing to support the auto sector in Canada to ensure that it is in a position to thrive in a globally competitive industry.
    The 115,000 auto jobs are important jobs. They are far more important than the number would indicate, because they stand as representative of the kind of jobs that made certain parts of this country, and by extension the whole country, thrive.
    In my riding of Beaches—East York, at the corner of Victoria Park and Danforth, there once stood a Ford Motor Company plant. It is where Ford made its Canadian Model Ts and Model As. It became the first Canadian plant of Nash Motors and finally American Motors until it closed down. Now, it sits next to what the City of Toronto calls, because of issues of structural poverty, a “priority neighbourhood”. A strip mall now stands where that auto plant once did.
    Just outside the northwest corner of my riding is Toronto's Golden Mile. It was home to significant industrial concerns in the post-war period, including a General Motors van plant. A Globe and Mail article from some years ago probably captured best what became of the Golden Mile. It said:
...the Golden Mile was a golden flame that burned brightly for nearly half a century until it was snuffed out by big-box stores.
    Today, it is the Eglinton Town Centre's towering pylon with a checkerboard of retail signage that stands tallest on the once-proud strip.
    The Golden Mile mall, significantly, houses a City of Toronto social services office.
    While we stand in support of this deal, this is an issue that points to a broader economic context of this agreement. We asked the government what it is doing for urban economies where we see tremendous growth and only growth of precarious employment; where there is a growing level of working poverty; where there are burgeoning, informal economies; where youth unemployment is nearing 20%; where nothing but big-box stores, dollar stores, and social service agencies stand where once stood industry.
    It is not about going back. It is about moving forward. I do not see an economic vision coming out of the government, which addresses the economic needs of a vast portion of Canada and Canadians.

  (1625)  

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, throughout the member's speech I sensed a note of regret that the official opposition is supporting this treaty, given the impact it is likely to have on the car sector within Canada. I have also read through the briefs presented by Unifor and heard its deep concern that this would expand the trade deficit between Canada and Korea, and allow Korean vehicles to flood the Canadian market, while we mostly export more raw materials toward South Korea.
    I wonder if the hon. member is a reluctant supporter of this treaty, as his speech tended to suggest. Why would he not join the Greens and vote against it?
Mr. Matthew Kellway:  
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands mistakes my concerns, I am afraid, and I will take responsibility for that.
    I stand in support of the agreement. It is qualitatively different from the deals that have come before, that the government has negotiated previously.
    However, I think it is worthwhile in the context of having a debate on this issue in the House to raise the important questions that this bill raises. What is the broader economic policy context for this bill? Where is the policy or strategy that reflects the desire to ensure we can compete in terms of innovation, for example? Where is the policy and strategy that ensures all can participate in the economic benefits of this agreement?
    What I got from the government is that simply dropping trade barriers seems to be enough for it, and what happens thereafter is somehow magic.
    I support the freer trade agreement with South Korea, but it does raise the question for the auto sector and more broadly. What is the broad economic vision for this country? I would point to my neck of the woods, my neighbourhood, where we see the legacy of a strong industrial Canada that is now covered over with big-box stores and dollar stores, and where people are struggling to make a living.
    I would ask the government what it is going to do about that.

[Translation]

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, my question is relatively simple. Over the past few years, Canada has been losing industrial jobs and exporting its natural resources almost completely unprocessed. When the United States negotiates a trade agreement, it ensures that its industries are protected and it increases the value of its exports by processing them domestically. It provides those industries with investments, support and industrial policies, which we do not do here in Canada.
    I would like to know if we could obtain this same economic agreement, supported by a policy of industrialization, which we currently do not have, since this would provide significant and real economic benefits.

[English]

Mr. Matthew Kellway:  
    Mr. Speaker, if we are to have a country where prosperity is increasing but is shared more fairly, then we need to have industrial policy to support the free trade agreements we are negotiating.
    It is a particular interest and concern to me as the urban affairs critic, thinking about urban economies, because the government does not think about urban economies. What that indicates to me is that, in the absence of that thought, we are not going to grow an innovative economy. Urban economies are fundamentally the place where one grows an economy of innovation.
    This is the very point. It is great to have a free trade deal of this nature, but as my colleague from Windsor has raised in his questions this afternoon, there is the issue of an auto strategy and other strategies that Korea has to support its free trade agenda. It has a green technology, green energy strategy that ensures Korea is going to be able to compete globally on those terms. It is 1 of 12 countries around the world that supports its auto industry with a national strategy.
    We have none of these things. A trade agenda is great, and we will support dropping trade barriers where we believe it is of advantage to Canada's business and Canadian workers, but the very point of my speech here today is to urge the government to think about having industrial policy to support a trade agenda.

  (1630)  

Ms. Lois Brown (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, the Canada–Korea free trade agreement is a landmark achievement that will result in mutual benefits and prosperity for both countries and lay the foundation to unlock the full potential of our political, economic, and security relations.
    The most recent Speech from the Throne committed to expanding trade in the Asia–Pacific region to benefit hard-working Canadians and businesses, especially our crucial small and medium-sized enterprises and industries across the country. We are delivering on that commitment with this agreement.
    The conclusion of the Canada–Korea free trade agreement negotiations was announced in Seoul by the Prime Minister and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on March 11, 2014. During the announcement, both leaders demonstrated their strong commitment to raising the overall Canada–Korea partnership to a new level and to entering a new era in our countries' bilateral relations.
    The Canada–Korea free trade agreement represents a significant achievement for Canada. It will provide exporters, investors, and service providers with strategic access to a key gateway to the wider Asia–Pacific region and will also provide a level playing field for them and their key foreign competitors from the U.S., the EU, Australia, and other countries that have concluded free trade agreements with South Korea.
    In addition, the Canada–Korea free trade agreement is projected to boost Canada's GDP by $1.7 billion and increase Canada's exports to South Korea by over 30%. Canadian workers in sectors across every region of the country stand to benefit from increased access.
    This free trade agreement is an ambitious, state-of-the-art agreement covering virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada–Korea trade, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, intellectual property, labour, and environmental co-operation.
    It is disappointing to note that during 13 long years in government, the Liberals completely neglected trade, completing only three free trade agreements. The Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game of trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets. Thanks to our government, Canada has reached free trade agreements with an additional 38 countries.
    While the Canada–Korea free trade agreement will provide a modern and stable foundation to grow our bilateral relations, it builds on our long history of political and economic co-operation.
     Canada and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations in 1963. During the Korea War between 1950 and 1953, Canada contributed the third-largest contingent of troops to the United Nations command. Some 26,791 Canadian soldiers served in Korea, of whom 516 died.
    As I said earlier today, my cousin was one of those people. Lance Corporal John Howard Fairman, who died on October 13, 1952, was the son of my aunt and uncle, Howard and Blanche Fairman. He grew up in Hastings, Ontario, and volunteered for the Royal Canadian Regiment.
    After the Korean War armistice, 7,000 Canadian soldiers served as peacekeepers between 1953 and 1957.
     Prior to the establishment of diplomatic bilateral relations, Canada participated in supervising South Korea's first elections in 1948, as part of the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea. Currently Canada is the only state, other than the United Nations, with permanent military representation at the United Nations Command in Korea. Canada participates in the UNC military armistice commission that supervises the armistice.
     As well, we are proud to have sent a Canadian delegation of veterans and government officials to South Korea for the 60th anniversary of the armistice on July 27, 2013.

  (1635)  

    This long-standing, strong, and meaningful relationship has been underlined by the recent leaders' visits. Indeed, The leaders have met twice this year. First, as I mentioned, the Prime Minister visited South Korea in March. In fact, the Prime Minister has visited South Korea on four occasions. The second meeting was just last week, when President Park made her first state visit to Ottawa. It was a great honour to welcome President Park and her delegation to Canada at that time. She was the first Korean president to visit Canada in 15 years.
    The Governor General attended the inauguration ceremony of President Park in February 2013, accompanied by four Canadian parliamentary colleagues. This visit comprised part of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and South Korea. Both countries organized a series of activities and initiatives to further raise the profile of the relationship and deepen co-operation.
    The Minister of Finance visited South Korea in October 2013 as Minister of Natural Resources, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans just recently travelled to South Korea to promote Canadian fish and seafood products.
    The former Minister of Veterans Affairs, now the Minister of Public Safety, led a delegation of 35 Canadian veterans on a visit to South Korea in April 2013 as part of a revisit program for Korean war veterans. Some 74 Canadian Armed Forces personnel participated in the U.S.-Republic of Korea-United Nations Command military exercise in August 2014, forming the largest non-U.S. contingent from any of the other sending states.
    I think members are beginning to see that Canada and South Korea are natural partners.
    To further strengthen our already strong ties, Canada and South Korea have established a strategic partnership. Its purpose is to provide the opportunity to focus on areas affecting our bilateral relationship and to identify ways that we can work together regionally and globally on issues ranging from forestry to the Arctic to education to hosting the Olympic Games. This partnership will lay out a strategic direction for stronger relations in key areas of common interest, including energy and natural resources, science, technology and innovation, and Arctic research and development.
    Our ties are not limited to bilateral relations. We recognize that we live in a changing and dynamic world. South Korea is in a region with many challenges. Canada and South Korea share similar regional views and objectives on a range of multilateral and global issues.
     Our people-to-people ties are extensive and deep. Nearly 170,000 Canadians identify themselves as being of Korean origin. Over 23,000 Canadians are currently residing in South Korea, including about 3,200 language teachers, and 141,800 Korean tourists visited Canada in 2013. They constituted the eighth-largest source of tourists in Canada and spent almost $250 million in the Canadian economy.
    Education ties are extensive and growing. South Korea is Canada's third-largest source of international students, with over 19,000 students. There are over 100 agreements among institutions in Canada and South Korea facilitating the exchange of students, faculty, staff, and curricula as well as providing joint research and degree programs.
    South Korea is home to a Canadian studies community, including several university-based centres and the Korean Association for Canadian Studies. In Canada, the Korea Foundation supports several university research chairs and South Korean studies programs in universities across Canada.
    When the Prime Minister visited South Korea in 2009, he was honoured to be the first Canadian leader to address the South Korean national assembly. At that time, he observed the following:
    Canada and South Korea have been staunch allies in the defence of freedom and democracy.... We are not a warlike people, but when the cause has been just and necessary, Canadians have always answered the call. There is no doubt the cause of South Korean freedom was just and necessary. And, the truth of the ideals for which we fought has been revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt as this Republic has flourished, while the Communist North has floundered.

  (1640)  

    As I have described, Canada is a long-standing partner of Korea and its people. I believe that the Canada-Korea free agreement would contribute to this relationship and to both countries' mutual economic growth and prosperity.
    I ask all hon. members to support this agreement, ensuring it enters into force as quickly as possible, as part of their support for Canada's broader collaborative and strategic partnership with South Korea.
Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the speech by the hon. member.
    I note that article 17.4 of this trade agreement states that “The parties”—that is, Korea and Canada—“shall strive to facilitate and promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services”.
     Korea has been congratulated by the OECD on adopting and moving forward expeditiously on their green growth indicators. Korea has been at the forefront of green growth. It has a national strategy over 40 years and a five-year plan. It has committed 2% of the annual GDP to green growth, with investments geared toward infrastructure to boost the economy. It has passed a U.S. $30.7 billion stimulus package to support its green ambitions.
    The question for the government is this: what will it do to implement its obligations under this treaty?
Ms. Lois Brown:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would refer my hon. colleague to page 2 of the bill, where it talks about purpose. Right here it says:
    The purpose of this act is to implement the Agreement, the objectives of which, as elaborated more specifically through its provisions, are to
    And here one of the provisions explicitly is:
f) enhance and enforce environmental laws and regulations and strengthen cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Korea on governmental matters
    We will continue to work on all of these areas with our partners to ensure that the environment is protected.
    I spoke specifically in my speech about issues related to the Arctic. Canada has been taking very vigorous action on the Arctic, and we are going to share that with our Korean partners.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I have indicated in the past that the Liberal Party does support the trade agreement with South Korea. We see it as a step forward in overall international trade.
    The member made reference to our current relationship, and we should be very boastful of our current relationship, whether it is foreign students or the economic ties that currently bring us together, not to mention out ties through immigration and the many contributions that people of Korean heritage bring to our communities, whether in downtown Toronto, out on the west coast, in my own lovable city of Winnipeg, or in all the regions of Canada.
    That said, there are some legitimate concerns with regard to the agreement.
    We see the benefits to the aerospace industry and we see the benefits to the pork industry. The specific question I have for the member is this: what sort of assurances can she provide to the automobile industry that the government and the agreement are being sensitive to the automobile industry, an industry we care deeply about?

  (1645)  

Ms. Lois Brown:  
    Mr. Speaker, as a member who represents the riding of Newmarket—Aurora, where the auto industry is thriving and we have secondary suppliers to the Big Three, I can say it is very important for the auto industry to stay strong.
    I think we have had the discussion about how the tariffs would be reduced and how we would not have the kind of impact that some people are seemingly talking about as a threat to the auto industry.
    I would like to address the hon. member's comments about the Korean people who have immigrated to Canada and the great cultural contributions they have made.
     I have a rather large Korean community in my riding of Newmarket—Aurora. Substantially, they have a congregation that meets regularly in one of the churches in town, which tells me that the number of people in the area is large.
    However, they have also bought farms in the area just to the west of me. They are providing produce, and they are excited about this agreement going forward because they see great opportunities for selling the produce they are growing here to Korea.
    They are very excited about this opportunity. I thank them for the work they have done in our communities. I know they have invested in culture and in industry, and we thank them for what they have done for Canada.

[Translation]

Ms. Ève Péclet (La Pointe-de-l'Île, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in the House to support Bill C-41.
    Considering that it has taken approximately 10 years to get to this point, the NDP is proud of this agreement, which is the first free trade agreement that Canada has signed with an Asian economic partner. The terms of the agreement are largely satisfactory, with the exception of a few concerns that I will address later on.
    Negotiations for this agreement officially began in 2005. The agreement, as it now stands, was signed on March 11, 2014, and was presented in the House on March 12, 2014. It was about time, because it had been nearly 11 years.
    I would like to tell my colleagues about the criteria that the NDP uses to evaluate free trade agreements. To begin, the proposed partner must share basic Canadian values, such as respect for democracy and human rights, and it must have adequate environmental and labour standards. That goes without saying. When we negotiate a free trade agreement, we want to be sure that the other party shares the same values and applies the same industry standards that Canada does.
    Then, we look at the proposed partner's economic situation. It must be of significant or strategic value to Canada. Finally, the terms of the agreement must be satisfactory. We believe that South Korea meets our criteria. Consequently, the NDP is supporting the bill. We have some reservations, but I will come back to them.
    I would like to talk a bit about South Korea. Since the dictatorship collapsed about 30 years ago, the international community has watched the country transition to a modern democracy with high standards with respect to human rights, labour rights and environmental protection.
    It is the only country in Asia to have been ranked 15th on the human development index. That accomplishment is due in part to the numerous social programs implemented by the government, the prevalence of the rule of law, low levels of corruption and access to quality education.
    South Korea also launched an ambitious green strategy to improve its energy efficiency. It is abundantly clear that the country has great respect for the environment and that the government is making serious commitments in that regard. South Korea is a candidate that shares Canadian values around human rights, democracy and the environment. That is an extremely important aspect of an intelligent and balanced approach to a free trade agreement.
    In addition, South Korea is of significant strategic value to Canada, which has been at a disadvantage ever since the United States and the European Union both signed free trade agreements with South Korea. That created an economic imbalance and affected a number of industries in Canada.
    Preliminary estimates show that the agreement would eliminate almost 98% of tariffs for both parties. Also, Canadian exports to South Korea are expected to rise by 32%, which is worth about $1.7 billion. Let us not forget that South Korea can serve as a gateway to other Asian markets because of its position in the Asian supply chain.
    Complementary aspects of the two economies redefine the success of the agreement because Canada and South Korea will not necessarily be in direct competition in their shared markets.
    However, Canada would do well to support our automotive industry and create programs to encourage the Korean automotive industry to come set up shop here. I will come back to this later.

  (1650)  

    The biggest winners among Canadian industries are the heavy industry, agriculture—our pork and beef farmers have suffered greatly from the lack of agreement for many years—the forestry industry, the aerospace industry and the fisheries. A number of associations have expressed support for this free trade agreement.
    I will start with the agricultural sector, which is vital to our economy. It accounts for about 8% of Canada's overall economy and provides nearly 2.1 million jobs. The two agreements signed by the United States and the European Union unfortunately affected our economic balance in the agricultural sector. For example, the Canadian beef industry saw its exports to South Korea drop from $96 million in 2011 to just $8 million in 2013. The same was true for pork exports. These two industries suffered a lot because we did not have a free trade agreement. The ratification of the free trade agreement with South Korea is an opportunity to turn things around for these disadvantaged industries, by eliminating 86.8% of the tariffs on those industries.

[English]

    In the aerospace, seafood, forestry and food sectors, the situation is very similar. These sectors will significantly benefit due to the abolishment of export tariffs and increased market share in South Korea and the Asia-Pacific region in general. Jayson Myers, president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, says “Asia’s rich markets are the next frontier for Canada” in our desire to abolish all kinds of obstacles to ensure the expansion of trade investments.
    While the agreement is superior to the one with China and the EU, we expressed a few concerns about this FTA. As I mentioned previously in my speech, there are some issues for the auto industry.
    First of all, the NDP is calling on the government to do more to support the auto industry in Canada and is eager to propose solid, effective policy measures to strengthen the Canadian auto sector. The government can and should encourage Korean auto production in Canada and assist Canadian automakers to penetrate the Korean market.
    The government continues to fail the auto sector, and I think it is time for it to take a more comprehensive approach. Our auto sector has suffered continuously from the lack of propositions by the government. The most positive features of the Korean FTA are the rules of origin provisions that favour Canadian-U.S. integrated products and the accelerated dispute resolution mechanism that allows for the monitoring of non-tariff barriers.
    At the same time, our party has expressed some legitimate concerns about the Korea FTA regarding the Canadian auto sector. Unifor and Ford Canada's opposition is sensible as the FTA Korean imports will negatively affect domestic auto sales. As well, Canadian auto exports will suffer from Korean non-tariff barriers. Additionally, Korean producers seem to penetrate the domestic market through other NAFTA countries. For example, 50% of Korean auto products enter the Canadian market tariff free through the U.S.

  (1655)  

[Translation]

    In closing, I would like to talk about the many potential problems with the investor dispute settlement provisions. As we know, the German government said that it was not necessarily ready to ratify the Canada-European Union free trade agreement because Canada had insisted on including investor-state dispute resolution provisions. We know what kind of adverse effect this type of mechanism can have on the sovereignty of governments and on their ability to adopt environmental or economic regulations that favour industry in Canada.
    The NDP is asking that free trade agreements not include this type of mechanism. As I already said, this could have an adverse effect on the sovereignty of governments.

[English]

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I wanted to pick up on a couple of points that my colleague made near the end of her speech, pointing out that 50% of Korean cars currently enter Canada duty free from the U.S. under NAFTA and that over 85% of Canadian production is exported. We know that is the current situation, but since the Korea-U.S. free trade deal was signed, U.S. auto exports to Korea have more than doubled from $340 million in 2011 to over $800 million in 2013. Since the Korea-EU agreement was signed, exports to Korea have doubled from $2 billion in 2010 to $4 billion in 2013.
    Considering the facts that currently 50% of Korean cars can enter Canada through the NAFTA already, if we remove these tariffs would we not expect to find similar results to the U.S. and the EU after they signed their Korea free trade agreements, with auto exports actually doubling? Also, Ford set an annual sales record last year in Korea. From 2012-13, Ford was the fastest growing brand being sold in Korea. The concerns that the Ford Motor Company had and the concerns about possibly reducing numbers, I think these numbers would indicate the opposite.

[Translation]

Ms. Ève Péclet:  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising the point I wanted to make in the House.

[English]

    The government failed to help the auto industry in Canada. We have continuously been disadvantaged through the government's inability to strengthen our industry.

[Translation]

    The government should be adopting policies to help stimulate Canada's automotive sector and encourage other countries to invest in Canada.
    The point I was trying to make was not about whether the free trade agreement was going to support the industry or not. I was talking about the government's constant lack of leadership when it comes to stimulating our own economy.
    Signing a free trade agreement is not necessarily the equivalent of waving a magic wand and erasing everything the industry has gone through since the government refused to adopt policies that were appropriate for the situation.

  (1700)  

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech on the bill.
    I would like to ask her why it would be important for the government and the other opposition parties to adopt an approach as balanced as ours. As we know, the Conservative and Liberal approaches are not as balanced.
    Sometimes, free trade agreements are signed with somewhat questionable countries. Other parties approve some free trade agreements without knowing all the details.
    Why is it important to have a balanced approach and to read all the details of an agreement before voting on it? How important is this for Canada's economy?
Ms. Ève Péclet:  
    Mr. Speaker, when we negotiate a contract or a free trade agreement, we must ensure that the people with whom we are negotiating are on an equal footing. We want to help our industries, but not at any cost.
    The government negotiated dozens of free trade agreements that contained provisions to encourage economies to respect workers' rights. The government signs the free trade agreement and then later ensures, for example, that the countries' values are in line with Canada's values.
    Personally, I believe that when we negotiate a contract or a free trade agreement, we must ensure that the people with whom we negotiate are on an equal footing. This applies to any situation. I am not going to tell someone that I am going to sign his contract and that I will check later whether or not he complies with the terms of the contract. First, we must ensure that the person signing the free trade agreement will and already does respect Canadian values concerning the environment and workers' rights, for example. I believe that is the least we can do. That is a realistic approach. It is a balanced approach, and that is precisely why the NDP is calling on the government to take that kind of approach.

[English]

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased, as this debate continues on the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, particularly on Bill C-41, which would bring the treaty into effect, that as the leader of the Green Party of Canada, I am able to put more fully on the record the position I have stated so far through questions and comments. The Green Party will not be supporting this treaty. I will explain the fundamental reason and then will go into some of the details.
    Fundamentally, the Green Party of Canada will never support an agreement that includes an investor state provision. We believe investor state provisions are, by definition, anti-democratic. By definition, the notion that we should allow a corporation or investor from another country to have superior rights to Canadian companies in response to Canadian laws, whether passed at municipal, provincial, or federal levels, is offensive. The first of these was chapter 11 of NAFTA.
    I will go into more detail later as to why we oppose investor state agreements and the particularities of the Canada-Korea agreement. I also want to back up and say that in the Canada-Korea treaty, the Green Party believes we missed our opportunity to ensure that we had a more balanced deal.
    Let me say this about South Korea: what a tremendous economy it has built. In the wake of the collapse brought about by currency speculation, the trading in currencies that created a meltdown of what were then described as the Asian tigers, Korea, through a lot of state-led economic policy, has built an economy that is championing renewable energy, as some of my colleagues in the NDP have mentioned, and championing clean tech. There is a lot to be admired in what South Korea is doing. Therefore, the comments I am making about this trade deal are not in any way to suggest that South Korea is not a really impressive democracy doing a lot with technology.
    The difficulty the Green Party has is with the way this trade treaty is going to go forward. We agree with the concerns of the auto sector in Canada, both the CEO of Ford and Unifor, representing the workers, that we will lock in our trade imbalances and not reduce them.
    I know some of my colleagues have mentioned Unifor. Let me read into the record the views of the CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada, Dianne Craig, who said, in response to this treaty, “...South Korea will remain one of the most closed automotive markets in the world” under the new deal. She went on to say that the trade agreements the U.S. and the European Union have executed failed to reverse their negative trade flows, but those treaties were more protective of their domestic car markets than Canada's treaty with Korea would be.
    I am again quoting the CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada: “No Canadian manufacturer can compete with a market controlled by non-tariff barriers and currency manipulation”. Of course, we know that this agreement does not deal with those barriers to Canadians' access to the automotive market.
    It is quite true that we have a lopsided relationship in trade with Korea. In 2012, we were exporting $3.7 billion worth of exports to Korea, and $3.7 billion is an impressive number. However, we were importing $6.4 billion in imports from Korea. The story of what constituted that $3.7 billion worth of exports and $6.4 billion worth of imports is worth touching upon.
    Canada has largely been exporting raw resources to Korea. Under this deal, the commodities touted in the materials that have accompanied the deal have talked about what this would do to improve agricultural exports and raw commodity exports, whereas when we look at what we have been importing from Korea, it has been high-value manufactured imports.
    Let us look at what Canada has been exporting to Korea. I will quote Jim Stanford, who is a very respected economist who works with Unifor. He put it this way:
    We export mostly raw material to Korea, and we import sophisticated high technology products from Korea.

  (1705)  

    Continuing the quote from Jim Stanford, he said:
    Canada's top four exports to Korea last year were coal, copper, aluminum and wood pulp. Our top four imports were motor vehicles, electronic circuits, auto parts and smartphones.
    There is nothing in this trade deal that is going to change the characteristics of what we are importing and what we are exporting. I referenced the history of what we have seen with the quote from the CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada. She certainly mentioned the experience of the U.S. and the EU. Concluding trade deals with Korea did not change the gap that existed in trade flows. In other words, having executed deals like this, and ones that were more protective of their auto markets, they still saw the trade deficit with Korea expand.
    There is something wrong. This is a larger conversation I would like to have someday in the House. The Green Party believes that Canada is losing out in productivity and in R and D by allowing our exports to be skewed over the last number of years from 60% value-added exports to, currently, 60% raw material exports. Being a compliant resource economy for other countries around the world is not in the best interest of our economy and certainly is not in the interest of rebuilding our manufacturing sector.
    I turn quickly to the issue of investor state agreements. By definition, they are perverse, but it is interesting how different they are becoming, depending on what country we have negotiated with. It is at least important that on the Canada-Korea agreement we are being given the opportunity to vote on something. We are having a full debate in the House of Commons. On the most devastating, damaging agreement yet negotiated by any government in Canada, the Canada-China investment treaty, the so-called FIPA, we did not have debate. We did not have votes. We did not have a bill go to committee. That was because it was not a trade deal; it was an investment deal. It was a stand-alone treaty. It gives, because it has now been ratified, the People's Republic of China the ability to bring arbitration cases against Canada for changes in our domestic legislation, whether municipally, provincially, or federally. That treaty includes no transparency whatsoever and binds us for 31 years.
    At the far end of the extreme of trade agreements with an investment provision, which showed that the Government of Canada was dealing with a negotiator from another party that wanted to reduce the pernicious nature of investor state agreements, we have the new text of CETA with the EU, the comprehensive economic trade agreement. The Green Party will not be supporting CETA. However, when I read through the investor state provisions, what a revelation. It is quite different. It is night and day in terms of transparency. If the CETA goes through, for arbitration cases brought by investors from the EU against Canada or by Canadian investors against the EU, the arbitrations themselves will be open to the public. The most we can expect out of any other trade agreement, such as, in this case, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, is that we will get public notice of the fact that these proceedings are happening at all.
     That is also what occurs under most of the intermediary bilateral investment treaties that were negotiated after chapter 11 of NAFTA. Chapter 11 of NAFTA, like the Canada-China investment treaty, has no transparency whatsoever. The CETA is at the far end of the spectrum. It says that they will open up these arbitrations to the public and let people with an interest actually present evidence and participate. It is almost getting like a court as opposed to a private arbitration in a hotel room somewhere.
    In the case of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, the investor state provisions fall in the mid-range. They are not as pernicious, nor do they lock us in for 31 years, as the Canada-China agreement does. Neither are they bending over backwards to try to win over people who oppose investor state agreements. Clearly, that is the case in the European Union. They stand in opposition to CETA because of investor state agreements, at least in Germany. However, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement still includes that measures adopted by a party include municipal, provincial, federal, and local governments and non-government bodies acting with authority from local parties. In other words, we are opening up the gates once again to investor state arbitration suits that could cost us billions, this time from Korea.

  (1710)  

    Both of us in the Green Party will be voting against this treaty. I urge other members of this House who are concerned about the impacts of this treaty to join us, no matter what their party instructions are.

Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act

Bill C-13--Notice of Time Allocation  

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):  
     Mr. Speaker, I want to advise the House that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) concerning the proceedings at report stage and third reading of Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
     Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at those stages.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):  
    I am sure the House appreciates the notice by the hon. government House leader.

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Mr. Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I wanted to ask my hon. colleague from the Green Party about her party's very strong opposition to investor state dispute resolution provisions.
    I talked to some experts in my own riding of Kingston and the Islands from Queen's University, lawyers who specialize in dealing with some of these disputes and in writing treaties, to try to understand this issue. They seemed to uniformly emphasize that Canadian businesses need that protection in other countries, and that on the whole, Canada probably gains from these agreements.
    The other thing they emphasized is that if we look at all the damages Canada has had to pay so far, if we take out the AbitibiBowater settlement, which reflects the value of assets that were seized, expropriated, by the Newfoundland and Labrador government, and add them up, it comes to only about $20 million so far. We have to put that in the context of $600 billion worth of foreign investment in Canada. It is one thirty-thousandth. If we put that in context, what I have gotten from the experts I talked to in Kingston is that it is very small compared to the amount of investment in Canada.
    I want to ask my hon. colleague if she could comment on that and explain her party's opposition.

  (1715)  

Ms. Elizabeth May:  
    Mr. Speaker, the Green Party's strong opposition is drawn from empirical data and extensive experience, including advice from international lawyers, particularly Canada's leading arbitration lawyer in this area, and the only one who is not personally benefiting from participating in these investor state disputes, Prof. Gus Van Harten, at Osgoode Hall Law School.
    His view is buttressed by an EU think tank study called “Profiting from Injustice”, which examines the hundreds of investor state agreement disputes around the world and finds a very distinct pattern. The smaller economic power almost invariably loses, whether it is an investor corporation from the smaller power versus a larger government or, reversing it, a larger government investor suing a smaller country.
    The reality is that no U.S. company suing in the U.S. under Chapter 11 of NAFTA has ever won, and the U.S. private sector companies suing Canada have almost always won.
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I want to specifically hone in on one aspect of the speech by the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands with respect to the auto sector and put some context around where we are right now. I look to her for some recommendations she might support.
    Right now there is a 6% trade barrier Canada raises against Korean automakers coming into the Canadian market. Korea, reciprocally, holds an 8% barrier.
    Korean automakers have been building in the U.S. and in Mexico, and that is the way they have been entering the Canadian market and avoiding that trade barrier. They are not building in Canada right now.
    I would suggest that this would also be cited as a current problem in our trading relationship. What types of steps would the member be encouraging a more progressive Canadian government to take to encourage some of that auto manufacturing to take place in the Canadian context, as it is taking place in the U.S. and on the Mexican side of the border, thereby avoiding the trade barrier we currently impose, prior to the agreement being ratified?
Ms. Elizabeth May:  
    Mr. Speaker, I think we need to have trade deals that have targeted measures that would protect and allow our sectors to expand and allow us to have Korean vehicles made in Canada, as my hon. colleague suggests. Therefore, tariff reduction should be tied to measurable targets in reducing bilateral trade imbalances in strategic sectors, such as in the automobile sector.
     It would certainly be helpful in creating a tariff-free zone if we had specific measures to require that larger Korean firms start building in Canada. We should be able to retain the ability, as the Korean government has retained its ability to intervene in its markets, to create the kinds of interventions that moderate the damage of trade imbalances. This agreement would not do it but as I mentioned even the CEO of Ford Motor Company thought we should be dealing with it. The trade agreement should include provisions regarding currency misalignment.

[Translation]

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and the pleasure to rise to make a short speech about Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea. It is a pleasure for me because this proves that the official opposition, the NDP, examines the context of each bill introduced in the House. It studies bills not based on its ideology, but on the facts, and with a view to determining the merits of each free trade agreement.
    We have some concerns about this agreement, but there are also benefits for the Canadian economy.

[English]

    It has been said that the problem with rigid ideology is that we often get the answer before we ask the question.
    We have often seen with trade deals by the Conservatives and often their strange bedfellows, the Liberals, that they say yes before reading the text. They say yes before trying to understand what the impacts are going to be. The NDP has taken a very transparent and clear approach to the trade deals as they have been presented to us over the previous years in the House of Commons. Applying a consistent and transparent approach to trade negotiations allows Canadians to judge us on our approach to those trade negotiations. It also allows the New Democrats to apply a consistent measure to the trade deals, and judge each one in context as it comes forward.
    What would some of those criteria be? Certainly, one would be the strategic diversification of the Canadian trading relationships we have with the world. Korea obviously meets this test. It is the seventh largest economy and the fourth largest in Asia. It is a key entrant into the Asian market, with which we presently have no trade deals.
    My hon. colleague preceding me mentioned an agreement that the New Democrats do not support, which is one that was negotiated, signed and ratified in secret with the Chinese government. That is the so-called FIPA, or the foreign investment promotion and protection agreement. We do not support it for obvious reasons, which I could get into but I want to stay focused right now on the Korean deal that is before us.
    Another key condition for us as New Democrats in looking at any deal is an element of reciprocity. It is no good for Canada, often as a more primary resource economy and an economy that is smaller when dealing with the United States, China and other potentially larger economies, to not embed reciprocity into the very DNA of the negotiations. That has been accomplished in this deal and it gives us some comfort.
    Are we trading with another nation that has at its heart democratic rights and institutions so that they can have a free and informed debate on their side, not only of the trade deal but of the relationship going ahead? That is clearly a test that has been met by the Republic of Korea, which has a strong and long history of democracy. It holds high standards not only for democracy and human rights, but for workers' rights and the environment. These are tests that are important to us as New Democrats.
    There has been a number of trade deals signed by the government with foreign regimes that cannot make that claim. The reason that it is so important is that when we make a trade deal or relationship, we assume that all ships will rise in the harbour, as Reagan used to say. That depends on whether our trading partner is willing or able to enforce a higher standard for environmental protection, for workers' rights and for democracy.
    If we are dealing with a regime, as the Conservative government has been only too willing to do, that is unwilling, unable or unlikely to do that, what is the positive force that we are looking for in trade in the world? If what is happening at the end of the day is that a regime that is abusive of human rights and does not uphold high standards for workers and the environment is allowed to continue, it gets to wrap itself in the good name of Canada. It can say, “We must be a good country because Canada has agreed to a trade deal with us”. The Conservative government has done that too often.
    Allow me a moment to contrast this, as I alluded to earlier, with the Conservative and, I would say, Liberal approach to the foreign investment protection agreement with China. It was negotiated in secret and then signed in Russia. It was held for two years before it was ratified by the government, with no debate and no transparency whatsoever. It is a deal that locks Canada in for 31 years, even after we decide that it is no longer beneficial to us.

  (1720)  

    Take a moment to consider that. What country in its right mind would sign an investor protection agreement with 31 years before it is able to withdraw from such an agreement?
    Questions of reciprocity need to be taken right off the table. I can recall a brief blip in the Prime Minister's logic that was exposed here in the House when the NDP was asking questions about the reciprocity, the reciprocal nature of such a deal as the China FIPA deal. The Prime Minister said Canadian companies will be protected by the rule of law in China, and then he had to pause because such an assurance is obviously ridiculous on its surface and in its intent. We have seen what the challenges have been to many foreign companies attempting to operate in China, rules around intellectual property agreements, rules around just basic protection for those seeking to do business in China. It is farcical for the Prime Minister of Canada to suggest that there would be any such protection.
    FIPA was entered into in this mix of secrecy and the notion of “just trust us” from the Conservative Party, which no one does when it comes to things like this. With such a large trading partner only growing in influence and power, and with serious concerns about human rights abuses, about impacts on the environment, about democratic institutions that are not yet robust in China, we were able to say with a great deal of confidence that Canadians were overly wary of this. Chinese Canadians, recent immigrants to this country from China were also wary of such a deal. Any government that lacks the confidence to bring a trade agreement of any kind to the floor of the House of Commons speaks volumes about what is behind that trade deal.
    In any trade deal, and this is true regardless of the nature of the trade deal, regardless of the trading partner, there are certain aspects of our economy that will greatly benefit, others that will benefit less, and others that may be hurt.
    We are asking important questions about the agreement with Europe right now, because the government has refused to give us details on support to the dairy sector, for example. That sector will obviously be harmed by what is happening with the European trade deal. There are potential impacts on pharmaceutical medications and costs to Canadians and to the provinces, which are already reeling from a $36 billion cut to transfers in health payments from the federal government. Canadians want to know if their prescription medications are going to get more expensive under the trade deal with Europe, and the Conservative government has offered us absolutely nothing. This goes back to the Conservatives saying, “Trust us, do not worry”.
    I mentioned the auto sector earlier in a question to my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands. Korea is a growing and significant power in auto manufacturing.
    Let me summarize the context that we are faced with. Canada levies a 6% barrier on autos coming in from Korea. Korea inversely puts an 8% barrier on Canadian imports with a number of other non-tariff trade imbalances. Korean manufacturers have been building cars in the United States and Mexico. Obviously, a car manufactured in those places will enter Canada trade-barrier free, and they have been for a number of years. When the U.S. signed its trade deal just two years ago with Korea, the gap widened but the overall volume of cars going to Korea and cars coming from Korea into the U.S. went up.
     Canada has been lagging behind. We are concerned because the government has been slow to move in negotiations with Korea and our auto manufacturing sector has been losing market share. Market share has also been lost across agriculture, wood products and a number of other things that have raised concerns for many of us.
    Let us take the global context for a moment. Foreign direct investment in the auto manufacturing sector alone approached nearly $18 billion last year. Do members know how much foreign direct investment came into Canada? The answer is zero. That should be a concern to all Canadians whatever their political stripe and their influence. Canada may be and in fact is slipping behind our competitors when it comes to investing, particularly in the new technology, the advanced stage cars that are coming on line that take us away from the carbon economy. Canada has fallen too far behind in that.
    More support needs to be given to build that next generation of automobile. If $18 billion globally has gone into the advanced auto sector and manufacturing and Canada has received nothing, this should be cause for alarm. However, we see in this trade deal that even though we are opening up this new segment to Korea, there is no support for the Canadian auto sector whatsoever. This raises concerns for us. The concerns raised by Unifor, Ford and others are important for us to consider.

  (1725)  

    The New Democrats will support this deal with some reservations on the investor state protection agreement in particular. Our Korean counterparts in the opposition government right now are also raising concerns. A future New Democratic government would revisit those aspects of the bill, take out the most odious aspects. Hopefully a Korean opposition would see likewise the benefits of having a good trade deal for Canada and Korea without some of the more egregious parts of the act that we have concerns with today.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, the member concluded his remarks by saying that the New Democrats would reopen the agreement. I acknowledge the importance of our automobile industry in Ontario. The member had the opportunity to highlight his concerns. Would he like to add anything further to it given we have to be brief?

  (1730)  

Mr. Nathan Cullen:  
    Mr. Speaker, yes, highlighting the importance of the Canadian auto manufacturing sector is incredibly important.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):  
    Is the House ready for the question?
    Some hon. members: Question.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

[Translation]

Ms. Nycole Turmel:  
    Mr. Speaker, I request that the division be deferred until tomorrow, October 1, at the expiry of the time provided for government orders.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):  
    Accordingly, the recorded division stands deferred until tomorrow, immediately before private members' business.

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Changes to Standing Orders  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed from September 29 consideration of the motion, and of the motion that this question be now put.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):  
    It being 5:32 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion that this question be now put.
    Call in the members.

  (1810)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 237)

YEAS

Members

Ablonczy
Adams
Adler
Aglukkaq
Albas
Albrecht
Alexander
Allen (Welland)
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambler
Anders
Anderson
Andrews
Angus
Armstrong
Ashton
Aspin
Aubin
Ayala
Baird
Barlow
Bateman
Bélanger
Bennett
Benoit
Benskin
Bergen
Bernier
Bevington
Bezan
Blanchette
Blaney
Block
Boivin
Borg
Boughen
Boutin-Sweet
Brahmi
Braid
Brison
Brosseau
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Bruinooge
Butt
Byrne
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan
Carmichael
Caron
Carrie
Casey
Cash
Chan
Charlton
Chicoine
Chisholm
Chisu
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Cleary
Comartin
Côté
Crockatt
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
Daniel
Davidson
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Day
Dechert
Devolin
Dewar
Dionne Labelle
Donnelly
Doré Lefebvre
Dreeshen
Dubé
Dubourg
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Dusseault
Dykstra
Eyking
Falk
Fantino
Fast
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Fletcher
Foote
Fortin
Freeland
Freeman
Fry
Galipeau
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Genest
Genest-Jourdain
Giguère
Gill
Glover
Godin
Goguen
Goldring
Goodale
Goodyear
Gosal
Gourde
Gravelle
Grewal
Groguhé
Harper
Harris (Scarborough Southwest)
Harris (St. John's East)
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hayes
Hiebert
Hillyer
Hoback
Holder
Hsu
Hughes
Jacob
James
Jones
Julian
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kellway
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kent
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larose
Latendresse
Lauzon
Laverdière
Lebel
LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard)
Leef
Leitch
Lemieux
Leslie
Leung
Liu
Lizon
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunney
MacAulay
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Maguire
Mai
Marston
Martin
Masse
Mathyssen
May
Mayes
McCallum
McColeman
McGuinty
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
McLeod
Menegakis
Michaud
Miller
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot)
Mourani
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nash
Nicholls
Nicholson
Norlock
Nunez-Melo
Obhrai
O'Connor
O'Neill Gordon
Opitz
O'Toole
Pacetti
Papillon
Paradis
Payne
Péclet
Perreault
Pilon
Plamondon
Poilievre
Preston
Rajotte
Rankin
Rathgeber
Raynault
Regan
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rickford
Ritz
Rousseau
Saganash
Sandhu
Saxton
Scarpaleggia
Schellenberger
Scott
Sellah
Shea
Shipley
Shory
Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Sims (Newton—North Delta)
Sitsabaiesan
Smith
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
St-Denis
Stewart
Storseth
Sullivan
Sweet
Thibeault
Tilson
Toet
Toone
Tremblay
Trost
Trottier
Trudeau
Truppe
Turmel
Uppal
Valcourt
Valeriote
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vaughan
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilks
Williamson
Wong
Woodworth
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 275

NAYS

Members

Hyer

Total: -- 1

PAIRED

Nil

The Speaker:  
    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

Ms. Nycole Turmel:  
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to make sure that the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular was in the House when you called for the question.

[English]

The Speaker:  
    Was the hon. minister of state in the House when the Speaker read the motion?
Hon. Lynne Yelich:  
    Mr. Speaker, I was not here when the question was asked, but I was here for the vote.
The Speaker:  
    We will adjust the results accordingly.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Montcalm is also rising on a point of order.
Ms. Manon Perreault:  
    Mr. Speaker, I just want to know whether my vote was recorded as a vote in favour of the motion.

[English]

The Speaker:  
    Yes, the results will indicate that as well.
    The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.
    And five or more members having risen:

  (1820)  

    Before the Clerk announced the results of the vote:
Mrs. Susan Truppe:  
    Mr. Speaker, I inadvertently voted twice and my vote should be reflected as opposed.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 238)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Ashton
Aubin
Ayala
Bélanger
Bennett
Benskin
Bevington
Blanchette
Boivin
Borg
Boutin-Sweet
Brahmi
Brison
Brosseau
Byrne
Caron
Casey
Cash
Chan
Charlton
Chicoine
Chisholm
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Cleary
Comartin
Côté
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Day
Dewar
Dionne Labelle
Donnelly
Doré Lefebvre
Dubé
Dubourg
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Dusseault
Eyking
Foote
Fortin
Freeland
Freeman
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Genest
Genest-Jourdain
Giguère
Godin
Goodale
Gravelle
Groguhé
Harris (Scarborough Southwest)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hsu
Hughes
Hyer
Jacob
Jones
Julian
Kellway
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larose
Latendresse
Laverdière
LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard)
Leslie
Liu
MacAulay
Mai
Marston
Martin
Masse
Mathyssen
May
McCallum
McGuinty
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Michaud
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot)
Mourani
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nash
Nicholls
Nunez-Melo
Pacetti
Papillon
Péclet
Perreault
Pilon
Plamondon
Rajotte
Rankin
Rathgeber
Raynault
Regan
Rousseau
Saganash
Sandhu
Scarpaleggia
Scott
Sellah
Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Sims (Newton—North Delta)
Sitsabaiesan
St-Denis
Stewart
Storseth
Sullivan
Thibeault
Toone
Tremblay
Trudeau
Turmel
Valeriote
Vaughan

Total: -- 132

NAYS

Members

Ablonczy
Adams
Adler
Aglukkaq
Albas
Albrecht
Alexander
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambler
Anders
Anderson
Armstrong
Aspin
Baird
Barlow
Bateman
Benoit
Bergen
Bernier
Bezan
Blaney
Block
Boughen
Braid
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Bruinooge
Butt
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan
Carmichael
Carrie
Chisu
Crockatt
Daniel
Davidson
Dechert
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Falk
Fantino
Fast
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Galipeau
Gallant
Gill
Glover
Goguen
Goldring
Goodyear
Gosal
Gourde
Grewal
Harper
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hayes
Hiebert
Hillyer
Hoback
Holder
James
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Kent
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lake
Lauzon
Lebel
Leef
Leitch
Lemieux
Leung
Lizon
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Maguire
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menegakis
Miller
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
Obhrai
O'Connor
O'Neill Gordon
Opitz
O'Toole
Paradis
Payne
Poilievre
Preston
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rickford
Ritz
Saxton
Schellenberger
Shea
Shipley
Shory
Smith
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Sweet
Tilson
Toet
Trost
Trottier
Truppe
Uppal
Valcourt
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilks
Williamson
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 144

PAIRED

Nil

The Speaker:  
    I declare the motion defeated.
    It being 6:21 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Instruction to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (violence against women)

    The House resumed from June 6 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.
Ms. Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House before such a large audience and speak to the amendment made to Motion No. 504.
    As a woman and a parliamentarian, I am pleased to express my support for Motion No. 504, which was moved by the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie. I am especially pleased to support the amendment proposed by my colleague, the hon. member for Churchill.
    I would like to read the amended motion.
    That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education programs, social programs and policies in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.
    We need to acknowledge what Canadian society has done over the past few decades in order to achieve gender equality in this country. Pioneers fought—and continue to fight—so that women can fully participate in all areas of endeavour, enjoy financial security and, above all, be protected from violence.
    As long as the policies and budgets tabled in the House of Commons do not acknowledge those necessary prerequisites, we will not be able to counter the negative effects of gender inequality.
    The motion calls on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, which I have the honour of chairing, to undertake a study on the education programs, social programs and policies in Canada that prevent violence against women.
    In its definition of violence against women, the United Nations includes physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, economic and spiritual violence, and criminal harassment.
    I want to reiterate my support for the initiative of the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie, in co-operation with my colleague from Churchill. Although violent crime in Canada has gone down in the past 40 years, the number of sexual assaults and spousal abuse has remained unchanged.
    Canada has to do more to address this serious problem that is omnipresent at every level of our society.
     According to Statistics Canada's article, “Homicide in Canada”, in 2009, 67 women were murdered by a current or former spouse, and 3,000 women had to stay in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence.
    In 2004, 427,000 women over 15 reported being the victims of sexual abuse. In Montreal, where my riding of LaSalle—Émard is located, the rate of victimization of women in 2006 was 559 per 100,000 residents, whereas for men it was 111 per 100,000 residents over the same period.
    I would like to read from a report by the Government of Quebec, entitled “Violence envers les femmes: une problématique toujours d'actualité”, or violence against women: an ongoing problem. The report states:
...violence against women differs from violence against men, particularly in the type of violence and in the fallout from the assault.

  (1825)  

    The report also states that:
…women are more likely to die after being assaulted by their spouse or another intimate partner. The overwhelming majority of victims of sexual assault are women. In Canada, women account for 92% of victims of sexual assault.
    That was taken from the 2010 Vaillancourt report.
    Furthermore, in its 2012 report, the Conseil du statut de la femme maintains that all forms of sexual exploitation, including human trafficking and prostitution, are also violent acts whose victims are also overwhelmingly women.
    Sadly, these statistics do not include the many cases of assault that are not reported to the police, which makes it impossible to estimate the actual frequency of violence against women and girls.
    As parliamentarians, we have a responsibility to work to change this situation, out of respect for the victims and their families. Therefore, it is time to go one step further in defending women's rights.
     I acknowledge the relevance and significance of this motion, and of the proposed amendment. However, as my New Democratic colleagues have already pointed out, Motion No. M-504 does not go far enough. Violence against women is a serious problem in Canada, and it requires a comprehensive solution. As stated in the report I just referred to, we have to look for a comprehensive, coordinated solution that maintains the focus on prevention.
    That is why we are proposing an amendment designed to broaden the scope of the study by adding a reference to the study of policies in Canada. The purpose of the amendment is to ask the Standing Committee on the Status of Women to include in its study the possibility of developing a national action plan, as proposed in Motion No. M-444 by our official opposition critic on the status of women, as a response to violence against women.
    The action plan could cover various aspects of the issue, as well as short-, medium- and long-term solutions, such as legal aid, the establishment of transition houses and shelters for women, access to health care services, prevention and education.
    A number of national and international stakeholders have acknowledged that national action plans can play a valuable coordinating role in the deployment of concerted and sustained efforts to address violence against women.
     Our study should provide a platform for civil society and the many organizations that are dealing with violence against women. In its report entitled Mapping Violence Against Women Policy and Opportunities to Inform a Progressive National Action Plan, the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses takes a close look at policies, legislation, strategies, research, reports, action plans and statistics from across Canada that have to do with the development of national legislation to address violence against women. This is one of the many organizations with which this study would enable us to collaborate so that together, we can develop lasting solutions to combat this scourge.
    In closing, I would like to point out that while Canada has made progress towards the achievement of equality between men and women, there is still a great deal of work to be done in order for women to participate fully in all areas of activity, benefit from financial security and, above all, be free from the threat of violence.

  (1830)  

     To conclude, I would like to remind hon. members that violence is due largely to the inequalities that persist between men and women.
Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am starting the debate on behalf of the status of women critic, the member for Etobicoke North.
    This debate concerns the instructions to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women on violence against women. It also concerns the amendment proposed by the member for Churchill.

[English]

    I am pleased to speak in favour of this motion. As members know, the Liberals have consistently supported ending violence against women by any measures that would help do so, and we have also been consistent in the call for a national action plan to end violence against women. As well, since 2010 we have been calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous aboriginal women and girls, which we know would very much inform any action plan in any real success in dealing with this terrible tragedy.
    We will also support the subamendment moved by the member for Churchill, as the motion will be amended by replacing the words “education and social programs” with the words “education programs, social programs and policies”.
    We believe that gender-based violence cuts across boundaries, cultures, religious memberships, and socio-economic status and we believe that we must all work together to end it. We believe that a study by the status of women committee could do a great deal to further better understanding of this and to put in place recommendations that would actually act on this.
    Particularly at this time of year, when we are also appalled by what has transpired on the campuses in this nation, we really want to better understand how people in Canada could even talk about something as appalling as a “rape culture”.
    We are upset that despite repeated calls, the government has refused to take real action, instead favouring the status quo. As we saw from the so-called action plan that the Minister of Status of Women tabled a week ago, we are only seeing a laundry list of things that the government was already doing, with no new money and indeed no real hope for a change in the outcomes based on this.
    It is interesting to look to what was tabled by the UN in 2008, called Framework for Action, Programme of United Nations Activities and Expected Outcomes, 2008-2015, which we can find at http://endviolence.un.org, which I will post on my website.
    The Framework for Action in 2008 identified five key outcomes as benchmarks for the campaign to be achieved by all countries by 2015. It is shocking and appalling that its recommendation for adoption and implementation of multi-sectoral national plans of action that emphasize prevention and that are adequately resourced clearly has not been done by the government.
    Neither has the framework's insistence on the establishment of a data collection and analysis system on the prevalence of various forms of violence against women and girls. As we learned at the special committee on missing and murdered indigenous women, the data itself is not good enough. We look to places like New Zealand for much better data.
    Also, with regard for the idea of the establishment of national and local campaigns and the engagement of a diverse range of civil society actors in preventing violence and in supporting women and girls who have been abused, we again can only be saddened by the fact that the Minister of Status of Women tabled a so-called action plan that is not what, by when and how. Neither were any partners or civil society actors named in that action plan, nor was it adequately funded, as was required in the UN Framework for Action that Canada should have understood was serious in 2008 when the UN tabled it, and which will be reported on next year.

  (1835)  

    The House needs to recognize that in the fall of 2013, the status of women critic for the Liberal Party, the member for Etobicoke North, tabled a motion at the status of women committee to study violence against women. While the motion was discussed in camera, clearly the committee has yet to study that issue.
    The member for Etobicoke North also tabled seven motions pertaining to the status of women, with one motion specifically calling for a national action plan to end violence against women, Motion No. 470, yet nothing happened.
    While we will vote in favour of this motion, we believe it is only one step in a multi-pronged approach to ending violence against women. We are saddened that if the Conservatives were serious about ending violence against women, they would pledge to develop a national action plan that had real action in terms of what, by when and how, with measurable outcomes and adequate funding.
    We are still disturbed by the government's violent opposition to listening to these stakeholders, the aboriginal leaders, as well as all the premiers, to call a national public inquiry on violence against aboriginal women and girls. We hope this motion will act as a catalyst to take further substantial action to end violence against women and girls in Canada.
    Every year in Canada violence and abuse drive over 100,000 women and children out of their homes and into shelters. According to the study by the Department of Justice, violence against women costs Canadian society $7.4 billion each year. Based on 2009 figures, the report states that the cost to victims directly is $6 billion annually, including $21 million in hospitalization, visits to doctors in emergency rooms, as well as $180 million in related mental health costs.
    Furthermore, in Canada women continue to outnumber men nine to one as victims of assault by a spouse or partner. Girls between the ages of 12 and 15 are at the greatest risk of sexual assault by a family member.
    We will attend the vigils this Saturday on the Hill, in Toronto and all across Canada for the missing and murdered women and girls of indigenous origin. Aboriginal women are three and a half times more likely than non-aboriginal women to be victims of violence. In 2010, the Native Women's Association of Canada estimated the number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls over the last 30 years at 582.
     We know that this report acknowledged the limitations to the record keeping, as there was no national missing persons database and police records did not always indicate aboriginal status.
    The initiative was led by the group, Sisters in Spirit, which was defunded by the government in 2010. That is why and when we first called for a national inquiry. It found that many victims were targeted simply because they were aboriginals and their attackers assumed they would not fight back. The 2014 report from the RCMP put that number at almost 1,200.
    In February 2013, we tabled the motion calling for the special committee. The outcome of that committee was seriously disappointing, as the Conservatives used their majority to put in a series of recommendations that were only the status quo with words like “maintain” and “continue” and no real action, no recommendations for new funding and a complete betrayal of the responsibility of the government and Parliament.
    During the upcoming committee hearings, I hope they will see what a real action plan on violence against women looks like.

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    I will put on my website today the excellent work of the Library of Parliament in its analysis of the Australian national action plan. Hopefully, for once in this country, we will get a national action plan for when and how, and we can stop this terrible tragedy.
Mr. John Barlow (Macleod, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to participate in this important debate on the motion before the House today.
    First, allow me to provide some context for my remarks in this debate. The member's motion reads as follows:
    That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education and social programs in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.
    As a husband and the father of two daughters, this is a critical issue. I intend to vote in support of the motion, because it would give the Standing Committee on the Status of Women a valuable opportunity to look at best practices to help reduce and prevent violence against women and girls. It would also provide helpful insight to the members of the House and all Canadians.
    Our government takes the issue of violence against women and girls seriously, and we have taken a multifaceted approach to addressing it.
    In terms of legislative actions, we have passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act to improve the safety of all Canadians. We have launched a national action plan to combat human trafficking. We have increased penalties for violent crimes, and we have introduced legislation to give police and prosecutors new tools to address cyberbullying.
    At the beginning of this year, our government also launched a national anti-cyberbullying campaign, known as “Stop Hating Online”. It is focused both on parents and youth and is designed to raise awareness of the harmful impact cyberbullying has, especially when such behaviour amounts to criminal activity.
    In April, our government also announced the victims bill of rights, a significant piece of legislation that will for the first time in Canadian history create clear statutory rights at the federal level for victims of crime.
    In economic action plan 2014, the Government of Canada also committed to investing an additional $25 million over the next five years to reduce violence against aboriginal women and girls. I am also pleased to note that our government has met this commitment.
    On September 15, the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women launched the Government of Canada's action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls. The action plan sets out concrete actions in three areas: preventing violence, supporting aboriginal victims, and protecting aboriginal women and girls from being victims of crime. It includes new funding of $25 million over five years, beginning next year. When added to the range of ongoing investments, the action plan represents a total investment of $196.8 million over the next five years.
    This action plan was developed in response to the recommendations identified in the report of the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women. It also builds on the lessons we have learned from the government's previous investments. Many studies and reports have already been done on this issue, including the RCMP's national operational overview.
    I am also proud to say that a number of important stakeholders have endorsed this plan. For example, I would like to quote Chief Ron Evans of the Norway House Cree nation, who said:
    This comprehensive Action Plan responds to the needs and recommendations made by stakeholders across the country in developing a concrete and action-oriented plan with significant resources and funding for implementation.
    Mrs. Bernadette Smith, sister of Claudette Osborne, who has tragically been missing since 2008, said:
    We can't stand idly by and talk about this without taking significant action. This Action Plan will have a direct impact on families and it will help keep our women and girls safe.
    We also believe in giving communities the tools to help end violence against women and girls. That is why we have increased funding to the women's program at Status of Women Canada to record levels. Since 2007 we have invested more than $146 million in 720 projects through Status of Women Canada. This includes more than $70 million in projects to specifically address violence against women and girls. These efforts include a number of different calls for proposals for projects in rural and remote communities and in post-secondary campus communities.
    Another call for proposals is helping communities respond to cyber and sexual violence, and in that case to date, more than $6 million has been invested in projects through Status of Women Canada.
    When it comes to engaging men and boys, we are fortunate in our society. We have moved away from asking why we should work with men and boys to help end violence against women to how we can achieve that goal.

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    That is why our government has issued a call for proposals that includes the specific theme of engaging men and boys on this issue. That is why we are supporting projects such as the huddle up and make the call program from the White Ribbon campaign and the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. The goal of this project is to engage men and boys to help reduce violence against women and girls through activities such as in-school engagements, youth leadership development, public service announcements, as well as education within the community and at football games in Toronto.
    This project, like the many other actions by our government I have spoken about today, demonstrate a clear focus on eliminating violence against women and girls. As I said before, as the father of two daughters, this is a high priority and it is just the right thing to do. It also helps women and girls achieve their full potential and that can move us closer to equality between women and men in Canada.
    It is for these reasons I will be supporting the motion before the House today, and the work it proposes for the standing committee for women in Canada.

[Translation]

Mrs. Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am quite honoured to rise here today to speak to Motion No. M-504 by my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie. As a feminist and member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, I care deeply about the issue of preventing violence against women.
    Before I get to the main part of my speech, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the excellent work being done in my riding. Last Friday I met with the Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale de Montarville, the Carrefour pour elle, the Centre des femmes de Longueuil, L'Envol, the Conseil central de la Montérégie CSN and Com'Femme.
    I would like to take this opportunity to commend them for the work they do in our community. Thanks to organizations like these, we can improve the social and economic situations of many women. I spoke with representatives from these organizations at length, and they told me about some of the difficulties they are up against. Their concerns confirm my own.
    On the one hand, the government has not clearly identified its priorities when it comes to the status of women, and on the other hand, it is not providing these organizations with the resources to meet the needs of target communities. With the cuts to Status of Women Canada, subsidies have become very limited. In order to receive those subsidies, the organizations have to group themselves together by themes. This does not correspond to the reality on the ground. An organization fighting violence against women in Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert does not face the same reality as an organization in Greenfield Park or Sault Ste. Marie. This is a real problem. How can these organizations carry out their mission with these kinds of administrative roadblocks getting in the way?
    The motion before us this evening reads as follows:
    That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education and social programs in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.
     The danger I see in this wording is that we will once again be studying best practices funded by the government. It is too easy to highlight practices that are already in place.
    However, I will support the motion so that we can have a detailed study in committee because today, there are still too many women who are assaulted and abused and remain silent, hidden in the shadows. Every day, we are in the presence of victims without knowing it. The silence in which many of them seek refuge should be seen as an alarm signal for the government. In order to correct the situation, we must go further and attack the core of the problem. If we really want to make changes and provide the help they need, we should first look at the underlying causes that prevent these women from reporting the assaults and violence to which they are subjected. Reported cases are too few in relation to actual cases. In order to do as much as we can to eliminate violence against women, we must take tangible measures in order, hopefully, to restore their freedom to these women.
    While Motion No. M-504 is well-intentioned, when we realize how widespread violence is in Canada, we feel that it does not go far enough. Half of all Canadian women have been victims of at least one incident of sexual or physical violence after age 16, and the proportion has not changed over the last 40 years.

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    However, the Conservative government claims to have taken real action to address violence against women. I do not know what figures the Conservative government is looking at, but when one woman in two has reportedly been physically or sexually assaulted after age 16, I do not believe the government can say that the measures taken are effective.
    The same Conservative government that congratulates itself on programs to combat violence against women refuses to develop a national action plan, whereas the members of Canadian civil society and service providers to women who have suffered violence are almost unanimous in stating that a national action plan is an urgent necessity. For example, the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses and some 30 partners are currently working to develop a model for a comprehensive national action plan to deal with the problem. Why would the government not follow the example set by this kind of initiative in driving the development of a national plan?
    It is not enough to move a motion and study the issue in committee. There has to be cohesive follow-up to these good intentions. The government has to listen to proposals from the members of civil society who appear before the committee, and it has to implement them. That is not what it is currently doing, though.
     In 2006, the government changed the women’s program so that in providing grants to organizations, Status of Women Canada could no longer fund advocacy, lobbying or general research into women’s rights. In addition to that restriction, when grants are awarded to organizations that serve women, it is on a short-term basis. I would also remind the members opposite that 12 of the 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices have been closed.
    If the government is concerned about this issue, it should begin by putting an end to the cuts that are preventing local and national organizations from working on behalf of women in our communities.
    Today, efforts to address violence against women are hampered by financial insecurity and a lack of resources to provide an effective response to women’s needs. The issue of violence against women is much too important to be used for electoral purposes.
    The Conservative government has always refused to support the NDP motion protecting women’s rights. The member for Churchill, with whom I serve on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, moved Motion No. M-444 in May 2013. It asked the government to consult civil society in order to develop a comprehensive, multisectoral national action plan to address violence against women that would include prevention and education strategies.
     It is easy to move motions a year before a general election, but what would be remarkable would be for the government to respond to the motion by my colleague, the member for Churchill. She proposed a practical plan for the federal government. It called for co-operation with the provinces, the territories and civil society as well as the first nations, Métis and Inuit in order to eradicate violence against women.
     We must maintain the commitment of the women who struggled before us. We must work to break the cycle of violence against women. We must strive to guarantee economic justice for women. Lastly, we must ensure that women’s rights are respected and reinforced.
    I am proud to be a member of a party that fights for gender equality in Canada. Women make up 40% of the New Democratic Party caucus, and we are taking practical steps to honour our commitment to equality.

  (1855)  

     We are committed to building a stronger Canada in which equality is not just a dream, but a reality.

[English]

Mr. Terence Young (Oakville, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to join in this debate on Motion No. 504, which is before the House today. I congratulate the member for Sault Ste. Marie for bringing it forward. I know it comes from his heart. It comes from the right place, and I think it is being so well received in the House in part for that reason.
    First allow me to provide some context for my remarks in the debate.
    The member's motion reads as follows:
    That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education and social programs in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.
    I will certainly be supporting the motion, because the reality is that violence against women and girls is a scourge. It is disgraceful conduct that destroys lives, and it affects us all whenever and wherever it occurs.
    We know the terrible toll that gender-based violence has on individuals, families, and communities. It also impacts our economy. In fact, the estimated economic cost of violence against women by a spouse is estimated to be at least $4.8 billion per year.
    For all these reasons, our government supports asking an important committee of the House to explore, research, and draw attention to the kinds of programs that help reduce and prevent violence against women and girls in our society. For the same reasons, our government has put in place a wide range of measures to make our communities safer and to reduce and prevent violence against women and girls.
    In terms of legislative actions, we passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act to improve the safety of all Canadians. We launched a national action plan to combat human trafficking. We increased penalties for violent crimes for deterrence and to keep incorrigible violent offenders off the streets longer. We introduced legislation to give police and prosecutors new tools to address cyberbullying.
    At the beginning of this year, our government also launched a national anti-cyberbullying campaign, known as “Stop Hating Online”. It is focused on both parents and youth and is designed to raise awareness of the harmful impact that cyberbullying has, especially when such behaviour amounts to criminal activity.
    Through economic action plan 2014, the Government of Canada will invest an additional $25 million over five years to reduce violence against aboriginal women and girls by putting money into concrete resources.
    On September 15 the Minister of Labour and the Minister for Status of Women launched the Government of Canada action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls. The action plan sets out concrete actions in three areas: to prevent violence, to support aboriginal victims, and to protect aboriginal women and girls from violence. It includes new funding of $25 million over five years, beginning in 2015-16. When added to a range of ongoing investments, the action plan represents a total investment of $196.8 million over five years.
    In April our government announced the victims' bill of rights, a significant piece of legislation that will, for the first time in Canadian history, create clear statutory rights at the federal level for victims of crime.
    Our government also believes in giving communities the tools to help end gender-based violence. That is why we have increased funding to the women's program at Status of Women Canada to record levels. In fact, we have invested over $146 million through Status of Women Canada in more than 720 different projects since 2007. This includes more than $70 million that has been invested specifically in projects to end violence against women and girls.
    These projects are helping communities address violence in rural and remote communities, in post-secondary campus communities, and in high-risk neighbourhoods. They are responding to violence against women and girls in the name of honour, the so-called “honour killings”, and working to prevent the trafficking of women and girls through community planning.
    We recently held a call for proposals for projects that are helping communities engage youth in preventing or eliminating cyberviolence and sexual violence against young women and girls.
    Our government also believes in engaging men and boys to address the issue. For example, we issued a call for proposals through Status of Women Canada with the specific theme of engaging men and boys.

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    This is why we are supporting projects such as huddle up and make the call with the White Ribbon campaign and the Toronto Argonauts. The goal of this project is to engage men and boys in reducing violence against women and girls through activities such as in-school engagements, youth leadership development, public service announcements, as well as education in the community and even at football games in Toronto.
    All of these projects supported by Status of Women Canada recognize the benefits of working with skilled partners. They are organizations with the capacity to identify needs at the community level and to develop the tools and resources to meet those needs.
    We also believe in addressing the issue of violence against women and girls globally. For example, Canada is working very hard with its international partners to end child, early and forced marriage, which is a terrible practice that robs children of their human rights. I am also proud of our Conservative government's decision to bestow honorary citizenship upon Malala Yousafzai, who courageously risked her own life to promote education for girls and young women everywhere.
    With all of these actions by our Conservative government, we are maintaining a clear focus on eliminating violence against women and girls as part of our broader commitment to achieving equality between men and women in Canada. We are working to help empower women, but at the end of the day, all Canadians must be part of the solution.
    That is why I will be supporting the motion. It is so that the Standing Committee on the Status of Women can engage with a range of stakeholders, examine and share best practices for ending violence against women and girls, and I hope, make a real difference in the lives of many Canadians.

  (1905)  

[Translation]

The Deputy Speaker:  
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles will have just nine minutes for her speech.
Mrs. Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be debating Motion No. 504 with respect to violence against women.
    Before I was elected as MP for the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles in the Quebec City area, I was the director of an organization that helped women integrate and re-integrate into the labour market among other things. I also had the honour of signing the first two special agreements regarding the status of women in Quebec's capital, Quebec City.
    In the Quebec City area, there are some 15 organizations that provide assistance to women and work to reduce violence against women. This issue is of such concern and is so important to me that I felt compelled to speak to it.
    To begin, I would like to share with the House the definition of violence against women set out in the United Nations 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women:
...any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
    In Canada, 173,600 women aged 15 and older were victims of violent crime in 2011. In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, 40% to 70% of murdered women were killed by their partner, according to the World Health Organization. In 2011, approximately 8,200 girls under the age of 12 were victims of violent crime.
    We must also not forget hate crimes against women in Canada. The best known is the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, which resulted in the death of 14 female students who were learning non-traditional trades. This massacre was carried out by a man who hated women in general. This tragedy led to the establishment of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in memory of these victims and all female victims of violence.
    If we take the definition of violence against women that I quoted in its broadest sense, we must also include another form of violence that causes just as much damage, and that is psychological violence. This form of violence has lasting effects that are not physical. Unfortunately, the statistics are not available or they come nowhere near to reflecting reality.
    We must address this issue and find real, permanent solutions. It is not right that violence against women is an ongoing problem, as attested to by the fact that the statistics have stubbornly remained the same.
    Acts of violence against women have serious consequences for the future and for women's well-being. Psychological violence affects performance at work and the economy. Here are some figures from Statistics Canada:
     Daily stress levels were elevated when women had reported being violently victimized in the preceding 12 months. Over half (53%) of women victimized by a spouse stated that most of their days were “quite a bit or extremely stressful”, significantly higher than the proportion of women victimized by someone else (41%) and the proportion of women not victimized...
    More than one-quarter of spousal victims...and non-spousal victims...used medication to cope with depression, to calm them down or to help them sleep [a direct consequence of the violence]. This was significantly higher than the proportion of women who were not violently victimized...
    Another problem is that the subject remains taboo among couples and families in which cultural pressures are still very strong. We often hear that few women will file a complaint against their spouse for any form of violence, physical or psychological. They feel ashamed and guilty, or else they know that they will not have the support of their loved ones. In many cases, when the women speak to those around them, they are told that this is temporary and that it is normal.
    Various governments at the provincial and federal levels have implemented strategies, but they do not seem to work properly.

  (1910)  

    The crime rate in Canada is on the decline, but the number of sexual assaults and domestic assaults has remained the same.
    These alarming numbers are not going down, which means that something is missing or something has not been considered. It is time to look at a national action plan that will coordinate all of the measures taken at all levels of government. That is also why I support the motion by my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, with the amendment that the findings be reported within one year of the study's initiation.
    We can conduct all kinds of studies and adopt all kinds of new practices, but they will not matter unless we can measure their impact and the real effects on the women involved. This is a very sensitive issue that affects women of all ethnic and socio-cultural backgrounds and in all socioprofessional categories, which is why it is difficult to find a coherent strategy that can apply to all women.
    We have to realize that some people, especially minorities, cannot take advantage of all of the strategies that have been around for many years because those strategies are not adapted to their socio-demographic, cultural or religious environment. These women are the most at risk. It is critical that we start by thinking about that complexity within populations and about the circumstances of the people in danger so that we can come up with a multi-faceted plan and solutions that work for most of them.
    For example, consider two provinces that are especially affected: Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They routinely have the highest provincial rates of violent crime as reported by police, and in 2011, their rates of violence against women were almost twice the national rate. The central provinces, Ontario and Quebec, had the lowest rates of violence against women as reported by police.
    This example shows that the phenomenon can be more or less severe depending on the geographical context and the measures that have been taken in each region. We also have to think about those women who cannot be helped this way and come up with solutions tailored to specific cases because nothing is worse than feeling isolated and abandoned.
    When a special day was held to try to determine where people went after staying at a shelter, roughly one in five women said she left the facility and moved into a new home without her spouse, while 15% of women went to stay with a friend or family member.
    Many questions remain. Should there be specialized centres and more social workers? Will politicians legislate and increase sentences? Will victims be compensated and how? I think all these questions are worth asking.
    I know that in the past, there have been information campaigns, such as the 12 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign, which was held in 2013 and mainly promoted by feminist organizations in the Province of Quebec. However, 12 days are not enough and communications should be sent out far more regularly through all the traditional mass media and social media.
    As members can see, there is a long road ahead and many questions remain unanswered when it comes to reducing violence against women.
    In closing, it is urgent that the NDP ask that the motion read as follows, with the amendments:
    That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education programs, social programs and policies in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.
    This study must be undertaken and we must get the results as soon as possible so that we can come up with an effective national action plan.

  (1915)  

[English]

The Deputy Speaker:  
    The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie will now have his five minutes of reply.
Mr. Bryan Hayes (Sault Ste. Marie, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to make some closing comments on Motion No. 504 on the prevention of violence against women.
     I would like to thank all members who spoke on my motion. Actually, it really is not my motion at all; it is the motion of my constituents, delivered by me as their representative. I am pleased with the unanimous support of moving this motion to committee.
    I would like to pay special thanks to the member for Macleod and congratulate him on what may have been his first speech in the House. I am not really sure, but it could very well have been.
    I want to reiterate the motive behind my choice of this topic for my private member's motion—the choice of my constituents.
    In 2010, in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, there were 258 criminal charges laid for domestic incidents. Each year, across Canada, more than 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence. Overall, men were responsible for 83% of police-reported violence against women.
    As a man who believes in equality, I simply do not believe that violence by men against women and girls should be tolerated. It has become epidemic and shows no signs of slowing down.
    There is so much more proactive intervention that could be done to minimize the chance of our children becoming violent offenders, so that the cycle of violence is broken.
    I believe that if best practices and prevention are implemented at appropriate stages in an individual's life, then domestic violence can be dramatically reduced.
    Before we can implement these best preventive measures, we must first determine that those best practices in education, social programs, and policies that exist in Canada that prevent violence against women are identified. By passage of this motion, that identification would be the task of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
     I have heard from some opposition members that this motion would not go far enough and that we need to move beyond prevention. That may be the case; however, identification of best practices in prevention and implementation of those would be an integral part of any plan; so let us get that piece completed as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the most significant piece, as do the many groups I spoke with in my riding on whose behalf I table this motion.
     As my honourable colleague the member for London North Centre stated so eloquently in her speech on the launch of my motion:
    As we debate this motion here today, let us keep in mind how often women and girls are tragically denied the peace, safety, and comfort of a day without violence or just the threat of violence, which can be just as damaging.
    I am proud to stand here today. There is no necessity for this to go to a standing vote. By a majority tonight, we could move this right to committee, and I would be more than happy to do that.
The Deputy Speaker:  
    It being 7:20 p.m., the time provided for debate has now expired.
     Is the House ready for the question?
    Some hon. members: Question.
    The Deputy Speaker: The question is on the amendment.
     Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the amendment will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Deputy Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 93, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, October 1, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

Adjournment Proceedings

[Adjournment Proceedings]
    A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

  (1920)  

[English]

The Environment  

Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to give the Conservatives an idea that might get them re-elected. Does that get their attention?
    Polling shows clearly that the majority of Canadians are ready to pay more to reduce CO2 emissions. They are ready to pay more to put a price on carbon.
    One would think that the parties would pay attention to what Canadians indicate they want, but let us look at the political realities around here.
    The Conservatives have no plan to reduce CO2. They have no plan to put a price on carbon. On the contrary, they subsidize big oil and gas companies, and not even Canadian companies.
    Here is an enlightening fact. Since 2009, thanks to Conservative inaction, Canada's carbon emissions have been steadily going up, not down, and that rise is expected to continue.
    There are real costs to this inaction. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has estimated that without real action, climate change will cost Canada $5 billion a year just six years from now. By 2050, it predicts we will be paying between $21 billion and $43 billion each year.
    The Liberals, in true Liberal fashion, say that they are ready to put a price on carbon, they just will not say what kind, or when or how.
    The New Democrats, to be different than the Liberals, decided a decade ago, and I was there, that they were in favour of cap and trade. They do not really know how it works, because they do not really know much about business. However, they are for cap and trade, even though it would be bureaucratic, expensive and it would not work.
    Therefore, where does that leave the Green Party?
     The Green Party of Canada understands that we need to shift steadily to reduce CO2 and foster renewable sustainable energy sources. It has to be done in an orderly manner so as not to kill the Canada goose that lays the economic eggs. However, it has to be done steadily and progressively so we can build Canadian green technologies, create Canadian jobs, remain competitive internationally and save a very nice planet.
    The fix is simple: put a price on carbon. Pay a little now to avoid paying a lot more in a few short years.
    We have seen it implemented very successfully in Scandinavian and European countries, and even in British Columbia. That is why the Green Party of Canada is totally in favour of a price on CO2, under a method called “carbon fee and dividend”. People just have to Google it.
    A big misconception is that people will be directly taxed from a carbon fee, which is not true. The Conservatives actively try to promote this untruth, so either they are wilfully misleading the public or they do not understand how carbon fee and dividend works.
    No Canadian will be taxed under carbon fee and dividend. This fee would be applied only at the source. Producers would pass the cost on, but to alleviate the cost to consumers, the revenue collected from this fee would be given directly back to each and every Canadian on an equal per capita basis.
    The benefits of carbon fee and dividend are clear, and they extend to the environment, the economy and to every Canadian.
     The NDP should support it because it will reduce poverty at the same time it reduces CO2.
    The Liberals should support it because sooner or later they have to come off the fence and pick some kind of price on carbon and this is the best alternative.
    The Conservatives especially should support it because it is market driven, predictable, fair, creates no new bureaucracy or increased government costs and not one penny goes to government. It might just save their hold on government in the next election.
    Therefore, will the government consider carbon fee and dividend?

  (1925)  

Ms. Eve Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, our government's record is very clear. We have taken decisive action on the environment while protecting our economy.
    Engaging in or moving forward with either a national carbon tax or a national cap-and-trade scheme would be out of step with the United States, our largest trading partner, and would compromise our economic competitiveness. It could also lead to significant regional impacts on investment and jobs in trade-exposed sectors, given the integration of the North American economy.
    Instead, our government is implementing a sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Regulations are being designed to respond to individual sectoral circumstances while spurring the innovation needed to decouple emissions growth from economic growth, balancing concern for both the environment and the economy.
    This approach is driving real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada while ensuring that Canadian companies remain competitive and that job creation opportunities are maintained across the economy. Our government has already put in place regulations for two of the largest sources of emissions in this country: the transportation and the electricity generation sectors.
    Expanding on our record at the recent climate summit in New York, the Minister of the Environment announced further regulatory action on both light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Moreover, we also announced our government's intent to regulate hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs, a group of greenhouse gases that if left unregulated would increase substantially in the next 10 to 15 years. These gases can have a warming potential up to 1,000 to 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
    To complement these ongoing regulatory efforts, our government has also made significant investments to begin Canada's transition to a clean energy economy. These investments will further drive emissions reductions as well as support the development of the clean technology sector in Canada.
    Moving forward, our government will continue to look for opportunities to take action on climate change in a manner that reduces GHG emissions while maintaining job creation and economic growth for our neighbours.
    This is real action on the environment. This is leadership.
Mr. Bruce Hyer:  
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe it. The Conservatives say they want regulations. The industries do not want regulations. Most Conservatives and most countries do not believe in regulations.
    Two of the most pressing problems facing Canada are the large and growing income gap and too much CO2. We know that more and more Canadians are struggling to make ends meet, and the gap between rich and poor is way too large. We know that both have real economic impacts.
    With carbon fee and dividend, we have a simple solution that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Big companies like Shell and BP want a price on carbon. The Conservatives are not listening.
    As well, it would go a long way to reducing poverty and providing a basic income for each and every Canadian.
    In light of all these facts, in light of the proven success of carbon pricing, in light of the potential for dividends to help families make ends meet, will the Conservatives listen and take enlightened self-interest and consider carbon fee and dividend?
    To repeat, it might just get them re-elected.
Ms. Eve Adams:  
    Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our record.
    We are a founding member of the climate and clean air coalition that is focused on taking immediate action to address climate change.
    As a result of collective action by governments, consumers, and businesses, Canada's 2020 GHG emissions are projected to be 128 megatonnes lower, relative to a scenario with no action.
    We are accomplishing all of this without a job-killing carbon tax, which would raise the price of everything.

  (1930)  

Health  

Mrs. Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, just on that follow-up I can say that this is a government that receives fossil awards.
    In June, I put a question to the Conservative government, which was how it could claim that Canada was a leader in maternal health if aboriginal women in this country do not have access to the support they need. I was asking because we had just learned that a maternal health program managed by first nations on 14 Manitoba reserves was going to lose all of its funding despite assessments showing the program is very effective.
    Like many other Canadians, I was having a difficult time balancing the claims of the government with the evidence I was presented with. Naturally the Minister of Health replied with general statistics related to the delivery of aboriginal health care, which we know is a federal and not a provincial responsibility. However, the numbers were related to general health care and not maternal health.
    It was like answering a question about car repairs with a statement of fact about the money used to purchase gasoline. That is the way the government operates and we see it time and again. What it did not do was explain how a program that was delivering results on 14 Manitoba reserves was being cut and also why.
    Part of the discussion that was making things less than clear was the government commitment to maternal health overseas and the wild government claims that New Democrats somehow do not support that notion. Again, this is not only intentionally wrong in both spirit and fact, but it also leaves those communities in Manitoba struggling for answers when they felt they had managed to get it right on this front.
    Let me be crystal clear. The NDP fully supports maternal health overseas. What we do not support is the government's piecemeal attempt at maternal health. It is an approach that denies funding on a political and ideological basis to organizations providing essential services to women and their children. Women in Canada need support too.
    According to Statistics Canada, the infant mortality rate among first nations in Manitoba is approximately twice that of the general population. That is completely unacceptable and cutting programs that can challenge that statistic is unacceptable too.
    Will the minister reverse the decision and reinstate funding for this vital maternal health program?
Ms. Eve Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to speak to our government's continued support for maternal and child health initiatives, including for first nations and Inuit. This year alone, our government is investing over $150 million to support healthy child development programming and services in first nations and Inuit communities.
    I would also like to make one thing perfectly clear for all colleagues in the House. There have been no cuts to maternal child health programs for Manitoba first nations. Indeed, it is our Conservative government that renewed the aboriginal maternal child health program in 2010 and we are investing $23.8 million this year alone. Since 2006, our government has spent approximately $169 million under the child health program. Our overall current funding supports home visits by nurses and family visitors to almost 1,500 families in approximately 185 first nation communities.
    One example of this programming is the maternal child health program, which enables home visits by nurses and family visitors for first nations women and families with young children. Through a case management approach, the needs of pregnant women and new parents are assessed. Healthy, prenatal and postnatal lifestyles are promoted and links are made to other needed community services. We are seeing significant improvements in first nation communities with this programming, such as higher proportions of first nations children being breastfed for longer than six months and increased screening for developmental milestones, prenatal risk factors and existing health conditions.
    At this stage of the funding cycle, the government is well aware that all partners involved in these initiatives are anxious to receive confirmation of future funding and I would like to assure the House that the health and well-being of mothers and their children remain a priority for our government.
    In addition to the maternal child health program, Health Canada invests $12.7 million per year in the Canada prenatal nutrition program for first nations and Inuit. This program focuses on pregnant women and women with infants up to 12 months of age, supporting activities related to nutrition screening, education and counselling, maternal nourishment, and breastfeeding promotion and support.
    The Public Health Agency of Canada also administers the community action program for children, providing funding to community-based groups to develop and deliver prevention and early intervention programs focusing on vulnerable children from birth to six years of age and for their families.
    The government also supports a number of other programs and services related to maternal and child health for first nations and Inuit, including the aboriginal head start on reserve program, which provides $49 million annually to nurture the healthy growth and development of children from birth to six years of age in first nation communities by meeting their emotional, social, health, nutritional, cultural, and psychological needs.
    The brighter futures program supports the well-being of children and families through a community development approach. Activities can include mental health counselling, youth activity programming, culture camps, and school breakfast programs.
    There is also the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder program, which provides approximately $40 million to support first nations and Inuit communities to educate and raise awareness about the impacts of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Activities include developing mentoring programs to stop or reduce alcohol use during pregnancy, facilitating access to earlier diagnoses, and building capacity among front-line staff.
    Finally, there is the children's oral health initiative, which provides over $5 million annually to promote good oral health initiatives.
    In closing, our government recognizes that improving the health of first nations and Inuit is a shared undertaking among federal, provincial and territorial governments.

  (1935)  

Mrs. Carol Hughes:  
    That is quite interesting, Mr. Speaker, because on one hand, she says there are not cuts and then, on the other hand, she says people are anxiously waiting to hear about the funding.
    Again, there is a dismantling of the strengthening families maternal child health program that we see happening. This is a regional service of Canada's first nations maternal health program and was developed with the support of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. The program is a key contributor to the health, safety and well-being of 14 Manitoba first nation communities. It oversees the development and coordination of programs, including the growing great kids curriculum, home visits and a peer support component, all of which improve the lives of women, children and families.
    All of that will be lost. Having the government tell us about other programs that may or may not replace them does not explain why the government is choosing to cut a program that has been working very well.
    Again, will the government do the right thing and reinstate funding for this vital maternal health program so that it can go past 2015? Will it give these communities an answer?
Ms. Eve Adams:  
    Mr. Speaker, my well-meaning colleague is jumping the gun. There have been no cuts to maternal child health programs for Manitoba first nations.
    Through budget 2010, our government announced a five-year funding cycle for this program. At this stage of the funding cycle, our government is demonstrating good stewardship in reviewing all the evidence and outcomes from these investments.
    We continue to invest in programs and services that support first nations and Inuit communities, including maternal and child health programs. This year alone, our government is investing over $150 million to support healthy child development programming and services for first nations and Inuit communities. This includes $23.8 million for the maternal child health program and $12.7 million for the first nations and Inuit component of the Canada prenatal nutrition program.
    These programs and services support first nations and Inuit healthy pregnancies, healthy births, and healthy child development.

Natural Resources 

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP):  
    Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening in adjournment proceedings to pursue a question I asked on June 19, before the House adjourned for the summer recess. I am pleased that the question I raised then allows me to return to an issue of fundamental importance to my constituents.
    I hold nine separate town hall meetings twice a year in my riding. At the last series of town halls, as one would expect, the question of the threat of supertankers loaded with bitumen and diluent, the threat of twin pipelines from northern Alberta to Kitimat, and the other project, the one that would expand pipelines to Vancouver for more bitumen diluent coming out of Vancouver harbour, were top of mind for my constituents.
    In any case, the question I asked of the Prime Minister on June 19 was whether the Prime Minister would be prepared to force the Enbridge project down our throats if the Province of British Columbia continued to oppose it.
    There is a constellation of opposition to the Enbridge project, the risky twinned pipeline from Kitimat to Alberta bringing a toxic fossil fuel condensate called diluent to be stirred into a solid called bitumen to bring it out the other side, and two different sets of tankers, one set bringing diluent and leaving and another collecting diluent mixed with bitumen and leaving offshore. The entire scheme poses unacceptable risks to British Columbia.
    When I speak of the constellation of opposition, it really cannot be called a protest. We are talking about the Province of British Columbia itself. Minister of the Environment Mary Polak immediately, on the NEB decision and the cabinet of this country approving the project, said, “No way. Our conditions still are not met”.
     However, that is not the only opposition. There is the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and of course, first nations and the majority of British Columbia residents.
    When I asked the question about forcing the project down our throats, I was thinking specifically of the fact that this particular Prime Minister signed a rather famous letter in 2001, generally referred to as the Alberta firewall letter. At the time, the Prime Minister was president of the National Citizens Coalition, and he signed it as the top signatory, immediately followed by Tom Flanagan and others from Alberta.
    What they wrote Premier Klein was this:
    It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.
    This was the essence of my question. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources who answered it at the time evaded this fundamental question of federal-provincial jurisdiction and conflict. What many British Columbians want to ask the Prime Minister and his cabinet is how far they will go to push a project that British Columbians have rejected.
    Since the time I asked that question, we have had a substantial development, with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Tsilhqot’in case. I may be the first member of Parliament to speak to that here on the very last day of September, because the decision came down in the summer. What a phenomenal decision. What a clear statement that first nations' title is what it is: it is title. It is not just a matter of consultation. It is actually a matter of first nations having the right to say, “No, we will not allow our land to be destroyed”.
    Under the circumstances, when will the current government admit that the Enbridge project it has approved will never be built?

  (1940)  

Ms. Eve Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, our decision is based on the conclusions of an independent science-based review panel. After carefully reviewing the independent regulator's recommendation on the northern gateway project, the government accepted the recommendation to impose 209 conditions to ensure that this project meets the highest safety standards. The panel heard from nearly 1,500 participants in 21 communities and reviewed 175,000 pages of evidence prior to making its recommendation.
    This is another step in the process. It will now be up to the proponent to demonstrate to the regulator and Canadians how it will meet those over 200 conditions. It will also have to apply for regulatory permits and authorizations from federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
    Finally, consultations with first nations communities are required under many of the conditions as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits. It also must fulfill its commitment to engage with first nations and communities along the route.
    It is clear that the proponent has much work to do. As a government, we have promised Canadians that projects will only move forward if they are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment. That is the guiding principle for our plan for responsible resource development.
    We have introduced a suite of measures to enhance pipeline and marine safety. Whether we are transporting energy by rail, tanker, or pipeline, our safety systems are world class. The safety record of federally regulated crude pipelines is indeed 99.999%, and our government is taking action to improve our record even further. Our overall goal is to prevent incidents from occurring at all.
    In the unlikely event that an incident does occur, we must have robust and transparent emergency preparedness and response plans. We have backed this up with enhanced liability regimes to show industry that we are protecting the environment and that we are doing it very seriously.
    We also recognize that aboriginal peoples must be full partners in everything we do, from ensuring the safety of our pipeline system to protecting our marine environment from incidents and sharing in the benefits of developing our resources.
    In his report, Douglas Eyford made a number of recommendations to build a better relationship with aboriginal peoples. He said:
    Canada must take decisive steps to build trust with Aboriginal Canadians, to foster their inclusion into the economy, and to advance the reconciliation of Aboriginal people...in Canadian society.
     Our government agrees. We are moving forward with a suite of activities to enable aboriginal peoples to fully participate in the development and operation of our energy infrastructure projects, including our tanker and pipeline safety systems.
    With the participation of first nations and our commitment to world-class pipeline safety systems, we are confident that Canada can capture the tremendous economic promise before it. We can diversify our energy markets and ensure prosperity for all Canadians for generations to come.

  (1945)  

Ms. Elizabeth May:  
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health has stayed late here tonight to speak to this matter, but I do think that when Standing Order 37 was written, it was ever contemplated that the minister or parliamentary secretary brought forward to respond to a question would carry other portfolios.
    I have worked so positively with the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health that I am sorry to see her here tonight, forced to read notes from another parliamentary secretary with a different portfolio. Her talents are better spent on health.
    As it is, I will briefly respond that the key question I continue to pursue in adjournment proceedings is one of respect for provincial jurisdiction and for the federal government finding a way to not push forward. This so-called independent review actually lacks any analytical review of the evidence before it, and it failed utterly to put forward the economic case on which it rested its decision.
    In this case, the emperor has no clothes.
Ms. Eve Adams:  
    Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear the member opposite seek to pigeonhole a colleague. I would have expected something a little more generous from her.
    However, allow me to return to the debate before us and to speak specifically to energy supply.
    Few countries in the world have the enormous potential that Canada holds. It is the world's fifth-largest producer of oil and gas and the fifth-largest producer of natural gas. Canada is fortunate to have abundant oil and gas resources, but to reach its full potential, it needs more than supply: it needs to diversify its markets.
    We have been clear that projects will move ahead only if they are safe for Canadians and safe for our environment.

[Translation]

The Deputy Speaker:  
    The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:50 p.m.)
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