IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on the so-called SPP and on Canada-Colombia Free Trade negotiations

39th Parliament, 2nd Session

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, sellouts and broken promises, that is the Conservative's hallmark on trade. They are selling out Canada's health and safety, our energy, sovereignty plus everything else in the SPP and they refuse to bring any of the discussions here to Parliament.

It is the same thing with the EFTA sellout where Liechtenstein outmanoeuvred, outnegotiated and outclassed this inept and incompetent government. Goodbye shipbuilding industry.

When will the government do what it said it would do, stop the secrecy, bring the SPP here for full scrutiny and the EFTA agreement to Parliament for a vote?

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Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, since the late 2005, officials have held roughly 12 consultation meetings with various shipbuilding industry representatives.

This FTA addresses domestic shipbuilding concerns in a number of very important ways. In response to concerns expressed by the shipbuilding industry, the draft agreement includes a 15-year tariff phase-out on the most sensitive shipbuilding products. The phase-out period includes a bridge period of three years, during which time tariffs will be maintained at their current levels under the FTA. These provisions provide Canadian shipbuilders with considerable time to adjust to duty-free environment and it is the longest phase-out period for Canadian tariff in any of our free trade agreements.

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Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it fails the shipbuilding industry, and that is no surprise.

The process that the Conservatives have adopted is littered with bruised, broken, battered and bleeding industries that have been sold out by this government: softwood communities; our shipbuilding industry; our auto industry; manufacturing. Now it wants to sell out Canadian values on human rights by pushing a Canada-Colombia trade agreement, with Liberal support.

The U.S. congress is saying no to this deal because it will worsen the human rights situation there.

When the human rights community is saying no, why is the government trying to sell out Canadian values on human rights and Canada’s reputation abroad?

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The Speaker: The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry.

Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the pursuit of trade liberalization and the promotion and protection of human rights are complementary and mutually reinforcing objectives. Economic development can strengthen the social foundations of countries and contribute to a domestic environment where individual rights and the rule of law are respected.

Our FTAs are complemented by provisions on labour and environment cooperation, which commit all parties to respect key labour and environmental management principles.

The Minister of Labour recently announced a $1 million contribution to fund labour related technical assistance in Colombia--