IN THE HOUSE ~ Questions and Comments ~ C-46 (Canada-Panama Free Trade Act)

40th Parliament, 3rd Session
Speaker : Mr. Julian
Context : Questions and Comments

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Madam Speaker, the member for Hamilton Mountain has made a very compelling case in front of this House.

What the Liberals and Conservatives appear to be doing, yet again, is saying to Canadians, “Swallow this. It's good for you”.

That is what they said about the softwood lumber sellout, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

The shipbuilding sellout that was brought into this House has led to the loss of hundreds of shipbuilding jobs.

The Canada-Colombia free trade agreement is a complete repudiation of Canada's tradition of standing up for human rights, rewarding a regime that is tied to brutal paramilitary thugs and military thugs and intelligent officers who routinely kill trade unionists and human rights advocates.

The Liberals and Conservatives, yet again, are making the same pitch to Canadians, “Swallow this. It's good for you”, or, “It's good or Panamanians”. However, none of them have done their homework. None of them have actually looked at what the export figures are after we sign these bilateral free trade agreements, in every single case, exports of the kind afterwards.

This is a dysfunctional trade policy. We have a dysfunctional approach from the Minister of International Trade, supported by the Liberals, despite the fact that it is very clearly not working and despite the fact that most Canadians now, after 20 years of this free trade regime, or so-called free trade regime that has been very costly to Canadians, most Canadians are earning less. There is a problem. Our exports declined in those markets and Canadians are earning less.

What is wrong with this picture? Why is it only the NDP, as a national party, is standing in Parliament and telling Canadians that they do not have to swallow what Liberals and Conservatives are trying to force down their throats?

I would like to ask the member for Hamilton Mountain why she thinks Conservatives and Liberals are unwilling to do their homework, actually read the export figures, actually read the income figures, and actually work with the NDP so that we can create a fair trade policy that is in the interest of all Canadians.

Context : Point of Order
Mr. Peter Julian: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

There has been a motion moved on the floor of this House just a few minutes ago by the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain. It essentially moves the debate and discussion of whether or not this bill should be read and heard six months from now.

Madam Speaker, could you just clarify for the minister that she is indeed speaking to the motion now and not to the bill itself?