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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2019-05-28 15:28 [p.28152]
Mr. Speaker, we just had a vote in this place, which is the first step on the road to ratifying the new NAFTA. The NDP has rightly expressed some real concerns about the nature of that deal, as we have expressed concerns about a number of other trade deals the Liberals and Conservatives together have negotiated over the span of a number of governments. The reason that is relevant to this debate about extending the sitting hours is that the government, once again, seems to be in a major rush to make a big mistake, which is to ratify this agreement prior to the issues with the agreement being resolved in neighbouring countries.
We do not actually know what the final agreement is going to look like, yet simply because the Vice-President of the United States is coming on Thursday, the government is in a hurry to ratify, just as it was in a hurry to ratify CETA, even though we know that Britain is still working out whether it is going to be part of the European Union. Canada was ratifying CETA long before Europe and long before it resolved whether one of our major trading partners was even going to be part of that block. This insane rush to get ink on deals, without any regard for the real content, has been a problem for Canadians, who have lost employment to these kinds of deals over the last decades. I am not prepared to support a motion that is going to help the Liberals ram through ratification of a deal we do not even know the details of.
While the reasons the New Democrats have opposed some of these measures in the past stand, we have a particular reason this time to be opposed to longer sitting hours, and that is because the government is trying to create an opportunity, with the Conservatives being complicit in ramming this through Parliament, invoking a special kind of closure that only works when two parties agree to it, to make a big mistake faster, and that is something I simply do not support.
I want to know why the government is concerned about extending sitting hours to accomplish something that would rush a deal, the details of which we do not even know. I would like to hear what the House leader has to say about that, frankly.
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