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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-10 17:25 [p.1910]
Madam Speaker, the point is that when the Deputy Prime Minister, Canadian diplomats and negotiators sat at the table, we knew that supply management had to survive or there would not be an agreement. As a result of Canada taking that tough stand, we have a future of supply management. This agreement might not be perfect in every aspect, but I recognize, as I believe a vast majority of Canadians do, just how valuable this agreement is to our economy and that when we say there are safety measures in place, there are in fact safety measures that will be there to protect industries well into the future.
I want to highlight a couple of other things. I thought cultural exemptions were really important in this agreement, just in terms of the billions of dollars in that industry alone. I would argue that would not have been there if it were not for our persistence. For the first time, the new NAFTA has a new enforceable environmental chapter, ensuring good air quality and fighting marine pollution. Rights are being protected. Enforceable provisions will protect women's rights, minority rights and indigenous rights. It also includes labour obligations regarding the elimination of employment discrimination based on gender. The investor-state dispute resolution has been done away with. Imagine the millions of dollars that have been saved by getting rid of that.
The provisions to protect labour are the strongest in any Canadian trade agreement to date. There is labour value content that levels the playing field. The new auto rules of origin would directly secure the future of auto workers in cities such as Windsor and Oshawa. The agreement provides assurances on government procurement. There is the whole issue of the aluminum industry. Yes, we are concerned about industries. We are being criticized because there was not a high enough percentage guarantee. The last agreement had a 0% guarantee; this one has a 70% guarantee. We should all be talking about this agreement in a very positive way because it would have the desired outcome that would enhance and build Canada's middle class. It would make our economy stronger and allow for more secure markets into the future. That is what Canadians, businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals who have so much vested in making sure we get this right deserve. I can tell those people the government has it right and we will see the dividends once this bill passes.
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