Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House tonight, as the member of Parliament for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, in Nova Scotia, excited to to speak to this important bill, yet saddened, as this will be my last speech in the House for the 42nd Parliament. I have mixed feelings.
In my closing speech for the 42nd Parliament, the theme I would like to speak on is CUSMA. Bill C-100 is a great example of the work our government has done throughout the four years it has been in power.
If we want a country to be strong, we have to ensure Canadians, the business community and all citizens have opportunities. This is the third trade deal we have brought forward.
A couple of years ago, we brought forward CETA, which was a very important deal with the European Union. With that deal, we potentially have access to 500 million people who can purchase our goods as well. We need to remember that under that deal, 98% of tariffs are gone. In the past, it was only 25%. We are opening the market tremendously and there is great potential for Canadians to move forward with important opportunities.
Our second deal was the CPTPP, once again providing us access to 500 million people. We now have access one billion people. It is an outstanding potential opportunity in Asia and the Pacific. We know we have great entrepreneurs who continue to innovate. They are able to sell and trade with those countries.
The third deal is CUSMA, which is extremely important. Of course, it adds access to 500 million people more. We are now have access to 1.5 billion people.
This is a continuation of what is happening in this great country right now. Our unemployment rate has changed from the time we took power. When the Conservatives left four years ago, we had a 7.2% unemployment rate. Today, as I stand before the House, the unemployment rate is 5.2%. It is outstanding.
There has been job creation. Who has created those jobs? Canadians. How many jobs have they created since 2015? Over one million jobs. How many Canadians were lifted out of poverty during that time? Over 825,000. It is very impressive.
What else have we done? We are investing in Canadians to create a strong Canada, ensuring we build a Canada that Canadians can be proud of and from which Canadians will be able to benefit. We brought forward a national housing strategy for Canadians. We brought forward the CPP. We brought forward a national early learning and child care framework. Canadians should just watch us now, though. We are bringing forward pharmacare for all Canadians. This is what we are doing.
It is important to share with members this victory. It is tremendous.
This is such an important victory for Canadians and I have to tell them how it turned out. President Trump was waking up in the middle of the night and tweeting about what he felt the Americans needed if a deal was to be had. He talked about three major areas.
The first one was the five-year sunset clause, or a shotgun clause, whatever we want to call it. If there was no renegotiation on that, the deal was dead. Canada said no. We cannot expect business communities, businessmen and women and business entrepreneurs to invest, upgrade and modernize when they only have five years of guaranteed potential. We know what the Conservatives were saying. From the start, they were saying we should sign any deal. It did not matter, we just had to get it done. However, that is not what we did. We got what we wanted.
The second thing Trump tweeted about in the middle of the night was that we had to end supply management. The Americans did not want that in the deal. Do we have supply management today? Absolutely. That is a very important. The Americans will not flood our markets with their cheap products. We will not have it. We are proud Canadians, and we will continue to defend supply management for all Canadians.
The third thing President Trump said was he could not sign a deal unless we changed the dispute management mechanism. It was important to the Americans that we changed that. Why? Because the Americans were losing 98% of the time when things went to the tribunal. He wanted to do away with the international tribunal and have American lawyers and judges determine what was right and what was wrong in the deal. The Tories wanted to sign. We said it would not happen and it never happened. That also is important.
I think back to when the Conservatives were criticizing us, saying “Sign Sign”, but we stayed on the path. We were successful. The former prime minister of the country, Brian Mulroney, said that Canada did very well. He said it was a great deal. He was speaking, of course, for the Conservatives.
For the NDP, there is no such thing as an NDP deal. The New Democrats are anti-trade. We could not make it good enough for them. There will always be an issue or a problem.
There is one good, solid New Democrat when it comes to trade, and that is my colleague, the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. I think he wants to be a Liberal. I believe he is more Liberal than New Democratic. This is what he said:
I just want to congratulate everybody in this room for the fantastic job that you did, for the leadership of Unifor, to be sure, that we can get the best deal possible and protect workers all around this country.
That was pretty impressive for a New Democratic member who really understands the importance of trade deals.
Let us talk quickly about CUSMA. There are certain aspects that we were victorious on, over and above the fact that we told Trump those three were not going to happen, and that he should get over it. I guess he did get over it. He never showed up last week. He sent Pence here. He knows he did not get the best deal for the United States. He knows that Canada got the best deal. He knows the Liberal Government of Canada got the deal done.
Another very important piece we were successful on was labour. We were able to bring a more ambitious and robust piece to the labour portion of the agreement. The new auto rule of origin that we were successful in getting for the auto industry allows auto workers guaranteed work over time. The auto industry is very proud of that.
The environmental changes we brought forward are very important and are incorporated in the agreement. We are talking about air quality, water and marine. They are all very important aspects.
Of course, who can forget the very important gender lens? We are a party that will work to ensure all genders have opportunities. We put in place a mechanism to protect women's rights. It is very important to recognize gender identity and sexual orientation.
We cannot forget this. The Conservatives, NDP, Bloc and the Greens asked us how we could sign a deal that did not remove steel and aluminum tariffs. We knew what we were doing. Not only were we working on ratifying and ensuring we had a the deal, but we did not ratify this deal before the tariffs were removed. The tariffs on steel and aluminum are gone. They are history. We were able to do that successfully.
I want all members in the House of Commons not to forget that Canadians have a victory with this deal. The people from Nova Scotia have a big victory with this deal. This is very important for people from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook as well. This bill will create good middle-class jobs for all Canadians.
We have strong deals because we believe in industry. Our products, when we have a level playing field, are the best in the world. We are proving that by implementing these trade deals. Canadians have created over a million jobs. Those jobs have been created before seeing the success of these trade deals.
This is a very good deal for Canadians. I am very proud of this deal and I know all Canadians are proud of it.