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View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-20 10:06 [p.29463]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2018 report on exports of military goods from Canada, and the 2018 annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Export and Import Permits Act.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-19 21:39 [p.29443]
Mr. Speaker, I want to take the opportunity to say this as we close out the debate at second reading on this very important bill, Bill C-100. This bill will enable us to take the next steps toward ratification of one of the most important and progressive trade agreements that has ever been negotiated anywhere in the world.
We went into this discussion with three primary objectives: first, to preserve important NAFTA provisions and market access to $2 billion worth of trade into the U.S. and Mexico every day; second, to modernize and improve the agreement to make it a better agreement than NAFTA; and third, to reinforce the security and stability of market access into the U.S. and Mexico for Canadian businesses. Those were the objectives, and that is what we accomplished.
I want to take a moment to commend our Prime Minister, who has a spine of steel when it comes to these sorts of issues, and our formidable Minister of Foreign Affairs, because no one can negotiate anything in the world like she can. I want to thank her parliamentary secretary, the member for Orléans, who was engaged in this process, as well as the trade negotiators, the officials, and the members of opposition parties who were engaged in the council that did this work, which is really groundbreaking work to make a difference for Canadian labour, indigenous Canadians and workers in every sector to make sure our businesses remain competitive while we continue to grow them and have access to markets in the United States and around the world with the most diverse trading program that any country has ever developed.
One issue I want to spend a bit of time on, because there has been so much misinformation tonight, is with respect to biologics and patent protection, which was negotiated as part of this whole deal.
I want to be clear about this. There are pharmaceutical drugs that are compounds created from atoms being compounded to each other to create the drugs we know so well. Of the drugs that people in this room take, 95% are those kinds of drugs, while 5% of the medications we take are biologics. These are created from living organisms in a living organism and are extremely complex and expensive to make.
My career for four years as president of the Asthma Society of Canada led me to understand the very complex way that biologics are created. On the one hand, drugs made from compounds are generic drugs that are relatively easy to create and are exactly the same as the original drug. However, a biologic will never be replicated exactly. They are biosimilars. At times, I jokingly call them “bio-differents”, because they are different. They are extremely expensive to replicate, and most companies do not want to do it.
I am really glad some people are listening to this. The reality is that a biologic drug, if we have 10 years of protection for it, most likely will be replaced by another biologic. That is the way that the industry works.
I am not simply saying we do not need to worry about this because I am, on this side of the House, arguing for this trade agreement; I am arguing this because we have a very high stake in targeted medicine and in ensuring that Canadians have access to the biologics that are part of our medical care system.
I have heard various numbers quoted, which are mathematical calculations without any nuance whatsoever. When Amir Attaran, a professor at the University of Ottawa, a biomedical scientist and a lawyer, looked at everything we are doing, he recognized it is going to be a wash. We are changing regulations on the PMPRB, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. We are obviously committed to a pharmacare system that we can see is being developed through the early steps taken in this budget. We are moving on these issues.
I would ask every member of this House to commit themselves to the science, the creativity and the imagination that goes into our pharmaceutical industry. Quit beating up on big pharma.
I have taken on big pharma as part of a patient organization to ensure that Canadians have access to medication. I am not afraid of big pharma; I am respectful of pharmaceutical scientists and the companies that bring us the medications that, frankly, keep me alive. I need those medications and I am glad they are there. NAFTA will ensure that there is moderate protection, either under the 20 years as a drug or the 10 years as a biologic.
This is not something that is scientific. It is an embarrassment that some people in the House are misusing this idea to scare Canadians. The reality is that we have a progressive trade deal. It is the most progressive and inclusive trade deal to involve indigenous people. It has labour standards that are progressive and will become a worldwide model. We have a deal that will make sure that as Canadians move into the rest of the century, we will be effective and competitive.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-18 14:54 [p.29309]
Mr. Speaker, as with every issue, our priority is the best interests of Canada and Canadians. We have ensured that China is well aware of every one of our positions. We have indeed rallied an unprecedented number of countries who are speaking out in support of Canadians.
This should not be about grandstanding. It should not be about scoring political points. This is about working persistently, carefully and resolutely to get brave Canadians home and to ensure that our farmers have access to markets.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-18 15:07 [p.29312]
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the Conservatives simply do not know what they are talking about on this issue. Our government saw the consequences of the wretched quota deal the Conservatives accepted on softwood lumber, which is why we refused to accept the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum.
We are continuing our legal challenges against the U.S. softwood duties through NAFTA, through the WTO, where Canadian softwood has always won in the past.
Our government will always defend Canadian workers and Canadian industry.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-18 22:38 [p.29369]
Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear about this deal. Canadians asked for a good deal, and they got a good deal. Canadians recognized that it was an opportunity of a generation to make a difference and improve the old NAFTA.
This morning at the international trade committee, National Chief Perry Bellegarde said this was “the most inclusive international trade agreement for Indigenous peoples to date.”
Labour leaders are also saying it has the strongest labour protections of any free trade agreement in the world. It is the most progressive trade agreement, the most inclusive for indigenous peoples, and the most impressive and important deal for labour. Why would the member not support this?
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-17 14:49 [p.29184]
Mr. Speaker, we strongly disagree with U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber. These are punitive duties. They are unfair. They are deeply troubling. Our government will take every opportunity to vigorously defend our forestry industry and its workers against protectionist trade measures.
My father is a professional forester. I grew up in that industry. We are committed to it. We will continue to work constantly to ensure our industry is successful and our workers are employed.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-17 14:51 [p.29185]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's Arctic sovereignty is long-standing. It is well-established, and we have taken every opportunity to express that. We know that the north is an extremely important region of our country. It is more than photo ops. It is more than taking a picture and going to the Arctic once a summer. It is about real people, sustainable environmental protection and ensuring that Canada's sovereignty is protected.
We will stand firm. Canada's Arctic is Canada's Arctic.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-17 14:52 [p.29185]
Mr. Speaker, indeed, Canadian lives do hang in the balance. This is not about political grandstanding. It is not about rhetoric. It is about doing the work patiently and persistently and continuing to not try to score political points but to bring Canadians home safely.
We have rallied an unprecedented number of partners around the world in support of Canada's position: NATO, Australia, the EU, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States Senate.
We will continue to stand up for Canadians. We ask all members of the House to do the same.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-17 14:55 [p.29186]
Mr. Speaker, that member in particular should know that the new NAFTA is a great deal for labour and for auto workers, especially those in her own riding. The then president of Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Janice Forsyth, said that the new deal was “a great step forward”. Flavio Volpe, the president of Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada said that “Windsor is perfectly positioned to take advantage.”
Why will the member not support the workers of her own riding instead of trying to score some political points?
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-17 15:05 [p.29188]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his concern about this topic, which I think is shared throughout this House.
We have expressed serious concerns about the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's extradition laws. They have been delayed; they have not yet been cancelled. The Hong Kong government must listen to the voices of its citizens. Last week, we issued another public statement expressing our concern about the impact of these changes. We are very aware that there are, indeed, 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong. That is of special concern to all of us.
I took this topic up with legislators when I met with them in Hong Kong. We will continue to advocate for human rights in our world.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-14 11:13 [p.29119]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you, the table officers and all the pages for the tremendous work in ensuring the effectiveness of the 42nd Parliament. It has been an honour to serve in Ottawa for the last four years, and I look forward to four more years.
We are making a difference here by lowering taxes on the middle class and for small businesses, creating over a million jobs since 2015, lifting over 300,000 children out of poverty with the Canada child benefit, and ensuring that over 800,000 others are lifted out of poverty and have a chance to make a difference of their own in this country.
We are helping our world's most vulnerable while welcoming newcomers every day to make Canada stronger.
Investments in infrastructure, transit, and renewable energy, a national housing strategy, and our climate plan are all ensuring that we live better, healthier lives.
Canadians elected a government that would, like Toronto's Raptors, be champions, and we are delivering. We are making a difference for the people of Don Valley West and all of Canada.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-13 14:59 [p.29067]
Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House that China has heard our position very clearly, very loudly and at every level.
We have discussions with our diplomats in Canada, our diplomats in China. We have had discussions with them in China. A parliamentary delegation discussed our positions in May during a visit to China. I was on that delegation. It is shame that neither the Conservatives nor the NDP decided to join us on that mission.
These are serious issues. Canadians need to unite to keep Canadians safe and Canadian businesses well.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-13 15:02 [p.29067]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure all members of this House that we have raised serious concerns about the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's extradition laws. Yesterday, we issued a public statement expressing these concerns and concerns about the impact they will have.
The recent protests demonstrate the deep, deep concern that the people of Hong Kong have about their future. I hope every member of this House stands in solidarity with them. We have discussed these amendments directly with the Government of Hong Kong. I have discussed them myself with members of the legislature on both sides of that House.
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-11 12:04 [p.28895]
Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had been allowed a prop, he might have waved a white flag part way through that speech.
I appreciate the member's support for the binational dispute resolution mechanism in chapter 19 being preserved. However, of all of the other things we have accomplished, I wonder which is his favourite.
Is it protecting the cultural exception, preserving supply management, increasing market access for refined sugar and margarine, ensuring gender and sexual orientation protections? Is it making the environmental chapter subject to a trade dispute mechanism? Is it the rules of origin that benefit auto workers? Could it be the new small business chapter, removing ISDS that prevents government from making policy in the public interest? Is it removing the oil ratchet issue?
Which of all of those accomplishments would be the member's personal favourite?
View Robert Oliphant Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Robert Oliphant Profile
2019-06-11 13:31 [p.28909]
Mr. Speaker, I wonder what the hon. member's position is on this. If he believe that this is 0.5 of a deal, why would the Conservative Party support it? This is not 0.5. This is a 2.0 effort that has been engaged in by parliamentary committees and by hundreds of visits by the Prime Minister, the minister and the parliamentary secretary. The engagement from all parliamentarians has been very supportive. How can the Conservatives possibly support a deal they do not think is a very good deal?
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