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Results: 1 - 27 of 27
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:30 [p.29360]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Durham for his speech.
Today we are debating the new NAFTA. The government announced that it wanted to fast-track it. For the Trans-Pacific Partnership we heard more than 400 witnesses in committee. There are just three days left before the House adjourns for the summer, followed by the election.
Does the member for Durham think this is all a pre-election spectacle by the government to show Canadians that it is resolving the matter of free trade, or is the Prime Minister simply sending a message to President Trump, telling him that he is taking care of it and will see him next week?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:32 [p.29360]
Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois does not oppose the implementation of the new NAFTA, now known as CUSMA. We had two conditions for agreeing to consider the bill. We stated our reasons more than once, and I even wrote about them in the U.S. media. First, we wanted the issue of the steel and aluminum tariffs to be resolved. That has been done. However, there is also the issue of supply management, which has not been resolved.
The government wants to ram through the implementation bill for the agreement, and we are opposed to that. As I indicated in my previous question, more than 400 witnesses were invited to appear before the committee when it was studying the trans-Pacific partnership. However, to date, no witnesses have been invited to speak about CUSMA, the new NAFTA. We are therefore opposed to its implementation, because it puts the cart before the horse.
In Washington, Congress has barely started looking at the new agreement, and Congress has the authority to sign international agreements. The text that the Prime Minister signed in November may change. We know that the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, disagree with the Republicans, who control the U.S. Senate, about a number of things. The Democrats may well demand changes to the agreement before they endorse it. As of now, Congress has not even drafted the bills to implement the agreement, yet here we are debating ours. This makes no sense. Implementing an agreement that has not even been finalized is nothing more than pre-election smoke and mirrors.
Where is the fire? NAFTA is still in force and will remain in force after the dissolution of the House. There is no rush. I understand the government wanting to cross a few things off its to-do list, but doing a sloppy job is not the right way to bolster its record. Doing things properly means waiting. Furthermore, this agreement has some very real implications, and the government has not even bothered to listen to the people it will affect. That is a major problem.
Like all agreements, this one has winners and losers. The losers will need compensation, guidance and help, and that needs to happen at the same time as ratification, not afterwards, on the 12th of never. We know that promises made before ratification are quickly forgotten. Just look at the workers in the shipbuilding industry. They were told they would be compensated, and the next day, they were forgotten. We can also think of workers in the clothing, furniture, agriculture and automotive industries. They are getting no support.
We all know that this agreement was signed at the expense of our supply-managed farmers, our regions and our agricultural model. There is nothing to help them deal with this, nothing but vague promises. There was nothing in the notice of ways and means motion tabled a few weeks ago either.
After four years, we know what this government's promises are worth. It has been two years since CETA and the TPP were signed, but our farmers have yet to see even a hint of any cheques, and they will not get one red cent before the election. Despite its lofty promises, the government has done nothing. It should be ashamed. Because of its inaction, any commitments made in the budget have become campaign promises. Canadians have been burned, so all trust is gone.
With respect to CUSMA, the programs should already be in place when the agreement comes into force. Our farmers have been fleeced twice now, but they will not be fleeced a third time.
I want to address another issue of concern to dairy farmers. With CUSMA, Donald Trump will have control over the export of milk proteins, class 7. That is an unprecedented surrender of sovereignty by this government. Our farmers can currently sell surplus milk protein on foreign markets. If the agreement comes into force too quickly, there is a good chance that Washington and President Donald Trump will completely block our exports. It is worrisome. The risk is very real. That would completely destabilize Quebec's dairy industry.
If we get our protein exports in order before the agreement is implemented, there is a chance that the Americans will see the matter as resolved and will let it go. That is what we want. The last three agreements were signed at the expense of our producers. If the government implements this agreement in the worst way possible, it will cause irreparable harm. I think our farmers have been punished enough by the government. Enough is enough. For this reason alone, it is worth waiting. I think we all agree on that.
As I was saying, we do not systematically oppose every free trade agreement. We support free trade in principle. Quebec needs free trade. I also want to say that CUSMA, the new NAFTA, is not all bad. If I were a Canadian, I would probably think that the Minister of Foreign Affairs got a good deal. For example, she shielded Ontario's auto sector from potential tariffs. She also protected Canada's banking sector from American competition. That is not nothing. It is good for Ontario. She maintained access to the American market for grain from the west. This is good for the Prairies. This is a good agreement for Canada.
She also took back Canada's control over the oil trade, which Brian Mulroney abandoned in 1988. Alberta must be happy. For once, I am not being heckled too much. She did away with the infamous chapter 11 on investments and preserved the cultural exception. That is good. However, the specific gains for Quebec are less clear. I talked about supply-managed producers. I could talk about how the Government of Quebec will have to pay more for biologic drugs and will no longer be able to collect QST on packages arriving from the United States from Amazon or other web giants. Small retailers will find themselves at a disadvantage. What is more, copyright will be extended from 50 years to 70.
In short, we need to look at all of those things in order to implement measures that will help Quebeckers benefit from the new opportunities that are available and put programs in place to compensate those the government abandoned during the negotiations. We need to do all that before we vote on this legislation. No party in the House deserves to be given a blank cheque.
I hope that, after the election, the Bloc Québécois will have the balance of power. That is what political analysts are saying could happen. Then, there will be no more blank cheques.
An hon. member: Oh, oh!
Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie: Madam Speaker, the member for Brossard—Saint-Lambert will see. For the first time in years, Quebeckers will be able to rest assured that their interests are being taken into account. In order to do that, we need to wait before voting on the NAFTA implementation bill. There is no hurry.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:41 [p.29361]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his thoughtful question.
Before I answer, I do not think I made myself clear in my speech, so I wanted to say again that I will be sharing my time with the member for Davenport. The microphone was off, but—
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:42 [p.29362]
Madam Speaker, I also said that I wanted to share my time with the member for Davenport, but you could not hear me because the microphone was off.
I therefore ask the unanimous consent of the House to share my time.
An hon. member: No.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:42 [p.29362]
Madam Speaker, I am really disappointed that the member who asked the question opposed the motion.
There are times when we do not get our requests met as we would like. It is nice when we manage to agree on how to play the parliamentary game, but when people act in bad faith, it complicates things.
Indeed, it is troubling that the copyright period has been extended from 50 years to 70 years. It is important to take the time in committee to consult experts and the people who could be affected. Extending it from 50 to 70 years will have many repercussions on radio stations that broadcast cultural programming. Let me give a bit of a silly example. Playing Elvis Presley songs did not cost anything, but what is it going to cost for another 20 years? That is problematic. That said, we need to listen to producers and broadcasters to properly evaluate it. That is why I am saying we should not rush this.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-11 13:58 [p.28912]
Mr. Speaker, I heard my colleague's comments about the softwood lumber, steel, aluminum and automotive sectors, but I did not hear him say anything about supply-managed producers.
We are being asked to ratify this quickly, but would that not mean giving the government a blank cheque to ratify the agreement without compensating our supply-managed producers? We should be sending a cheque to every supply-managed producer rather than giving this government a blank cheque.
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2019-05-13 15:06 [p.27688]
Mr. Speaker, not a single penny has been budgeted to compensate supply-managed producers before the election. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed it.
This means that the $3.9 billion promised by the Liberals has become an election promise. To those farmers, however, that money is not an election issue; it is crucial to keeping their businesses afloat.
Dairy farmers are saying they want to see concrete action before the election, and that would include a cheque.
When will they get their cheque?
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2019-05-13 15:07 [p.27688]
Mr. Speaker, the time for conversation is over. It is time to write a cheque.
We are not asking the minister to reassure our farmers; we are asking him to compensate them. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said he would be worried if he were a farmer. The money the government promised is not there. It is not in the budget.
The message to farmers is that they have to vote for the Liberal Party if they want to get their money.
With the election right around the corner, instead of blackmailing our farmers, will the government send them a cheque before the end of this session of Parliament?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-10 12:02 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, not a single penny in compensation will be going to supply-managed producers before the election. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed it.
Farmers are already suffering the consequences of being sacrificed in the free trade agreements. To them, compensation is not an election issue, but an urgent need. The farmers say they want to see concrete action before the election, and that would include a cheque.
When will they get their cheque?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-10 12:03 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, a cheque is exactly what people want. They have had it up to here with reassuring words. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that if he were a farmer, he would be worried. There are only so many ways to reassure people.
Rather than tell supply-managed farmers to vote Liberal if they want their cheque, will the government get those cheques in the mail before the end of the session?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-05-08 15:08 [p.27523]
Mr. Speaker, the government announced $3.9 billion in compensation for supply-managed farmers in the budget. However, there is no mention of that money in the budget's financial tables, schedules or votes. There is no line item for the compensation and no program for that purpose. None of the departmental budgets make any mention of this compensation.
If there is money to compensate our farmers, can the Minister of Finance tell us exactly where to find it, how much there is and, most importantly, how we can approve that amount in the House before the election?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-04-30 15:13 [p.27191]
Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion: That the House oppose the ratification of the USMCA until the American tariffs on steel and aluminum are permanently lifted, and mandate the Speaker to send a copy of this motion to the Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.
View Louis Plamondon Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting a petition initiated by Alexandra Cournoyer, from the municipality of Sainte-Victoire de Sorel, and signed by over 1,500 people, that calls for financial support to offset dairy farmers' losses and for mandatory labelling standards to inform consumers about the source of the milk in the dairy products they buy.
I commend this young woman for taking this initiative and raising awareness among young farmers in Quebec and Canada.
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2018-12-07 12:05 [p.24569]
Madam Speaker, sure, they will just write another cheque then.
After buying a pipeline on the taxpayers' dime, the government wants to buy the oil companies trains for Christmas.
Meanwhile, our dairy farmers are driving to Montreal on tractors to explain to the Prime Minister how the last three trade deals are going to cost them $450 million a year.
Does the government realize that that is half the amount it wants to waste on trains for oil companies?
Instead of spoiling the rich, will it compensate our farmers instead?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-12-06 15:07 [p.24519]
Mr. Speaker, this is the only government not to give these companies special privileges.
While the premiers are meeting in Montreal to discuss the new NAFTA, Quebec is still waiting for a clear commitment to dairy farmers from the Prime Minister.
It has been two months since the House unanimously called on the government to fully compensate supply managed farmers for the three agreements it signed at their expense. It has been two months.
Will the government take advantage of the first ministers conference to commit once and for all to fully compensating supply managed farmers for the three agreements that betrayed them?
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the government wants to sign the free trade agreement with the Americans tomorrow, but no one has even seen the final version. Dairy producers are worried because the latest version of the agreement gave the Americans oversight of our dairy system.
Since the Liberals have made a habit of betraying Quebec farmers, we cannot trust them and will certainly not give them a blank cheque.
Can the Prime Minister confirm that this provision has been removed, or has he once again gone back on his word?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2018-11-29 15:02 [p.24218]
Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the government will be signing the new free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. That is happening tomorrow, yet there is still no firm commitment from the government about compensation for our dairy farmers.
The government has abandoned them three times in a row, in its agreements with North America, the Pacific region and Europe. It must take responsibility for these three betrayals.
Will it make a formal commitment to fully compensate our supply-managed farmers for their losses under these three agreements—
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-11-07 18:14 [p.23413]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for her question and her concern for our farmers.
Our farmers do not like being compensated. They tell me that they did not want to be sacrificed in the agreements, but that is what happened to them in the last three agreements. I am pleased to hear today that there are two consultation panels, but unfortunately I fear that the consultations will not end with full compensation for the sacrifices they made in the last three agreements. Nevertheless, it is a very good start. Let us hope that this leads to full compensation and that the House will never again sign trade agreement in which our dairy farmers and other supply managed farmers are sacrificed.
In my speech I announced that we would support this bill at second reading, but that we would propose an amendment to ensure that the land occupied since 1967 is excluded. I would have liked to know whether the Liberal Party members will accept our amendment.
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2018-10-15 15:05 [p.22338]
Mr. Speaker, who would have thought Coca-Cola would be selling us milk? Multinationals like Coke will be competing with our dairy farmers. That is what it has come to.
Can Coca-Cola be trusted to meet our quality standards? Honestly, nobody in Quebec is going to want to serve that disgusting stuff to their family.
Does the government realize that what Quebeckers want to buy is milk produced in Quebec by people from Quebec?
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2018-10-15 15:06 [p.22338]
Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how the minister can talk without ever saying anything.
Since the Liberals took office, they have been three for three. They let down our dairy farmers in free trade with Europe, with Asia, and now with the United States.
The Quebec Liberals may protest by spitting on American milk for the cameras, but that does not change anything. Quebeckers do not want grandstanding. They want their elected officials to do their jobs when it is time to act.
Can the Quebec Liberals explain to us how, under their watch, our farmers got shafted three times out of three?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-10-05 12:00 [p.22280]
Mr. Speaker, the people of Lac-Mégantic want an inquiry. Will the government give them one?
When the agreement with Europe was signed, the government promised to compensate the provinces for the increase in drug costs and the impact on health care costs. It was even included in the mandate letter for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Three years later, there is nothing, not even a hint of a program.
Now the government is simply adding to this with the new NAFTA, which raises the cost of drugs a second time, again without compensation.
When will the government keep its promise and compensate Quebec for the agreements it signs?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-10-05 12:02 [p.22280]
Mr. Speaker, I take it there is no compensation, then. It is disappointing, but that is always how it goes with Ottawa. The government promises to compensate the losers in the agreement, but it forgets all about them as soon as it is done signing.
The same thing happened with the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EFTA and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Now, we have the agreement between Canada and Europe, the new trans-Pacific partnership and the new NAFTA, in which our producers have been sacrificed. We have been through this before.
When will the government finally come up with a plan that fully compensates dairy producers for the last three agreements, which it signed at their expense?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2018-10-02 15:01 [p.22117]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebeckers chose a new government. Despite this change, Quebec remains united in denouncing Ottawa for abandoning dairy farmers.
All of the elected candidates and all of the parties that will make up the Quebec National Assembly spoke out against the new free trade agreement. Clearly, the federal government is once again ignoring Quebec's vital interests.
Why did the government once again use Quebec as a bargaining chip in its trade negotiations?
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the question was about supply management.
The government keeps saying that it protected supply management, but everyone knows that is false. Even Canada's most loyal ally, Philippe Couillard, came out and said that the agreement was very bad for Quebec.
That is not all. There is also diafiltered milk. The problem was solved, but the Liberals decided to quietly undo it all by the back door. Now it is going to come streaming across our borders from the U.S. This is not just a small breach in supply management; it is going to completely destabilize the system.
Why did the government go back on its word?
Why did it fail our farmers?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-02 15:16 [p.22119]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege relating to the fact that, yesterday, the government announced that it had agreed to open 3.59% of the Canadian milk and dairy products market to American products, despite the unanimous adoption of a motion by the House of Commons on September 26, 2017, which read:
That the House reiterate its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations.
The 2015 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English defines the word “fully” as “completely or entirely; to the fullest extent”.
This raises a question. What is the point of a motion that is adopted by the unanimous consent of the House of Commons, this assembly of representatives of the people, the very heart of parliamentary democracy, if the government can toss that motion out at will?
On page 598 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, it states:
However, orders or resolutions presented or adopted by unanimous consent express the will of the House and are as binding as any other House order or resolution.
The government disregarded a House of Commons decision to fully preserve supply management.
I want to make it clear that I am raising this question of privilege at the first available opportunity because the latest information became available during question period yesterday after the member for Mirabel asked a question.
We think the government's disregard for the clearly expressed will of the House is a grave offence to its authority and dignity. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, reads as follows at page 60:
Any conduct which offends the authority or dignity of the house, even though no breach of any specific privilege may have been committed, is referred to as a contempt of the House. Contempt may be an act or an omission. It does not have to actually obstruct or impede the House or a Member; it merely has to have the tendency to produce such results.
In our opinion, the fact that this agreement was signed despite a unanimous motion by the House to fully preserve supply management is nothing short of contempt of Parliament on the part of the government.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, should you find a prima facie case of privilege, I intend to move the following motion: “That the House note that the government is in contempt of Parliament by failing to respect the unanimous consent of the House, which called on it to fully protect supply management.”
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2018-10-01 13:57 [p.22032]
Mr. Speaker, the government kept telling us that no free trade deal was better than a bad free trade deal, but then it went ahead and signed the worst possible deal. Quebec is losing so much and gaining nothing.
We are losing on supply management with concessions that are going to hurt our farmers. Illegal tariffs on steel and aluminum were not addressed either. We will just have to pin our hopes on Mr. Trump's good will. Our retailers are losing too with provisions that give giant online retailers an even greater competitive advantage. Chalk up another loss for health care with Ottawa protecting American pharmaceutical companies from low-cost drugs.
Ottawa gave Mr. Trump everything he wanted and got nothing for Quebec in return. The Prime Minister got taken for a ride by a president who had no interest in reaching a deal unless Canada knuckled under across the board. Once again, Quebec did not have a seat at the table, and once again, this trade deal is going to cost us dearly.
View Simon Marcil Profile
BQ (QC)
View Simon Marcil Profile
2018-10-01 15:01 [p.22043]
Mr. Speaker, a year ago almost to the day the House unanimously called on the government to ensure that there would be no breaches in supply management if a new NAFTA deal were reached.
Instead of telling the Americans that Parliament had agreed no concessions would be made, the government gave up its negotiating power, contradicted the House, reneged on its word and completely caved.
Knowing that Donald Trump's threats were nothing but hot air because Congress did not support tearing up NAFTA, why did the government once again sacrifice Quebec?
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