Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-19 21:56 [p.29445]
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I think if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous Languages, be deemed adopted;
(b) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, be deemed adopted;
(c) Bill C-98, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed;
(d) Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on division; and
(e) when the House adjourns on Thursday, June 20, 2019, it shall stand adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed to have been adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28 and be deemed to have sat on Friday, June 21, 2019.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-05-14 13:58 [p.27753]
Mr. Speaker, one of the things we have seen over the three and a half years is a government that has looked outside of Canada's boundaries. In dealing with tax treaties and trade agreements, we are allowing and fostering more trade and opportunities for Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. In good part, the trade file is one of the reasons we have been able to achieve hitting one million new jobs in Canada in the last three and a half years. I wonder if my colleague can provide his thoughts on just how important that fact is?
View Chris Bittle Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chris Bittle Profile
2019-05-14 13:58 [p.27753]
Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more with the hon. parliamentary secretary and his comments. A million new jobs is something to brag about. It is significant. Canadians have worked very hard and it is clear our policies have worked to help fuel that innovation and entrepreneurship. Part of that is our trade strategy, whether it is with Europe, Asia, or standing up to the United States or by standing firm on our commitments and with our industries.
Canada has unprecedented access to global markets. That speaks well to the economy. Bill S-6 is a small part of that and it will move us forward. We are always looking forward to creating new jobs and helping Canadians in their entrepreneurship and in investing.
View Luc Berthold Profile
View Luc Berthold Profile
2019-05-14 15:49 [p.27771]
Mr. Speaker, after so many tributes to one of our colleagues, it is hard to get back to the debate on a bill like Bill S-6.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the member for Sydney—Victoria on all he has done. The kind words coming from all sides of the House prove that he was obviously very well liked and wonderful to work with all these years. I too would like to wish him all the best.
We are here today to debate Bill S-6. Our job is to talk about bills and discuss the various motions brought before the House. Bill S-6 implements the convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, and a related protocol.
The convention is based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's model tax convention on income and on capital. A bill like this is introduced for two main reasons. The first is to avoid double taxation, and the second is to prevent fiscal evasion. Once this bill is implemented, it will provide relief from taxation rules set out in the Income Tax Act. It cannot be implemented until the bill is passed. We on this side of the House plan to support the bill.
Since we are talking about international relations, I want to talk about a speech that the leader of the official opposition gave to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, or MCFR. He gave his excellent speech to a full house on May 7 in Montreal.
The leader of the official opposition spoke about this country's foreign affairs, which is why I am making a link to the bill we are debating today. Maintaining healthy relations with other countries based on respect and rules is what enables us to continue to prosper and find our place in an ever-changing, fast-moving world.
Before I talk about the opposition leader's vision for foreign affairs, I want to talk about the government's track record in that regard. Shortly after the 2015 election, the Prime Minister said that Canada was back. He took credit for the good reputation that Canada had built over the years under all of the previous governments. Unfortunately, in 2019, it seems that Canada has gone nowhere. Here is what the opposition leader had to say:
The profound arrogance of [the Prime Minister]'s words foreshadowed how the new Prime Minister would conduct Canada’s foreign affairs: with style over substance.
It is public knowledge that the government has made many serious mistakes, and they are almost always attributable to the Prime Minister's poor judgment. Let us not forget the trans-Pacific partnership. He was a complete no-show for a very important meeting. Observers said at the time that the Japanese were seething about what they perceived as a last-minute betrayal by the Prime Minister of Canada.
We all know the details of his trip to India. Certain images come to mind every time someone mentions it. As the Leader of the Opposition said before the MCFR, what is perhaps less known is how seriously that trip hurt Canadians. Bilateral trade with India totals about $9 billion annually. The Prime Minister's trip to India seriously set us back in terms of helping Canadians benefit from increased trade.
We need to look at what is behind the image and the photo ops, at the impact of these actions. As former Liberal minister Ujjal Dosanjh stated, it is disappointing that the Canada-India relationship could have gone to the next level, but we have bungled it.
More recently, we have witnessed the government's defeatist attitude toward China. A wait-and-see approach has now become the norm. China has taken totally unjustified trade actions directed against Canadian farmers, canola farmers, the pork industry, and livestock genetics companies. Unfortunately, the crisis only seems to grow worse every day.
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has just returned from a G20 ministerial meeting in Japan, where she had an opportunity to talk to her Chinese counterpart and clearly state Canada’s position on the canola crisis, which is preventing Canada from exporting canola seed to China. However, this meeting on the importance of market access rules-based trade for Canadian agri-food products and opportunities was inconclusive.
According to the news release issued by the minister, she had an introductory conversation with the Chinese minister of agriculture on the margins of the G20 meeting and expressed Canada’s deep concern with the suspension of Canadian exports. The Minister of Agriculture has been asking China to allow her send a technical delegation to verify the Chinese government's allegations about the quality of Canadian canola for a month now, but she is satisfied with an introductory conversation with the Chinese minister of agriculture.
Unfortunately, the department’s news release makes no mention of the Chinese minister’s response. We do not know what he said, and unfortunately, we do not expect a technical delegation to be sent to China, since the minister surely did not want to displease her Chinese counterpart, while China is causing billions of dollars in damage to the Canadian economy.
That is not all. Today, Grain Growers of Canada called on the federal government to provide meaningful support to the Canadian agriculture industry. They want it to develop a strategy to address an increasingly unpredictable trade environment that is affecting the incomes of grain farmers. The strategy should recognize that China’s blocking of Canadian canola is politically motivated, which was acknowledged last week by the Prime Minister. However, government politicians are hesitant. The ministers refuse to stand up to China, and we are seeing the consequences. We are caught in the middle of the trade war between the United States and China. That has serious repercussions for all grain farmers in Canada.
The GGC press release also reveals that, in addition to the suspension of canola imports from Canada, soybean prices are dropping and imports to China have slowed to a trickle, reaching levels not seen in a decade. Industry and government officials have confirmed that Chinese importers are reluctant to sign contracts for other Canadian agricultural products given the uncertainty in the market.
Grain Growers of Canada chair Jeff Nielsen says the time has come for the Canadian government to aggressively defend the interests of Canada's agricultural sector in China and around the world. GGC vice chair Markus Haerle of St. Isidore, Ontario, says that the issues we are seeing with trade into China can no longer be said to be commodity-specific. As a soybean farmer, he has seen his prices plummet and markets close due to the flooding of the market by U.S. product.
The press release concludes by saying that, in addition to Chinese disruption, the loss of the Indian pulse market and the Italian durum market has added to the long list of risks that farmers are expected to manage. That is what we have been saying for months. For at least two months now, we have been telling the House that the Government of Canada has to stand up to China because it did not stand up to Italy, it did not stand up to India when that country imposed tariffs, and it did not stand up to Vietnam. The Liberal government's inaction and wait-and-see approach are causing billions of dollars' worth of damage to the Canadian economy.
When we are talking about billions of dollars in damage to the Canadian economy, we have to spare a thought for every farmer in every province of Canada. Each of them has suffered losses on the order of $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000 since the beginning of the year because they cannot sell their product.
We asked for three things. First, we asked for changes to the advance payments program. The Leader of the Opposition had to pressure the government into tabling a plan to help canola farmers. Second, we asked for a complaint to be filed with the World Trade Organization. There has been radio silence on that from the Liberal government. Lastly, we asked the government to appoint an ambassador to China. It seems obvious to me that if we want to resolve a crisis—
View Luc Berthold Profile
View Luc Berthold Profile
2019-05-14 16:00 [p.27773]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to address my colleagues.
I would like to remind the House of how the Liberals have managed international trade relations since the Prime Minister's trip to India. There has been the wheat crisis with Italy, the pulse crisis with India and, more recently, the canola crisis with China. The government chose not to take any action.
Canadian citizens and farmers are shouldering the burden of the government's failure to act. Unfortunately, they will have to bear that burden for a long time, because the government shows no interest or willingness to settle these disputes. The government refuses to be assertive and stand up for Canadians in international trade relations.
I will close by citing the Canola Council of Canada. This week, I received a document in which it calls for some very simple measures. The Canola Council of Canada is asking the government to take all possible measures to engage the Chinese government and come to a long-term agreement to restore canola seed exports.
They do not want introductory or preliminary meetings, they want a meeting where Canada clearly states its position.
Stable relations are vital if we want to fight tax evasion and maintain good relations with our colleagues in all countries. Unfortunately, it seems the government has no intention of moving in that direction. It is time for the government to take action on behalf of Canadian canola farmers.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-05-14 16:05 [p.27774]
Madam Speaker, tax treaties and trade agreements are important things on the international scene and the federal government needs to be proactive on them. By doing that, we enhance Canada's economy, support our middle class and in fact all Canadians in all regions of the country.
I want to go specifically to the canola issue. Canola is an important industry for our prairie provinces. It is an important industry for all Canadians. The best thing the Canadian government can do is not only lobby China, but bring the science to the table. The best canola in the world is produced in western Canada, and my home province of Manitoba is an excellent example of that.
What we need to do, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is what we have done time and again, which is demonstrate very clearly to the Chinese government that the science is there, that our canola is a world-class product and to say otherwise is just not true.
Would the member acknowledge that this is not the first time we have had issues related to China? Issues related to trade with China even occurred during Stephen Harper's time.
We have to allow the professional civil servants, the scientists, to be at the forefront, and that does not happen overnight, with the snap of a finger. It takes time. We have the science to support our claims. This is the way we can support our farmers, while also ensuring them that we have their backs.
View Luc Berthold Profile
View Luc Berthold Profile
2019-05-14 16:07 [p.27774]
Madam Speaker, no one is questioning the quality of Canadian canola. No one is questioning Canadian farmers’ willingness to ship the best possible canola to China. The problem is that the Minister of Agriculture asked China to receive a technical delegation a month ago, and China has not responded.
We are convinced that the only people who still think that there might be a technical issue are a few Liberal members.
There is nothing wrong with our canola, yet they refuse to take a political stand. They refuse to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization to show that we are not going to take this lying down. They refuse to appoint an ambassador, which would open up a dialogue and resolve the crisis. There was a time when we had an ambassador in China who helped us get through crises.
They cannot even appoint someone to resolve the crisis. That is the problem. That is what canola farmers are asking for. That is what the organizations are asking for. They are asking the government to do more, to take a stand and to take action on both fronts, not only on the technical and scientific front, but also on the political front, so that we can cover the entire spectrum of relations with China and resolve this situation. While we are waiting, Canadian farmers are paying the price, a high price, for the Liberals’ wait-and-see approach.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. Obviously, treaties with Madagascar and its people are important for our economy.
In his speech, my colleague mentioned the canola crisis. We worked together on this issue, but we may not have had the same vision as to the best way of resolving the situation. However, let us look at what the Conservatives are proposing as an alternative. They supported market instability in foreign countries. We know that the leader of the official opposition is pro-Brexit, a process that caused considerable instability in England.
We also know that the leader of the official opposition does not want to enter into a free trade agreement with China. What a great message to send to China about trade relations. He is also opposed to the presence of Huawei in Canada, although he is unfamiliar with the details of the study.
What message does a national strategy like that send to the Chinese when we want to negotiate with them?
View Luc Berthold Profile
View Luc Berthold Profile
2019-05-14 16:11 [p.27774]
Madam Speaker, at least we have a strategy and a position. The Liberals have no position.
Let's talk about the Liberal international relations strategy. The infamous trip to India is the perfect example of how to destroy international relations and Canada's image abroad. It is the perfect way to lose all credibility in seeking to establish trade relationships with other countries.
Ever since that trip, nobody takes us seriously. China, Vietnam and Italy are walking all over us. Everyone thinks they can walk all over us because, as far as the Liberals are concerned, international relations are all about image and not about substance and taking positions. While the Liberals bide their time so as not to offend, Canadian canola producers have to pay the price.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2018-06-11 16:17 [p.20624]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I believe that if you seek it, you will find agreement to apply the result from the previous vote to this vote, with Liberal members voting no.
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