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View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
I call to order meeting number 12 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade.
Today’s meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of September 23, 2020. The proceedings are available via the House of Commons website.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow.
Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting. You have the choice, at the bottom of your screen, of floor, English or French.
For members participating in person, proceed as you usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in a committee room. Keep in mind the directives from the Board of Internal Economy regarding masking and health protocols.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are on the video conference, please click on the microphone icon to unmute yourself. For those in the room, your microphone will be controlled as normal by the proceedings and verification officer. When you are not speaking, your mike should be on mute.
Before I go to the business of the day and the witnesses, I understand that Mr. Blaikie has a motion he wants to speak to.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Blaikie.
Is there any discussion?
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, as Mr. Blaikie pointed out, we were very pleased that this motion passed unanimously at the foreign affairs committee last week. I think you will find that government members will join Mr. Blaikie in support for the people of Ireland and to ensure that the trade agreement has no consequence and is entirely consistent with the Good Friday Agreement.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Ms. Bendayan.
Is there any further discussion?
Mr. Savard-Tremblay, go ahead.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Mrs. Gray, please go ahead.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you all very much.
I don't see any other discussion.
(Motion agreed to)
The Chair: It's unanimous. Thank you very much.
Now we move on to the business of the day.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee will now proceed with the study of Canada’s recovery plan for exporters after COVID-19.
We welcome our witnesses today. From the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we have Patrick Watson, director of public policy. From the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, we have Brian Kingston, president. From the Centre for Global Enterprise, Schulich School of Business, we have Douglas Kennedy, managing director. From Union des producteurs agricoles, we have Marcel Groleau, general president; and Isabelle Bouffard, director of agriculture policy and research.
Welcome to all of you on our last meeting day for 2020.
Mr. Watson, you have the floor.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Kingston, you have the floor.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Kingston.
Mr. Kennedy, go ahead, please.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Kennedy.
We'll move on to Monsieur Groleau.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Groleau. You can rest assured that we have many.
We'll go on to Mr. Hoback for six minutes.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Make it a short question, Mr. Hoback.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Kennedy.
We go to Mr. Sarai, for six minutes.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
It's been very insightful to hear from all of you.
Mr. Kennedy, my first question is perhaps to you. I hear this all the time, and it's a very good point, that manufacturers should diversify their exports so they're not hinging on one country that may impose tariffs or block them or use unfair safety measures to shut an industry down. But what I also see is that SMEs don't have the ability sometimes. They get one client who is taking all of their product and paying them a good price. They customize it for them. Then all of a sudden this happens, and they're not able to diversify. Many of them end up being beaten up before they decide to diversify. The softwood lumber industry is a prime example. It was heavily reliant on the U.S. It's now diversified with Japan and China and others, so it can now take a hit and still be able to absorb it because it's retooled for others.
How can Canadian SMEs diversify or how can the government help them diversify their exports so they're not reliant on one market only?
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
In the presentation we received from the Centre for Global Enterprise, it was mentioned that in future international trade deals we should “take advantage of uncertainty to seek out partners with similar risk concerns”. What countries would you identify as having similar risk concerns?
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
Mr. Watson, we know that indigenous communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Specifically, women entrepreneurs in your community have been hit, so you have a double whammy on it. How can we continue to work with indigenous communities to bridge the gaps they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and other systemic barriers related to international trade?
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