Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to everyone who is presenting here today.
I'm looking at the program expenditures, and I find some of them relatively small in light of some of the concerns that have surfaced, especially in the indigenous policy.
I represent a riding in the Northwest Territories that is over half indigenous, and we have a real challenge in achieving a healthy economy. We need to tackle several big issues to do that. We need more transportation infrastructure to lower the costs. Industry is telling us that, and the chamber of commerce is telling us that.
We also all know that we need to sort out land tenure and self-governance issues with the indigenous governments. Some of them have been going on for a long time.
During the time the Liberal government was in place, they weren't very kind to the indigenous population. They gutted the regulatory process, and we're trying to put it back together. The indigenous government support funding was certainly cut, to a point where it was almost impossible for the band councils to function.
It didn't stop there. The departments were also cut severely, in terms of having a reduction in their negotiators, so we ended up negotiating maybe one day a month, if that. Pretty much every negotiating table for land claims and every negotiating table for self-government came to a halt. In 2015, when I was campaigning, we had zero tables working.
I see that changing now, but the need for.... Reinvestment seems to be slow. You talked about an increase in volume when we talk about the capacity for indigenous policy.
I'm just curious where this money is going. Is it going to the department, for resources within the department, or is it going to indigenous governments to help them bolster their resources and try to get resolution at some of these tables?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Oh, no. I thought I said the Conservative government, but I—
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I'll clarify that. I meant the 10 years that the Conservative government—
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Well, that explains the small number, then. I think we're now, in the NWT alone, up to 14 tables of negotiation.
I do have one more question on the carbon pollution pricing system. It's under consideration in the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories has its own carbon pricing plan. We're probably the only jurisdiction where members of the government are pushing back, because they don't feel the plan put forward by the cabinet of the government of the Northwest Territories is strong enough. They want to bolster it. I don't know of anybody else who's doing that.
I was curious about the $1.6 million, because throughout our discussions, I assumed everything was supposed to be cost-neutral, yet we have a cost. Maybe somebody could explain it.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all the witnesses who are here today.
Mr. Wilson, as you well know, my riding is New Brunswick Southwest, which borders the state of Maine. I'm wondering if you could speak directly to the impact, opportunities and maybe challenges that the ratification of CPTPP, CETA and soon to be CUSMA have and will have for Atlantic Canada.
Thank you.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
I'll just add to that, Mr. Wilson.
This committee has studied the small to medium-sized enterprises, how to make trade real for them and also how they could take advantage of that.
When we were in Washington on the steel and aluminum tariffs, one of the messages that definitely resonated with me was when one of the members of Congress said that with regard to President Trump, his sensitivity is, similar to our egg farmers, leaving people behind. So, anytime we can pull people forward, I think that's an important element.
You mentioned the business traveller visa. If any one of you would like to speak to that as well.... What are the benefits of the reduction in red tape for the business traveller, considering how integrated our market is in North America?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Great, thank you.
To our egg farmers, you mentioned that 88% of Canadians would like to buy from Canadian farmers. What is the value of actually having a maple leaf on Canadian eggs, so that when I go to the grocery store I know they're from Canada?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thanks Chair, and thank you to all of the witnesses.
My question is for Ms. Citeau.
You had mentioned in your testimony about different committees, a committee on trade, a working group, and a sanitary/phytosanitary group. How does your consultation process work in feeding that consultation back to government?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
When we look at international trade or expanding to different markets, is there a skills gap that government can help fill or support within your members?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Great, thank you.
You also mentioned competitiveness, certainly between urban and rural areas. I represent a rural riding and also a coastal riding, so ratifying NAFTA is certainly an important trade deal for us in Atlantic Canada.
How do you see that for your members in the Atlantic region?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
In terms of expansion, then, on the innovation side, I can tell you that some of the farmers in my area have done amazing work on innovation, certainly working with government on that partnership. When we're looking at the barns or, as the chair mentioned, the happy cows, what innovation opportunities do you think are before us in terms of expanding to different markets?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you.
Mr. Adams, my question for you stems from Mr. Peterson's question on the threat of President Trump's ripping up NAFTA. What impact would that have not only on the Canadian auto sector, but also on the Canadian economy?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Rob, do you have a quick question?
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