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Results: 1 - 15 of 48
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:28 [p.1941]
Mr. Speaker, we are on the traditional territory of the Anishinabe Algonquins and my constituents, like other Canadians across the country, will receive great benefits from the ratification of this agreement.
Yukoners, like others, are great traders. A lot of our exports are minerals, and Yukoners will benefit from the lower prices when tariffs are taken off many of the products they buy. This is especially important for low-income people.
In the first six minutes of my speech yesterday, I dealt with the concerns brought up by the other three parties in the House. I appreciate that members of all parties are working together in a non-partisan way to support Canadians in this great endeavour. It is not just here in the House where we have such co-operation and support, but across the country.
Premier Moe of Saskatchewan said that a signed CUSMA trade deal is good news for Saskatchewan and Canada. Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta said that he is relieved that a renewed North American trade deal has been concluded, and Jerry Dias of Unifor has said that this is a much better deal than the deal that was signed 24 years ago.
The reason CUSMA is so important, and why people have such positive views of it, is its many benefits. It makes products from the three countries tariff-free in Canada. It helps low-income people, as I said. It has updates that modernize the agreement, with new chapters. It has benefits for business workers, communities, labourers and the environment, including marine and air protection. I do not think anyone would argue against that.
CUSMA has benefits for the automotive trade. The agreement has a dispute resolution mechanism, which was at risk. It protects our culture, which is related to 650,000 jobs in Canada, 75,000 in Quebec alone. It protects energy, agriculture and agri-foods. It includes language on gender and indigenous job rights, but removes the investor-state provisions so that companies cannot sue the Canadian government anymore. That was an improvement many Canadians were looking for.
CUSMA includes gender equality, enforcement of women's rights, benefits for small and medium-sized businesses and a number of technical trade procedure improvements.
There are a number of things that are brand new in this agreement that we did not have in other agreements related to the environment, women and labour. They all benefit from this agreement.
As I have mentioned at other times when I have spoken about this, there are three or four benefits for the aluminum industry in Canada. I have mentioned a number of reports that talk about the benefits and the tremendous possible damage of not having this agreement for Canada.
I would just like to finish by giving a huge shout-out to our negotiators who were so professional and worked so hard to get this very successful agreement for Canada.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:33 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, at this time, I am not familiar with the trade minister's agenda on that, but I will certainly pass on that question for the member.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:34 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, this would not be such a huge issue in other countries' parliaments, but trade is such a big part of the Canadian economy, bigger than in the United States economy. It is instrumental to our success, and that is why people were very worried at the time that this would disappear.
Now, as the member suggests, we have agreements with 11 countries under the CPTPP, 27 countries under CETA, with Ukraine, and as one of the three countries of CUSMA. We are the only country in the G7 that has trade agreements with all of the other countries in the G7. This is critical to our economy and that is why the ratification of this will be such an important success for Canada.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:36 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, as I alluded to in my opening remarks, and as I said specifically yesterday, there are a number of studies on this. Most of them show great benefits to Canada. I will mention that RBC said that Canada's GDP could go down a massive 1% without this agreement and it could affect 500,000 Canadian workers. Scotiabank said that the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into a recession. The benefits of free trade agreements are pretty common knowledge. That is why there is unanimity in the House. All of those studies, with the exception of the one the member mentioned, reinforce that point.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:37 [p.1943]
Madam Speaker, for the first time in history, we have the environment in this agreement, with much protection for the marine environment and air quality. That is a great step forward, so I agree with that.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 12:48 [p.1867]
Mr. Speaker, on the last point, I emphasize that there was not a loss in the trade of those projects. There is a level at which an additional fee is added, but Canada is nowhere near that level yet, so there is not a loss there.
I thank the member for her speech. It was great. On a slightly different topic, however, I wonder if she supports the increased benefits in CUSMA for labour, the environment and women's rights.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 12:58 [p.1869]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to get some clarification. The member suggested that tariffs remain on aluminum, but there are no tariffs remaining on aluminum.
I am not sure what the member was referring to, but to emphasize the benefits for aluminum, first of all, the regional value of content in automobiles would be increased from 62.5% to 75%. With regard to aluminum purchased by automakers in the past, 0% had to be from North America, but now 70% would have to be from North America. Also, seven core parts, the major parts of automobiles, must have a 75% regional value, which they never had to have before, and a lot of those parts are aluminum. Also, the provisions on aluminum, to make them even better, can be changed at any time.
I would ask the member for clarification on her point that there are still tariffs on aluminum.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 13:43 [p.1876]
Mr. Speaker, the auto parts workers in Canada love this agreement. It makes a lot of additional provisions for them, but I want to talk about agriculture, too. There are increases in access for refined sugar and margarine. The member said agriculture is small, tiny, and he might have used the word “peanuts”, but there is huge trade between Canada and the United States. Sixty-three billion dollars is not small. That has been preserved. There is $4.6 billion in trade with Mexico. I have a letter dated March 3 from the vegetable and fruit producers of Canada, who said that because of free trade, their trade is up 396%. They further stated:
Therefore...on behalf of a deeply integrated North American membership, we strongly urge [all parliamentarians] to...ratify this Agreement [in order] to facilitate a strong fresh produce industry for generations to come.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 16:50 [p.1906]
Madam Speaker, I have to disagree. We have a minister for regional development in Quebec, separate from the rest of the country, who is doing an excellent job, and all sorts of projects are being approved.
The member mentioned the quota on milk protein, and that is true, but the quota is far above what we are producing now, so it is not going to have any immediate effect.
The member also talked about losses of investment in aluminum. Those decisions were made before the CUSMA final agreement was made.
As well, he mentioned a study, but there have been tons of studies that show the effects on benefits if we did not have this agreement. For instance, the RBC said there would be a dramatic reduction in the Canadian GDP of 1%, affecting 500,000 workers, and Scotiabank said that the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into recession without this agreement.
There are $57 billion worth of exports from manufacturers in Quebec, great businesses, which the agreement protects, and the cultural exemption would protect 75,000 Quebec workers.
Does the member agree those are benefits?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 17:04 [p.1908]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her very thoughtful speech and the co-operation of the Bloc related to this. I think what the Bloc has added related to aluminum is good. Everyone was worried about dumping from China into Mexico. The member mentioned only Canada was at risk, but that is not true. Nothing has changed with this agreement related to the risk. However, the major benefits for aluminum, over and above that, are that the overall regional value content rises from 62.5% to 75%, 70% of aluminum purchased by auto makers must be North American, and 7% of the core parts of a car must have 75% regional value. The conditions on aluminum can be changed at any time.
I know the Bloc is very sensitive to the environment, to labour, to women's rights and to cultural preservation. This agreement has clauses related to all of those. I would like to know if the member agrees that the benefits for those are good to have in the agreement?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 17:48 [p.1914]
Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate the member's speeches, especially because he is so sensitive to indigenous people, as I have noted in the past, and I really enjoy that. Perhaps the member could comment briefly on the fact that, for the first time, indigenous rights are in this agreement. I am sure he would agree with that.
More important, the member talked about the green aluminum industry. Anything he could add as to what his party would do on green industry would be great.
While he is thinking of the answer, I just want to mention that he said there should be improved protection for aluminum, but there is a huge increase in protection for aluminum in this agreement. The regional value content in cars increased from 62.5% to 75%. In the past, there was no protection on aluminum parts purchased by auto makers. Now, 70% must be North American and 7% of the core parts of a car must have 75% regional value, and of course a number of those parts have aluminum. This can be reviewed and improved any time.
If the member could talk about green industry and his party's plan, that would be great.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 18:06 [p.1916]
Mr. Speaker, the member referred to a report. I wonder, as there have been many reports done and analysis, if he could refer to any others?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 18:24 [p.1918]
Mr. Speaker, because I do not have enough time, I will not give my speech on all of the benefits. We have heard from all parties today the many benefits of this agreement. Instead, I will comment on some of the points that have been made about the agreement.
One was related to reports. There are many reports that talk about the benefits of this agreement. A couple of the parties mentioned one report, but there have been many, and I will talk about a couple. RBC said, without disagreement, that the GDP would have gone down a huge amount, 1%, and affected 500,000 workers. Scotiabank said the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into a recession, without disagreement.
Another item that came up was the ability to export formula and skim milk type powders, saying they were cut off and we could not trade them anymore. That is not true. At a certain quota level, there will be a tariff, an increased charge, but we do not even export that much right now, so it will not have any immediate effect.
Something else that was said during the debate is that aluminum could be dumped into Mexico because of this agreement. There is nothing in the agreement that allows that. It has always been a concern of ours. We have always worked against that. In fact, thanks to the Bloc, we have strengthened the agreement in that respect.
There was the issue of government procurement. As members know, we have deferred government procurement to the WTO. Before we only had access to federal procurement through the WTO provisions and now we have access to 37 states, so that is a great improvement. Members talked about the announced intention of the United States to withdraw from that. That has been a rumour for years, but, as far as I know, there has been no official announcement related to that.
The Conservatives mentioned the benefit that we have increased the amount that can be brought across the border without taxes or duties, but we also protected business by having much lower amounts than the United States has.
We have to remember where we started in this agreement. The fact was that the United States wanted no agreement at all and the business community and most Canadians realized how devastating that would be for the country, so it is a great win that we have gotten this far. Some people have suggested that Trump could not tear up the agreement, but Mr. Trump achieved a lot of things that people did not think he would be able to achieve through the U.S. system.
Another item related to data for the large interactive computer providers, such as Facebook. Canada has its own laws about what is permissible and what can be watched. The safe harbour part of the agreement for these companies is only related to civil liability. If someone posts something, it is user-generated data only that companies are protected from. If it is not appropriate and not right, they would have to take it down. CUSMA will not prevent Canada from regulating online platforms or the use of administrative penalties. Canada can continue to regulate illegal content, including hate speech, and enforce criminal law.
Another point that was mentioned was the number of trade agreements this government has entered into. I would like to put on the record that in 2018, we approved the CPTPP, involving 11 countries; in 2016, we entered into the CETA with 27 countries; in 2016, we signed the agreement with Ukraine; and now we have this agreement. We are now the only G7 country with trade agreements with all of the other G7 countries, which is tremendous for our economy.
I was here for most of the debate today and those issues were raised as concerns.
The last one would be the auto industry. Today, I mentioned all the provisions that would help the auto parts providers, and they are very happy about that. When we increase Canadian auto parts businesses and the number of workers so more has to be made in Canada, the price of the vehicles go up. There was some lessening of the total sales, but the manufacturers of auto parts in Canada are much better off as is the industry because of this agreement.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-02-28 10:33 [p.1731]
Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's passionate speech. On March 21, he was very passionate about making such a change to the Standing Orders. He said:
The learned amendment that's been put forward would require that all parties agree to any changes...made to the Standing Orders. That's what's been done in the past....That's what's been done in a proper functioning...of...[doing] this.
Obviously, this is changing how a Standing Order works, so it would be hypocritical if he voted for this motion.
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