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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 425--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to government purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE): (a) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by November 30, 2019, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (b) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by December 31, 2019, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (c) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by January 31, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (d) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by February 29, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; and (e) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by March 31, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 426--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to additional funding for agencies tasked with Canadian border management, broken down by source of funds and fiscal mechanism (i.e. business of supply, emergency payment from fiscal framework, new legislation): (a) how much went to each border management agency throughout December 2019, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; (b) how much went to each border management agency throughout January 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; (c) how much went to each border management agency throughout February 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; and (d) how much went to each border management agency throughout March 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 427--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Canada Emergency Care Benefit: (a) how many people have received payments from both Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency; (b) of those cases in (a), how much was paid out in double payments; and (c) how much will need to be recovered due to double payments?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 428--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to meetings or briefings at the deputy minister, minister, and cabinet level for Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Privy Council Office, Public Safety Canada, and all agencies therein, between November 30, 2019, and March 31, 2020: what were the details of all meetings held referencing the Hubei province in China, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemics, and emergency preparedness measures, including (i) the department holding the meeting, (ii) the date of meeting, (iii) officials in attendance, (iv) the topic of the meeting or agenda?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 429--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to inmates released early from federal correctional institutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what is the total number of inmates who were released early; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) institution, (ii) length of sentence; and (c) how many of the inmates released early were serving sentences related to (i) murder or manslaughter, (ii) sex offences, (iii) other violent crimes?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 430--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to COVID-19: (a) what is the first date on which Canadian Armed Forces MEDINT or CFINTCOM became aware of a new novel coronavirus in China; (b) what is the first date on which the Minister of National Defence was briefed or received a briefing note regarding a new novel coronavirus in China; and (c) what is the first date on which the Minister of National Defence shared information concerning a new novel coronavirus in China with the Prime Minister’s Office and/or the Privy Council Office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 431--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to personal protective equipment: (a) how many C4 protective masks and canisters have been issued to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel since January 1, 2020; (b) how many C4 protective masks and canisters are in stockpile; and (c) what are the types and quantities of all personal protective equipment for infectious diseases available for CAF/Department of National Defence personnel and in stockpile?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 432--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to the Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light, Mobile Tactical Vehicle Engineer, Mobile Tactical Vehicle Recovery, and Mobile Tactical Vehicle Fitter: (a) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles have been identified as surplus; (b) how many mobile tactical vehicles have been or are in the process of being decommissioned; (c) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles have been given to museums or sold to private owners; (d) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles remain in service; and (e) by which date does the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence plan to have the entire fleet of these mobile tactical vehicles removed from service?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 433--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals and air transportation: (a) how many Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals are currently available in Canada; (b) how many Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals are planned for the next six months; and (c) how many aircraft capable of transporting people with infectious disease does the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence intend to acquire and by which date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 434--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the Bank of Canada’s participation in Canada’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, between March 1, 2020, and the tabling of the reply to this question: (a) what is the dollar value of securities purchased under the Government of Canada Bond Purchase Program; (b) what is the dollar value of securities purchased under the Canada Mortgage Bond Purchase Program; (c) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Banker’s Acceptance Purchase Facility; (d) what is the dollar value of assets purchased under the Provincial Money Market Purchase Program, by province and in aggregate, respectively; (e) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Provincial Bond Purchase Program; (f) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Corporate Bond Purchase Program; (g) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Commercial Paper Purchase Program; (h) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Contingent Term Repo Facility; (i) what is the projected dollar value for total purchases during the life of each program in (a) to (h); (j) what is the dollar value of new currency created to date to fund the measures taken in (a) to (h); (k) what is the projected dollar value of new currency to be created to fund the measures taken in (a) to (h) during the life of each program; (l) what, if any, effects on inflation by the creation of currency in (j) does the Bank of Canada project for (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022; and (m) what, if any, adjustments to the Bank of Canada’s prime rate does it anticipate needing to counteract any inflation projected in (l)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 435--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the Bank of Canada’s participation in Canada’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic: (a) when does the Bank of Canada project divesting itself of assets purchased under each of the Government of Canada Bond Purchase Program, the Canada Mortgage Bond Purchase Program, the Banker’s Acceptance Purchase Facility, the Provincial Money Market Purchase Program, the Commercial Paper Purchase Program, and the Contingent Term Repo Facility; and (b) what gain or loss does the Bank of Canada project realizing upon the sale of assets purchased under each of the programs in (a) respectively?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 436--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the doubling of the carbon tax on April 1, 2020: (a) by how much will the increased tax raise the cost of producing oil and natural gas respectively nationwide; (b) by how much will the increased tax raise the cost of producing oil and natural gas respectively for each energy producing province; (c) by how much have national revenues declined due to the drop in the price of crude oil since January 1, 2020; (d) in order for national revenues to recover to levels immediately pre-dating the drop in the price of oil in (c), and given the increased cost of production in (a), what does the price of crude oil need to be; (e) what effect does the increase in cost of production in (a) have on the ability of Canadian energy producers to compete with foreign producers at current world prices for crude oil; and (f) how many Canadian energy producers does the government forecast will be unable to compete with foreign energy producers at the prevailing price of crude oil due to the increased cost of production in (a)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 437--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to government grants, contributions and contracts since January  1, 2016, what are the details of all grants, contributions or contracts given to World Wildlife Fund Canada or its international affiliates, broken down by: (a) date issued; (b) description of services provided; (c) authorizer; (d) timeframe for services; (e) original contribution value; (f) final contribution value (if different); (g) location services will be provided; and (h) reference and file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 438--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the budget measure contained in Bill C-44 (42nd Parliament, budget 2017) exempting fees under the Food and Drugs Act from the new rules contained in the Service Fees Act: (a) how many times has the Minister of Health given a ministerial order to increase fees; and (b) what are the details of each increase, broken down by date of ministerial order, including (i) amount of the increase for each drug, device, food or cosmetic, by percentage and absolute dollar value, (ii) amount of the fee, (iii) manner or criteria used for determining the amount, (iv) circumstances in which the fee will be payable, (v)rationale for the fee, (vi) specific factors taken into account in determining the amount of the fee, (vii) performance standard that will apply in respect of the fee?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 439--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to temporary resident permits specific to victims of human trafficking, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many applications have been received; (b) how many temporary resident permits have been issued; (c) how many temporary resident permits were denied; (d) in (a) to (c), what is the breakdown by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) gender, (iv) source country; (e) for permits in (b), what is the breakdown based on ministerial instructions 1(1), 1(2) and 2; and (f) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a temporary resident permits specific to victims of human trafficking?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 440--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to federal funding to combat human trafficking since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the total amount, broken down by (i) department or agency, (ii) initiative, (iii) amount; (b) what process was used to determine which department or agency would receive this funding; (c) what criteria or process was used to determine how much funding was allocated to each department or agency; and (d) what is the itemized list of funding programs to combat human trafficking, including (i) title of program, (ii) recipient organization or name, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) amount, (vi) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if applicable, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 441--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the additional $75 million National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking announced on September 4, 2019: (a) what departments and agencies are receiving this new funding, broken down by initiative and organization; (b) what are the details of all funding provided to date, including the (i) name, (ii) project description, (iii) amount, (iv) date of the announcement, (v) duration of the project or program funded by the announcement; (c) what process was used to determine which department or agency would receive this funding; (d) what criteria or process was used to determine how much funding was allocated to each department or agency; and (e) what projects are slated to receive federal funding in the 2020-21 fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 442--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to the functioning of the public service and government officials since March 16, 2020: (a) how many employees or full time equivalents (FTEs) have been (i) hired, (ii) reassigned in relation to the COVID-19 response; (b) how many FTEs have been (i) working from a government building, (ii) telecommuting or working from home during the pandemic; and (c) how many FTEs have been (i) laid off or terminated, (ii) placed on leave, broken down by type of leave?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 443--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
With regard to construction and renovations at the Prime Minister’s country residence and surrounding property at Harrington Lake: (a) what are the details of each new building or other structure constructed, or in the process of being constructed, at the property since November 4, 2015, including (i) date construction began, (ii) projected or actual completion date, (iii) square footage, (iv) physical description of the structure, (v) purpose of the structure, (vi) estimated cost; and (b) what are the details of all renovations which began at the property since November 4, 2015, including (i) start date, (ii) projected or actual completion date, (iii) structure, (iv) project description, (v) estimated cost?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 444--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to evaluating the stock status of all of Canada’s fisheries resources since 2000: (a) has the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) used indicators to evaluate the various stocks and, if so, what is the breakdown of indicators by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (b) if the answer to (a) is negative, what does the DFO use as a basis for (i) evaluating stocks, (ii) making decisions on fisheries management; (c) has the DFO assessed the quality of its estimates for all of the various stocks and, if so, what is the breakdown of this qualitative assessment by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, (i) are there plans to carry out this assessment, (ii) why is this type of assessment not conducted; (e) has the DFO put together an action plan to increase the number of indicators used for evaluating various stocks and, if so, what are the names, measures taken or considered, and conclusions, broken down by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (f) if the answer to (e) is negative, (i) is this type of action plan being considered, (ii) why is there no action plan on this issue; (g) has the DFO expended funds to increase the number of indicators for evaluating the various stocks and, if so, what is the spending breakdown by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (h) if the answer to (g) is negative, (i) are there plans for this type of expenditure, (ii) why is there a lack of spending on this issue; (i) has the DFO begun to “rapidly develop or update the biological knowledge essential for the sustainable management” of lobsters in areas 15, 16, 17 and 18, as recommended in Science Advisory Report 2019/059, and, if so, what is the breakdown of measures taken by (i) area, (ii) sub-area, (iii) year; (j) if the answer to (i) is negative, (i) are there plans to do so, (ii) why have no measures been taken; (k) can the DFO explain why the confidence limit has increased to 95% in the past 10 years regarding the evaluation of the estimated biomass of stock in NAFO 4T and, if so, what is the explanation; and (l) if the answer to (k) is negative, why is the DFO unable to explain this increase?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 445--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to the peer review process coordinated by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): (a) exactly how is the peer review process carried out; (b) is participation in science advisory meetings by invitation only and, if so, (i) why is this the case, (ii) how are peers selected, (iii) who is responsible for peer selection or, if not, what is the procedure for participating in meetings; (c) in advance of a science advisory meeting, do all peers receive (i) the preliminary study and, if so, how long do they have to review it or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (ii) the data for this study and, if so, how long do they have to review it or, if not, what are the reasons behind this decision; (d) is it possible for an individual or a group to express their views (i) without having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (ii) without attending the science advisory meetings despite having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (iii) without attending the science advisory meetings and without having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision; (e) is it possible to attend meetings as an observer and, if so, (i) what is the procedure to follow, (ii) is an invitation required or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision; (f) for each of the DFO peer review processes coordinated by the CSAS, what is the breakdown for each meeting since 2010 by number of representatives affiliated with (i) DFO, (ii) the federal government excluding DFO, (iii) the Government of Quebec, (iv) the Government of British Columbia, (v) the Government of Alberta, (vi) the Government of Prince Edward Island, (vii) the Government of Manitoba, (viii) the Government of New Brunswick, (ix) the Government of Nova Scotia, (x) the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, (xi) the Government of Ontario, (xii) the Government of Saskatchewan, (xiii) the Government of Nunavut, (xiv) the Government of Yukon, (xv) the Government of Northwest Territories, (xvi) band councils, (xvii) a Quebec university, (xviii) a Canadian university, (xix) an American university, (xx) the non-Indigenous fishing industry, (xxi) the Indigenous fishing industry, (xxii) an Indigenous group not affiliated with the fishing industry, (xxiii) an environmental group, (xxiv) a wildlife protection group, (xxv) another group; (g) how is consensus defined in the DFO peer review processes coordinated by the CSAS; (h) are stakeholders selected in order to encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO; (i) do the procedures for the peer review process encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO; and (j) does the methodology for the peer review process encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 446--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to recreational fishing managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) since 2000: (a) what is the total amount of revenue generated by the DFO from the sale of recreational licences, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (b) what is the total amount of spending by the DFO to support recreational fishing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (c) what measures are being taken to ensure compliance with recreational fishing regulations, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (d) what is the average number of fishery officers dedicated specifically to overseeing recreational fishing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (e) what technological tools are used to ensure compliance with recreational fishing regulations, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (f) what is the number of tickets issued by the DFO using technological tools, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) technological tool; (g) what is the total amount of all tickets issued by the DFO using technological tools, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) technological tool; and (h) what is the total amount of all recreational fishing tickets issued by the DFO, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 447--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to deputy ministers’ committees of the Privy Council Office, for fiscal years 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by individual committee: (a) what are the names and qualifications of each member; (b) what is the renumeration provided to members for service on committees, broken down by member; and (c) what are the expenses claimed by members while performing committee business, broken down by member?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 448--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to regional development agencies (RDAs) and the April 17, 2020, announcement of “$675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies”: (a) how much of the $675 million will each of the six RDAs be allocated; (b) for each RDA, how will the funds be made available to businesses, broken down by program; (c) for each answer in (b), what are the details for each program, broken down by (i) funding type, (ii) criteria for qualification, (iii) maximum allowable funding per applicant, (iv) application deadlines, (v) number of applicants received, (vi) number of approved applicants; and (d) for each applicant in (c), what are the details of the applicant, broken down by (i) name, (ii) location, (iii) North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, (iv) amount applied for, (v) amount approved, (vi) project status, (vii) federal electoral district?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 449--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to business support measures in response to COVID-19 and audits by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, since March 11, 2020: (a) how many audits has the CRA conducted to ensure that businesses do not practise tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, broken down by the number of businesses; and (b) of the businesses that have been audited by the CRA in (a), how many have benefited from support measures and how many have been denied support measures because of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 450--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the efforts of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to combat tax evasion and abusive tax planning since March 1, 2016: (a) how many businesses have been identified by the CRA’s computer systems, broken down by (i) businesses linked to tax evasion, (ii) businesses linked to fraud or fraud indicators, (iii) businesses linked to abusive tax planning; (b) of the businesses identified in (a), how many applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); and (c) of the applications for the CEWS in (b), how many were approved, and how many were denied because of tax evasion and abusive tax planning practices?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 451--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to the government’s response to the arbitrary arrests of Martin Lee and other pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong: (a) has the Canadian government objected to these arrests and, if so, what specific action has been taken to voice the objection; (b) what specific assurances, if any, has the government received that Canadian citizens in Hong Kong not be subject to arrest or harm in relation to the pro-democracy movement; and (c) how is Canada monitoring and ensuring that Hong Kong’s Basic Law is being upheld, including the rights, protections, and privileges it grants to democratic advocacy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 452--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to vehicles purchased by the government for the 2018 G7 summit: (a) how many vehicles were purchased; (b) at the time of purchase, what was the market value of each individual vehicle purchased; (c) how many of the vehicles in (a) were put up for sale by the government; (d) of the vehicles in (c), how many were sold; (e) what was the individual selling price for each vehicle sold; and (f) of the vehicles in (c), how many (i) remain, (ii) are still for sale, including the individual selling price, (iii) are being used by the government, (iv) are in storage?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 453--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the changes to the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) design and associated increase to the cost per ship and delay of the construction start time: (a) how many ships are specifically contracted for in the first phase of the contract with Irving Shipbuilding; (b) what is the most recent cost estimate for the first three ships as provided to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) and the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN); (c) what are the specific design changes being considered that are expected to increase the size, capacity, speed, and weight of the Type T26 frigate from the original United Kingdom design; (d) who proposed each change and who approved the change(s) as being essential to the operations for the RCN; (e) what is the rationale given for each design change contemplated in terms of the risks to schedule and budget; (f) what, if any, are the specific concerns or issues related to costs, speed, size, weight and crewing of the T26 frigate design that have been identified by the Department of National Defence, third party advisors and any technical experts; (g) what are the current state of operations and technical requirements for the CSC; (h) what is the schedule for each (i) design change, (ii) contract approval, (iii) independent report from third party advisors, including the schedule for draft reports; (i) what is the cost for spares for each of the CSC; and (j) what is the cost of infrastructure upgrades for the CSC fleet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 454--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the Arctic Off-Shore Patrol Ships (AOPS): (a) what are the operational requirements established by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) for the two additional ships; (b) will the two AOPS for the CCG require redesign or changes, and, if so, what will be the specific changes; (c) what will be the specific cost for the changes; (d) when and in what reports did the CCG first identify the need for AOPS; (e) has the CCG identified any risks or challenges in operating the two AOPS, and, if so, what are those risks; and (f) what will be the total estimated costs of the two AOPS to CCG?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 455--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN): (a) which surface platform in the RCN is deemed a warship and why has it obtained such a designation; (b) will the Joint Support Ship be a warship; (c) which specific characteristics will enable to Joint Support Ship to be a warship; (d) what are the RCN's definitions of interim operational capability (IOC) and full operational capability (FOC); (e) when will the first Joint Support Ship (JSS 1) achieve IOC and FOC; (f) when will the second Joint Support Ship (JSS 2) achieve FOC; and (g) what is the most recent cost projection identified to Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) for (i) JSS 1, (ii) JSS 2?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 456--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to Canada's submarine fleet: (a) what was the total number of days at sea for each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (b) what was the total spent to repair each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (c) what is the estimated total cost of the current submarine maintenance plan to the submarines in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021; and (d) what are the projected future costs of maintenance of the submarine fleet until end of life?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 457--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the replacement of Canada's polar class icebreakers: (a) what is the (i) expected date of their replacement, (ii) roles for these new vessels, (iii) budget or cost for their replacement; and (b) what are the details relating to operating older icebreakers (such as the Louis S. St-Laurent and Terry Fox), including (i) expected years they will have to continue to operate before replacements are built, (ii) total sea days for each vessel in 2017, 2018, and 2019, (iii) total cost of maintenance in 2017, 2018, 2019 for each polar class vessel, (iv) planned maintenance cost of the vessels for each of the next five years, (v) total crews required to operate?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 458--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the government's plans to build 16 multipurpose vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard: (a) what are the technical operational requirements for each vessel; (b) for each contract awarded in relation to the vessels, what is the (i) expected budget, (ii) schedule, (iii) vendor, (iv) work description; and (c) for each vessel, what is the (i) total number of crew expected, (ii) expected delivery date, (iii) risks to cost or budget identified in the planning for these ships?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 459--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the government's profit policy relating to shipbuilding: (a) what risks has government evaluated related to guaranteed contracts for the (i) Arctic Off­Shore Patrol Ships (AOPS), (ii) Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), (iii) Halifax class frigates, and what were the results of each evaluation; (b) what is the profit range offered to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for its work on the (i) AOPS, (ii) CSC, (iii) Halifax class frigates; (c) what is the total profit offered for guaranteed work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, broken down by each "cost plus" contract; and (d) what are the details of any third party review of Canada's profit policy related to the (i) AOPS, (ii) CSC?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 460--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s investigations into overseas tax evasion and the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers scandals: (a) how many of the companies currently under investigation have requested government assistance under the COVID-19 emergency measures; and (b) of the requests for assistance from the companies in (a), how many were (i) granted, (ii) denied?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 461--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the efforts of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to fight tax evasion: (a) how many corporate groups, with one or more subsidiaries in one of the top 10 jurisdictions of the Financial Secrecy Index or the Corporate Tax Haven Index, has the CRA identified; (b) how many corporate groups that were implicated in financial or tax scandals or that received what would be considered illegal state aid has the CRA identified; (c) how many corporate groups have filled out a full report for each country, in keeping with the standard outlined by the Global Reporting Initiative; (d) how many corporate groups in (a), (b) and (c) have received or applied for federal government assistance; and (e) for the cases in (d), how many applications have been rejected by the government?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 462--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to tax year 2020: (a) what are the projections for tax revenue to be assessed on taxable benefits paid to Canadians under each emergency measure proposed; (b) what are the low-end projections for each emergency measure, broken down by measure; (c) what are the high-end projections for each emergency measure, broken down by measure; and (d) what are the estimates or scenario-planning numbers of people applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that fall within each tax bracket in Canada, broken down by each 2019 federal income tax bracket?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 463--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to departmental defences against Canadian International Trade Tribunal rulings: how much has been spent on legal fees, broken down by (i) department, (ii) expense, (iii) case, (iv) internal legal resources, (v) external legal resources?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 464--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to the government's campaign for a United Nations Security Council seat in 2021: how much has been spent on hospitality-related expenses, broken down by (i) date, (ii) item or service?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 465--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the response from Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to COVID-19 outbreaks in its facilities, specifically the Mission Medium Institution in British Columbia and the Port Cartier Institution in Quebec: (a) what protocols and procedures were enacted, and when, in the Port-Cartier Institution once COVID-19 was detected; (b) what protocols and procedures were enacted, and when, in the Mission Medium Institution in British Columbia once COVID-19 was detected; (c) are there standard pandemic protocols and procedures that are synchronized across the national CSC organization; (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, why; (e) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what are the differences between CSC’s response in the Port Cartier Institute when compared to CSC’s response in the Mission Medium Institution; (f) at the Mission Medium Institution, on what date was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to staff, and what type of PPE was distributed; (g) at the Mission Medium Institution, on what date was PPE provided to inmates, and what type of PPE was distributed; (h) at the Port Cartier Institution, on what date was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to staff, and what type of PPE was distributed; and (i) at the Port Cartier Institution, on what date was PPE provided to inmates, and what type of PPE was distributed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 466--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICSF) contained within the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, of which British Columbia First Nations were allocated $39,567,000 and British Columbia Métis were allocated $3,750,000: (a) how much funding was provided to each Indigenous band within or bordering Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, including Cook's Ferry, Skatin Nations, Douglas, Spuzzum, Ts'kw'aylaxw First Nation, Samahquam, Sts'ailes, Bridge River, Tsal'alh, Ashcroft, Boston Bar First Nation, Skawahlook First Nation, Sq'éwlets, Bonaparte, Nicomen, Leq' a: mel First Nation, Union Bar First Nation, Kanaka Bar, Siska, Oregon Jack Creek, Boothroyd, Xaxli'p, T'it'q'et, Matsqui, Shackan, Skuppah, Seabird Island, Chawathil, Yale First Nation, Cayoose Creek, Lytton, High Bar, and Stswecem'c Xgat'tem; (b) which existing agreements are being used to transfer those funds, broken down by band; (c) what reporting requirements are in place, broken down by band and by contribution agreement; (d) how are bands required to communicate to their members how emergency funds were spent; and (e) how are bands required to report to Indigenous Services Canada their receipts or a record of how funds were spent or disbursed to support band members?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 467--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to government stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE): (a) what was the specific volume of PPE supplies in the stockpile as of February 1, 2020, broken down by item; (b) how many supplies of PPE were, destroyed, disposed of, or otherwise removed from the stockpile between January 1, 2016 to March 1, 2020; (c) what are the details of all instances in (b), including the (i) date, (ii) number of items removed, broken down by type of item, (iii) reason for removal; and (d) what are the details of each time items were added to the stockpile between January 1, 2016 to March 1, 2020, including the (i) date, (ii) items added, (iii) volume, (iv) financial value?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 468--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased since January 1, 2020: (a) how many items of PPE have been purchased; (b) what was the price of each item at the time of purchase, broken down by (i) date of purchase, (ii) item, (iii) the total amount of each type of PPE per transaction?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 469--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to contaminated swabs and faulty or rejected N95 masks purchased by Public Services and Procurement Canada: (a) which suppliers provided these items; and (b) since January 1, 2016, what other purchases have been made by the government from these suppliers broken down by (i) date of purchase, (ii) item or service purchased, (iii) number of units of item or service purchased per transaction?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 470--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) since January 1, 2020: (a) how many Advance Contract Award Notices (ACANs) relating to PPE have been posted; (b) for the ACANs in (a), (i) how many bidders were there for each notice, (ii) who were the bidders for each notice; and (c) who won each contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 471--
Mr. Scott Reid:
With regard to preparation and response to COVID-19: (a) which provinces and territories have signed the Multi-Lateral Information Sharing Agreement (MLISA), and on what dates were each of their signatures provided; (b) which provinces and territories have declined to sign the MLISA, on what dates were each of their refusals provided, and what objections did each raise to signing; (c) which provinces and territories have withdrawn from the MLISA since signing it, and on what dates were their withdrawals effective; (d) is the MLISA currently in force, and, if not, why not; (e) which provinces and territories have signed the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding on the Sharing of Information During a Public Health Emergency (Sharing MOU), and on what dates were each of their signatures provided; (f) which provinces and territories have declined to sign the Sharing MOU, and on what dates were their refusals provided; (g) which provinces and territories have withdrawn from the Sharing MOU since signing it, and on what dates were their withdrawals effective; (h) is the Sharing MOU currently in force, and, if not, why not; (i) which provinces and territories are using the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) COVID-19 Case Report Form; (j) what percentage of known COVID-19 cases in Canada were reported to the PHAC using its COVID-19 Case Report Form versus other means; (k) when the PHAC’s COVID-19 Case Report Form instructs to "report cases electronically using secure methods or fax”, which secure methods does the PHAC utilize, and which methods are used, broken down by provinces and territories; (l) what percentage of known COVID-19 cases reported to the PHAC were reported using fax or paper; (m) how many full-time equivalents does the PHAC employ or have on contract to enter COVID-19 case reports received by fax or paper into electronic means; (n) what is the shortest, longest, and average delay that the PHAC experiences when a COVID-19 case report is received by fax or paper before it is entered into electronic means; (o) what is the reason for the discrepancy between the total number of cases of COVID-19 reported by the Government of Canada on its “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update” website, and the smaller number of cases with specific epidemiological data on the website entitled “Detailed confirmed cases of coronavirus disease”; (p) what are the factors that contribute to the delay between the reporting of the “episode date” of a COVID-19 case and the “date [the] case was last updated”, with reference to the data referred to in (o); (q) which provinces and territories have objected to the public disclosure of their detailed COVID-19 case data, as on the “Detailed confirmed cases of coronavirus disease” website, and for each province and territory, what are the details or summary of their objection; (r) why, in developing its COVID-19 Case Report Form, did the PHAC choose not to collect the ethnicity or race of individuals, as done in other jurisdictions; (s) why has the government never used its powers under section 15 of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act to better collect and analyze COVID-19 case data held by the provinces; (t) why has the PHAC not yet published an epidemiological model of COVID-19 that includes a scientifically detailed public disclosure of the modelling methodology, computer code, and input parameters; (u) what are the reasons that the PHAC does not publish a daily COVID-19 model that includes up-to-date estimates of the effective reproductive number (R), such as that produced by Norway, in its model of May 8, 2020; (v) what is the value, duration, objectives and deliverables of the contract issued by the Government of Canada to Blue Dot for the modelling of COVID-19, announced by the Prime Minister on March 23, 2020; (w) which other individuals or companies has the Government of Canada contracted for the modelling of COVID-19, and, for each contract, what is the (i) value, (ii) duration, (iii) objectives, (iv) deliverables; (x) do any of the contracts for COVID-19 limit the freedom of the contractors to disclose the information, methodology, or findings of their models as confidential, and, if so, which contracts are so affected, and what are the terms of the confidentiality; (y) what is the total amount of federal spending on the Panorama public health and vaccination data system since its launch; (z) which provinces and territories utilize Panorama’s disease outbreak management and communicable disease case management modules for reporting COVID-19 information to the federal government; (aa) to what extent does the federal government have access to COVID-19 outbreak and case data contained within the Panorama system and what are the reasons for the lack of access to data, if any; (bb) what steps has the federal government taken to ensure that, when data exists, it will have access to COVID-19 vaccination data contained within the Panorama system; (cc) to what extent does the Panorama system meet the data collection and reporting goals of the federal government’s report entitled “Learning from SARS – Renewal of Public Health in Canada”; and (dd) has an audit of the Panorama system been completed and, if so, what are the details of the audit’s findings, including when it was done, by whom it was conducted, and the standards by which it was measured?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 475--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to farm income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) has Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or Farm Credit Canada conducted an analysis on projected farm income loss as a result of the pandemic; and (b) what is the projected loss, broken down by agricultural sector?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 476--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to physical distancing and other safety measures for ministerial vehicles and chauffeurs during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what specific measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of drivers, including whether (i) ministers are required to wear masks in the vehicles, (ii) there is an occupancy limit to the vehicles, (iii) specific seats within the vehicles may not be used, (iv) there is a prohibition on others, including ministerial exempt staff, riding in the vehicles, (v) any other measures have been made to limit close physical contact between drivers and ministers; (b) on what date was each measure listed in (a), (i) put into place, (ii) amended, (iii) rescinded; and (c) have any ministers required their drivers to drive outside of the National Capital Region since March 13, 2020, and, if so, what are the details of each trip, including (i) date of trip, (ii) destination, (iii) purpose of trip, (iv) number of occupants in the vehicle, (v) whether a minister was in the vehicle, (vi) specific safety precautions taken?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 477--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), since the creation of the program: (a) how many businesses have applied for the LEEFF; (b) how many businesses have been eligible; (c) how many applications from businesses have been denied; (d) of the applications that were denied, how many were from (i) businesses convicted of tax evasion, (ii) businesses convicted of abusive tax avoidance, (iii) companies that have subsidiaries in tax havens; (e) have applications from companies under investigation in connection with the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers been accepted; and (f) what is the current total cost of the LEEFF’s expenses, broken down by economic sector?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 478--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax havens: (a) what is the CRA's definition of tax haven; and (b) which jurisdictions have been identified as tax havens according to the CRA's definition?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 479--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the activities of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) under Part XVI of the Income Tax Act since November 2015, broken down by fiscal year and natural person, trust and corporation: (a) how many audits have been conducted; (b) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (c) what is the total amount recovered to date by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 480--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regards to Veterans Affairs Canada, broken down by year for the most recent ten fiscal years for which data is available: (a) what was the number of disability benefit applications received; (b) of the applications in (a), how many were (i) rejected (ii) approved (iii) appealed (iv) rejected upon appeal (v) approved upon appeal; (c) what was the average wait time for a decision; (d) what was the median wait time for a decision; (e) what was the ratio of veteran to Case Manager at the end of each fiscal year; (f) what was the number of applications awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year; and (g) what was the number of veterans awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 481--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator; (b) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the average number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by (i) job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (c) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total cost of overtime, further broken down by (i) job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (d) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total number of disability benefit claims, further broken down by (i) new claims, (ii) claims awaiting a decision, (iii) approved claims, (iv) denied claims, (v) appealed claims; (e) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many new disability benefit claims were transferred to a different Veterans Affairs Canada office than that which conducted the intake; (f) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the number of (i) Case Managers, (ii) Veterans Service Agents; (g) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many Case Managers took a leave of absence, and what was the average length of a leave of absence; (h) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, accounting for all leaves of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many full-time equivalent Case Managers were present and working, and what was the Case Manager to veteran ratio; (i) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many veterans were disengaged from their Case Manager; (j) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the highest number of cases assigned to an individual Case Manager; (k) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many veterans were on a waitlist for a Case Manager; (l) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, for work usually done by regularly employed Case Managers and Veteran Service Agents, (i) how many contracts were awarded, (ii) what was the duration of each contract, (iii) what was the value of each contract; (m) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by VAC offices, what were the service standard results; (n) what is the mechanism for tracking the transfer of cases between Case Managers when a Case Manager takes a leave of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave; (o) what is the department’s current method for calculating the Case Manager to veteran ratio; (p) what are the department’s quality assurance measures for Case Managers and how do they change based on the number of cases a Case Manager has at that time; (q) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many individuals were hired by the department; (r) how many of the individuals in (q) remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end; (s) of the individuals in (q) who did not remain employed beyond the probation period, how many did not have their contracts extended by the department; (t) does the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what are the reasons for which employees were not kept beyond the probation period; (u) for the individuals in (q) who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC offices; (v) during the last five fiscal years for which data is available, broken down by month, how many Canadian Armed Forces service veterans were hired by the department; (w) of the veterans in (v), how many remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end; (x) of the veterans in (v) who are no longer employed by the department, (i) how many did not have their employment contracts extended by the department, (ii) how many were rejected on probation; (y) if the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what are the reasons for which veteran employees are not kept beyond the probation period; (z) for the veterans in (v) who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what were the reasons for their leaving, broken down by VAC offices; (aa) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many employees have quit their jobs at VAC; and (bb) for the employees in (aa) who quit their job, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC offices?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 482--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax havens: Does the CRA consider the Cayman Islands and Barbados to be tax havens?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 483--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to tax information exchange agreement signed between Canada and Cayman Islands, since entry into force of the agreement and broken down by fiscal year: (a) how many times has the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) obtained information from Cayman Islands; (b) how many times has the CRA released information to Cayman Islands; (c) how much tax examinations abroad was conducted by CRA in Cayman Islands; (d) how many CRA enquiries have been denied by the Cayman Islands; (e) how many audits have been conducted by the CRA; (f) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (g) what is the total amount recovered by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 484--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to amendments to the Canada Grain Regulations (SOR/2020-63), enacted through the passage of Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, which amended the Canada Grain Act through an expedited process, bypassing the normal Canada Gazette I posting and public comment period, and were posted on Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 9: (a) what are the details of all meetings, round tables, teleconference calls, town halls, and other means of consultation, in regard to grain, held during CUSMA/NAFTA 2.0 negotiations, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendee and invitee lists, including government officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (b) for the meetings referred to in (a), what are the details of (i) published notices, (ii) reports, including where and when they were published; (c) what are the details of all stakeholder views expressed during these consultations, including minority positions, which were communicated to inform the Government of Canada negotiating position, along with the names and positions of the officials to whom these stakeholder views were communicated; (d) what are the details of all engagement activities with grain sector stakeholders following the CUSMA announcement where the impacts of the agreement, potential legislative and regulatory amendments, and implementation plans were discussed, as well as the reports flowing from these engagement activities that informed the drafting of Bill C-4 amendments to the Canada Grain Act, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendees, including from the Canada Grain Commission and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (e) who made the decision to have “minimal” consultation on the regulatory changes and an explanation of their rationale for the decision when, as the regulatory analysis document says, the amendments are consequential; and (f) what is the definition of the industry referred to when “industry-led” is used in regard to integrating the Delivery Declaration Form and its implementation into the existing grain delivery structure, particularly whether farmers are included among the leadership of the industry?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-06-17 18:11 [p.2520]
Madam Chair, I would like to talk to you about agriculture, which is an issue that matters to me because I grew up in the country.
I am going to go back in time to the month of March, when the crisis started. Technically, we should have voted on a budget in March, but, of course, the crisis happened. That was out of our control. However, what was under our control was how we could have chosen to conduct our parliamentary business.
Technologically speaking, nothing would prevent us from having a committee with a much broader mandate than that of the current Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.
I would like to take a moment to talk about the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons' math. He said that we now have four nice two-hour question periods, so we should be satisfied. Imagine the week's question period as the cherry on the parliamentary sundae. Take away my sundae and give me two cherries, and I might not find that so satisfying.
We were unable to work on a budget. We were also unable to work on tabling private members' bills. If there were a vote on the budget, the Bloc's condition was to ensure that dairy producers would be compensated for the losses caused by a weakened supply management system.
We also intended to table a bill to prevent future breaches in supply management. What is happening is that, given that the CUSMA was ratified a little earlier this year than we hoped, dairy producers have only one month to compensate for a full year of quotas that have been affected. At the very least, losses will total $100 million, excluding future losses.
That is what I wanted to say about agriculture.
With regard to health, Quebec has spent up to $3 billion on health and only $500 million has been provided to help out all of Canada. There has been talk of conditional transfers in the future. There is no guarantee that there will not be a second wave requiring additional money.
I will start with my questions on agriculture as I cannot find any mention in the budget of support for farmers. I would like to know what the government will do for them given that they are having a horrible year and have also incurred losses because of reduced quotas and milk that was dumped.
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-06-17 18:15 [p.2520]
Madam Chair, producers are suffering losses now. They are suffering losses because of the COVID-19 crisis, which resulted in a drop in milk consumption, mainly because of the closure of restaurants and schools. Producers are also suffering losses right now as a result of the ratification of CUSMA, which happened earlier than expected.
I want to know what will happen now that CUSMA has been signed and is already causing losses. I understand that we were talking about the other two agreements and the related compensation, but what is happening now to address the losses related to COVID-19 and CUSMA?
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, we gave dairy farmers exactly what they wanted, which was to increase the loan capacity of the Canadian Dairy Commission by $200 million. Thanks to supply management, the commission is a very experienced organization and perfectly capable of adapting to the situation. The increased loan capacity will enable the commission to buy greater quantities of butter and cheese to compensate for the drop in demand, mainly from restaurants.
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-06-17 18:16 [p.2521]
Madam Chair, I would be much happier to get money than a credit card. That is what happened in the case of the Canadian Dairy Commission. It got an increase in its line of credit, which is good in a way. However, it is not a direct subsidy and it does not directly cover the losses that dairy producers have suffered. I am not saying that the measure is bad. I am saying that it is insufficient.
I would like to know what direct compensation has been planned for dairy producers that are suffering losses because of COVID-19 and the hasty ratification of CUSMA.
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I will repeat what we said to dairy producers who were asking us to provide more resources to the Canadian Dairy Commission. It is not a mortgage. In fact, it gives them the possibility of buying additional quantities of milk-based products, namely butter and cheese, store them and resell that cheese and butter at the same price when demand resumes. That is exactly what the producers asked us to do.
Our commitment remains strong when it comes to compensation related to the agreement with the United States.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2020-05-13 15:01 [p.2284]
Mr. Speaker, my question is very simple.
The minister mentioned CUSMA, the new agreement with the Americans. There are still some important points to negotiate, in particular with respect to tariff quotas.
We have heard a number of times and in different studies in committee that producers and processors early in the production chain should be allocated as much of these quotas as possible.
I would like to hear the minister's thoughts on that.
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am working with the Minister of International Trade, who is responsible for allocating tariff quotas. We are paying close attention to this matter.
A consultation was already under way, but it has been postponed for a few months because of the COVID-19 crisis.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-05-13 15:05 [p.2285]
Mr. Speaker, the minister said this legislation was not needed before because the dairy commission had the borrowing capacity to deal with what was a pandemic that resulted in having to dump milk.
What has changed in the future that it needs this extra borrowing capacity? Is this to deal with COVID, or the additional imports allowed from the United States as a result of the USMCA?
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is directly related to COVID. With the closure of restaurants and hotels, the demand for milk and cheese has decreased significantly. The Canadian Dairy Commission will be using its normal tools, but will also have a higher capacity to buy milk and cheese to store them and resell them later when the demand comes back.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2020-05-13 15:07 [p.2285]
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister.
Earlier, I neglected to thank her for introducing the bill to increase the borrowing capacity of the Canadian Dairy Commission.
My question concerns processors and dairy production.
There are people working in the dairy processing industry right across Canada. They are currently having to deal with the impact of COVID-19. They have to rework their product processing and come up with new products. Moreover, the fact that CUSMA comes into force on July 1 rather than August 1 only increases the problems they have to contend with.
Having one month rather than one year to transform their production process for goods that will go to market is a catastrophe, and on top of that there are the problems caused by COVID-19.
Has the minister come up with any solutions to help these dairy processors?
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we have already announced a $1.75-billion compensation package for dairy farmers for the trans-Pacific free trade deals. We are also committed to continuing to deliver compensation for the agreement with the United States and Mexico.
The free trade agreement being ratified and entering into force earlier than we would have liked has had an impact on the dairy sector. However, when we are talking about the free trade deal with the United States and Mexico, we need to look at the Canadian economy as a whole. That is a plus.
For dairy sector processors, such as manufacturers of skim milk powder, it obviously makes a difference in terms of export capacity, over a five-year period, but that was part of our negotiations for the Canadian economy as a whole.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-05-13 15:11 [p.2285]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Beauce.
It is my pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C-16. I know we are all going to be supporting this bill today, and that goes to show we are supporting Canada's agriculture sector. However, there are some issues with how this was brought about and it highlights many of the issues we have been trying to shine a light on with the government's approach to agriculture as a whole and the industry within Canada.
What is being proposed today, which I feel will be supported by all the parties in this House, is, again, additional loan capacity. It is not an injection of funds or a program that would give liquidity to the agriculture sector as a whole.
I did ask the minister if this was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or if it was more a response to what Canada's dairy sector will be facing as a result of the increased imports that will be coming from the United States as part of the USMCA.
The minister said in her response that the Canadian Dairy Commission had the loan capacity and the line of credit to deal with the COVID pandemic when it was at its peak, when restaurants and schools were closed, and many of the traditional customers of Canada's dairy producers were closing their doors and were temporarily on lockdown. As a result of those closures, many of our producers, especially in eastern Canada, had to dump millions of litres of milk, which is not something that any Canadian wants to see.
It was certainly good to see Canadians from across the country step up and do everything they could to help our producers, whether they were food banks, schools, or anyone who was willing to take their product and then donate it to those who had a use for it.
However, what that response says to me is that this is more a response to what will happen with the USMCA. The dairy industry in Canada is going to be taking a hit as a result of that.
We have given up a great deal of our trade sovereignty in signing that USMCA. Not only will it increase imports of American dairy products, but it will also limit Canadian dairy producers' opportunities to access foreign markets and it will limit the growth of certain products that are produced right here in Canada.
The other issue that comes to mind is how long it took for the Liberal government to address a problem that was highlighted very early on in Canada's agriculture sector. That has been an ongoing issue with the current government.
Let us take a step back to what was announced last week with the agriculture assistance package of about $250 million. To put that in perspective, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture asked for $2.6 billion as the amount needed to be a tangible relief for Canadian agriculture.
When that announcement came out to be less than 10% of what is deemed by the industry, by producers, food processors, our ranchers and farm families as what is needed for them to be able to keep their heads above water during this pandemic, it was extremely frustrating for our producers.
Let us put that in perspective. This is $250 million to Canadian agriculture, when the President of the United States has given $19 billion. That is putting our industry at a considerable competitive disadvantage.
We look at all the other programs that have been announced for Canadian businesses, and Canadian agriculture is getting a fraction of that. It is extremely difficult when the Prime Minister is saying, time and again, that Canadian agriculture is an essential service and that it is a critical pillar of our food security and of our economy. To say that in one breath, and then not offer the resources the people in that sector need to be successful, does not make a lot of sense. We are seeing the clear frustration of Canadian farmers, producers and food processors who have voiced their displeasure and frustration over the past week since the announcement from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Even today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has said that there are business risk management programs in place that agriculture can access. Those business risk management programs were never designed to deal with a pandemic like COVID-19. They were designed to deal with other variables that impact various sectors of agriculture, certainly not a global pandemic. She talks about the $1.6 billion in AgriStability, so let us use AgriStability as an example. Less than 35% of farmers have actually subscribed to AgriStability, because it is not efficient and it is not timely. They may not see a payment for months or even years down the road. By that time they could be bankrupt.
Let us take a look at AgriInvest. She said there is another billion dollars in AgriInvest, but producers have asked who has that money, where is it, and who has access to it. In many cases those dollars have already been spent, or they are being put aside for transition to the next generation.
In no other program, such as CEBA, for example, has the government told small business owners to drain their bank account before they can have access to or qualify for the emergency business account. However, that is exactly what the Minister of Agriculture is asking farmers to do.
Many of these farmers have maybe $5,000 or $10,000 in their AgriInvest account. It is not a huge amount of money we are talking about here, but the Minister of Agriculture is telling those producers they had better drain their savings accounts, and then maybe the government will look at other programs that may be of assistance to them. The government is not asking that of any other sector in Canada's economy, and it is not fair.
The ramifications of that are quite profound. Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, one of the Canadian experts on food security, has said 15% of Canadian farms are in jeopardy of going bankrupt if there is no federal assistance. That is 30,000 family farms in jeopardy. That is a huge number, and we cannot possibly fathom the impact that will have on our rural economies.
More important, what impact is that going to have on Canada's food security? What kind of impact is that going to have on the price of groceries on the store shelves?
I know that for many of us in this room, never in our lifetime have we gone to a grocery store and seen empty shelves, until now. I am hopeful that as a result of this Canadians across the country now have a much better appreciation of where their food comes from, who makes it, how we do it and why we do it.
Every single day we are asking Canadians across the country to stay home, to protect themselves and stay healthy. At the same time, because they are deemed an essential service, we are asking farmers, ranchers and employees at food processors to get up every single day, go to work and work hard to make sure we have food on our tables and on our grocery store shelves.
Those people are asking for respect, and that respect comes from being a priority to the current government and the programs it is putting forward. It is very clear that Canada's food security and our supply chain is not a priority for the government with $250 million being given to farmers through various programs.
The other frustration with this is that these are not new programs and this is not new money. For the government to come out and say it has taken these steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic, even with changing this Dairy Commission legislation, they are still not addressing the pandemic.
These are not extraordinary measures to deal with an unprecedented challenge within our agriculture sector. These are just reannouncements of existing programs. What message does that send to Canadian agriculture?
They are saying that the farmhouse is burning down and the Liberal government is standing by and offering them a bottle of water as assistance. That is just not good enough. It is not good enough for Canadian agriculture. It is not good enough for our farmers, our ranchers and our processors, who are working hard every day to do their jobs, and who do it with pride.
All they are asking for is that the Liberal government stand beside them and show that the work they are doing means something. I think the question the government has to ask itself is this: Is the Liberal government's food security plan to ensure that we have to import food from other countries to feed Canadian families?
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2020-05-13 15:20 [p.2287]
Mr. Speaker, I am really concerned, being on the trade committee, with what happened with respect to the USMCA regarding our sovereignty and how the U.S. now gets to dictate where we can or cannot export our milk products. I am a little concerned when the member says that this funding has come about not necessarily because of the COVID crisis but because of the possibility of that agreement and other agreements the government has signed on to.
Do you think it is using the COVID crisis to hide the mistake it made in its trade agreement?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-05-13 15:21 [p.2287]
Mr. Speaker, I think there is no doubt about it when we have seen over the last several weeks that the United States has asked Canada to make sure that 100% of our TRQs go to retailers and when the dairy processors and producers are asking for those TRQs to be as close to the farm gate as possible.
The Liberal government has seen that in no other trade agreement in our history has Canada surrendered its trade sovereignty to another country, but that is exactly what has happened in the USMCA. Now the United States can get involved in any trade negotiations we have with new non-market trading partners. They also now control the growth of critical dairy products that are produced right here in Canada. In no other trade agreement is that possible, but that has happened under the Liberal government with the USMCA.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2020-05-13 15:25 [p.2288]
Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to speak to government Bill C-16, which seeks to amend existing legislation on the loan capacity of the Canadian Dairy Commission.
Although this amendment is welcome and important, I wonder what took the government so long to get around to it. A little over a month ago, Canadian dairy producers were forced to dump 12.5 million litres of milk in just a week. I received many calls from producers and processors in my riding, including major industry stakeholders. When I asked these stakeholders what the best course of action would be, they all said that they wanted the government to expand the loan capacity of the Canadian Dairy Commission from $300 million to $800 million, or an increase of $500 million in loan capacity.
After speaking with the minister's office, I was informed that the Canadian Dairy Commission experts think the $200-million increase is good enough. The point I want to make here is that this bill took an awfully long time to come into existence, considering that it amends just a line or two of the Act. Why did the government drag its heels on this file?
It is very important to note that many industry stakeholders have told me this legislative change is about two weeks too late. Many of them have already found their own way out of this mess with no help from the government. While it is clear to me that this bill is nevertheless important to the agricultural sector because it will protect our dairy industry, I am left wondering about money for the rest of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. This government likes to pat itself on the back for announcing various funds and loans for the sector, but it does not have a solid plan for saving the industry that feeds our country.
For example, the other day in committee, a representative from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said that without immediate assistance, Canada could lose up to 15% of our farms because of COVID-19. That is about 30,000 farms. I cannot even begin to express how devastating that is to hear. Canada has had a very weak response to COVID-19 in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
Just look at our neighbours, the United States. Their government announced a $19-billion assistance program for the agriculture sector, while our government has done nothing after offering our sector $252 million.
The government provided $50 million in assistance to the beef and pork industries. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association told us the other day in committee that the money was appreciated, but that it was used up two weeks ago to cover the extra feed needed because of the pandemic. The government does not seem to understand that we are in a crisis and that our national food security and our sovereignty are in jeopardy. According to the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, it would cost about $135 million to implement an adequate set-aside program.
Meanwhile, the pork industry is suffering through a nightmare in terms of slaughter capacity. It does not have the option of using a set-aside program like the beef sector, and the government seems content to keep watching animals be euthanized, while telling these farmers to use the existing business risk management programs. I have news for the government: These programs do not work. Changes need to be made to these programs now to help our producers ASAP. The minister keeps boasting about the amazing online calculator for these programs. Could it be that the true purpose of the calculator is to calculate when our businesses will have to fold?
Getting back to this bill, it is very hard to debate it here today. I think I speak for all my colleagues when I say that it is definitely a step in the right direction, but when will the rest of the aid for the agriculture and agri-food sector be announced?
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture both said that the agricultural industry would be given additional assistance, but when will that be announced? Do they not realize that this industry is having a hard time staying afloat?
Every day, I turn on the television and I hear the Prime Minister announcing new programs and several billion dollars in funding for other industries. I have come to expect no new announcements for agriculture.
Right now, the Prime Minister seems to be, whether consciously or unconsciously, pitting the various industries in our sector against each other, the eastern provinces against the western provinces, or supply managed sectors against non-supply managed sectors. The division is clear, as are the Prime Minister's allegiances.
I would also like to remind the House that the Canadian dairy industry was led to believe that the coming into force of the CUSMA would be delayed in order to give the sector time to prepare for the reformed agreement. Unfortunately, the dairy industry now has only one month to prepare rather than a full year.
I would also like to point out that many of Canada's supply-managed industries are still waiting for announcements regarding their sector. It is wonderful to see assistance for dairy farmers today, but when will the government help other sectors?
Take Canada's poultry producers, for example. Like beef and pork producers, poultry producers will likely have to cull their flocks and absorb revenue losses associated with not processing their birds, but the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture have not announced any help for that sector.
We keep hearing that the AgriRecovery program will fix things for this sector. Unfortunately, the program covers only cull costs, not the value of the birds themselves. Plus, this program does not help processors if culling happens at the plants.
I am so tired of hearing that the government is working with the provinces to find a solution. Why can the government not take the initiative, show some real leadership and make a significant contribution of its own to the agricultural sector?
I could spend a lot more time quoting many very eloquent industry stakeholders. The consensus is simple: The government's COVID-19 pandemic response for the agricultural sector is not nearly good enough. The sector needs help fast, but I think the government's clock is broken.
I look forward to answering my colleagues' question.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-05-13 16:16 [p.2295]
Mr. Speaker, before I speak to the bill, I have sad news to announce to the House.
During National Nursing Week in London, my hometown and a town that I represent, Brian Beattie, a registered nurse who worked in a retirement village, died of COVID-19. He was the first registered nurse in Ontario to die of COVID-19. Brian is remembered as a dedicated nurse who loved his job and considered the residents in his care like his other family. My thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Brian's family and friends.
I want to sincerely thank front-line health care workers, who literally put their lives on the line to take care of others and take care of our families.
It is often hard to switch gears in these circumstances, but today I am pleased to speak to Bill C-16, an act to amend the Canadian Dairy Commission Act. The New Democrats are relieved to see this legislation finally come forward and are happy to support it.
I want to acknowledge the great work done by my colleague, the MP for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, the NDP's agricultural critic. He could not be here today, as he lives fairly far away, but his work on behalf of farmers across the country is greatly appreciated, despite his absence.
The New Democrats believe that increasing the buyback limit that dairy processors have with the Canadian Dairy Commission from $300 million to $500 million, allowing this Crown corporation to purchase more surplus butter and cheese and helping processors with cash flow issues until the market stabilizes again will provide some help to dairy farmers and processors so they can weather the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions are ones we have pushed for. We know they will start to help the sector at this unprecedented time of need.
Because of the losses in liquid milk sales to restaurants and other retail sectors due to COVID-19 shutdowns in the sector, producers and processors need assistance. Of course, this help is late. I have heard from a lot of farming families in the area that surrounds my riding who have been worried for months. The uncertainty and stress caused by this pandemic have had a detrimental impact on everyone, especially farmers, so I am glad that we are here today to support this plan.
Before I get into truly addressing some details regarding this legislation and the supports that are much needed for our agricultural sector and dairy sector, I will speak to some of the key issues that women working in the agricultural sector sometimes face, issues that have been long-standing but exacerbated by this pandemic.
According to the United Nations, “With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back.” The Canadian Human Rights Commission has echoed this statement, saying, “These disproportionate impacts could have long-term and far reaching consequences.” As the Canadian Women's Foundation notes, “The pandemic circumstances intensify inequalities related to gender, and other factors, such as economic status, race, culture, language, and other intersecting elements of our identities.”
The lack of access to services is felt by women nationwide, but rural women or women living in smaller towns are especially hit hard by the issue of the provision of services, simply because of their location or gender. Rural women have to travel long distances to get the help they need. We know women have felt the impact of this pandemic at disproportionate rates, and when they work in the agricultural sector, they often live in rural and remote areas. Their access to services is therefore dramatically reduced.
This is why the announcement last week that Greyhound is suspending its bus service operations has raised many flags with women's organizations, as the ridership of these services is 60% women and Greyhound is used by many trying to get to work. I will continue to call on the government to help people in my riding of London—Fanshawe and others across southwestern Ontario who rely on the inner-city bus industry. Travel, of course, is a necessity of life in rural Canada, and every community in Canada should be able to count on reliable transit to connect people to their jobs, health care services, schools and family members.
Connectivity in person during this time is obviously limited, which for so many has put a great deal of emphasis on virtual connectivity. Again, this pandemic has exacerbated many of the failures within our infrastructure for farmers and people living in rural and remote areas across this country. There are issues that consecutive governments have ignored for far too long.
Women, and in particular women living in rural Canada, too often feel isolated, and this is compounded by their inability to access or afford a stable Internet connection or cellphone service. It is so important to physically distance right now, but social isolation must be avoided. I have heard from so many women who say they miss their families and their grandkids, the hugs and support they provide.
In particular, I want to address the needs of women who need access to supports from government programs for mental health support and domestic violence hotlines. Those are just some examples. If they do not have that connectivity to online supports, they are left in further, more devastating isolation.
The New Democrats' vision of Canada is one of equality, balance and fairness, a country where women's organizations have stable funding so that women can access the support and advocacy they need, and where women have the tools that they need to access those services in their communities, whether urban, suburban, rural or remote.
Shelters across Canada have faced large expenses trying to adapt themselves to meet public health physical distancing requirements and to alter programs to deal with the new reality of a COVID-impacted world. However, without the necessary core funding that many shelters and organizations need, these supports cannot exist. Core funding has not been provided by the federal government for too many years, and these organizations cannot use the project-based funding to deal with this crisis situation. Too many fundraising events have been cancelled due to COVID, so another source of income for community-based support services that women need has been cut.
This, of course, is a serious financial crisis for the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. This crisis began long before COVID-19, and if things do not change it is one that will continue well past this pandemic.
I want to specifically highlight some of the stresses that are put on rural women and women who work in Canada's agricultural industry. Women are leaders in this sector, but I do not believe the government has done a good enough job of closing the pay equity gap and ensuring that women have access to affordable child care and to education. I know that although the number of women is slowly growing in the agricultural sector, many barriers still exist. A significant barrier to most people farming, especially to women, is the large costs associated: the cost of farmland, the cost of equipment, the labour challenges. This pandemic, again, has only exacerbated the difficulties that farmers in the dairy industry face.
Before I became an MP, I was a parliamentary staffer and had the great honour of working with the past international trade critic, Tracey Ramsey. Because of this incredible work, I was able to meet and work with amazing people in our agricultural sector, including in the dairy sector. Many people know that in the renegotiated NAFTA, Canada threw our dairy farmers under the bus to appease the U.S. The U.S. has now gained 3.59% access to our dairy market on top of the concessions that were in the other two Conservative-negotiated, Liberal-signed trade deals, the CPTPP and CETA, that bring the total loss to 8.4% of market share. That translates into 800 million litres of milk that will be permanently removed from our farms. I cannot imagine any other sector from which any government would dare cut almost 10% of our market share.
These are hard-working families across the country who take so much pride in producing top-quality milk for our communities. I do not know how much more dairy farmers can bear. Once again, I come to the point that because of decisions by consecutive Conservative and Liberal governments that have hurt our supply-managed dairy industry, this sector has been weakened. It is less resilient from the effects of this pandemic. Like so many other systems that I mentioned before that women, farmers and all Canadians rely upon, we need to reinforce social programs and these market protections, which protect people and protect Canadians.
Canadian farmers have benefited from the supply-managed system since the early 1970s. The system sets the prices and creates stability for dairy, egg and poultry producers. Supply management has proven to be an effective model that equalizes the benefits of dairy production across consumers, farmers and processors, and it stabilizes the industry against price shocks or over supply. During the negotiations of CUSMA, the Liberal government, every day, repeated its rhetoric that it would preserve and protect our supply-managed sectors, but protecting it meant not allowing pieces of it to be negotiated away.
There are three pillars of supply management: import control, pricing mechanisms, and production. In production, we have the quota system in Canada. We make sure that we are only making as much as the market demands. What is being thrown away in every single trade agreement signed by the current government is the pillar of import control.
Another key concern in allowing American milk into the Canadian market is that this product contains bovine growth hormone, created by Monsanto and used by American dairy farmers to increase milk production. There are no studies on the effect of this hormone on human health. I am so relieved when I buy milk and I see the little blue cow on the package, knowing that I am supporting Canadian dairy farmers and knowing that my milk is healthy and safe. I know what is in it, and therein lies the extraordinary value of our dairy sector and why we need to fight to protect it.
To add even more insult to injury, after selling out our dairy farmers in CUSMA, the government still has not provided the financial compensation it promised to support those same farmers. Ironically, this would not be necessary if the Liberals had actually protected supply management like they said they would, and we would not have had a surplus of American milk flooding Canadian borders, leading to the current Canadian supply glut, necessitating the recent dumping of 30 million litres of liquid milk.
Also causing harm to dairy farmers is the Canada Day start for the new NAFTA, which is only a few more weeks away, when those market concessions will hit our sector hard. This is another reason it was so vital that the NDP and my colleague, the MP for Elmwood—Transcona, negotiated with this government on future trade deals being negotiated in a far more consultative and transparent way. We pushed for Parliament to be able, for the first time ever, to view future trade deals in advance of ratification, instead of merely voting yea or nay after the deal is done. That is needed to preserve our food sovereignty and systems like supply management. It is to protect our farmers for future generations and to ensure that should we have these crises or emergencies in the future, we would be able and stable enough to withstand it.
Overall, the other measures announced for farmers by this government are not enough to offset the losses Canadian farmers collectively have suffered, nor will they ensure a strong food security system for Canadians. No one in Canada should be worried about where their next meal will come from. Canada's national food policy needs to improve food security by linking producers to the communities worried about having enough affordable food.
I live in an incredible area rich in agricultural land. However, farmers are facing significant challenges in southwestern Ontario. As the farm belt gears up for the growing season, the landscape has been radically changed by the COVID-19 virus and the lockdowns and security precautions that it has brought. The closure of the food service industries, with dine-in restaurant doors shut, has forced food producers and processors to adjust to a high demand for retail and direct-to-consumer products. The processing of food is incredibly different for home consumption than from food service, which is causing some significant challenges in our system. Again, although they have been delayed, I am glad we are passing these supports today.
With businesses and restaurants closed during the pandemic, the government has finally accepted the NDP's call for the government to buy surplus food to support food producers and help local organizations enhance food security for people in our communities. Canada is a privileged country because of its agricultural diversity, but it still faces many challenges concerning food. In 1976, Canada signed onto the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes a right to food. Yet, more than 40 years later, too many Canadians are still having difficulty putting food on their tables. It is well past time for the federal government to live up to its obligations and ensure access to safe, affordable and healthy food.
Farmers have been waiting for weeks for this emergency support, and while New Democrats welcome the bill in front us today that would increase the Dairy Commission's credit line, this should have been done weeks ago, and there is still a great amount to do. Instead of investing more to help our agricultural producers during this crisis, the government again has let farmers fall through the cracks. So many are not eligible for support programs. After everything this government has done to dairy farmers, this is the least it can do to support them during this pandemic. Instead of investing more to help our agricultural producers during this crisis, the government is letting them down. Many are still not eligible for support programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many failings in our systems and social programs. Cracks have been created over many years, and people are falling through those cracks because of the government's consistent cutting and gutting. The undermining of the supports provided by these programs has cost us a great deal now.
The question remains, will we continue down a road where we are shortsighted? Will we look only to what will benefit a small group in a short term, or will we now repair the damage done by the cutbacks and decide to further build and strengthen the programs we have? Will we ensure fairness, balance and equality within sectors, including our agricultural sector? Will we value the work of farmers in every sector? Will we value the sourcing of local food? Will we fall back from the belief that globalization and a neoliberal agenda are inevitable or supreme and realize that it is actually through social stability, the strengthening of people and the foundations they stand upon, that will make us thrive?
Now is a good time to start to ask these hard questions and to talk about our lives post-COVID. I know what my answer is, and I am willing to do the work involved to achieve something better for everyone.
Before I officially conclude, I want to briefly take this opportunity to recognize a very important anniversary.
Fifty years ago, almost to the day, members of the Vancouver Women's Caucus travelled to Ottawa with the Abortion Caravan. In 1970, members of the Abortion Caravan marched on Parliament Hill in opposition to the 1969 amendments to the Criminal Code. However, this women's organization knew then that a lack of fair and equal access to proper reproductive rights was putting women's health in danger.
The Abortion Caravan arrived in Ottawa on Mother's Day weekend in 1970, a convoy of Canadian women, over 500 strong, arrived here with coat hangers and a black coffin in tow to demand the legalization of unrestricted access to abortion services for all Canadian women.
On May 11, 1970, approximately three dozen women entered the House of Commons, taking their seats in the various galleries circling the chamber. Once seated, the women quietly chained themselves to their seats, listening intently as NDP MP Andrew Brewin asked Minister of Justice John Turner if he would consider reviewing the abortion law. Turner tried to dismiss the matter, but just before 3 p.m., one of the women rose from her seat in the gallery and began reciting the Abortion Caravan's prepared speech, interrupting debate on the floor of the House of Commons. As parliamentary guards approached the woman, a second woman stood up in another area of the gallery and continued to give the speech. One by one, the women rose from their seats, adding their voices to the call for safe and equal access to reproductive rights.
The Abortion Caravan brought national attention to this issue. Sadly, women today are still forced to fight for access to health care options. Specifically on this 50th anniversary, I think about those brave women who were part of that caravan and built that movement to ensure that women of my generation have the freedom of choice.
I also think of the women in Fredericton today and the fact that the so-called feminist federal government still has done nothing to ensure that the women's clinic in Fredericton is properly and fairly funded to do what is needed to protect the rights women are supposed to have under the Canada Health Act.
Like those women 50 years ago, and like MP Brewin, New Democrats will continue to fight for safe and fair reproductive rights. In recognition of this 50th anniversary, I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: “That the House recognize this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Caravan, commemorates the caravan's important contribution to modernizing Canada's reproductive rights laws and calls upon the government to take further action to increase access to abortion services, including by enforcing the Canada Health Act and ensuring that Clinic 554 in Fredericton is properly and fairly funded.”
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-05-13 17:12 [p.2303]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for Brandon—Souris for his intervention, for his wealth of knowledge when it comes to the agriculture sector and specifically for his comments on Bill C-16.
I wonder if the member could comment on some of the things he has heard from his constituents regarding the impact on the Dairy Commission and the dairy producers as a result of this pandemic.
Is this agreement that we are talking about today more to do with the USMCA, and what impact is the USMCA having on dairy producers across the country?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:13 [p.2304]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for Foothills for that question. It is very relevant.
I did mention that this agreement the government signed, the USMCA, is weaker for the dairy industry than what we had before, the same as the $2.2 billion support level that was brought out a week before the election campaign. This support level is needed right now in the industry. Of course, it is caused by the pandemic that we are in, but the trade agreements needed to be much more solid for the long-term sustainability and viability of a very needed industry like the dairy industry that we have here in Canada.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-03-13 10:17 [p.2063]
Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today in extraordinary circumstances.
I would like to sincerely and warmly thank all the parties in the House for working with us at such an important time.
I can assure Canadians that the priority of the government and all members of the House is to ensure the health and safety of every Canadian. That is why we are moving the following motion:
That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, following the adoption of this order, the House shall stand adjourned until Monday, April 20, 2020, provided that:
(a) the House shall be deemed to have adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28;
(b) for the supply period ending on March 26, 2020, the eighth allotted day shall be the final allotted day;
(c) the order for the deferred recorded division on the opposition motion standing in the name of the member for Vancouver Kingsway, considered on March 12, 2020, be discharged and the motion be deemed adopted on division;
(d) the motions to concur in Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2020, and interim supply for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021, be deemed adopted on division and the appropriation bills based thereon be deemed to have been introduced and read a first time, deemed read a second time and referred to a committee of the whole on division, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage on division, deemed read a third time and passed on division;
(e) there shall be 10 allotted days in the supply period ending on June 23, 2020;
(f) a bill in the name of the Minister of Finance, entitled An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (special warrant), be deemed to have been introduced and read a first time, deemed read a second time and referred to a committee of the whole on division, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage on division, deemed read a third time and passed on division;
(g) currently scheduled committee meetings shall be cancelled;
(h) the order of the day designated for Monday, March 30, 2020, for the consideration of the budget presentation, shall be undesignated;
(i) if, during the period the House stands adjourned, the Speaker receives a notice from the House leaders of all four recognized parties indicating that it is in the public interest that the House remain adjourned until a future date or until future notice is given to the Speaker, the House will remain adjourned accordingly;
(j) Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, be deemed read a third time and passed;
(k) during the period the House stands adjourned, the House may be recalled, under the provisions of Standing Order 28(3), to consider measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19 and the impacts on the lives of Canadians;
(l) the government’s responses to petitions 431-00042 to 431-00045 be tabled immediately and questions on the Order Paper numbered Q-245 to Q-259 be made into orders for returns and that the said returns be tabled immediately;
(m) the government provide regular updates to representatives of the opposition parties;
(n) any special warrant issued under the Financial Administration Act may be deposited with the Clerk of the House during the period the House is adjourned;
(o) any special warrant issued under the Financial Administration Act and deposited with the Clerk of the House shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the committee shall meet to consider any warrants referred to it within 20 sitting days; and
(p) the House call on the Auditor General of Canada to immediately conduct an audit of the special warrants issued under the Financial Administration Act and that the Auditor General of Canada report his findings to the House no later than June 1, 2021.
Madam Speaker, this decision was taken to help keep all Canadians safe and healthy. We made this decision together, with all the parties, and we did not make it lightly.
Our action today demonstrates that we take this challenge seriously. I want to thank all of the health care workers and professionals.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all health care professionals, who are going through tough times at work as they help us through this crisis.
To Canadians, workers and families; to children concerned for their parents; to sisters and brothers concerned for loved ones and friends, we are all united. We will face this together, and we will get through this together.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2020-03-12 14:52 [p.2020]
Mr. Speaker, on September 11, 2018, a spokesman for the finance minister commented on the government's retaliatory measures against steel and aluminum tariffs, saying that they are, “committed to making sure that every dollar raised [on]...tariffs is given back in the form of support for affected sectors,” but the PBO estimates that the government will actually spend $105 million less than it collected.
Could the Minister of Finance answer this: Where did the money go?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-03-12 14:52 [p.2020]
Mr. Speaker, the government will always stand for Canadian workers and Canadian interests.
In response to the unjustified U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, we provided targeted relief to begin countermeasures for Canadian manufacturers. As we have always said, all money collected through the retaliatory tariffs will go back to support the industry.
With the unjustified tariffs removed, we are going to continue to work with the industry, and expect that additional compensation could be provided over the next two years. More than $1.3 billion to date of support has been delivered to defend and protect the interests of Canadian workers, and additional support remains available for those who need it.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-03-12 14:53 [p.2021]
Mr. Speaker, the finance minister himself stated that the revenues collected from these surtaxes would go to supporting affected industries, but a closer look at the PBO's report shows that is not the case. Out of the approximate $1.3 billion collected, only $894 million went back to the steel and aluminum industries. The rest was spent on administration and programs that could be accessed by any industry in Canada.
Why has the Liberal government not kept its word and sent every dollar back to the negatively affected aluminum and steel industries?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-03-12 14:54 [p.2021]
Mr. Speaker, I note that the question is nearly identical to the one I just provided an answer for, so I apologize in advance if I sound like a broken record.
We have provided $1.3 billion to date in support for the steel and aluminum sectors in response to these retaliatory tariffs. In response to the unjustified tariffs, the case remains that every dollar collected will go back to support the industry. With the unjustified tariffs now being removed, we are going to continue to work with the industry, and expect that additional compensation will flow over the next two years.
We are going to ensure that we are there for the industry as the need may arise.
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 Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-03-11 15:32 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, my thanks to the hon. parliamentary secretary for finishing his speech and remembering to acknowledge territory, as he does whenever he stands to speak. It is much appreciated.
I will say that I am voting in favour of the ratification. I think this is a much better version of NAFTA than the original NAFTA that we have been under all these years.
Now that we have trumpeted the accomplishment of removing the investor-state provisions of chapter 11 of NAFTA in the new version of CUSMA, can the parliamentary secretary tell me whether the government is prepared to examine the other investor-state provisions in other agreements?
Particularly egregious is the secret deal done by the Harper administration with the People's Republic of China, which binds Canada for three decades to secret lawsuits from state-owned enterprises in the People's Republic of China.
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 Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-11 15:33 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, my colleague knows that we have had a government in the last number of years that has been very progressive and strong on the whole trade file. Today we are debating the trade agreement among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A., but we have had other trade agreements over the last couple of years, in particular the European Union, the TPP, agreements with Ukraine and other world trade organizations. All of this comes together as an important issue for Canada. It helps create jobs through trade.
I am wondering if my colleague can provide his perspective on how important trade is to our economy.
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 Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2020-03-11 15:35 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, I ask the member for Yukon if this is such a great trade deal, why did the government wait until the 11th hour to release the economic impact analysis, which would actually demonstrate that it is a bad deal? The C.D. Howe Institute released a paper undertaking an analysis in which it pointed out that Canada stands to lose $14.6 billion in GDP under the new deal, compared with the old deal.
I wonder if the member could comment.
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 Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-03-11 15:37 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague cited the number of trade agreements that the government has been able to negotiate, but maybe the member could speak about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and climate targets. We have not seen, and maybe he can correct me, that these have been priorities in any of the trade agreements.
Does the member not see that these should be priorities in any trade agreements moving forward?
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 Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-03-11 15:38 [p.1943]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill C-4, the Canada–United States–Mexico agreement implementation act.
I would specifically like to thank my colleague, the member for Elmwood—Transcona, for his work on this file. Through extensive negotiation with the government, I am so proud that my colleague secured more openness and transparency for Canada's trade process.
Too often the opposition says that the NDP does not understand trade, but this could not be further from the truth. What we do not support is the neo-liberal trade agenda. New Democrats understand the importance of our trading relationship with the U.S., our largest trading partner, and we believe that a better NAFTA could improve the welfare of all North Americans. We believe that all trade agreements must be transparent, inclusive and forward-looking. They must address important issues, like income inequality, sovereignty and climate change. Above all, they must strengthen human rights. They must be transparent and fair for everyone.
Too many trade agreements are approached with the idea of how to make the rich richer. They focus on growing the wealth and power of those who already hold a great deal of wealth and power. They do not consider bettering the lives of all Canadians.
Certainly, people in southwestern Ontario, in my riding, know all too well what Liberal- and Conservative-negotiated trade agreements have created for them and their families. We see what were once highly productive manufacturing hubs now boarded up. One only has to drive along Dundas Street in London, Ontario to know the history of these trade agreements, and what it means to workers in my riding.
The original NAFTA was negotiated by Conservatives and signed by Liberals in 1994. People were promised jobs, rising productivity and secure access to the largest market in the world. It seemed like we were on the cusp of a dream, and all we had to do was sell our soul to cash in.
What happened was far from that dream, and instead Canadian workers faced a nightmare. Canada lost over 400,000 manufacturing jobs and its textile industry. In addition, Canada paid millions of dollars in court fees and penalties when sued by corporations under the ISDS resolution mechanism.
Despite some improvements, this NAFTA continues a disturbing trend of giving more enforceable rights to corporations in trade agreements than to the real people involved and the environment. Over the last 25 years, because of NAFTA, our North American auto and manufacturing industry has become highly dependent on the integrated supply chain. In fact, automobiles and parts will often cross our borders hundreds of times before a vehicle is completed.
Since 2001, after we lost the Auto Pact, 44,000 Canadian auto jobs were lost. After this devastating announcement at GM in Oshawa a few years ago, Canadians are learning that no amount of language in free trade deals, including the new NAFTA, will stop corporations from leaving Canada and heading to Mexico, where they are taking advantage of a low-wage economy and a country that does not respect the environment.
Workers are left to fend for themselves, despite the fact that the Liberals will say that this agreement is good for the automotive sector. In fact, Liberals also ensured that GM Oshawa had no ties to Canada once they provided a multi-million dollar bailout, and let the corporation off the hook from ever paying Canadians back.
The Liberals were nowhere to be found when those GM auto workers were fighting for their jobs in Oshawa. They were certainly not on the front lines, desperately searching for answers about their future or their livelihoods.
Interestingly, the Liberals claimed they were working hard for auto workers by signing the new NAFTA last spring. They insisted that the deal was fantastic and no improvements could be made. Funnily enough, the American Democrats proved them wrong. It would seem that the Liberals were not the skilled negotiators they claimed to be.
At every step of the process, the Liberals have said the same thing, that this trade agreement is a great deal. First, they said they were happy with the original NAFTA and did not want to renegotiate. Then they said the first version of CUSMA was the best we could get, and now they say this latest version is the best that they can get. Well which one is it?
When the NDP called on the government to wait to ratify the first version of CUSMA so the Democrats in the States could improve it, Deputy Prime Minister said:
Mr. Speaker, what the NDP needs to understand is that reopening this agreement would be like opening Pandora's box ... It would be naive for the NDP to believe that Canadians would benefit from reopening this agreement.
However, the Liberals are now keen to brag about improvements made by Democrats in the United States.
Income and wealth inequality in Canada today is at a crisis level with 46% of Canadians $200 away from financial trouble. Working people, like people in London—Fanshawe, are struggling to get by and the wonders of this new NAFTA, like the old NAFTA, will not materialize for the majority of people in my riding. The fact of the matter is, neo-liberal trade agreements do not work for workers.
New Democrats have been consistent in our calls for a transparent trade process in Canada that makes the government more accountable and allows Parliament to play a greater role than that of a simple rubber stamp.
The Liberals over-promised and under-delivered on holding meaningful public consultations on this agreement.
The NDP believes that in all trade negotiations, the government should consult Canadians and their members of Parliament from all parties in a meaningful, comprehensive and public way.
I would like to address some of the concerns that I have about chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. We are pleased with the elimination of chapter 11, there is no doubt about that. However, it has been replaced with mandatory regulatory co-operation, and further influence has been given to corporations. While, in principle, international regulatory co-operation has the potential to raise standards, experts argue that under the new terms, corporate influence has increased at the expense of public protections, and limits government's ability to regulate in areas such as toxic chemicals, food safety, rail safety, workers' health and safety, and the environment.
This agreement would give corporations advance notice of new regulations and ensure that they are allowed a consultation process before any regulation goes through a legislative process.
Regulatory co-operation is subject to dispute resolution. This means corporations can still directly challenge government actions, which is the highest form of regulatory chill. Regulators have to vigorously defend proposed regulations and are even required to suggest alternatives that do not involve regulating. They have to provide extensive analysis, including cost benefits, to industry. This makes governments accountable to industry, not to people.
I would also like to address the gender concerns that I have in this agreement. The Liberals promised an entire chapter to promote gender equality, and this was not delivered in CUSMA. The Liberals appear to have abandoned their promise before it could take root. Their limited language regarding the importance of gender equality does not exist as there is no gender chapter.
Experts testified at the international trade committee that these agreements should not just have a gender chapter, though, but that they must also mainstream gender rights throughout the entirety of an agreement, and that gender equality does not concern only the issues of women entrepreneurs and business owners.
The only chapter that addresses the links between gender and trade in any substantive fashion is the labour chapter. Otherwise, the addition of gender equality language is more superficial than substantive. Labour rights must also address injustices to women, like pay inequity, child labour and poor working conditions. The NDP believes that for an agreement to be truly progressive when it comes to gender rights, it must address the systemic inequalities of all women. The NDP believes that both a gender analysis and a gendered impact assessment must be applied to all trade agreements.
A professor in my hometown of London, Dr. Erin Hannah, testified to the international trade committee:
Overwhelmingly we've put attention on women entrepreneurs in the gender in global trade agenda. That's important.... But the lion's share of women in the developing world work in the informal economy.
We don't have very good tools for assessing the impact of all sorts of things in the lives of women working in the informal economy, but particularly trade....[There are no] methodological tools to study the impact of proposed trade deals on women who are not in the formal economy.
That raise much bigger questions, though, about whether the objective of these initiatives is to bring women into the formal economy, to transition women out of the informal economy into the formal economy. It raises a whole host of other issues. I think it's important to think about how that would change these women's lives. We have a data problem, but we also have an ideological problem.
The NDP believes that, like other socially progressive ideals that can be brought forward in trade agreements, words are not enough. For gender, labour, indigenous, environmental or human rights to be truly advanced, there must be tools in place to achieve that progress. As Dr. Hannah rightfully pointed out, Canada has a lot to do itself on the gender agenda. We do not have pay equity. We do not have universal child care. It is clear that to move forward globally and negotiate progressive trade agreements internationally, nationally we must have domestic tools in place that work effectively.
In conclusion, I would like to talk about indigenous rights. My colleague across the way mentioned that again this deal is absent of any mention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We believe, in the NDP, that the government must abide by article 19 of the UN declaration and obtain free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people before adopting any measures that may affect them.
As was noted by Pam Palmater at the international trade committee during the conversations about Mercosur, indigenous rights should be addressed throughout the entirety of a trade agreement, not only related to one chapter. She also noted that throughout the Pacific Alliance nations, there are large numbers of indigenous people who experience a great deal of violence from transnational corporations involved in trade. That is certainly something we see in NAFTA.
These are some of the concerns I have about the trade deal, and I appreciate the time that this House has given me to discuss them. I appreciate any questions.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the intervention today by my colleague from the NDP although I do take exception with respect to one of the comments that she made specifically around the previous government wanting to basically accept any deal that was out there.
I appreciate the fact that the member was not in the House at that time, but I will tell her what actually happened. A deal was presented. This government seriously negotiated with the Americans for a number of weeks, if not months, to get the absolute best deal. To be fair, it was not the NDP but the Conservatives at the time who asked why we did not take the deal. There was a deal they said and they wanted us to take it. However we insisted on no. We felt we had to work on it and get a better deal and we did end up getting a better deal.
What we have today is a result of the hard work that was done not just by the ministry but also by the government officials who were on side, making sure that we would end up with the best deal. It is important to put that on the record.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-03-11 15:49 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, I may not have been in the House but I was working for the NDP member of Parliament for Essex, who was the NDP critic for trade at the time. I do know what happened throughout that negotiation process. It was the Conservatives who were pushing for the deal. A lot of promises were made by the Liberal government at the time and it did not fulfill many of them.
When the minister came before committee, she talked about a gender chapter. She talked about an indigenous chapter. The government did not deliver.
At the end of the last session, the Liberal government put forward a signed deal that it wanted the House to accept, despite a lot of New Democrats saying no, that the government was not getting the best deal. We knew then that it could be better. U.S. Democrats insisted that the deal could be better and they made it better. I find it interesting that the Liberal government is now taking credit for that work.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 15:50 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, I would like to quote what the vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said at committee. He said, “Canada agreed to place a world-wide cap on exports of certain dairy products in the CUSMA, which is unprecedented in regional trade agreements. As the nation's prosperity depends on reliable access to global markets, Canada must not agree to this kind of provision in any future trade agreement.”
Could the member tell me what she sees as the dangers in Canada making this kind of concession in regard to another country limiting our own trade with other countries?
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-03-11 15:51 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, New Democrats have also questioned the sovereignty challenges of other trade agreements that are going forward in non-status economies, as was quoted by the deal. It absolutely deserves a lot of attention.
In terms of the agricultural sector, many farmers are looking forward to growing our ability to access those trade agreements and I certainly support that, but it has to be fair and equitable.
I certainly do not disagree with fair trade, but I agree in the neo-Liberal agenda as it is going forward with free trade.
View Scott Duvall Profile
NDP (ON)
View Scott Duvall Profile
2020-03-11 15:52 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, I have heard a couple of comments and questions to the member about the Liberals saying they did a great deal and that the Conservatives wanted to push them forward to accept any deal.
When the NDP called on the government to ratify the first version of CUSMA, we were asking to get a better deal. However the minister at that time said, “Mr. Speaker, what the NDP needs to understand is that reopening this agreement would be like opening Pandora's box.” And yet the Liberals are now keen to brag about improvements made by U.S. Democrats.
Why should Canadians believe the Liberals had anything to do with the changes that increased protections for workers and guard against higher drug prices?
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-03-11 15:53 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his work on this file as well. These trade agreements have also hurt his community in Hamilton.
It is true. The Liberals were willing to take the deal as it was before and we were constantly pushing for something better because we knew there was something better. My colleague from Elmwood—Transcona has ensured that this deal also has something better through a lot of hard work and pushing the government to go even further and better itself, not just sign off on Conservative already created trade agreements.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-03-11 15:53 [p.1945]
Madam Speaker, I would like to recognize we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people, and I thank my Liberal colleagues for sharing this speaking time with me.
The Green Party will support the new CUSMA. We believe in fair and equitable trade that improves health, safety, labour and environmental standards. I would like to congratulate the Canadian negotiating team for getting this deal done with the Trump administration in the White House. Things could have turned out much worse.
CUSMA is not a perfect agreement. It is still a corporate model of trade. There are deficiencies. Climate change is not mentioned. The softwood lumber agreement has not been fixed. The good regulatory practices chapter could be very problematic. The extension of copyrights was not necessary. Indigenous rights and title are a particular area of concern in both Canada and Mexico. Aluminum was not properly covered in the rules of origin. The dairy industry faces increased imports and constraints on its exports. The negotiating process could still be a lot more transparent and consultative.
However, there are significant wins. The proportionality clause for energy exports has been removed. Labour standards have been improved in Mexico. The rules of origin have been improved. Supply management has been protected. The environmental rules have been strengthened. The cultural industries remain protected.
In my view, removing investor-state dispute settlement provisions, or ISDS, is the biggest win. We need to remove ISDS from all our trade and investment agreements. ISDS gives foreign corporations extraordinary powers to bypass national court systems and challenge domestic laws in a private tribunal system. It gives foreign corporations rights that domestic corporations do not have. Foreign corporations can demand millions and even billions of dollars in compensation from governments for the loss of potential profit when domestic laws and regulations get in the way of their profits.
These secretive tribunals take place behind closed doors, with no public scrutiny or participation from some of the affected parties. Under some treaties, such as the Canada-China FIPA, the public may never know that a tribunal took place or that a Chinese state-owned corporation received financial compensation from Canadian taxpayers.
These are not real courts. Trade tribunals are made up of three corporate lawyers who work for major private law firms and earn $1,000 per hour or more. These lawyers switch roles in different arbitration cases. Sometimes they work for the corporation, sometimes they defend government and other times they act as the deciding judge.
I know the Conservatives are big supporters of investor-state dispute settlements, so I would like to correct some of what I have heard from them on this subject.
No Canadian corporation has ever been successful in bringing an arbitration case against the United States. ISDS has not been a helpful tool for Canadian corporations under NAFTA. Canada's laws and policies have been challenged by NAFTA investor-state rules 48 times, and we have lost eight of the 17 cases that were completed. Canadian taxpayers have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign companies for the loss of potential profits, not for real expropriation.
For example, Canada banned imports of gasoline carrying MMT, a known neurotoxin, to protect the health of Canadians. The U.S. company that makes MMT, Ethyl Corporation, went to a NAFTA tribunal and received $13 million in compensation from Canadian taxpayers.
Bilcon v. Canada is another egregious case. The Nova Scotia government told Bilcon it was open for business. Bilcon wanted to build a quarry and a shipping terminal and blast rock for 50 years in the vicinity of the calving grounds of the North Atlantic right whale. Bilcon failed the environmental assessment. It then bypassed Canadian courts and received $7 million in compensation from a NAFTA tribunal. It should have received nothing.
The U.S. government has not paid a penny for an arbitration case because it has not lost a single case under NAFTA. It won all of the 21 claims against it. We need to remove investor-state dispute settlements from all trade and investment agreements.
One of the most problematic of those agreements is the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, or FIPA. This is an ISDS agreement that will be impossible to change.
NAFTA had a six-month notice clause for abrogation or renegotiation. The Canada-China FIPA is locked in for 15 years, and then there is a one-year notice period, after which corporations that invested get a further 15 years of investor-state. It is 31 years in total. The Canada-China FIPA locks in the discriminatory practices that China had in place at the time of signing. The Canada-China FIPA was negotiated in secret, and signed and ratified without a vote in the House. It was ratified by an order in council by the Harper Conservative government while there was an ongoing court challenge by the Hupacasath First Nation. Let us imagine that. It is complete disrespect of our judicial system and of first nations.
The Canada-China FIPA does not have a national security carve-out or exemption, so if Canada blocks Huawei based on national security grounds, then Canadian taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars for the loss of potential profits that Huawei claims, and we may never know that there was an arbitration case or payout, because both parties would have to agree to make that information public. That is another egregious part of the Canada-China FIPA: secrecy.
Canada has FIPA agreements with the A to Z of small-market and developing countries, from Armenia to Zambia. This is where Canadian companies are using ISDS successfully. Canadian companies have won $2 billion in compensation from developing countries, and there is another $10 billion being sought through ISDS, predominantly from extractive companies. For example, the Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources is seeking $4 billion after the Romanian government, under massive public pressure, blocked a project that would have levelled four mountains, destroyed three villages and turned a valley into a toxic, cyanide-laced tailings pond. This is under the Canada-Romania FIPA.
Imagine if that happened in Banff. Imagine a state-owned mining company taking up Alberta on its open-for-business approach and putting in a proposal to level four mountains, relocate Banff and turn Lake Louise into a toxic tailings pond. Then imagine paying that corporation billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded compensation for the loss of potential profit when Albertans reject the project. Imagine that arbitration case and payout being kept secret.
The legal firms that specialize in ISDS shop these arbitration suits around to hedge funds and finance companies that also reap massive profits from these cases. The Wall Street hedge fund Tenor Capital invested $35 million in the Crystallex v. Venezuela case and got a whopping 1,000% return on its investment when the Canadian mining company was awarded $1.2 billion in compensation. The Crystallex case also came under a FIPA agreement. Indigenous people in Venezuela objected to the mine because it was destroying their community and territory. In this era of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are going to see more challenges to destructive extractive projects not just here in Canada but around the world.
Canada has signed trade and investment agreements with some countries that have terrible human rights records. The Harper government negotiated and signed the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement after a coup toppled the democratically elected government.
Is that how we reward anti-democratic behaviour? Should trade not lift all boats? Should the improvement of judicial systems, the rule of law and democratization not be part of these agreements? Should trade agreements not improve the health, safety, consumer, labour and environmental standards of all concerned? The Green Party believes so.
Investor-state dispute settlement, by its very nature, is anti-democratic and should be removed from all of our trade and investment agreements. I would like to applaud the Canadian negotiating team for getting rid of ISDS in CUSMA. Our work is cut out for us: one down, many more to go.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-11 16:03 [p.1947]
Madam Speaker, first and foremost, let me congratulate the members of the Green Party for recognizing that this agreement is better than what was there in the first place and is ultimately in the best interests of Canadians.
The member pointed out some of the benefits, which are part of the reason we are getting support in the House from the Green Party, the New Democrats and the Conservatives. All members seem to want to support this bill. There is also a great deal of support across the country from different levels of government, labour unions, entrepreneurs, big corporations, big businesses and medium-sized businesses. There is a wide spectrum of support for the trade agreement.
What are the member's thoughts on how important it is to have this trade agreement put in place?
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-03-11 16:04 [p.1947]
Madam Speaker, it is really important to get rid of investor-state, so the sooner we get this ratified the better. People who know me would be surprised that I am supporting a trade agreement that still follows this kind of corporate neo-liberal model, but I think the wins in this agreement are significant, especially with respect to investor-state.
As I outlined, it is an egregious part of the trade and investment agreements that have been signed by Canada and other countries around the world. There are some 3,000 of these investor-state agreements around the world. It is really a system of corporate capture that is fundamentally anti-democratic and blocks governments from doing things that are in the best interests of their citizens. I applaud the negotiating team and the government for getting rid of investor-state in this agreement.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-03-11 16:05 [p.1947]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for putting an emphasis on the investor-state provisions, which we both dislike. We do not support this corporate model that ignores the rights of workers and indigenous rights.
Not having climate targets in this deal is of huge concern. I would like the member to talk about what could have been done if we had included climate targets and how trade could become a tool for reducing emissions so we can follow the IPCC report. The report identifies that we will have catastrophic changes if we do not make huge changes to our lifestyle today.
Could he also talk a bit more about how important the indigenous rights piece is? He cited the Hupacasath, and I applaud them. They have stood up for indigenous rights. He also cited how the government failed again. It failed to do adequate consultation and implement UNDRIP in this deal. There was an opportunity to do that. In fact, it was the U.S. Democrats that got us most of our gains in this deal, not the Liberal government, which is patting itself on the back. It would have settled on this agreement way before any of these changes were put forward, so we owe appreciation to the U.S. and certainly to the Hupacasath and all the other players who are standing up for really important values.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-03-11 16:07 [p.1948]
Madam Speaker, investor-state is a huge problem for dealing with climate change. Given the number of investor-state dispute settlement agreements around the planet that are going to impede climate action, we are going to have to deal with this through article 20 of the WTO to try to solidify something that overrides the investor-state dispute settlements that have been signed in multilateral and bilateral agreements.
In terms of the Hupacasath and their challenge, as the previous speaker said, article 19 of UNDRIP should have been taken into consideration and there should have been proper consultation with first nations about this. In the case of the Canada-China FIPA, to have it ratified in the middle of a federal court case is egregious.
I would agree that we have a lot of things to work on. We have a lot of fights ahead of us to deal with the spiderweb of investor-state that surrounds this planet and deal with the climate crisis to make sure we are able to fight it clearly, without corporate influence and blockage.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:08 [p.1948]
Madam Speaker, to pass this legislation swiftly, as all stakeholders and constituents had requested, so the vacuum of uncertainty would be lifted on our trade relations with the U.S., our official opposition made many suggestions as to ways we would gladly co-operate with the government.
Knowing that the federal election was coming up in October, the Conservatives offered to begin a pre-study on the original legislation, Bill C-100, in May of this year. That way the government would only have to deal with clause by clause later on, but it declined. When the revised agreement was signed in December, the Conservatives offered to come back early from the Christmas break to begin work on the bill. Again, the government declined.
The international trade committee had approximately 200 requests come in on CUSMA, and the amount of work to do on the legislation had not changed. We consistently offered to commence that work earlier, but the government declined.
The Conservatives ultimately offered to complete clause-by-clause examination by no later than March 5, under the assumption that the government would not be recalling the House of Commons during the constituency break. Again, the government declined.
A unanimous motion was passed at the international trade committee, requesting that the government release its economic impact analysis for CUSMA. It was not provided until one day before committee conducted its clause-by-clause review and the government's economic impact report compared CUSMA to not having a NAFTA deal at all.
What this said was that the government wanted Canadians to believe that any trade deal, no matter how unbalanced or restrictive, would actually be better than nothing at all.
Thankfully, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report comparing CUSMA to the old NAFTA deal on February 21. It affirmed that CUSMA would reduce Canada's GDP by $14.2 billion. Canada's exports to the U.S. would fall by $3.2 billion, while our imports from the U.S. would increase by $8.6 billion. The C.D. Howe Institute's report shed some light on why the government said it was important to support the new agreement moving quickly and then balked at every opportunity we gave to expedite the passing of the legislation.
We are here now dealing with the issues around what was not good in the agreement. With those 200 organizations and individuals who wanted to come and talk to the committee, we were able to process through 100 of those.
The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said, “If we want Canada to take full advantage of this agreement, the government must take steps to insure Canadian manufacturers' productivity levels are equivalent to that of other OECD countries so they can succeed on North American markets and globally.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said, “The CUSMA, as signed last autumn, was in imperfect but necessary agreement to provide greater predictability in our relations with Canada's largest trading partner.” Predictability was lost to such an extent that we were to the point where people were saying that we needed to just get this done.
Last week, I met with my own chamber of commerce and also held a town hall, with the shadow minister for agriculture, in my riding with a number of farmers from the area.
Agriculture and agrifood producers, manufacturers, exporters and all the support services of small businesses in my riding are experiencing the serious impacts of uncertainty with which the government has plagued our economy: increased costs and a loss of customer base because of the punitive policies of the government: an uncertainty of our relationship with our biggest trading partner, plus the shutting down of supply routes due to strikes and lack of rail cars because oil is flowing on our tracks instead of safely through our pipelines; barricades that created dangerous situations and prevented products from being shipped; carbon taxes on heating and cooling systems that are necessary for manufacturing; and increased payroll taxes and red tape.
People feel they have been attacked and ignored by the government. They know that CUSMA is an imperfect, but necessary agreement to provide better predictability in our relationships with Canada's largest trading partner. Therefore, we are here ready to pass Bill C-4.
The Aluminum Association of Canada said, “As part of the ongoing collaboration between the Government of Canada and industry, we intend to initiate discussions with the government to encourage Mexico to implement a similar measure, which would help limit the arrival of products that do not comply with the rules of the agreement between our three countries.” Canada's aluminum industry is concerned by the government's failure to secure the same made-in-North American provision for aluminum as was given to steel. Canada is North America's largest producer of aluminum.
While the 70% rule of origin included looks good on paper, in reality the failure to include a smelted and poured definition, which is what the industry is asking of in Mexico, will leave the North American industry vulnerable to dumping from overseas, particularly through Mexico.
As well, the government needs to report on the status of the $2 billion in tariffs, the revenue that it has collected thus far, to ensure it actually was used to support Canadian businesses impacted by those tariffs. The manufacturers in my communities were very discouraged by what they saw in the government's behaviour when they were facing shut downs, including its suggestion that it help the manufacturers deal with it by giving more EI. They did not want more EI; they wanted to keep those people working.
As well, there is an urgency to develop a strategy to market Canadian aluminum as the greenest in the world to help shore up our competitiveness in existing and emerging markets. This is part of the Conservative environmental plan. It looks at showcasing and bragging to the world about what Canada already has done and how we can help to impact the global issues on climate change that have impacted so many other countries that are not as clean as Canada.
Then there are our dairy farmers.
The largest group left behind by the government during the negotiations is Canada's dairy sector. The government has managed to simultaneously shrink the opportunities for dairy producers and processors at home, while also limiting their ability to grow by exporting.
Canada agreed to place a worldwide cap on exports of certain dairy products in CUSMA, which is unprecedented in regional trade agreements. As the nation's prosperity depends on reliable access to global markets in every market, but specifically in dairy, Canada must not agree to this kind of provision in any future trade agreement. Why would the government say yes to giving the U.S. that kind of power over our sovereignty and our opportunity to trade as we wish with other countries?
This concession is an affront to our sovereignty and there is no excuse or rational argument for this capitulation to go hat in hand to the U.S. to ask if we can please have its permission to export dairy to any country with which we choose to trade.
There are so many areas that are faulty in this agreement, which stakeholders brought to the attention of the committee, and we were able to create recommendations for the government to move forward and to rectify a lot of those issues.
Regarding government procurement, we have no chapter on being able to secure Canada's access to the U.S. market.
Regarding auto, Canada's exports of motor vehicles to the U.S. will decline by $1.5 billion relative to the current trade regime under NAFTA, and imports would decrease by $1.2 billion. In light of the hardships faced by Ontario's auto sector, which were compounded by the punitive actions of the government against our competitiveness, it must fulfill the auto sector's request to delay the implementation of CUSMA for the auto sector until January 2021 to allow it to adjust to the new climate of the deal.
Regarding forestry, so many mills have closed and support services, small businesses and whole communities have been brought to a standstill by the government's indifference. They do not deserve this attitude from their Prime Minister, whom they expect to re-engage right now with the United States trade representative to find a solution to this issue.
Regarding cultural exemption, the price of protecting it in CUSMA was to open ourselves up to retaliatory tariffs not limited to that sector. For example, if Canada decides to implement a digital service tax for a company such as Netflix, the United States would be within its right, as per CUSMA, to place a tariff of equal commercial effect on any Canadian export.
These are just a few of the examples of where the government has capitulated to the U.S.. The U.S. reply to the whole document is a huge document of all of its successes. Ours, from what I understand the previous minister of trade on this side of the House said, was 72 pages long. Clearly, Canada has not come out on the best circumstances here, but as stakeholders have said, we just need to get this done and move on, hopefully in the future with better arrangements.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-11 16:18 [p.1949]
Madam Speaker, I have a difficult time with the Conservative Party's approach to the whole issue of trade.
The Conservatives say they are going to support the bill. Then they go absolutely all over the place about why it is such a bad trade deal. If we follow their logic, it is almost as if they were going to vote against the trade agreement.
I really take exception when the Conservatives try to come across as the protectors of supply management. This is from the Conservative Party, the same party that destroyed the Canadian Wheat Board. Prior to doing that, it said that it would do nothing to hurt the Canadian Wheat Board. If the Conservatives were in government today, they would not have protected supply management. Many farmers recognize that fact.
What gives the member's party credibility when it has been so inconsistent on this trade agreement?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:19 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, the inconsistency is on that side of the House.
The Liberals voted against the very first NAFTA agreement. We are the party of free trade. The other trade agreements that the Liberals were championing today, the ones they signed their name to, all of that work was done by this Conservative Party when we were on that side of the House.
That member has nothing to say to me about free trade. We are very proud of the fact that we do very good deals. It is unfortunate, quite honestly, from my perspective, that we have to vote in favour of this in light of these issues. This has been done so poorly, but all our stakeholders have said that we need to deal with this and move on from here.
View Scott Duvall Profile
NDP (ON)
View Scott Duvall Profile
2020-03-11 16:20 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, when the first NAFTA agreement came out under the Conservatives, 400,000 jobs were lost. I know that in the city of Hamilton, many manufacturing jobs were lost. The city was collapsing at that time.
Under the first agreement, investor-state dispute provisions were negotiated that would allow investors to sue our country. Now that this has been taken out under this agreement, does the member not feel this is a better agreement than the original one?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:21 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, from what I see in feedback from the stakeholders in the auto industry, there is a lot of angst around issues with this agreement. That is why they have requested that it not be implemented for the auto industry until 2021.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-03-11 16:21 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, it is always difficult to look back. I know people tend to forget what happened in the 41st Parliament.
The passage of the Canada-China investment treaty is one on which we really need to focus. People forget that it exists. I have heard so many members speak to the issues we have in CUSMA, now that we have gotten rid of chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement provisions, that allowed the U.S. government to sue us in secret.
However, it was under Stephen Harper that we are now obligated, for decades, to secret tribunals, where the People's Republic of China state-owned enterprises have the right to lean on the Canadian government in secret, first for six months, and then bring secret arbitration cases, if we do anything that hurts the expectation of profits of corporations from the People's Republic of China.
Would the member be willing to look into the implications of that, which was passed in secret, in cabinet, without a vote in Parliament?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:22 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, I cannot answer that. However, if we were forming government, we would be far more careful about the way we encourage investment from China in our country going forward.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2020-03-11 16:22 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, my colleague from Yorkton—Melville mentioned the delays by the Liberal government in allowing Parliament and the opposition parties to study the bill. We asked for that in October and December.
Could she explain why the Liberal Party continually blocks Parliament from proper oversight of such an important deal?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:23 [p.1950]
Madam Speaker, clearly there is a problem on the other side of the House.
Quite often we see the Liberals making announcements and then trying to figure out the implementation of them. In this case, the deal took so long and was so poorly constructed, that the Liberals, realizing they had conceded so much, tried to avoid any kind of scrutiny and simply tried to get it through the House.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, I am thankful for this great opportunity to share some wisdom on this very important bill, Bill C-4, on CUSMA, which is the Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement.
However, before I get into the bill, I will speak about the economy. Trade deals are linked to the economy, and the economy here in Canada after five years of Liberal government is very strong compared to what it was when we took office.
Let us look at what has happened. What has changed in the last five years?
We have seen 1.2 million jobs created by Canadians. We have seen over one million people lifted out of poverty, with 353,000 of those being children, which is over 20% of the poverty rate in Canada, and 75,000 being seniors, mostly women. These are big and important numbers.
As well, we are seeing the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. These are the factors that are clearly stating how strong this economy is and how strong our government is, which has been focused on tax cuts and helping the middle class and those who want to join it.
Trade deals are extremely important to Canadians, and every province and territory is very happy with this trade deal. We had a trade deal before, but this one is new and improved.
We also have the CETA trade deal, which encompasses half a billion people. In that trade deal we have seen 98% of the tariffs removed, whereas in the past it was 25%. Members can imagine how the business community feels about that trade deal today. I know what the business community has to say about it my constituency.
As well, there is the CPTPP, the trans-Pacific trade deal, which, again, encompasses half a billion people. Between the three trade deals, we have a market of 1.5 billion people. In the Asia-Pacific deal most of the tariffs have been removed and 100% of the seafood tariffs are gone. Members can imagine that in my region of Atlantic Canada and in Nova Scotia this is a great opportunity to increase our exports, and it is extremely important.
How important is CUSMA, the Canada-U.S.-Mexico deal? It is $2 billion per day, which is an enormous sum, and 80% of Canadian exports go to these countries.
Who is supporting this trade deal? It is not just us. The premiers are saying they are behind this trade deal, which is important, and I will talk more about it, but we know that Premier Moe, Premier Kenney and company, as well as Brian Mulroney, do. The business community is happy. The unions are happy.
However, they say Trump is a good negotiator. Let us look at the three things he wanted.
First, he wanted a sunset clause at five years when we would have to renegotiate or the deal would be dead. However, that is not in there. We took that out and it is now 16 years.
Second, he wanted the end of supply management. We are the party that introduced supply management, and we are the party that is promoting supply management. We will continue to support supply management because it is important to Canadians.
Third, Trump wanted a dispute resolution tribunal where there would be American judges and courts. Do members think we would have agreed to that? Maybe a Conservative would have, but we did not agree to that. We then added another important piece where the Americans could not stop and must participate in tribunal panels, where in the past they could say no.
These are three key areas where our government has been very successful in negotiating with the Americans.
Let us bring it back to Nova Scotia. What does this trade deal represent to Nova Scotia? It is extremely important because $3.7 billion is spent by Americans in Nova Scotia. That is an extremely important investment yearly, as my colleagues can imagine. That is 68% of all our trade products leaving Nova Scotia and going to the States.
That means there are 18,000 jobs directly related to this trade deal for Nova Scotians. That is 18,000 directly related jobs; I forgot to mention the 7,000 indirect jobs. Colleagues can imagine how we feel in Nova Scotia. The premier, Mr. McNeil, said that this is a great deal for Canada and a great deal for Nova Scotia. That is a very clear message.
I want to talk about a company in my riding just down the street from me, Marid Industries. It is a steel industry and today it knows that with this deal it will be able to be competitive and move their products to the States and Mexico without tariffs. That is extremely important. That is making sure that it can move forward. These are great-paying jobs for the people who work in that industry.
Catherine Cobden from the Canadian Steel Producers Association said:
CUSMA is critical to strengthening the competitiveness of Canadian and North American steel industries and ensuring market access in the face of persistent global trade challenges and uncertainty.
That shows good, strong support from the steel industry.
Of course, we are seeing the strongest amendments in this trade deal when it come to labour and environment, two major areas that Canada is pushing forward. We are making sure that we have some criteria around strengthening labour standards as well as enforcement and inspection standards. That means that wages being paid will create a level playing field. It also affects work hours and conditions. Those are essential pieces to ensure that the playing field is level which is extremely important.
In the environment, as colleagues know, we have added some obligations in the fight against marine pollution. The other piece of it is air quality.
I must also mention pharmacare because in the last amendments we were able to remove the 10-year restriction on generic drugs, which is extremely important.
We have added new chapters protecting women's rights, minority rights and indigenous rights and that provide protection against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. These are all important chapters that are in this trade deal and are so essential.
As well, there are cultural exemptions, which help all Canadians, including those in Quebec. That is very important.
We have work to do. We know that in a trade deal there is a bit of trade here or there. The poultry and egg industries have opened up a small percentage, 2%. We are compensating them not only for loss, but also supporting them so that they can purchase better and more up-to-date equipment. The products will then be better able to be traded internationally, opening up that potential market as well.
This is a very important deal. I am extremely proud to support this. The people in my constituency are just waiting for this to be ratified as soon as possible.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2020-03-11 16:33 [p.1952]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's wonderful speech.
Perhaps he could speak about the softwood lumber industry in B.C. and about the aluminum industry in Quebec, as people are suffering.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, as members know, tariffs have been removed from aluminum and steel. We have also added in this deal that the amount of steel used in cars would be 70% between the three countries. In the past it was zero, so that is a big victory.
I want to share with my colleague some of the things his colleagues have said. Jason Kenney said he was “relieved”. I imagine it takes a lot to relieve him, but he is “relieved that a renewed North American Trade Agreement has been concluded”. Wow, he is relieved.
Let us talk about Brian Mulroney, a former prime minister of the country and chief negotiator. He said that Canada got what it wanted and that we got a great deal.
I know I have sat in this House for a couple of years and listened to the Conservatives saying to sign, sign, sign and not worry about negotiating because it is $2 billion a day. We have a much better deal today than we would have had if we had listened to the Conservatives. In the last 10 years before we took power, we know what we got.
View Louis Plamondon Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague's powerful speech.
This infamous document raises many questions about the agricultural sector. For instance, we know that dairy producers have been using a lot of fat for the past few years, so much so that they have a lot of protein left over for export.
Going forward, the United States will be deciding how much of those dairy products we can export. That will be 55,000 metric tonnes in the first year of the agreement and 35,000 in the second year. In subsequent years, those limits will increase by only 1.5% or 2%, although we were exporting up to 100,000 metric tonnes a year when there were no restrictions. How can the government put our supply-managed agriculture to work for the U.S.?
Furthermore, we conceded 3.9% of our supply-managed market to the U.S., and that is after dairy farmers' incomes had already been reduced by 8% under the first two agreements. We can only imagine what will happen with this added on.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
I realize, as my colleague should also realize, that you have to give a little to get a little in any negotiation.
One thing is certain: We were able to preserve supply management, which the U.S. President wanted to eliminate, as I explained in my speech. In Canada, we all know, as does my colleague, that supply management is extremely important. It is too bad that our former colleague Maxime Bernier is not here, because he opposed supply management and he certainly would have something to say.
Under this agreement, Quebec will receive $57 billion as a result of exports to the United States. This is definitely a very important agreement for Quebec, too.
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