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Results: 1 - 17 of 17
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-11-07 17:45 [p.23410]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Edmonton West for his excellent and relevant speech. It reiterated the position of our party, the party of free trade and the economy. I also want to thank him for sharing his time with me. I am proud to do so.
Today is a very special day. Earlier in the House, we spared a very special thought for those of the Jewish faith. We reflected about them, apologized, and acknowledged the fact that they, as a people, experienced one of the greatest human tragedies and are still standing. I have a lot of respect for the Jewish people.
Unfortunately, on October 27, a synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked. That is unacceptable. It reminds me of the massacre at the mosque in Sainte-Foy, where people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time fell victim to barbaric acts. These types of attacks are unacceptable in a civilized society. The government needs to put measures in place to eliminate as much as possible these barbaric acts motivated by race and religion.
Today I will be speaking to Bill C-85, an act to amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act and to make related amendments to other acts. We, the Conservatives, are the party of the economy, as I said at the outset. We are very proud of the markets that we opened up and developed. We are consistent, and we not only talk the talk, we walk the walk. We are going to support this bill at second reading because it is important to create trade routes, and this is one of them.
As a long-standing trade partner to Israel, Canada has a duty to continue this business relationship. Israel is a major market for Canadian goods and services. The relationship between Canada and Israel is based on shared values and interests. Canada derives tangible benefits from this strong relationship.
First off, with regard to security, Israel is an island of stability amid the turbulence that engulfs the Middle East. The knowledge and experience that Israel and Canada share are ever more important. We all know that in our modern world, threats do not stop at national borders. The security agreement signed by Canada and Israel in 2008 under Mr. Harper's Conservative government has permanently established this collaboration, which is so beneficial for Canada.
Second, there is the economy. Since 1996, Canada and Israel have had a free trade agreement that has significantly boosted trade between the two countries.
Third, there is technology. Israel has the second-largest concentration of high-tech companies after Silicon Valley, in the United States. Israel is a model of innovation. I would add that when I had the privilege, as a parliamentarian, of visiting Israel and Palestine, I observed that the people who live there are determined, intelligent and highly skilled. Canadian start-ups should take a page from their book.
Israel has an impressive approach to supporting and encouraging start-ups. For example, universities are involved in developing start-ups, and there risk is part of the equation. We should be looking at allowing more risk when it comes to start-ups in Canada, because when a company becomes a world leader, even if it is just one in a hundred, that definitely gives us an advantage.
It is therefore in our best interest to come up with a model for start-ups that aligns with the Israeli model.
We are already linked through the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation, or CIIRDF. That foundation takes in proposals for R and D projects in all areas of technology that have no military or defence applications. There is however a special focus on projects in aerospace, agriculture and processed food, financial services, information and communications technologies, life sciences, oil and gas, and sustainable technologies. These relationships are beneficial for both our countries.
The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, or CIFTA, was signed on July 31, 1996 and came into force on January 1 of the following year. It has therefore been in effect for more than 20 years. This bill seeks to expand the scope of the agreement and deliver on negotiations that were launched in 2010 and 2014. In July 2015 Canada and Israel concluded negotiations on reduced tariffs on all agricultural products, investment protection mechanisms, sanitary measures, intellectual property and non-tariff barriers.
The Government of Canada website on the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement states, under the heading “Modernization overview and chapters”:
In July 2015, Canada and Israel completed negotiations to update four chapters in the Agreement: Dispute Settlement, Goods Market Access, Institutional Provisions, and Rules of Origin. The Agreement was also expanded to include seven new chapters: E-Commerce, Intellectual Property, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade and Environment, Trade and Labour, and Trade Facilitation.
That, to me, shows that three years were wasted updating an agreement that had been signed in 2015 under the Harper government. I might add that the protocol amending the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed three years later in Montreal on May 28, 2018, but has yet to come into force. Until that happens, the 1997 free trade agreement continues to apply.
The discussions concluded in 2015, and we are now nearing the end of 2018. That means we wasted three years. This government's sluggishness has cost us billions of dollars. The Conservative government is the one that negotiated the agreements, while the current Liberal government is just patting itself on the back and signing the agreements.
Let us not forget the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This multilateral free trade agreement, which was signed on February 4, 2016, aims to integrate the economies of the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas. The negotiation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership began in 2008 under the Harper government. In June 2012, Canada and Mexico joined the negotiations. On February 4, 2016, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed. It must now be ratified by 12 countries, and that process is still under way. Once again, this shows how slowly things move under the Liberals.
Then there is the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. Who put that in place? Once again, it was the Harper government. It was the Conservative Party, the party that understands the economy and seeks to open new trade routes. I think that is a very legitimate thing to do since our neighbour to the south is unpredictable. Unfortunately, again this morning, I read that our Prime Minister announced that we are going to sign the agreement with the United States even though the tariffs on steel, softwood lumber and aluminum have not been lifted.
It is good to sign agreements, but we need to use our bargaining power. Unfortunately, when this government signs agreements, it uses our agreements and our objectives and simply continues the work we started. Things would not have gone the way they did with the USMCA if the Conservatives were in office.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-11-07 17:57 [p.23411]
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Mr. Speaker, let's not get into a debate over who is the best. I just want to say that, as parliamentarians, we have to rise above partisanship and forge international ties so we can get free trade deals that benefit Canadians.
With respect to the latest agreement, the USMCA, Canada was the last one to get to the negotiating table. Negotiations took 13 months. Unfortunately, the negotiations did not eliminate all irritants. There are American taxes on aluminum, steel and softwood lumber. There are consumption taxes on products here.
As I have said in the House before, a business in my riding with headquarters in Canada does manufacturing in the United States. This Canadian company produces chewy granola bars in the United States and has to pay taxes to export its products to Canada. That is unacceptable.
I think we need to rise above partisanship to accelerate the process that gets us the best free trade agreements with several different countries.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-11-07 17:59 [p.23411]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières for his interesting question.
Our job as parliamentarians is to improve bills. This evening, I allowed my colleague to share his thoughts on the bill introduced by the Liberals. We are currently at second reading of Bill C-85, and we are debating this bill because we want to make things better. I hope his message was heard.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 10:33 [p.22264]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my Liberal colleague from Mississauga-Centre for his speech and for taking inspiration from what the Conservative Party did when it started this process.
My colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley just asked what the difference is between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. The answer is that the Conservative Party understands the economy, while the Liberal Party does not seem to be known for much of anything—but at least it generously built on our idea and our initiative to introduce Bill C-79, which is about the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership.
The CPTPP is a new free trade agreement. It is good for the economy and for the government to open up new markets allowing us to prosper. By prospering I mean enabling our businesses to be very active internationally to increase revenues and create wealth. As a result, businesses and governments can then make more money available to create social programs and help the less fortunate.
Let us create wealth and provide social programs. At the moment, the Liberals are busy spending a lot of money, but they are using a process that was put in place by the Conservative Party to hopefully create some wealth.
The interesting thing is that the CPTPP opens up markets with Australia, Brunei, Canada, obviously, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
I still maintain that this was put in motion by the Conservative Party. The Liberals love to invoke the name of the former prime minister, a man I admire deeply. He is one of the reasons I am in politics today. Stephen Harper, an economist by trade who is no showman, took steps to grow Canada's economy, and I am glad he did.
This goes to show that the Liberals are just improvising. We saw it with NAFTA, now known as the USMCA. The “C” stands for “Canada”. We get the lowest billing in the abbreviation because we are the last of the three countries to have signed or reached an agreement. This proves that the Liberals are improvising, which I find disquieting.
My leader, the leader of the Conservative Party, wrote to the Prime Minister of Canada this summer to speed up the negotiation process. Our government's negotiations with our neighbour to the south, the United States, have been dragging on for 13 months. I think that, strategically, it would have been a good idea to show the U.S. that we are not vulnerable, that even though they are a significant market, we want to develop other markets in order to have some leverage to negotiate with the U.S.
My leader got in touch with the Prime Minister to speed up the process. What is important for this treaty is to be among the first six signatories for the agreement to enter into force. Again, we are here discussing the CPTPP in October, on the eve of Thanksgiving, because of the Liberal government's improvisation, amateurism and lack of rigour. We are wasting time.
One thing we know in the world of economics is that when a player is missing and orders need to be filled, customers will start looking elsewhere if they are disappointed. It is the same when building a new head office, when there are opportunities to bring head offices here but companies choose to go somewhere else. You do not build a new head office every day, every week or every month. There are cycles and investments. When a company is located in a region or a country, transferring its head office to another country is a complex operation. It is a serious decision for corporate leaders to take.
Here is what we can read in Export Development Canada's website: “Free trade agreements like the CPTPP can: Help you reach new B2B customers; Give your firm a chance to bid on government contracts overseas; Buy goods and services with reduced or no tariffs”.
That is a Government of Canada website promoting the benefits of a free trade agreement. I think that is what a government must do. The current government has been slow. It improvised and was not thorough. Maybe the Prime Minister felt like being on vacation this summer. We, as Conservatives, were ready to move that file forward and expedite the process. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister's answer to our leader was that it was not possible for him to do anything and that things would take their course. That is the reason why we are debating this bill today.
As I mentioned earlier, the agreement will come into effect 60 days after six countries have signed it. If we delay, if we are not one of the first six countries, it means that we are not helping to speed up the implementation of this agreement. Does the Liberal government really want to open markets? That is rather odd. Last Sunday evening, at 10 p.m., on the Lord’s Day, the Prime Minister decided to hold a cabinet meeting here. Now he wakes up. There is an emergency and we need to move quickly. The government’s amateurism shows us that it has irresponsibly sped things up too quickly with the USMCA. The “C” stands for little Canada, which is in the trio along with the large market of the United States.
This government is just not consistent, and that is what is unfortunate. The Liberals have sped up the process. I have no idea what bit them, although in October flies are usually hibernating. In any case, I do not know what bit the Prime Minister to make him decide to speed up the process and give without taking.
I am not an expert negotiator. I was not at the negotiating table with the United States. When one negotiates, there is usually give and take. There is leverage. One agrees to sacrifice “X” as long as the other party gives “Y”. It is an old principle and it does not take a genius to make sure that there is a give and take. I said it in English so that everyone understands. That is what negotiating is all about.
Let us look at what the Liberal government took in exchange for what it gave. I have to say that I do not see anything in my notes. Nothing was gained. We give, we celebrate, we are happy and we say, “well done, mission accomplished”. Yes, it is important to have a market with the United States, but we must not negotiate on bended knee. We have to stand up. A power balance needed to be established. The process was moving along, and then a fly bit someone around the table and it was decided that we had to move very quickly. It is quite dramatic.
Canada came in third in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement and told Canada it could join if it wanted to, but that, if it was not interested, they would go ahead as planned. Some position of power. Our Prime Minister’s Liberal government opened up our dairy market for free; the U.S. is still denying our farmers and dairy producers access to its market. At least the CPTPP grants us access to the market.
The government caved in to the United States, allowing it to maintain the surtaxes on steel, aluminum and softwood lumber. We conceded, we negotiated, the other side found ways of exerting pressure, but then, after we came to an agreement, it failed to remove that pressure. That is quite something.
In addition, the agreement extends the data protection period for pharmaceuticals. That means that it will cost Canadians a lot more to stay healthy. That is an impressive bargaining achievement.
Moreover, limits will be placed on the development of the Canadian auto industry. Now there are quotas, where before there were none. What did we get in return?
There is a lot more in the agreement. I cannot address every item. That being said, the more we read, the more we find out, and the devil is in the details. What I am about to say has never been heard before: we will have to ask the President of the United States for permission before we enter into any trade agreements with other countries. I am about to fall off my chair—well, not literally. I do not understand.
Our Prime Minister, however, is happy with the negotiations. As I have said before, it is important to have a free trade agreement with the United States, since the U.S. market is very important for Canadians. It represents practically 80% of our exports. It is important, but not at any cost. The government just managed to survive the negotiations, and it is thrilled. We, however, got nothing in return.
We are told that the negotiations are over. A company in my riding, Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, does business in the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately, its product is on the list of products saddled with surtaxes, a tool the U.S. used to exert pressure during the negotiations. If the company develops products in the U.S. to meet U.S. and Canadian needs and then imports them into Canada, it will have to pay a surtax.
Not to mention any names, Biscuits Leclerc is a well-known company with facilities in 20 countries. It is a Canadian company, and its head office is located in Canada. I am extremely pleased to say that it is located in my riding, more particularly in the Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures industrial park. How important is the company? The industrial park is called the “Parc industriel François-Leclerc” in recognition of the company’s decision to set up its head office there. The company is prosperous and believes in us—and we believe in it.
I will get back to my story. The company produces cookies and ships them to Canada. It produces its own products and exports them to Canada. Do you know what the annual surtax is for the company? One million dollars. The surtax is still in effect, despite the fact that the government is thrilled that everything is settled and proud of what a good job it did in the negotiations. That is quite an example of success.
After signing the agreement, Donald Trump gave a victory speech at a press conference. He was happy. He won, but what did Canada win? It barely survived.
The agreement has been negotiated, but the negotiations are not finished, since there are still surtaxes on both sides of the border, for example on steel and cookies. We were even told that the surtax on steel and aluminum would remain as a matter of national security. Why did we not use food safety during the negotiations to justify holding firm on supply management? Canadian producers’ standards and controls for dairy and other types of production are higher in Canada in terms of safety and hygiene. Health Canada is doing a good job, but the rules are not the same in the U.S.
When we trade with another country or market with lower standards, that means that their production costs are lower. They can produce more at a lower cost. That is unfair competition. Why did the Liberal government negotiators not use food safety as an argument to close the door on supply management? The government told Canadian farmers that it would protect supply management. Great job! It protected nothing, and managed to open a breach. The other agreements included compensation and market access.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister met with farmers. He told them that the minister might give them full compensation. Now the government is backpedalling. People are seeing what we in the House have known for three years. This government is not in control. It consults, it talks the talk, but it is not proactive. Take, for example, the CPTPP, which we are discussing today. It is based on our government's work and I am very proud of that. We must have done something right at some point. Canada's economy is what it is because of the Conservative Party.
We did plenty of things right. Many Canadians I speak to, and I will have the opportunity to meet others because I will be in my riding next week, keep telling me that they miss the previous government, and that is music to my ears. It makes me happy. Canadians are beginning to see this government’s true colours after its constant failures this summer.
I have a piece of advice for the Liberals. I am not an expert, but I have my sources. In Business Insider, Jeff Haden gave 12 negotiating tips. I would have commented on each and every one of them, but since I do not have enough time, I will simply list them: go first; be quiet; know what you want — that one brings up big question marks; assume the best case; avoid setting ranges; only make concessions for a reason; avoid getting cornered; make time your friend; ignore face value; give the other person room; forget about winning and losing; and create a relationship.
The Liberal Party negotiators completely failed in many of these areas. In fact, there is nothing to evaluate, since they did not get any results. I will have the opportunity to talk about this a bit more.
As I mentioned in my speech, we will support the agreement. Opening markets is important. First, we need to create wealth, and then we can establish social programs.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 10:54 [p.22267]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Mississauga—Lakeshore for his question.
I have to say that we left the house in order. We left Canada with a budget surplus. That is important when we are talking about economic prosperity. I would like to remind my esteemed colleague that Canada was the first G7 country to emerge from the economic crisis.
Where is the Liberal Party’s economic crisis? Why are there so many deficits? Why are they spending irresponsibly? It is going to be great fun when interest rates begin to rise and we are hit with an economic crisis. Where are the oxygen and the space for investing in our society to avoid an economic crisis? That is an important question.
We, the Conservatives, stood in the breach. We lived up to our commitments. I will say again that we are the only party in the country whose main priority is the economy.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 10:56 [p.22267]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Jonquière.
It is perfectly normal for the economy, markets and transactions with countries that we have not signed agreements with to be less strong. Signing an agreement lifts barriers, enabling us to conquer markets all around the world. They come here, and we go there. It is up to us to be creative, seize opportunities and make sure that our Canadian businesses are able to prosper in these regions.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 11:18 [p.22271]
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Mr. Speaker, the government says that it has negotiated a good agreement. The Liberals are celebrating the United States—Mexico—Canada Agreement. My definition of negotiating is giving things and taking things in return. They gave away access to the dairy market. They gave in to the United States by leaving the surtax on steel, aluminum and softwood lumber in place. They agreed to costlier drugs. They put quotas on the auto industry. Furthermore, we will have to ask President Trump for permission if we want to enter into trade agreements with other countries. They call that a good agreement.
Where are the wins?
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 11:19 [p.22272]
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Mr. Speaker, how can this Liberal government crow about the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement when Canada is included as an afterthought? The negotiations are not over, because the surtax Canada imposed on products to put pressure on the United States during the talks is still in place today.
In Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, for example, Biscuits Leclerc, which has factories in Canada and the U.S., has to pay a surtax, as I mentioned, to import its own products into its own country.
When will the government lift these taxes so that consumers can stop having to pay so much for products?
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 12:15 [p.22282]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Quebec, the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, for her question. It is important to understand that Asian countries pose less of a risk of cultural aggression than our neighbours to the south do. I would remind my colleague that we are not opposed to free trade agreements. Quite the opposite. The reason I did not say much about the CPTPP was because I wanted to focus on demonstrating how bizarre, sloppy and amateurish the current government's strategy for negotiating free trade agreements is.
Again, as I said earlier, things were negotiated and put in place as a pressure tactic, but once the agreement was signed, those tools were left in place, penalizing Canadian consumers with higher prices. I think the member should appreciate that, especially since she introduced a bill in the same vein regarding credit card fees. Her government needs to get its act together and minimize costs for consumers.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 12:17 [p.22283]
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Mr. Speaker, I salute my colleague from Joliette, who asked a very good question. We have to understand that the Liberals took a page out of the Conservative book to draft the CPTPP. I find that interesting. However, they should have kept on drawing inspiration from what we had already done, because we had provided for compensation.
Regarding the new deal, the USMCA, the Prime Minister said throughout the 13 months of negotiations that he would protect supply management. That is what we wanted him to do and we asked if he would fully protect it. Unfortunately, we know what happened next.
The government met with farmers and dairy producers yesterday. The Prime Minister spoke of offering “fair” compensation to producers, but before that, his minister said that they would be “fully” compensated.
We heard the same thing in the House today. The language is shifting. Farmers now see the true face of this government. As on many other files, it is not keeping its promises.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-10-05 12:20 [p.22283]
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Mr. Speaker, the only party in this House that knows the economy, works to ensure prosperity and diligently develops important and efficient economic mechanisms is the Conservative Party. We cannot just close off markets. We wanted a lot more and we would have gotten a lot more. That is what we are saying. Unfortunately, Canadians chose a Liberal government in 2015, and we have to live with that.
The Liberals sacrificed supply management without getting anything in return. The House is about to shut down for a week. We are going back to our ridings, and Monday is the harvest festival. I hope our farmers will be able to sell their crops and keep their farms going. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2017-06-08 14:48 [p.12314]
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Mr. Speaker, when it comes to softwood lumber, we do not want just any agreement, as they say, we want an agreement that will benefit our industry. How is it that as soon as the U.S. announced its surtax the Government of Quebec was able to announce an assistance program for the entire industry the very same day, but it took Ottawa six weeks to come up with a financial assistance program? What is more, this government has been negotiating an agreement for 20 months with nothing to show for it.
How can the thousands of Canadian workers trust this Liberal government? It has been 20 months.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2017-06-01 14:55 [p.11849]
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Mr. Speaker, the government's response is inadequate. Instead of taking the bull by the horns and reaching an agreement on softwood lumber with the United States, it chose to kneel. The government lacks leadership and does not know how to negotiate. It must protect the softwood lumber industry and create jobs.
The Liberals are abandoning our regions. Workers want the government to sign an agreement in order to bring stability and prosperity to their industry. When will the government sign a new agreement with our main partner, the United States?
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2017-03-09 15:04 [p.9608]
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Mr. Speaker, we must create permanent jobs.
This government is doing nothing meaningful to help regional economies. It has done nothing about softwood lumber. Worse yet, our Prime Minister naively gave the President of the United States the upper hand on NAFTA. The Liberal government should be supporting our regions and giving hope to the people who have made such significant contributions to the prosperity of this great country.
Does the government want to shutter our regions? If not, it must act now.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2016-09-30 11:30 [p.5333]
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Madam Speaker, I invite the government to live up to its responsibilities. It is holding consultations, forming committees, and working on a number of files, but nothing is getting done.
The softwood lumber file is a pressing matter. In a few days, the agreement will expire. We need to know what will happen to this industry. It is important for the regions.
When will the government move beyond its fine words and conclude an agreement in the interest of Canadian families?
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2016-09-30 11:31 [p.5333]
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Madam Speaker, I would like the negotiators to be constantly working on this.
More than 400,000 jobs in Canada will be at risk if the agreement is not signed by October 12. More than 135 Quebec municipalities are relying on this agreement for some breathing room. We know that Quebec issues are of no interest to the Prime Minister. Fortunately, this agreement is something that concerns the entire country.
When will the government finally take responsibility and be respectful of Canadian workers, who definitely do not want to be unemployed in two weeks?
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2016-06-15 14:58 [p.4561]
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Mr. Speaker, nothing this government touches ever gets done.
To get back to what my colleague asked, the softwood lumber agreement expired in October 2015. Renewing this agreement between Canada and the United States could help the forestry industry get people in the regions back to work. We need to help secure this sector, which accounts for more than $20 billion of Canada's economy. All of these Canadian regions have experienced the effects of this government's inaction.
What is the problem? When will the minister resolve this issue and support our regions?
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