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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, I will take this opportunity to thank my constituents for voting for me to represent Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier in the House of Commons for a third time.
I want to thank the many volunteers who worked hard to get out the vote and ensure that people voted for me. It was an extraordinary success, and I received 51.6% of the vote, which was more than I had hoped or aimed for. I am very pleased with that, and I appreciate it very much.
I want to thank some volunteers in particular: my association president, Serge Henry, and his wife, Hélène Naud; the secretary-treasurer, Alain Pouliot; and the vice-president, Mario Paquet. Finally, as we all do in this place, I obviously want to thank my family: my wife, Isabelle, and my children, Charles-Antoine and Anne-Frédérique.
I am taking this opportunity to thank everyone as this is my first time rising after giving my speech as a candidate for Speaker, which, like you, Madam Chair, I did not win. These are some of the disappointments we must contend with in politics.
Before I get into the debate on softwood lumber, I want to share with the House that I was just at the Westin Hotel, which is hosting the big tourism awards. Once again, Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier was a standout, with its ice hotel winning the top Canadian tourism award. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to congratulate those people. I invite everyone in Canada to come to Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier to discover this extraordinary, unique, ephemeral attraction that is built anew every year.
Now to the substance of the debate. If we look at the lineup—
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, thank you for reminding me. It is very important. I wish to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, an extraordinary member from British Columbia.
To continue, the topic we are debating tonight is an important sector of the Canadian economy. It is important in British Columbia, Quebec and other provinces in Canada.
Quebec is not yet a country. That is not what the Conservative Party is working towards, but we will protect Quebec.
I mentioned the ice hotel, which is just outside Quebec City. I am participating in tonight's debate because part of the riding I represent is more rural and is home to sawmills and lumber mills. In contrast, if we look at the list of all the Liberals who have spoken tonight, we see that they represent office towers and parking lots rather than rural areas that have sawmills and lumber mills.
I think we need to take this seriously. The government that has been in power for the last six years is trivializing the economy, as if it were not important, and is pushing the problem down the road. It is not offering any solutions. It is sad.
We are at the beginning of an economic recovery. I think it is important, at the beginning of an economic recovery, to get ahead of the game. We need to have the tools to attack. We need to have the workforce. If we look at the news, we see that the labour shortage is all around us.
Since I have little time remaining, I will simply say that we could complain about what the Liberals are doing. However, instead of complaining, I will propose a solution. I think it is important to work on resolving this problem. I think if we roll up our sleeves here in Canada and tell the Americans that we are no longer sending them our softwood lumber, that they are cut off for the next six months, then it is the U.S. citizens who will be asking their state governors to do what it takes to speed up the process.
Our Prime Minister is unable to exert any pressure. He does not have any leverage to force the U.S. government to do anything. The U.S. market is huge. I think we have to support this industry by cutting off exports to the U.S. and subsidizing the industry to ensure that the businesses can absorb the revenue losses. In six months, everything will go back to normal. I think we have to work on that. That could be a solution. I think we need to find solutions so that we can reopen our economy and be part of the recovery.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, my colleague is probably an exception to the rule tonight because he is one of the only Liberals who represents a riding that includes rural areas.
I am not saying conflict is entirely avoidable, but what keeps me up at night as an MP is the Liberal government's failure to act and the fact that it is not holding the cards or negotiating from a position of strength. I would like to talk about factors that are important in a negotiation. I want to be constructive and share some negotiation tips.
Number one, make the first move. In this case, President Biden beat us to it. Two, know what you want. When the Prime Minister showed up at the White House, did he know what he wanted? Did he talk about softwood lumber? I wonder about that.
Next, come up with best-case scenarios and avoid compromise. Make sure there is room to manoeuvre. Do not be intimidated. Avoid dead ends. Think win-win, not win-lose. Find solutions. Create a relationship with the person or country you are negotiating with. It does not seem to me that the current government has that kind of relationship with our biggest client, the United States.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, I thank my colleague from Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot, who was very open and engaged in our conversation when I tried to convince him to vote for me to become Speaker. I obviously was not elected, and I acknowledge that, since politics involves dealing with disappointment. That is what I did last week, and I am finally starting to accept it.
As for the member's question about solutions, I would say that the focus should always be on finding some leverage. It seems like right now, Canada is on its knees in front of the United States. Canada is not in a position to negotiate. It is still trying to beg for help from the international community, which is embarrassing. Earlier, a Bloc Québécois colleague said that Canada was back, but Canada keeps going backwards instead of forwards. That is what is disquieting.
Earlier there was talk of a partnership with other countries. The Conservative government is the one that put all that in place, and the incoming Liberal government just had to wrap it up. The Conservative government developed the model, though. That is a good thing, and I thank the Liberal government for following through, because it is important, economically speaking, to have customers and a good network.
We must find the solution. I do not know everything, but I suggested a possible way forward. I want to work with all parliamentarians in the interests of the Canadian economy.
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