Madam Speaker, since this is the first time I have spoken in this Parliament, I want take this opportunity to thank the residents and families of Mississauga-East—Cooksville. I thank them for their support, their trust, their belief in a better tomorrow and for electing me for a second term. I would be remiss if I did not thank my greatest supporters, my wife Christina and my twin boys, Sebastien and Alexander.
When I get the opportunity to visit schools, I meet many children, such as the young girl who loves science and wants to be our next scientist to discover the cure for cancer or the little boy who loves to plant things in the yard and will be our next farmer who will grow the safe and healthy food we eat. They are why we do this work, for them.
We do this work for the seniors who have toiled and worked so hard to build our country. We want to support them with a life of dignity and respect. We do this work for some of our newest Canadians, so they have the opportunity to contribute fully and fulfill their Canadian dreams.
I am not alone with these desires. I have heard them from all members of Parliament from all sides of the House.
An intersection in my riding of Mississauga-East—Cooksville, at Hurontario and Dundas, is called the four corners. At any time of day, people from the four corners of the world will be at that intersection. They have come to Canada to share and contribute to our goals and values, those of peace, democracy, freedom, fairness of the rule of law, safety, security, opportunity, teamwork, friendship and trust, all the things we value as Canadians. It is the same values that brought all of us to Canada, and our forefathers.
I will take everybody back to the U.S. election debates of 2016, when the threat of ripping up NAFTA came to light. That existential threat soon became real. Our country was seized with this new reality and we rose to the challenge. We became a unified force, team Canada. The Canadian people, the industry and labour sectors, all levels of government, indigenous people and all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, manufacturing and environment, worked together to protect and enhance this agreement.
Canadians believed in the plan. Canadians believed in the process. Canadians ultimately believed in the goal. The goal was to have a win-win-win agreement. Canadians believed that was possible, and we made it possible.
I want to thank the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister for their work in bringing all members of the House together, across the aisle and on this side. We understood how big and important this was.
I appreciate the opportunity I had to be on the international trade committee, to criss-cross the country and listen to Canadians and stakeholders. We received 47,000 submissions on the new NAFTA to ensure that this agreement was good for Canada and Canadians and that we could all prosper through free and fair trade.
That did not only happen here. We went to the United States, through our committee and ministers' offices. Many members here had the opportunity to speak to senators and representatives, We were able to share with our friends, the Americans, how important this agreement was, not only to us but to the U.S. and Mexico, to create this trading block that has brought so much prosperity to all of us.
I want to thank Steve Verheul and the amazing negotiators we have in Canada, who were at the table and did not give an inch when it came to our values. They understood that we were open to change, to making things better and to modernizing this agreement, which is what we did. We did it through the voices of the House, through stakeholders, through much consultation and through listening to people.
That is the difference with this agreement, which has put Canada in an enviable place, being the only G7 country to have agreements with the Pacific Rim, Europe and North America. This agreement covers 1.5 billion people. In this economic region, we are talking about $23 trillion, with $2 billion going between the United States and Canada every single day.
This agreement touches everyone in a good way. It is a progressive agreement that takes into account indigenous peoples, our cultural sector, the environment and our labour sector, many things that others never thought could be touched. However, we took a progressive approach to this agreement. Through that plan, that process and the belief that this was the right way to do things, we were able to achieve this good agreement for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
That is why I am so proud of the work all of us have done. I say that to both sides of the aisles, because the input that came from the opposition, and many of those who were skeptical, was important. It helped shape the agreement to what it is today, and much of that input was brought into the agreement.
In my riding of Mississauga-East—Cooksville, having met with stakeholders, small businesses and some bigger enterprises, I have heard positive reactions regarding supply chains and the many workers they employ. People are saying that we got it done.
It was difficult. At many times, we did not know if this agreement would happen, but we have reached an agreement. We are at a stage right now where we must all come together again in this Parliament. We come together because it is an opportunity for us to debate the agreement and talk about the many wins and benefits that will come to Canadians in all different sectors, but also an opportunity to think about and discuss the fact that we have a very good agreement for Canadians.
I have heard some of the debates, as well as some of the questions that have been asked and answered by members. I always look at the glass as being half full. I have heard about things that we could do in the future that may be better, and I agree: We can always do better. Better is always possible. We know that. The opportunity to debate and hear from members about how we can make things better in the future is terrific.
At this time, we also need to come together and understand that there has been a significant amount of listening, working and toiling by all of us. We have to get this agreement past the finish line for the prosperity of all Canadians and businesses, so that we can bring them the stability they have been looking for, for a very long time. This modernized agreement is good for Canadians. It is going to provide the predictability and stability that businesses and workers need.