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Results: 1 - 15 of 162
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-05-03 12:35
Thank you, Madam Chair.
My question will be for Mr. Daniel Breton.
Mr. Breton, what you have talked about, the national security issue, is so important. Unfortunately, many Canadians are still not aware of what is happening in the energy world.
When you talk about batteries, I'm sure you know and many others may know that it is not just limited to electric vehicles. You are also talking about batteries for energy storage, which greatly improves the viability of a lot of the renewable energy generation that you are talking about.
A trillion-dollar transportation segment is moving fast, but unfortunately, many Canadians are still not aware of what is happening there. I'm so glad that you are here talking about these things.
Canada and the U.S. recently agreed to strengthen the Canada-U.S. joint action plan on critical minerals collaboration, which you also mentioned. We have some of the rare minerals and other critical minerals for battery generation. This joint action plan is to target a net-zero industrial transformation, batteries for zero-emission vehicles and renewable energy storage.
We have agreed with the U.S., and many people, many Canadians, are not aware that in the recent budget we proposed a critical battery mineral centre of excellence at Natural Resources Canada. This would coordinate federal policies and programs on critical minerals and work with provinces, territories and other partners. That is also very important. In the recent budget, again, many Canadians are not aware that we have invested in federal research and development to advance critical battery mineral processing and refining expertise.
The U.S. has also only recently woken up to the fact that battery manufacturing is critical, whereas in the world, I think, as of today, some people think that the manufacturing capacity is still in China, with some technologies with some Japanese manufacturers and Korean manufacturers. If I'm not wrong, in the U.S. as of today, there are about five major battery manufacturing facilities with investments of over $2 billion each, so it is very critical and I'm glad that you're talking about it.
Can you let us know or can you re-emphasize what we need to do? I personally have been calling for a Canada-wide task force to make sure that we have a comprehensive strategy to develop minerals, to develop technologies and to develop a manufacturing industry in batteries.
Can you re-emphasize what it is we need to look at in the short, medium and long term on the issue of batteries development, which, as you rightly have pointed out several times, is a national security issue?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-05-03 12:41
My time is limited.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-30 13:27
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ambassador de Boer, I'm glad to hear your statement.
There are a lot of rumours that Canada is opposing the TRIPS waiver at the WTO. Many people don't realize that Canada is actually working with the TRIPS waiver proponents like South Africa and India, and of course the Africa group, the LDCs, on how best we can address the current situation. Many people think that if IP is relaxed and is made available certainly we'll get the vaccines, but most people don't understand that it's not just the IP. We need other inputs. We need manpower. We need.... Whosoever wants to manufacture should have access to the sophisticated supply chain.
As you pointed out, discussion on historical, general hypothetical IP issues is one thing, but we need to focus on what exactly is required to be done now so that vaccines are made available.
Madam Chair, for the people who may not know, the director-general of WTO is advocating the third way. It means facilitating technology transfer within the framework of multilateral rules so as to not just encourage research and innovation, but at the same time, allow licencing arrangements that help to scale up the manufacturing of medical products.
Ambassador de Boer, let me start with a very simple question. Can you reconfirm that Canada is not opposing, per se, the TRIPS waiver? Is that accurate?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-30 13:30
Thank you.
That is the thing. Many times people think that there's one simple solution: Waive the IP rights and everything will be smooth and suddenly the vaccines will become available. That is not the thing. We have to understand all the issues, so that it should not lead to some unintended consequences in the medium- to long-term range.
In addition to IP, we should know what the manufacturing capacity is that is available today that is not being used due to IP issues. The partnerships in the products like these vaccines, which has a lot of science behind it, is probably much more important than the IP itself.
Ambassador, can you tell me, on this unused manufacturing capacity that's been almost bandied about, on how there's a lot of unused manufacturing capacity in developing countries that could be manufacturing COVID vaccines...? While we have to recognize that not all developing countries have any manufacturing capacity, can you just highlight on the issue of whether there is any unused manufacturing capacity?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-26 12:01
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I want to recognize that the kinds of investments the Government of Canada has made to support businesses through this pandemic have already started paying off, from the Canada emergency business account to many other measures that support Canadian businesses.
The Bank of Canada has now revised its GDP growth forecast for the year to 6.5%. That is up from 4% it had forecast in January. We know that trade accounts for the bulk of our GDP. The last numbers I have are from Macrotrends, showing that trade accounted for about 65% of GDP in 2019. So there you go: the Bank of Canada is forecasting increased GDP growth of 6.5% against 4% it had predicted in January.
With regard to the other aspects, the minister mentioned the Canadian Commercial Corporation. In my view, that corporation has much more potential to help Canadian businesses, especially the SMEs.
The minister also mentioned that, unfortunately, this pandemic has increased the demand for protectionism from different countries, and Canada as a trading nation should be wary of this. We should be watchful.
We have already entered into many free trade agreements across the world. Can we move the resources that have been allocated in negotiating the free trade agreements in order to implement, and allow Canadian businesses to avail themselves of the benefits of, all of the free trade agreements we have signed?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-26 12:04
I understand that. I'm sorry to interrupt. I have very limited time.
We have made investments. There's no doubt about it. Over many years we have been making investments in FTA and other related things, but it is time for us to get a benefit out of that. I'm not seeing that amongst the SMEs, especially the SMEs in the knowledge-based sector. They need to be helped to make use of all the free trade agreements that we have in place so that they can contribute to the Canadian economy.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-26 12:05
Coming back to the knowledge-based sectors, we know that the global economy is going towards a knowledge-based economy. We had it at one stage in terms of our natural resources—oil, gas, minerals and forestry products—but five to 10 years down the road, it is the knowledge-based sector and the technologies such as artificial intelligence and other robotics and automation that are going to create a massive impact.
They have invested in artificial intelligence, photonics and genomics, etc. What are trying to do to help these specialized sectors take advantage of all of the FTAs we have?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-19 12:44
Thank you, Madam Chair.
My first question is to Mr. Mark Agnew.
Mark, you and I both support free trade agreements. We have talked, I think, in previous committees too. With CUSMA and with CETA, we have these free trade agreements. Those have made us dependent on our partners to keep the supply of essential goods and services open. Now, with the current situation, do you think our dependence for critical pharmaceutical products due to free trade agreements has come back to bite us?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-19 12:45
Does it mean that we have to develop a new strategy to have self-reliance on critical items that are required to keep our society functioning?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-19 12:46
Thanks.
My next question, Madam Chair, is to Mr. Brian Daley.
Brian, you talked about a reasonable approach. You are basically, if I'm not wrong, suggesting a sort of reasonable approach that creates interdependence that will ensure that the supplies are there when we need them, if my understanding is right, and you are opposing the waiver.
You mentioned CUSMA and CETA. They have solutions, but they seem to have not worked, or it may be possible that the solutions currently available may not yield results in the immediate term. What do you think?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-19 12:47
I think I heard differing views. Mr. Marc-André Gagnon seems to suggest that production capacity is not a constraint, while Mark Agnew seems to suggest that production capacity is a constraint.
Mr. Marc-André Gagnon, can you address this issue, please?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-19 12:49
Mr. Agnew, what do you say?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-16 14:45
Madam Chair, I'm really concerned, when the representatives of the global industry start facilitating partisan political attacks. Complaining about not getting a meeting is more on a matter of style than of substance.
Mr. Lipkus, I have a question for you. You mentioned TRIPS article 8, article 31 and article 6, and you also mentioned amendments made in 2003 such that there are flexibilities available. If I understand you right, there's no need for any knee-jerk reaction to battle the current pandemic by going for changes to the TRIPS. Am I correct?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-04-16 14:47
Thank you, Mr. Lipkus.
Madam Chair, I would like to give my remaining time to my colleague Rachel Bendayan.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2021-03-26 13:12
Madam Chair.
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