December 10, 1987

NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Cassidy:

The Tory propaganda machine.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

We have helped explain this agreement to Canadians, and equally important we have listened to the views and the concerns of Canadians in every region of this country.

Apart from close consultation with the private sector, the Government undertook to work closely and co-operatively with the provinces. The First Ministers were briefed and consulted regularly as the negotiations progressed. They received briefings with slide presentations on every detail of the agreement. Typifying the co-operative spirit which this Government has fostered, through the Meech Lake Accord and other federal-provincial co-operative endeavours-even our Liberal friend from the Province of Ontario stated that the new attitude is very positive for Canada-the First Ministers were kept fully apprised, not through personal briefings but by a detailed network of contacts at the senior officials level.

In fact, since the negotiations began, we have held approximately nine First Ministers' meetings where the free trade agreement was the single agenda item; three First Ministers' Conferences where free trade was extensively discussed, most recently in Toronto on November 26 and 27. There have been 19 full day committee meetings of the senior officials forum, the continuing committee on trade negotiations, and scores of working group meetings on every subject of the free trade agreement. More than 500 documents have been shared with the provinces. In addition, provincial trade Ministers and designated Ministers have met with the Minister for International Trade on several occasions to review the free trade issues. No previous Government has involved the provinces so extensively in such a comprehensive process of consultations and information sharing.

It is not only the private sector and the provinces that had an opportunity to express their views and participate on the process. On March 16 of this year the House debated a motion introduced by the Minister for International Trade:

That this House supports the negotiation of a bilateral trading arrangement with the United States, as part of the Government's multilateral trade policy, while protecting our political sovereignty,-

Done!

December 10, 1987

social programs,-

Done!

agricultural marketing systems,-

Done!

the auto industry-

Done, and-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Cassidy:

Done in.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blackburn (Brant):

Sold out.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

and our unique cultural identity.

Done!

Hon. Members opposite were given a full opportunity to express their views on that occasion.

To ensure further that Parliament fully take account of the views of the Canadian people on this important national issue, the Standing Committee on External Affairs and International Trade of this House, representing all Parties, has been holding hearings in Ottawa and across the country.

Today I listened to the Leader of the socialist Party stating that all those groups and individuals could not appear before the committee. I do not know how many committees he has served, probably not too many because he has primarily been the Leader of the Party, but 1 can tell him that there has not been a committee that I have served on where it was humanly possible to accommodate all the witnesses who wanted to appear before any committee, no matter what it was.

For over one month now this committee has been hearing why the free trade agreement is so important to Canadians in all regions of the country. It held hearings in Vancouver, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, and St. John's. Prior to that, hearings were held for two and a half weeks here in Ottawa.

The Minister for International Trade and senior officials of the trade negotiations office have appeared before the committee whenever requested to ensure that the terms of the agreement are clearly understood. Women's groups, labour leaders, representatives of our First Nations, trade associations, have all had and are having a chance to be heard. Altogether, this committee has now heard from nearly 200 Canadian organizations and individuals from every province and territory in Canada.

Furthermore, despite the large majority of Conservative Members on that committee, which reflects the composition of this House, Members from the Opposition have been given an unprecedented degree of influence to guide the course of these hearings, including the power to select fully one-half of all the witnesses invited to appear before the committee. I do not think that anything has been fairer.

Supply

I do not understand the weeping and gnashing of teeth today of the Leader of the socialist Party, because there have been over 200 representations. If the Hon. Member took time to analyse the composition of those who appeared, I am sure he would find that virtually every corner of this country was represented by one group, organization, or individuals who appeared before the committee. Alone, the churches that appeared before the committee represented a very large crosssection of Canada.

To round out this comprehensive consultative process, the standing foreign affairs committee of the other place has been holding public hearings on the free trade agreement for nearly one month. I might say, Mr. Speaker, it was a study by the Senate that also supported Canada entering into free trade. It was the Liberal dominated Senate that recommended that the Government enter into trade negotiations with the United States.

The Senate committee has been receiving highly detailed evidence and testimony from a wide range of Canadian experts and specialists, and making an extremely important contribution to the public dialogue on this critical issue. This adds up to a major effort of consultation, allowing the Canadian people in all provinces and territories an unprecedented degree of input and awareness. It is a reflection of the commitment of the Government to hear the views of the people of Canada as individuals-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blackburn (Brant):

How can you read that with a straight face, John?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

-through their provincial Governments, through their federal MPs, through their business, economic, labour, and church leaders.

The Hon. Member opposite laughs. The church leaders appeared before the committee. What is he laughing at? I mean, what is so funny?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Cassidy:

You ignored them.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

Why is the NDP laughing about the church leaders appearing before the committee?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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?

Some Hon. Members:

We are laughing at you.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

The Hon. Member for Brant is laughing at church people appearing before the committee. What is so funny about that?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blackburn (Brant):

Go ahead, John.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

What is so funny about that? This is only one element that chose not to participate in the consultative process.

The groups were offered the opportunity of confidential briefings and refused. They should remember that. The Leader of the New Democratic Party and his buddy, the right hon.

December 10, 1987

Supply

gentleman in the Liberal Party, say that everything is secret, that everything is done in secret, and that nobody knows what is going on. They were offered briefings, they were offered confidential briefings. Not only were they offered them; they asked for them.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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LIB

Leonard Donald Hopkins

Liberal

Mr. Hopkins:

Briefings in secret.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Secret briefings.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

They asked for them. They asked for confidential briefings. We offered it, and they turned it down.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

They didn't want to do things in secret, under cover, or in camera.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

Is it not terrible that they turned it down? Dear, oh, dear! They stand up with this great song and dance about how badly they have been treated on this. There has never been, to my knowledge, as much consultation or as much involvement with the Canadian people in an agreement.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

You should go to Kamloops and say that.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

NDP Members sit there and howl. They know, for example, that the Auto Pact was never brought to the House. It was negotiated in secret. It was signed. It was a fait accompli. There was absolutely-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 82-CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT-EXTENSION OF DEADLINE
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December 10, 1987