Brian MASSE

MASSE, Brian, B.A. (Hons.)

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Windsor West (Ontario)
Birth Date
July 9, 1968
Website
http://brianmasse.ca
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=2347a7b8-8e45-4c51-bdc6-f6c32375ad50&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
brian.masse@parl.gc.ca
Profession
professor, program coordinator

Parliamentary Career

May 13, 2002 - May 23, 2004
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)
October 19, 2015 -
NDP
  Windsor West (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 356)


June 18, 2019

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

Madam Speaker, one of the things taking place right now is that Democrats in Congress are trying to negotiate a better deal based on the principles of enforcement particular to labour and the environment. I would like the member for Davenport to expand upon the reasons why we are pushing this through now, when one of the representatives, Congresswoman Dingell from Michigan, said, “We're not ready”, and Nancy Pelosi said, “No enforcement, no treaty.”

Given that we have two strong voices in the U.S. calling for support to improve labour and environmental enforcement provisions, which are critical for those who are disadvantaged and for gender equality, why are the Liberals trying to undermine the negotiations right now in the U.S.?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
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June 18, 2019

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise and talk about the auto industry, coming from the auto capital of Canada, Windsor.

We have seen trade relations erode, and we have seen our current footprint shrink, most notably in the last number of years. I think it is important to recognize that it was actually 1965 when Canada got the Auto Pact in place. We had a trade deficit with the United States, despite the fact that my region was actually the birthplace of the Canadian auto sector. It actually developed with Detroit.

Fast forward from 1965 and we go from an auto deficit with the United States to actually having a significant surplus, which led to some consternation in the United States. In fact, it was the Mulroney Conservative government that killed the Auto Pact with the original NAFTA agreement. That is the reality.

What I would like to know from the Conservatives is what the difference would be in the auto sector with regard to these new negotiations and this trade agreement, given the fact that it was the Mulroney government that actually got rid of the Auto Pact.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
Full View Permalink

June 18, 2019

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is important to recognize that democrats in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Dingell and others, are proposing changes on the enforcement provisions with regard to labour and the environment, which include some of the women's equality issues the member noted. The effort to fast-track this will eliminate the potential of the agreement that relates to enforcement on labour and the environment.

I would like the hon. member to reflect on the fact that the Liberals are undermining those efforts and that we could sign a deal that later on excludes the elements that have been included in the United States.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
Full View Permalink

June 18, 2019

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, continuing with the auto industry, the government often advocates, quite falsely, though it likes to take that position, that it has made $60 billion in auto investment in its four years in office. That pales in comparison to Detroit alone that has around $12 billion. In fact, since signing this agreement, Oshawa has been closed and a shift has been lost in Windsor, whereas General Motors is investing billions in Detroit in autonomous new vehicles with electrification. Chrysler and Fiat investments in Detroit are upward of $6 billion to $8 billion. Others have invested, Ford included, in just one city alone. In fact, Brazil and other countries have received more than Canada.

Dennis DesRosiers has shown that the Liberals' plan for auto has decreased our overall footprint to the United States. Given the fact that there is more investment and there are restrictions on it in Canada, how can he claim this deal will be good for auto when there are more taxes as production increases?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
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June 18, 2019

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be able to rise today and speak to Bill C-100. I will be splitting my time with the member for Windsor—Tecumseh from our region, which I am quite glad to do. It is important. I know that this has been portrayed as a Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement with regard to some of the discussion with the government that has been taking place. However, really this is a USMCA and that needs to be told, because this is a concession-based deal.

I was in Washington at the time of the decision-making, meeting with trade lawyers as part of the Canada-U.S. parliamentary association. Trade lawyers going through the documents from the first day to this day know that this is a concession-based deal for Canada. That is why it is a U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. The government got out-negotiated and out-foxed by Mexico with regard to its position on the negotiations and, more important, also with the concession-based agreement that we have to this day.

We have to live with a number of provisions in this agreement. At the same time, there are Democrats who are looking to improve the deal right now in Washington, in particular on labour and also on environmental improvements that will increase our competitiveness, not only domestically but also within our trading bloc for the future. The current government is undermining those efforts by ramming this through now and doing it in a way that is consistently undermining even the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Dingell from Michigan and others who have been advocating for the improvement of those issues.

I would say that no matter what we do with regard to the situation right now, we should be focusing on the best decision for our future. Giving ourselves at least an opportunity for the Democrats to enhance our capabilities would be the smart and wise thing to do. In fact, it would fix some of the damage with this agreement.

I am going to go through a couple of things, but first and foremost we have to look at a Prime Minister here who set upon this himself, who actually initiated the fact that he wanted a new deal. The deal comes because of the Prime Minister's negotiating it. We would think that when he started with something he would want to come out better and further ahead. However, as we have heard, softwood lumber was not even part of the equation here. One of the cankerous elements with regard to our trading agreement with the United States, softwood lumber was left off the table to begin with.

We go into negotiations and we get steel tariffs that are put on our auto and other manufacturers. To this day, the government has collected a billion dollars from steelmakers across Canada. It has been an increased tax on them, and the government has not rebated it back to the actual companies. In fact, very little has gotten back when the Liberals promised it would be a dollar-for-dollar exchange. It has made it more difficult to compete. In fact, some have given up competing because they know they could not actually carry the debt load. The government was taking their money from them and never returning it. It is over a billion dollars.

At that time when we were looking for a new deal, coming from a number of perspectives, we had lumber left off the table. We still have unresolved professions and qualifications that go back to the previous deal. With regard to this today, if this deal does not pass right now, we go back to NAFTA to a better deal. That is what happens. It is clear that our path forward, if this does not happen right now, is that nothing changes. We continue without the concessions on dairy, copyright, auto and intellectual property. That is what is going to take place.

Regarding the current steel issue, first, it did not start until this Prime Minister tried to negotiate something, so he created that himself. Second, it has so many escape holes through it that it could be easily undermined right from the get-go. It is really a Pyrrhic victory. Let us be clear. If Trump wanted to get out of the NAFTA that we have right now, we would then have to have a process that involves Congress, the Senate and legal aspects that would be involved to pull us back to the free trade agreement. Past that, we would go back to the World Trade Organization agreement.

We have a long, storied road to go down before we would have a series of things that would undermine our current competitiveness.

It was argued that we should do a deal with the United States because we can develop certainty, but certainty has not been created in this deal. In fact, some of the implementation processes that are in place give more conditions to cabinet to change regulations in the future. We could change those regulations unilaterally, without this Parliament and without the other House looking at it. Again, that would leave more uncertainty. It would not create the conditions that we want because the president creates uncertainty because that is what he wants. He wants to destabilize things, so that they have relocation back in the U.S. This agreement would not achieve those objectives.

What is important is that we saw some efforts taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives. We saw improvements to create more specifics, for example, on the environment and labour.

I come from the Windsor-Detroit region. Thirty-five per cent of economic trade activity in my riding crosses over the U.S. border every day. That is about $1 billion. Thirty-five per cent of our daily trade with the United States takes place along two kilometres of border. We have been fighting for a new border crossing for some time and we are finally going to get a new one.

Interestingly enough, we are seeing the rollout of community benefits, something New Democrats proposed from the get-go. We are the only party that has consistently fought for a publicly owned border crossing, while the Conservatives often dallied with the DRTP, a private entity group from OMERS that was a complete and utter disaster.

At times, the Liberals backed out of the process with comments and positions proposed by former transport people and representatives like Joe Volpe and others. New Democrats have consistently been trying to get a new border crossing built. We are proud to be the ones who continue to advocate for local supports for the community that will make things better.

With regards to the auto industry, as I said earlier, the auto pact was dismantled because of Brian Mulroney's free trade agreement. The Conservatives at that time left an escape hatch open for the WTO challenge by the Japanese and other automakers, which led to us going from a revelled state to where, under the Liberals, our footprint has shrunk quite dramatically when it comes to the auto industry.

The Liberals often brag about the $6 billion they say they have invested during their four years in office. Detroit alone is upwards of $12 billion to $14 billion in investment and most of it being in the innovative sector with regards to electrification and automation, so we have potential access to those markets, but the government has not worked on that plan.

The labour and environmental standards that the democrats are successfully trying to negotiate right now are related to ensuring there are measurables. Measurables make sure Mexican wages are not going to be used to undermine. There is no enforcement on that. There is also no enforcement on the environment.

Mexican labour representatives have been here in Ottawa advocating for those enforcement measures as well, and that is important. They know that with enforcement, they will see better terms and conditions for themselves and their families.

It is important to recognize that if this agreement does not go forward in its current form right now, our trade relations remain constant and steady under our current position. We do not get concessions on labour, the environment, digital property, intellectual property and supply management. We do not get concessions on a whole host of things in this agreement. That is why we believe in giving the democrats a chance to fix some of these enforcements so we can get those benefits. That would be better in the long term.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
Full View Permalink