Ms. Alexa McDonough
Mr. Speaker, we will just respectfully have to agree to disagree. A great many people in this country, from Newfoundland through to British Columbia, who have decades of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the shipbuilding industry, happen not to agree with the government on this and we happen to agree with them.
One of the reasons, if he wants to know why there is such concern, is that when there were a lot of concerns about the Jones act in the U.S. being exempted from NAFTA and a lot of people in the shipbuilding industry were saying that it was really going to be a blow to the industry, the Conservatives said, “No, this is a great deal”. The Liberals said they were opposed to it, but then they signed it anyway when they got into government. The Conservatives said it was a great deal and there was no problem, but of course we know that is not true.
Let me again quote Andrew McArthur, one of the foremost authorities. I do not have time to quote him at length, but he made it absolutely clear that NAFTA had been a disaster when he said:
Looking at NAFTA, we feel we were sold down the river. We cannot build for American shipowners, but American shipbuilders can build for Canadian shipowners....
They are suspicious. In the short term, they understand, as I have acknowledged, that the refurbishing of the fleet is a very positive thing for the existing shipbuilding industry, but it does not provide what they said was essential: if not a carve-out, then a clear, comprehensive, national shipbuilding policy. We still do not have it. On that basis, they and we cannot support this flawed agreement.
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act