MASSE IN THE HOUSE: On Border Perimeter Security November 29 & November 30

Brian Masse on Perimeter Security

November 30, 2011

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, how can anyone trust the government? Every time it negotiates with the Americans, it costs Canadian jobs and Canadian families lose out. That is the record. From the softwood lumber sell-out, thickening the border or new fees slapped on Canadians to the government's botched efforts on buy American, Conservatives have failed to defend the interests of Canadians every single time.

    When will the Minister of Foreign Affairs bring an agreement before Parliament? Will the Conservatives let Canadians see what they are giving away this time?

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is working with the Obama administration to try to allow trade to go back and forth between Canada and the United States. This is not just important, it is vital to the auto sector in southwestern Ontario and critical to the future economy of Windsor-Essex.

    The member opposite disagrees with free trade. He does not want us to trade with the United States. He does not want to trade with the United States. If he will not fight for jobs in Windsor-Essex, maybe he should step aside and let those of us on this side of the House do it.

November 29, 2011

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are not only dropping the ball internationally but also here at home.

    Under the secret deal the government is negotiating, Americans will have new powers to track Canadians. The government is keeping us in the dark about what this means for Canadians' privacy. The Privacy Commissioner is calling for more transparency, saying we should enter into the border deal with “both eyes wide open”, but the government is pulling the wool over the eyes of Canadians.

    When will it tell us what is on the table?

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, work is in progress with the Obama administration to try to establish an agreement where we can help protect and promote jobs in this country, where we can see more economic growth, where the border does not become a wall, so that we can have more trade and jobs here in Canada. That is important for every part of this country, but in no area of this country is it more important than in Windsor, Ontario, where the auto sector desperately needs less congestion at the border.

    We are committed to continuing to fight for jobs in Canada and we are committed to working with the Obama administration.

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we all know that when the government negotiates with Americans, it is Canadian families that lose.

    Protecting Canadians does not mean hiding the truth from them, but that is what the government is doing: softwood lumber, buy American, thickening the border, the list goes on and on. Now our privacy is at risk. Why can the government not come clean with Canadians and show what is being negotiated away in the secret deal?

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I say to my colleague opposite this is a work in progress. Work continues and when we have an announcement to make, I will certainly do that.

    Let me say this. We believe strongly in the rights of Canadians, we believe strongly in Canadian sovereignty, we believe in privacy and these are the types of values we bring to the negotiating table. What is beyond dispute is we have to protect Canadian jobs, we have to promote policies that will help job creation and economic growth. That is why this government is focused like no other government among the G7 that is getting results for the economy. We are going to continue to work hard to protect Canadian jobs.