MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Questioning the Government on the Closure of More Border Crossings
December 15th, 2011 - 7:42pm
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, closing border crossings just makes matters worse. These crossings are the lifeblood of communities across the country. Why do the Conservatives not understand?
Details of the border deal negotiated behind closed doors are just leaking out now and it is not good news for border communities and their families. It turns out that part of the secret negotiations was looking at closing eight border crossings and reducing service at many more.
Why is the government shutting these crossings down? Why did it keep this secret for an entire year?
Ms. Candice Hoeppner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, CPC): Mr. Speaker, no decisions have been made regarding the draft report that the member is referring to.
Our government is focused on ensuring that the shared border that we have with the U.S. is secure while also easing the flow of legitimate trade and travel.
We are investing in our borders and we will continue to do so.
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we all want smoother border crossings, but the government is not helping when it is shutting down crossings completely.
The Prime Minister had a year to come clean on his plan to close border crossings and he did not. He had a year to be honest with Canadians and he was not. Instead, he chose silence in Parliament and a fancy photo op at the White House.
We see yet again, every time the Conservatives negotiate with Americans, Canadian families lose. Why are they selling out border communities yet again?
Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of the question. No decisions in that regard have been made.
What is on the table is our desire, our hope, and our efforts to ensure that the border is not as thick as it has grown in recent years so that we can have more people and more trade cross the border. That will be tremendously important to the auto worker in Windsor, so we could ensure that they will become the most competitive auto sector in the world.
Why will the member not stand up for auto workers in Windsor and stand up for our agreement with President Obama?