In Debate: C-392 Irene's Made in Canada Legislation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I thank all the members who have made a contribution to this debate.

This bill, my made in Canada bill, will go a long way toward building new markets for Canadian suppliers, strengthening sustainability and fulfilling our environmental commitment while encouraging Canadian entrepreneurship. This bill will help support sectors in crisis, including the auto, steel and forestry sectors, and replace the government's ad hoc approach with a consistent policy.

Local spending of stimulus investment is necessary for effective job creation and job protection. Canadians expect their government to invest their tax dollars wisely. By investing in our communities, we can support local jobs and generate more tax revenue which in turn supports our families and national services.

Though successive federal governments have given away many rights under different trade agreements, such as NAFTA and the WTO, they have also explicitly maintained rights in regard to some areas of procurement. The exceptions include federal transfers to provinces and municipalities which do not fall under international trade agreements.

There are also two broad areas of exemptions under NAFTA, one for purchases of goods for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Department of National Defence, and the other for goods related to general federal government procurement, including things such as shipbuilding and repair, urban rail and transportation equipment and materials, communications equipment, research and development, health and social services, financial and related services, utilities, and agricultural products.

Despite these exemptions, millions of tax dollars have been spent on acquiring goods and services from foreign countries.