Tracey calls on Government to protect jobs in NAFTA talks

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that NAFTA's side agreement on labour standards is weak and unenforceable. The result is negative effects on workers' safety and fair wages, dragging down standards across North America. Today in southwestern Ontario Unifor Local 88 CAMI members are on strike, experiencing first hand the effects of companies relocating production to exploit these weak labour rules.

Reports from renegotiation indicate Americans are opposed to any changes to labour or their regressive right to work laws. How can the Liberals expect to achieve meaningful progress on NAFTA labour rights to protect Canadian jobs?

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. We support NAFTA, and we believe NAFTA has created jobs and growth in Canada and across North America.

Having said that, we believe this modernization negotiation is an opportunity to make a good agreement even better, and I want to assure the member opposite that a very strong element of the Canadian negotiating position is to push for higher labour standards.