Tracey Calls on the Government to put People Over Profit in NAFTA Talks

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the most sued country in the world under investor state dispute settlement provisions in NAFTA's chapter 11, allowing companies to sue governments over anything they believe has reduced their profits. The threat of chapter 11 challenges has had a chilling effect on government action and eroded our democracy.

Numerous stakeholders insist chapter 11 should be removed, and today, an Ekos poll reported that 63% of Canadians agree. Our trade deals cannot put profits before people.

Will the minister finally listen to Canadians and eliminate chapter 11?

Hon. Andrew Leslie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-US Relations, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, Canada welcomes the modernization of NAFTA in support of our middle class and those working hard to join it. Our objectives for a modernized NAFTA include reforming the investor state—

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our objectives for a modernized NAFTA include reforming the investor state dispute settlement, chapter 11, and we want to make sure that we have a government's unassailable right to regulate in the public interest.

We will always stand up for our national economic interests and for Canadian values. Chapter 11 is very much under discussion.