Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cons mismanaged Canada/EU trade deal, but great at secrecy

I posed the following question yesterday (May 28th) during Question Period in the House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have grossly mismanaged the Canada-EU trade deal. The only thing they have done well is hide the details from Canadians. They promised $280 million for Newfoundland and Labrador in compensation.

I asked the minister some simple questions on the order paper. Simple questions like: What was the purpose of the money? What was it to be spent on? What conditions are on the funding? However, the President of the Treasury Board claimed cabinet secrecy, and he refused to answer the questions.

Canadians deserve transparency when it comes to trade deals. My question is simple. What are Conservatives trying to hide?

Mr. Speaker, our trade agreement with the European Union is a remarkable opportunity for Canadians to enjoy unprecedented market access to 500 million affluent consumers. It opens up a fish and seafood market worth $25 billion a year. It is the largest market of its kind in the world. We know that Atlantic Canadians will be major beneficiaries of these new market opportunities.

In the meantime, our discussions with Newfoundland and Labrador to assist them in transitioning out of minimum processing requirements are ongoing.

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