Harper Conservative MP, Joy Smith has just sent out another taxpayer funded mailer asking the question “Do Canadians benefit from free trade?”
Really? Of course the answer is yes.
Canada is one of the most trade-reliant nations on earth. One in every five jobs is linked directly to exports. Canada depends on open borders and mutually beneficial trade for the success of our economy.
I’m not sure why Joy Smith asked that question unless it was to suggest that only a Conservative Government could successfully negotiate free trade agreements with other countries?
Let’s look at trade under the Harper government.
Recently, Export Development Canada loaned German company, Volkswagen, $526 million U.S. to help expand Volkswagen’s activities in Tennessee and Mexico. This is a puzzling move on the part of the Harper government. Volkswagen is 20% state owned and its total profits last year were 12.7 billion euros. Furthermore under this agreement there is no commitment by Volkswagen to actually use Canadian suppliers or to purchase anything from Canada.
Similar incentives to lure investments to Canada with subsidies to Volkswagen have failed. For example, Volkswagen sold its aluminum wheels plant in Barrie, Ontario in 1996 despite Canadian rebates on auto duties. Ontario lost a bid to lure Audi AG (a subsidiary of Volkswagen) in the early 1990’s and in 2008 Ontario lost out to… Tennessee… as the new Volkswagen assembly plant location.
Shouldn’t Joy Smith be asking “what is a reasonable use of Canadian capital?”
The Liberal Party of Canada supports free trade because it means higher paying jobs for Canadians and also supports using Canadian capital to attract new investment and create jobs here at home and that “benefits Canadians”.
Kildonan – St. Paul