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Q&A - Question 2

2. Jobs:
a) Multinational industries have a major influence on Canadian health, jobs, and laws. They can, through NAFTA, receive ‘damage’ costs AND pollute our air, soil and waters with impunity if they can show that our environmental laws impact their ability to make money. What will you do about this?

CINDY DERKAZ

The “new NAFTA” or CUSMA has an environmental chapter (unlike NAFTA which dealt with environmental issues in a side agreement) which formalizes how the three countries will cooperate on environmental protection and conservation. It includes a commitment not to fail to enforce parties’ environmental laws in ways that affect trade or investment between the parties (Article 24.4). This standard commitment has two new noteworthy features: it includes the modern caveat about the sovereign right to exercise discretion in environmental enforcement, in terms of priority-setting, resource-allocation, etc. And it has a pioneering broad definition of “affecting trade or investment between the parties” that makes this provision much more meaningful. Further, thanks to a hard line taken by Minister Freeland and the Canadian negotiators, the dispute resolution provision of NAFTA has been retained.  I support this progress and will advocate for protection of Canadian environmental sovereignty in trade negotiations.

HARWINDER SANDHU

The new CUSMA (NAFTA) agreement made many concessions to the US including supply management, the price of medicine, and others. Our Climate Plan lays out a clear path that ensures people and the environment both win. It makes big polluters clean up or pay up including those multinational industries.

KYLE DELFING

The PPC believes in protecting our environment and will continue to be vigilante about monitoring the activity of multinational corporations. The NAFTA (actually USMC) has not been signed by the US yet. Until it is finalize it is premature to determine actual impact. As currently presented, it appears to be a disaster and blame clearly needs to be placed in the laps of the Liberal Government and the non-negotiating skills of the Freeland Team.

MARC REINARZ

Multinational industries have a major influence on Canadian health, jobs, and laws. They can, through NAFTA, receive ‘damage’ costs AND pollute our air, soil and waters with impunity if they can show that our environmental laws impact their ability to make money. What will you do about this?

As a long-time international trade professional, I have intimate knowledge of the arguments corporations use to threaten to pull out of Canada, or pose other conditions, should laws become too restrictive, whether environmental, employment or health related. 

By standing up to their threats they can be pressured into complying as Canada is a market they won’t just drop to let another corporation in.

Corporations that wish to settle in Canada have to abide by laws that, at least, meet the environmental laws we will have at the time. They will need to prove they are aware that they have to adapt to changes in the regulations that may increase mitigation matter at a later stage. No grand-fathering rights.

The same will apply to Canadian companies.

Any provision to a corporation in Canada to receive compensation for a change in regulation must be negotiated out of any existing agreement, whether NAFTA or any other trade agreement. I do believe that the WTO is working to prohibit such provisions, or will be soon.

MEL ARNOLD

The SNC-Lavalin scandal demonstrated the incredible pressure and influence that a multinational corporation can exert, with success, when it targets a government as pliable as the Trudeau government. I support law and order and the principle of equality under the law; it should not matter who you are or who you know that determines justice- what you do is what matters.

As you know, trilateral renegotiations of NAFTA welcomed by the Trudeau government resulted in the signing of the Canada-United States- Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) which will replace NAFTA once it is ratified by all signatories. To date, only Mexico has ratified CUSMA as the Canadian ratification bill died on the Order Paper and the US Congress has yet to initiate its ratification legislation.

Hopefully we will know in the next year whether North American trade will proceed under the former regime of NAFTA or the new CUSMA agreement that could be yet amended through ratification legislations in Canada or the US.

If the final text of the CUSMA includes any condition allowing any entity to pollute our air soil and waters with impunity, I will strongly oppose the condition in Parliament.

b) There are cases (e.g. Lavington Glass Plant and Nanaimo logging company) where a multinational company buys a Canadian company, then later (possibly having run it into the ground) closes it down to conserve jobs in another country. We lose well-paying jobs. How would you act to prevent this happening in the first place?

CINDY DERKAZ

This is a complex issue that would require a case by case analysis. As the MP, I would be a voice for local jobs and would work with business and employees to find solutions.

HARWINDER SANDHU

Investing in services that people rely on is good for workers and good for business. Canadians know that and so do businesses. Investments like pharmacare will save businesses a lot of money, more than $600 for every employee they currently insure.  Strong public services, affordability and a skilled workforce are all important factors for companies deciding where to invest. We will help companies reduce emissions and keep jobs here in Canada. New Democrats are making a commitment to workers most impacted by the changes in our economy that they will not pay the price of action on climate change. We will work together with labour, employers, and the provinces and territories to find solutions for workers and communities, including dedicated employment support combining access to expanded EI benefits, re-training, and job placement services, paired with significant investments to create quality, local jobs and support thriving communities.

KYLE DELFING

With respect to the emotional outpouring of the questionnaire, the term “running a business into the ground” hardly applies to the Lavington Glass Plant. The PPC promises to lower corporate taxes and will eliminate the Carbon Tax. These two commitments to business will allow failing businesses to compete on the world stage, while generating profits and subsequently creating long-term employment, for businesses such as the Lavington Glass Plant.

MARC REINARZ

Subsidies to an industry that claims of itself to be profitable, cannot stop soon enough. 

The statistics given for transition to renewable energy sources related to job creation are based on economies that are not necessarily fossil fuel producers, except for Norway.

Canada’s oil sand bitumen, which we export to the US, and which is mostly used in the petro-chemical industry to produce asphalt, roofing, solvents and, most important of all, carbon fiber used in wind turbines, solar panels and tidal generators. Those very products, manufactured in the US with the Canadian raw material, are what we buy back, facing tariff on top of tariff.

Bringing the manufacturing of those products to the oil sand basin and elsewhere in Canada will create large numbers of jobs, reduces the amount of oil required to be extracted, and gives Canada the expertise in the production of the related technologies.  This prevents us from acquiring the technology from China, the US or Norway in the future.

MEL ARNOLD

The decision to sell a business should be a business decision. That said, there are cases where the federal government reviews the sale and acquisition of a business and assesses factors such as national security. Although the practices described above are underhanded, their eradication would seemingly require a prospective owner to commit to ownership for life and likewise commit to keep the business operating indefinitely, even if the operation is not profitable.

That said, I believe that there is a need to adjust laws to increase protection for Canadians employed by large companies such as Sears that go bankrupt in Canada.

c) For similar dollar investments, when 2 jobs are generated in the oil/gas industry, 15 jobs are generated in alternative energy (ref: Solar Living Sourcebook). According to the International Monetary Fund, our current governments pay subsidies of about $34 billion PER YEAR to the oil and gas industry (Tyee, May 15/14). Given the job benefits coming from alternative energy, what are you prepared to do to encourage jobs in alternative energy and to deal with oil and gas industry subsidies?

CINDY DERKAZ

Yes, I will advocate for jobs in alternative energy and advocate for a phase out of oil and gas industry subsidies.
This government’s Strategic Innovation Fund has invested $1.12B to create or maintain 39 projects to date which has leveraged $8.4B in Research and Development (R&D) commitments in high-growth industries and reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 8.75 million tonnes. 
We need to re-elect a government committed to investments in clean tech.

HARWINDER SANDHU

Access to training and education for the low carbon future. Creating 300,000 good jobs in energy efficiency retrofits, affordable housing, renewable energy, infrastructure and transit. Building more zero emissions vehicles here at home.  Our plan will create good jobs in all communities within a first mandate, and rebuild local economies with meaningful, family-sustaining work in every part of the country, all while helping to make the changes we need to succeed in a low carbon future.
Put an end to oil and gas subsidies as the first thing New Democrats will do if elected government.
Create a Canadian Climate Bank to spur investment in the low carbon economy.

KYLE DELFING

The PPC will continue to support the need to maintain a clean and healthy environment, not only for this generation but also for future generations to follow. However, we will not commit to increasing jobs in green energy based on oil and gas industry subsidies, nor will we base labour allocation on a ratio derived from the Solar Living Manual. Jobs to protect the environment will be based on identified need.

The PPC, focus is on economic opportunities to encourage business and create jobs, while protecting our environment. Recent reports indicate that renewable energy, is proving to be inefficient, and having a negative impact on our environment. The German experience has proven that solar panels and wind turbines only work to 33% capacity. To make matters worse, a solar panel requires massive amounts of minerals, including silver. Currently half a billion ounces of silver are used in everything from solar panels to light switches, if we increase our dependency on “ green” energy we will have to increase mining activity meet the increased silver demands, creating environmental challenges.

MARC REINARZ

“Strategic purchases” of corporations is a hard topic to deal with. Laws must stipulate that a corporation has to fulfil its obligations, and yet cannot bind the corporation to an unlimited timespan to commit to these obligations.  Markets do change and a company may indeed have purchased another in good faith and the conditions change or are not as presented. 
One means to limit this practice is to cover all basis to limit the risk of this type of exploitation with clever conditions. Another means to protect Canadian jobs is to have a minimum Canadian content in a selected number of manufactured goods, if applicable.

MEL ARNOLD

I believe that natural gas is an alternative to other energy streams such as coal and transitioning society and industry towards clean alternatives can be incentivized by governments but is ultimately driven by buy-in of those consuming the energy. Jobs naturally follow demand and are also created when energy production is labour intensive or requires specialized human labour.

A couple of months ago, I met with a couple of constituents in Salmon Arm who had helped organize the New Green Deal meeting there and they shared some of the opportunities that they see for adoption of solar technologies in our region and beyond. I think that using solar can make sense if it is proven to provide energy cost savings without sacrificing dependability, especially during the short days and long nights of the Canadian winter.

I stand with the Conservative Party commitment to support the development of green technology to make environmentally friendly alternatives available to Canadians. I believe this will foster growth of demand for environmentally friendly alternatives which in turn will create jobs.

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