Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks to the Cercle des présidents du Québec in Longueuil
Hello everyone and thank you for joining us (inaudible) coming with us today. The business world is changing rapidly and the pace of that change is transforming well-established business models. To succeed, companies are being called upon to innovate and rethink how they operate. This issue is not unique to our country; it is a shared reality for the world’s economies. For companies and governments alike, this great wave of change is creating both new challenges and new opportunities. More than ever, we must work together to chart the way forward. We all have a leadership role to play in ensuring the success of Canada and our companies. For our part, governments must create the right conditions for investment and economic development in the country. This includes ambitious and progressive trade agreements. We are currently in the process of renegotiating NAFTA with our neighbours to the south. That... I... maybe you didn't know, but... and we are determined to reach a fair agreement for all parties involved. A modern agreement, in line with our values and ambitions, one that will benefit not only local companies, but also middle-class workers.
We are in the process of renegotiating NAFTA with our southern neighbours, and we’re pushing hard to conclude an agreement that is win-win-win – a modern and progressive agreement that is in line with our values and our ambitions and that will benefit not only Canadian businesses, but all Canadians.
Because if we want to create long-term growth, we cannot afford to neglect or minimize the impact in this type of agreement on Canadian families.
In the same vein, our government understands that to make Canada a centre of global innovation, Canadians must have the tools they need for the jobs of the future. So one of the things we’ve done as a government was to invest in skills and training. This is great news for Canadians who now have better access to the tools needed for the jobs of tomorrow and for businesses who need skilled workers to stay competitive. And, since we know that adding women to the workforce means more profitable companies and stronger economies, the last federal budget focussed on supporting women in the workplace. We made progress on everything from parental leave and support for women in the trades, to proactive pay legis... pay equity legislation.
Our goal is to better prepare all Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow, regardless of their gender identity, religion or origin, and to close the gaps that persist in the labour market. Those gaps ultimately impede business prosperity and economic growth. The argument is simple. We know that a range of experience and opinions leads to better decision-making and no country can reach its full potential without the participation of all its citizens. That being said, governments cannot, of course, do everything alone. To succeed in today's global environment, partnership with business is essential. Whether it is encouraging diversity within large companies or seizing new business opportunities beyond our borders, we must work together. We must be business partners. We face significant challenges, but the opportunities are unparalleled. So I am here today to listen to you, to share and above all to work with you. Again, thank you for inviting me, I look forward to our conversation.