A debate on the proposed federal trade agreement with China heated up in the Yukon legislature this week.
NDP Leader Liz Hanson asked the government to bring forward evidence to support their claim that the deal would be good for the Yukon and wouldn’t amount to signing away our rights to foreign interests.
Premier Darrell Pasloski noted that Canada has similar agreements with many countries, and asked, “Is it just that the NDP don’t like the Chinese?”
At this point, NDP MLA Kate White objected that the government was accusing the NDP of a bias they do not hold.
Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers countered that the premier’s question was based on statements made by the NDP in the past.
Hanson then took her turn to reply.
“The references made by the Official Opposition have been to Chinese state-owned corporations and they have nothing to with Chinese people, Chinese individuals or Chinese private-sector investors. What we have been very clear about are the implications for Chinese state-owned investments.”
After considering the matter for a day, Speaker of the House David Laxon ruled that the premier was out of line for insinuating that the NDP has an anti-Chinese bias.
“In suggesting that the members of the Official Opposition opposed the investment agreement because they are ‘anti-Chinese,’ the premier attributed to members of this House an unworthy motive, specifically a bias against an identifiable group of people,” he said.
Earlier, the Yukon Party called their own point of order when the NDP accused the Yukon Party of borrowing their talking points from Harper’s Conservatives.
“The member knows very well that this government does not take any speaking notes from the federal government,” said Cathers. “The NDP takes their speaking notes from Thomas Mulcair.”
The speaker immediately waved Cathers away and said, “There is no point of order.”