House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was support.

Topics

Softwood Lumber Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 2, our government reached an agreement with the American government over the softwood lumber issue. This agreement will give our industry immunity from legal action by the American industry for the next five years.

For our part, we have agreed to limit at 14.7 billion board feet per year the amount of softwood lumber shipped to the U.S. duty-free. To meet this commitment, we have put in place a quota system that was generally well received by the industry in the four main lumber-producing provinces.

This system will be reviewed annually and will adjust to changes in the industry and to market conditions.

The quota system is not a limit imposed on producers. In fact, it guarantees extended access to the U.S. market.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday, November 11, will be Remembrance Day and hundreds of thousands of people from across Canada will gather at cenotaphs to remember the 115,000 young Canadians who were killed in World War I and World War II, the Korean War and peacekeeping duties, plus remembering those hundreds of thousands who came home.

They gave up their future in Canada. They fought so that we could live in peace and democracy. They fought so that we can sit in this Parliament today and express the views of Canadians from across this great land of ours in a free society.

They left their farms, their businesses, their high schools, their universities. They left their loved ones behind. This is something we should never forget. They went to do their duty in a cruel world.

Today we can never take things for granted. If there is anything that we should implant in our own mind, in the minds of every Canadian citizen and everyone in the free world, do not forget them.

On Monday, let us remember them. Lest we forget.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Before going to question period we are going to have a little bit of a change. I am going to recognize the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Secretary of State (Veterans)(Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the House for unanimous consent for a minute of silence in respect of our Canadians veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Veterans
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Veterans
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Veterans
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Thank you, my colleagues.

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, President Clinton's election was hailed by the Canadian government as

auguring well for the future. It is a pleasure to join the government in congratulating President Clinton, and we wish to extend our best wishes as well.

In this connection we would like to ask the Prime Minister if he intends to take advantage of the good relationship he has with President Clinton to intervene immediately and effectively against the Helms-Burton law, which is a major irritant, not only for Canada but also for many other countries, including members of the European community.

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, during the lunch break, I had a chance to talk to President Clinton and, speaking on behalf of the Parliament of Canada and all Canadians, I offered him my sincere congratulations and my best wishes for a second term.

As you know, we have a good relationship with the U.S. government at this time. We did not have a very long discussion, but I had a chance to mention some of the irritants that we would like him to monitor.

I mentioned Helms-Burton, and I also asked for his co-operation on the matter of Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi. He told me he was watching this matter very closely, and we are to have another talk within a few days. In any case, in two weeks we will be in Manila together. We will be meeting again.

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Prime Minister for his reply. I felt it was important to raise these questions.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he also intends to discuss with the President, on very short notice, the unfortunate habit of the United States to be overly protectionist, which creates problems and goes against the spirit of the Free Trade Agreement, as in the case of softwood lumber, for instance.

Did the Prime Minister bring this up or does he intend to, very shortly?

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that if we look at the various subjects at issue between Canada and the United States, there are no major, pressing problems, with the exception of Helms-Burton law.

As for softwood lumber, we have concluded an agreement with them. We have agreed to impose a limit on exports. The Minister for International Trade has concluded an agreement, after consulting with the provincial governments. As far as the United States and we are concerned, the matter was settled by this agreement.

If there are any other problems the hon. member wishes to raise, I will take note of them and mention them to the President when we meet. The softwood lumber question has already been settled, and

we are now putting the requisite mechanisms in place to implement the agreement.

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Prime Minister seems to be open to suggestions, I would like to mention that the U.S. pensions issue is disturbing many Quebecers.

The official opposition asks the Prime Minister to raise with President Clinton those issues that are troubling our people and affect them directly.

Furthermore, I would ask the Prime Minister this: Following the preliminary ruling made in the controversial eggs, milk and poultry question, a ruling that is to be confirmed very shortly, I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he intends to make representations to the U.S. president before it is too late, before Canada is forced into the same kind of situation as in the case of softwood lumber, in other words, before we are forced to negotiate an agreement at our expense. The softwood lumber agreement is far from perfect and puts a heavy burden on lumber producers. The agreement on milk, eggs and poultry might go the same way, unless the Prime Minister quickly and proactively intervene with the President.

The Government Of The United States
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as far as the eggs and poultry issue is concerned, we have discussed this problem several times with the Americans. Our position is clear. We have determined that the marketing boards that exist in Canada have a right to exist under the agreements we signed with them and under the GATT agreements that were renegotiated a year ago.

We believe that our position complies with the agreements we have with the Americans. If they want to challenge these agreements, legal recourse is provided under NAFTA and also under the GATT rules, so that we can defend our rights. Our positions are clear, and at this moment, these agreements between our two countries exist. They have been duly signed.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 1996 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Prime Minister.

Beyond trade-related matters, there is also a number of urgent issues on the international scene. Again, Canada can play a positive role, including through its relations with the United States.

Following President Clinton's re-election yesterday and the recent Nairobi summit, will the Prime Minister propose to the American president to submit to the Security Council a joint request from Canada, the United States and France to quickly put in place a multinational humanitarian force to put an end to the terrible plight of Zairian refugees?

We have nothing against diplomacy but, as Bernard Kouchner pointed out again this morning, time is of the essence and people are dying.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada showed leadership and initiative regarding African regional leaders. Indeed, we are prepared to carefully examine the African leaders' proposals for a safe haven, a corridor and the presence of neutral forces. Ambassador Chrétien's special mission will provide us with an opportunity to immediately review these proposals and to determine the types of resources and commitments required from the international community as a whole.