House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, science has become the mantra of the minister. He thinks that if he keeps saying it long enough we are going to go away. That is not going to happen.

For five years the elk industry has been buried under the heading of science and the government has avoided its responsibilities.

This is a one cow crisis that seems to be turning into the excuse for a full-out trade barrier by the United States. Specifically, what are the Americans demanding from us before they will open the border to our beef?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again, it is the completion of the science so that we can demonstrate that we do not have any more mad cows in the country and that our system is there and that it works. When that is completed we will be able to lay that on the table in front of the United States and demonstrate that to the Americans. Then the discussions can take place on opening the border.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber crisis is getting worse and, while the government seems to be oblivious to the industry's cries for help, they have been heeded by the Bloc Quebecois; yesterday we toured the regions of Quebec on a fact-finding mission. The reality is that thousands of workers have lost their jobs in Quebec and 75 sawmills are in serious trouble.

If this increasingly bleak situation is not enough, what will it take to convince the government to act now, to improve employment insurance and offer loan guarantees to businesses that have fallen victim to the softwood lumber crisis?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we are already aware of the problems in this industry. We met with the people from the Conseil de l'industrie forestière this morning. We are trying to find solutions. All provinces, the Government of Canada and the industry as a whole must maintain a common front in order to find solutions together. That is what we are working on at present.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a wonderful thing to study the problem from all angles. We, too, have met with people from the industry. The solutions we are proposing apply to all regions of Canada, to all provinces, and Quebec. They are not just for Quebec.

Why has the government not made loan guarantees available? The time for action is right now, not next fall, not in two years; it is now. For nearly a year we have been told the government is going to do something. The time has come for action. Improve employment insurance. Offer loan guarantees. That is what the industry told us.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the leader of the Bloc has been absent, but we have been taking action for a long time. We have assumed our responsibilities. We are working with the industry. We talked this morning with people from the industry. They are going to make a proposal. We are going to work together to find solutions to sustain the industry and all the men and women who depend on it. That is what we are going to do.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the course of the softwood lumber tour, I met with industry leaders, managers and workers, including Lucette Pelletier, owner of a SQATEC sawmill. This sawmill has been operating for dozens of years. For the first time, it has had to shut down, due to the softwood lumber crisis.

Will it take many more such occurrences before the government provides loan guarantees and makes the other changes to the employment insurance program requested to save our industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned and will repeat, we have taken steps to diversify regional economic development. At the same time, we are continuing our negotiations with the U.S. Also, we will work with the Quebec Forestry Industry Council to find solutions so that our Canadian industry remains as strong as it is has been in recent years.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of Ms. Pelletier's worst fears is losing her well-trained employees during this forced shutdown.

Does the secretary of state not understand that the economic diversification measures he takes refuge in when questioned about the softwood lumber crisis do not provide any short-term solutions to the problems experienced by the victims of this crisis? Instead, in cases such as the Pelletier sawmill and many others, these measures only make matters worse.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the Bloc Quebecois does not think we are the ones who imposed the surtax on wood. We too are working hard to help this industry, and we will continue to do so. One thing is certain: we will not give up, and we will find solutions, as the Government of Canada has done in all the other areas it has worked on.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food avoids giving straight answers on concerns over BSE, the Canadian cattle industry and our international trading partners are waiting for timely assurances.

When will the government implement a national strategy to instill international and national confidence in Canadian beef and when will the minister announce a compensation package for those suffering the ill effects from this Canadian beef problem?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I met with members of the industry yesterday in Edmonton and those members are in Ottawa today discussing it with officials. Those discussions are ongoing today. We certainly, as I said earlier today, look forward to expressing to those in the industry how we will be able to help them get through this situation that they are in.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, on another serious trade breakdown, the Minister for International Trade continues to say that he has wide support for his approach to resolving the Canadian softwood lumber controversy. This is not true.

B.C. forestry minister Mike de Jong has voiced concern over the proposed quota, as has the chair of the Alberta softwood lumber trade council. A total of six provinces have now told the Prime Minister that they are opposed to the minister's deal.

Given this lack of support from the provinces and the lack of support on a number of files, will the minister retract this disastrous deal and go back and meet with the provinces?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said last week, no, we will not.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

June 5th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the HRDC minister. Carrie Sanford has worked on the kill floor of XL Meats in Moose Jaw for the past 12 years. She is a single mother of two children and she is making less than $30,000 a year. She has taken her vacation pay and despite the minister talking about her officials proactively, next Monday Ms. Sanford is going to be laid off as a result of mad cow without an ounce of help or compassion from the government and she will have to wait two weeks before collecting EI.

With a $10 billion surplus, why will the government not be helping Carrie and her children on Monday?