House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is clear from all this, even if the Prime Minister informs us that politics under him will never be the same again, is that there is no difference at all between the old and the new government.

Will the government acknowledge that the old and new governments are linked by the same old common thread, and that the Liberal way is first and foremost to help its friends to public funds?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, again I go back to the fact that if we look at this documentation, it is about ensuring the best, most open, most competitive process for the Canadian taxpayer.

I have reviewed these documents and they are all about identifying any firm that might be interested in bidding and making sure their name gets on the list.

I go back to the fact that the request for proposals had clear criteria. Everything here was transparent and everything here was done to ensure the highest--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Verchères--Les-Patriotes.

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study by the Canadian Apparel Federation confirms that the sector may lose between 19,000 and 50,000 jobs in Canada over the next five years. Montreal will be particularly hard hit because 58% of apparel industry jobs are located in Quebec.

Is the government going to do its part to save the apparel industry from extinction and, to do so, is it prepared to eliminate the tariffs on textiles that are not produced in Canada and thus reduce costs for Canadian apparel manufacturers?

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that—

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of International Trade.

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is true that this is a very important industry, and the Minister of Industry recognizes that international competition presents great challenges for these industries. That is why the minister has already acted in this area.

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a related topic, if we want the safeguards to have their full effect and not cause problems for the textile industry, they must necessarily be narrowly focussed.

Accordingly, does the government intend to impose temporary import barriers on certain textile products manufactured here, as the WTO agreements permit, as a safeguard?

Apparel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that changes must be made to deal with international competition. That is why the Minister of Industry has already announced—this year and last year—over $80 million for adjustments.

I shall continue to work with the textile industry to help the workers in that sector.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, days before the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade travel to Washington, Canadian softwood industry groups are sounding the alarm that the government is willing to sign a deal that will sacrifice Canadian sovereignty. The U.S. Department of Commerce wants to dictate to the provinces how to manage their resource.

Do the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade not realize that accepting this deal will mean the surrendering of Canadian economic independence?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House many times, this is such an important industry to all of Canada and this is why I am very pleased the hon. member has asked this question.

We will continue to pursue our two-track policy on this. One is litigating before the WTO and the NAFTA, and the second is to come to some type of negotiated settlement.

So far we have not had a prevailing view in Canada as to what that type of negotiated settlement would be and therefore it is quite premature for him to prejudge what we would be doing.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, any deal has to respect Canadian sovereignty and according to news reports the trade minister believes a deal may be close. However the December proposal from the U.S. would have given the American softwood lumber companies about half of the $2 billion paid in duties by Canadian companies. This is not only insulting, this has been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.

Does the government not realize that handing over softwood lumber duties to our American counterparts is no way to achieve free trade in softwood lumber?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the hon. member's interest in this file because it is so important to all of us. I can assure him that I carried the provinces' view to the United States on January 11, and one of the reasons that this was rejected unanimously was for one of the reasons that he stated.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, onshore processing of Pacific hake marketed as Pacific whiting means hundreds of jobs to Canadians, most of whom live and work in Ucluelet and Port Alberni, coastal communities in my riding. It also means spinoff employment and improved environment through proper waste management and optimal management of a fragile biomass.

At this crucial time the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is under pressure to reinstate foreign offshore factory ships and to double the total allowable catch. This would benefit a small cadre of commercial fishing interests but it would endanger our plants, our local economies and sustainability of the fishery.

Will the minister honour his commitment to shore base processing by continuing the moratorium on offshore foreign fleets?