House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat very simply that we have always said that we would favour a long term durable resolution to this issue and that we would be prepared at some point to sit down and negotiate this. The one thing that is not negotiable is the NAFTA. It must be respected.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, that rings pretty hollow. The Prime Minister clearly has flip-flopped on his softwood position, from hollow threats to the silent treatment and now the moving target approach.

How can the Prime Minister expect Americans to take his position seriously when he does not take it seriously himself?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has said that the Prime Minister does not take this issue seriously. In every meeting that he has had with his American counterpart, the President, he has raised the softwood issue. In all the meetings my colleagues and I have had with our U.S. counterparts, we have raised the issue. I can assure the House that it will be raised with the Secretary of State during her visit.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has just finished telling us that the NAFTA panel ruling on softwood lumber is not negotiable, but at the same time that a long term agreement on this issue should be negotiated.

Could he tell this House what kind of agreement he has in mind, and whether it would differ from the ruling obtained under NAFTA?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, if an agreement on softwood lumber were reached, this agreement would be in the best interest of Canadians.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was not expecting the minister to tell us that he would try and negotiate an agreement that would be very bad for Canadians. Let us be serious here.

Since he told us that the NAFTA ruling has to be respected and since he mentioned a long term agreement, could the minister specify whether this agreement will essentially be based on the ruling obtained under NAFTA? That is the question.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. First, NAFTA has to be respected. Second, we are looking for a solution, one that will be long term and durable, to resolve this dispute.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Rice's visit to Canada is an exceptional opportunity for the government to show just how determined it is in the softwood lumber issue. Forestry companies, as you know, have now paid out up to $5 billion in unjustified countervailing duties and are right in asking the federal government to grant them loan guarantees.

Will the government admit that refusing to grant these loan guarantees to the forestry companies is one way of refusing to make it really clear to the Americans that not only is the government talking tough, but it has also decided to take tough action in this matter?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has already announced that he was taking care of this matter and the issues concerning support for the communities, the industry and the workers. He will be making an announcement in the near future.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec said in this House that we must be careful with loan guarantees because such a measure might “confirm the Americans in their position of imposing duties”. Yet, loan guarantees are authorized under the WTO and NAFTA.

Why does the government continue to refuse to grant these loan guarantees when they would make its position so much more credible to the U.S. government during Ms. Rice's visit?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member is right. We must always be very careful with our spending and so we will be.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Health said that privatization of the health care system was not a problem. I guess he knows this because the government last checked in 1998, seven years ago.

Since then, Ralph Klein has opened private hospitals. We have had Gordon Campbell opening and experimenting with private clinics. We have had Premier Hamm spreading private MRIs in Nova Scotia. Privatization Is growing everywhere. Then this morning the Prime Minister said that he agreed with the health minister.

Is it the position of the government now that private hospitals are simply nothing to worry about?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a more recent report was just issued by CIHI this year. It indicates there has been no increase in private spending on health care in the country in terms of the percentage.

Last weekend all the ministers of health from across the country agreed to ensure that we would meet the commitments established for us by all the first ministers across the country in September 2004, and we will. We will have benchmarks by the end of this year in all the priority areas as asked for by the first ministers.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that party in government today ran in the year 2000 against Ralph Klein's private hospitals. It said that it was the fight of its life. It laid its reputation in front of Canadians on stopping private health care and private hospitals. Yet five years later we have the health minister and this Prime Minister apparently now welcoming and accepting these private hospitals in Canada.

When will the government live up to its commitment to Canadians and stop the growth of private health care here?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we have delivered on our commitment to strengthen public health care in this country with $41 billion, with an agreement by all of the first ministers, and with an agreement with all of the health ministers just this weekend.

The member who just spoke should be concerned about the opposition, which wants to gut the Canada Health Act and actually end the federal role in health care, like Preston Manning and Mike Harris. When people talk like a Tory and walk like a Tory, they are Tories. That is what those members want to do.