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

October 24th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Except, Mr. Speaker, that as a Liberal he has taken the same position we have on the health care issue.

I am trying to discern the government's position on the softwood lumber dispute. Up until today, its position was that there would be no negotiations. I listened to the minister's answers to the Bloc. He said he was seeking a good deal for Canada, a negotiated settlement. Which is it? No negotiations or a negotiated settlement?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will be very simple so the minister understands, so the member understands—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the minister appreciates all the applause his answer has caused so far, but we have to be able to hear the answer. The minister will now want to resume with some order in the House.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I really slipped on that one.

Having said that, the answer is very simple. We are seeking a long term durable resolution to bring stability to our workers, our communities and our industry. At the same time, we are saying that NAFTA must be respected. The ECC has spoken. We want these rulings to be implemented.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister can say he is keeping his answers simple for himself, but they are getting increasingly convoluted.

The government has proclaimed to Canadians that there will be no negotiations after we win. Now the minister is getting up and laying down what a negotiated settlement would look like. The secretary of state of the United States is here today. Is the position to be no negotiations or we are looking for a negotiated settlement? Which is it?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

It is a very simple answer, Mr. Speaker. NAFTA must be respected. The NAFTA appeal court, the ECC, has spoken. We want those rulings to be implemented.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said this past June that his government had “brought in all of the scientific evidence, all of the medical experts, in order to establish very clear benchmarks by the end of this year”.

The Prime Minister called this process urgent, and I agree, but obviously the Prime Minister and his health minister no longer share this sense of urgency.

If the government had all the evidence this past summer, why is the minister now backpedalling on his benchmark promises?

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that 13 ministers of health gathered in Toronto for the last two days and reaffirmed in a very robust fashion the commitment of the first ministers to the health care accord of 2004, which means that we will have benchmarks in all five areas by December 31, 2005. That is within two months.

I want to tell the hon. member, the fact is that your party wants to gut the Canada Health Act, wants to privatize health care and wants to end the federal role in health care. Now you are telling me that we are not--

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The minister of course will want to address his remarks to the Chair and not suggest that the Speaker's party is involved in anything. The hon. member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister would be well advised to remember that it is his leader who uses private clinics.

The Prime Minister said in June, “We've set out very, very clear timelines in which these benchmarks are going to be established. We insist that those timelines be adhered to”.

The Prime Minister and the premiers agreed to have meaningful benchmarks in place by the year's end in five key areas. Now the provinces are saying that not all the benchmarks will be in place by the deadline.

Will the Prime Minister admit that under a Liberal government Canadians will have to wait a very, very long time for medically necessary—

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we will have benchmarks in all of the five key areas agreed upon by first ministers by December 31.

The fact also is that Preston Manning and Mike Harris want to end the federal role in health care. The fact is that the current Leader of the Opposition also wants to end the federal role in health care.

I want to know what those members' position is on our role. We are playing a federal role, a very strong federal role, which they want to end.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade tells us that the NAFTA ruling must be implemented, must be applied. Yet he also tells us that we need to negotiate subsequent to that ruling. It would be most surprising if Canada were to demand more from the Americans than what is in the ruling, it seems to me. So it would appear that negotiations would be to ask for less than what is offered in the ruling.

Could the minister clarify his position on this reasoning?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as we have always said, there are two issues. There is the matter of the deposits collected and until now retained by the United States. At the present time, according to the NAFTA ruling, these belong to us.

The second matter is to find a sustainable and long term solution for this situation. We will be prepared to discuss that later on, but for the moment the main point is that NAFTA needs to be respected.