House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Sudan
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in Sudan has become even more grave. The murder and rape of innocent civilians by Khartoum's sponsored Janjaweed continues unabated. Now we see that food is running out for hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the carnage. This week, Sudan's President al-Bashir and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini engaged in talks to provide Sudan with nuclear capabilities.

The crisis demands action now.

Our government must urgently ask the UN Security Council to authorize the assembly and deployment of a peacemaking force, with a chapter 7 mandate, to Darfur. We must also lead an international effort to ensure that the refugees have the food they need.

This week the Prime Minister said that Canada will not sit idly by while a genocide is occurring. Now he must back up those words with action and vigorously pursue this plan that will save the lives of the innocent people in Darfur and stop a genocide. Time is not on Darfur's side.

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 23 to 30 is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. The green ribbon symbolizes life and promotes organ donation.

On January 16, in Quebec, the Chambre des Notaires established a list of people who have agreed to donate organs and tissue. This list is available on line to authorized individuals 24 hours a day.

Thanks to the list, people's last wishes concerning organ donation will be easier to respect, and patients waiting for transplants will have quicker access to the organ or tissue that could change their life. This is a very smart initiative that demonstrates, yet again, Quebec's innovative spirit.

I invite all of my colleagues to wear the green ribbon and to convince as many of their friends and acquaintances as possible about the importance of organ donation.

National Defence
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Wajid Khan Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the decision barring the media from the repatriation of troops killed in action in Afghanistan was taken on behalf of the families of the servicemen, yet they were not consulted. The government claims that refusing to lower the Peace Tower flag is a more respectful act of remembrance for troops killed in action.

To my mind, nothing can be more dangerous for Canada that the war in Afghanistan should come to be regarded as a departmental affair under the sole care and arbitration of the overburdened Minister of National Defence and his boss. An experienced government knows that all armed forces need to preserve the connection between their members and the civilian population.

I note that neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of National Defence had any reservations about lowering the Peace Tower flag as a sign of respect for the RCMP officers killed in the line of duty. Why are our soldiers any different? Because they died overseas?

Lobbyists
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member for Vancouver Quadra cannot seem to get the story straight on lobbying, and no wonder. Liberals have been displaying incredible ethics amnesia in this Parliament.

It was the former Liberal prime minister's so-called conflict of interest code that purposely left the barn door open to Liberal lobbying horseplay, with defeated Liberal cabinet ministers rushing to the lobbying trough and major corporate lobbyists jumping on the Liberal transition gravy train without jumping off the Liberal lobbying bandwagon, at least not until the former Liberal prime minister's personally hand-picked ethics lapdog finally caved to pressure and told them to deregister, knowing full well the Liberal prime minister did not have a cooling off period for them after transition. Michael Robinson, Dennis Dawson, John Duffy, Arthur Kroeger, Mark Resnick, André Albinati, Francis Fox, Cyrus Reporter: sadly, the Liberal list of lobbying conflicts goes on and on.

If the Liberal member for Vancouver Quadra is serious about strong accountability on lobbying, he should tell his Liberal colleagues to stop opposing the Conservative federal accountability act, get with the program and get on with changing the old Liberal rules. Canadians turned the page on Liberal cronyism by choosing a Conservative government. Can the Liberals now do the same?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the softwood lumber dispute up until now, Canada has always demanded the Americans show respect for the trade agreements they signed. We also insisted that duties collected illegally from Canadian firms not be scooped into the pockets of American lumber barons.

With yesterday's deal, Canada lost both ways. It was a political deal, a deal at any price, and the Americans got a signing bonus of up to $1.5 billion swiped directly from Canadians.

Why did the government give in, on bended knee, to Uncle Sam?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us get this straight. Over six years, the Liberals failed. Over six years, they did not act. In 80 days, this Prime Minister acted in the best interests of Canada and will deliver back to the pockets of Canadians $4 billion U.S., plus interest, that the Liberals sent to the United States and did not get back for Canadians.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, industry people say that this softwood deal could have been had yesterday or two weeks ago or six months ago. All it took was a Canadian government that was prepared to roll over.

The Americans violated NAFTA, they capped the market access, they swiped $1.5 billion, and on the very day that this deal was done, the U.S. filed another extraordinary challenge against Canadian softwood lumber.

Why was this deal unacceptable to the Minister of International Trade last November but, in even less favourable form, it is okay today?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

The hon. member is absolutely right, Mr. Speaker, that the current Minister of International Trade helped us stop a bad Liberal deal last November that would only have delivered $3.5 billion. He stood up for Canada and said no to the deal then.

He worked hard over the past weeks, along with the Prime Minister and our embassy in Washington, to secure this, with the industry's support, with the support of the premiers of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, all Liberal premiers, because they were sick and tired of six years of inaction. They realized that this deal will bring $4 billion back to Canada, and it will bring peace and open trade for the Canadian forest industry.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, it will be very interesting to examine the exact impacts on the Canfor firm on both sides of the border.

This is not free trade. It is not fair trade. This is limited trade, capped, restricted and controlled to suit the United States, and the deal will last only as long as it works in the Americans' favour. On top of that, the U.S. industry gets $1.5 billion, taken illegally from us, to fight Canadians with our own money.

Last September the Prime Minister said that was wrong and he would fight it. Again during the election campaign he said it was wrong and he would fight it. Why has the Prime Minister flip-flopped again to settle for less?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

That is absolutely wrong, Mr. Speaker. In fact, the United States industry will keep only 10% of the duties that we agree it illegally collected. Eighty per cent of the duties will be repatriated to Canadian industry. The other 10% will be allocated on forestry projects, including aid to Katrina reconstruction and the pine beetle problem in British Columbia. That will be a direct benefit to our industry.

That member and his government were prepared to accept a bad deal of only $3.5 billion. The Liberals dawdled on this file for six years. We have acted and we have brought home $4 billion to protect the Canadian forestry industry.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Carl Grenier, from the Free Trade Lumber Council, is not impressed with the agreement signed yesterday by Canada and the United States regarding softwood lumber. Mr. Grenier cannot accept that the Canadian government left in excess of $1 billion in the hands of our American competitors.

How can the Prime Minister claim that yesterday was a great day for Canada and Quebec, when this agreement represents a complete sellout by Canada and more than a billion dollars belonging to our lumber industry has been given away to the U.S.?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the former Liberal government is the one that sold out. Over six years, Liberal attempts to reach an agreement consistently failed. They were not successful in winning their battle against the Americans.

Yesterday, Guy Chevrette, the president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, commented that “it was worthwhile to put an end to this endless dispute. We have been waiting for five years; we are flat out”.

Quebec's Liberal government and its premier supported this agreement, because it serves the higher interests of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, do the Conservatives realize they have signed a bargain-basement deal with the Americans, so much so that they feel the need to gag Canadian producers? Mr. Grenier, whose organization represents companies representing more than 40% of Canadian softwood lumber exports, said, “I have never seen such a rotten deal. It is a complete sellout by Canada”.

Have we just witnessed the demise of NAFTA?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, frankly, I do not understand what the hon. member means. In Quebec, where he is from, the vast majority of lumber producers support the agreement, as does Quebec's Liberal government.

In signing this agreement, the Prime Minister ensured that boundary sawmills, among others, are protected by an exemption. This is a good deal for Quebec, Quebec's lumber industry and all Canadians.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the American strategy throughout the softwood lumber dispute was very clear: it was to drag out the legal proceedings as long as possible in order to wear down the Canadian industry. Only loan guarantees would have helped the industry keep up the fight. According to Carl Grenier of the Free Trade Lumber Council, the Canadian government put pressure on the industries by telling them they would not get any help if they did not accept the agreement.

Is this attitude shown by the government not equivalent to allowing the Americans to go back on their word and disregard the NAFTA rulings?