Allow me to say at the outset that Quebec is the only place where the entire forest industry officially voted in favour of the softwood lumber agreement. There is even an action plan to protect this agreement, because we cannot afford to pay anti-dumping duties of 35% or 40%. In this context, when the Quebec government takes action, it consults the industry and says that it has U.S. and Canadian legal counsel and that it studies the entire issue before taking any action. We take this issue seriously, and I am meeting this very afternoon with Mr. Stockwell Day concerning the softwood lumber agreement, to ensure that it is respected.
I am a former politician and I have no intention of betraying my past. If I recall correctly, during the leaders' debate in Montreal in January 2006, Mr. Harper himself advocated loan guarantees for the forest industry because of the crisis that had been affecting this sector since 2005. Why is it that these guarantees were valid in 2006 but are no longer so today, whereas the crisis is only getting worse? I can't see any logic in this situation.
Look at NAFTA and tell us how loan guarantees at a commercial rate of return violate... Look at what is being done in the aeronautics and automotive industry. Look at the recent arguments of the U.S. coalition. The Americans are challenging certain elements of the agreement. They claim that it violates trade terms, because they know very well that a loan at a commercial rate of return is eligible under the agreement and under NAFTA. I think that that is just an excuse to simply fall back on the existence of a softwood lumber agreement.