Mr. Speaker, some of the points the hon. member brings forth are valid in the sense that we recognized several years ago the inevitability of the GATT negotiations and the ruling on article XI(2)(c). That was never in question in the Reform Party. In fact we campaigned vigorously on it and took a lot of flak from members of the Liberal Party at the time which said that would never come to pass, that article XI(2)(c) was safe in their bosom.
Really that is what I am arguing about when I talk about order. Farmers were willing and are currently willing to live with the proposed tariffication rules of the GATT. However starting on December 29 and every week since I have asked the Minister of Agriculture for a legal opinion of even why he believes that the GATT ruling will supersede NAFTA because the Americans say otherwise. I have yet to receive a response to my request.
There again, that just creates more indecision and uncertainty in the farming community which is really only looking for that stability. Farmers are willing to work under the new rules but they need to know what the rules are.
Two years ago we proposed that the GATT negotiations should be successfully completed and that we should have negotiated the proper tariffication protection for our farmers at that time. We feel that had we proceeded then while we still had some bargaining chips in our hands we could have made a good deal for Canadian farmers that would have been negotiated rather than brought through the courts.
Really I am not arguing with the completion of GATT. My argument stems from the fact that it should have been planned. I think even at this late date if we can somehow assure our farmers that GATT will proceed, that GATT will supersede NAFTA, then they will proceed with confidence and do the investing, exporting and so on that brings prosperity to that industry.