Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question of the hon. member for Waterloo—Wellington. I am well aware of his support of his constituents who count on a strong supply management system.
When the government took office in 1993 the negotiations of the Uruguay round were just coming to a conclusion. The issue of how to protect supply managed industries was front and centre in those negotiation. We moved quickly and decisively to achieve very substantial tariff protection for those industries, protection that has allowed supply management to continue operating effectively in Canada.
We defended our rights to impose those tariffs when the U.S. challenged us under NAFTA. We were successful in that case because we all worked together, federal and provincial governments and industry.
We are seeking the same kind of collaboration as we prepare for the next round of WTO agriculture negotiations. We are working closely with all stakeholders to identify Canada's agrifood trade interests. We will defend those interests in the Canadian position when the negotiations begin in 1999.
Our strength is in a clear and united position representing the interests of all parts of the Canadian agrifood system. In collaboration with industry and the provinces, that is exactly the kind of position we propose to develop in time for the 1999 WTO negotiations.