Mr. Speaker, there are two aspects to that question. The latter point was about a change in the timing for the period during which the phase down of the dairy subsidy would occur.
That request was put to me a number of weeks ago by the dairy farmers of Canada, I understand with the support of the National Dairy Council. That request is under active consideration as we speak. I hope to be in a position to respond to the dairy industry within the next short while.
On the other point, the comparison between the Canadian situation and the American situation, I point out to the hon. member one fundamental distinction. In the United States there is essentially an open market system with respect to the dairy industry. In Canada we have a supply management system which was instituted by a Liberal government and not three months ago was thoroughly, totally and successfully defended by the government before the NAFTA commission.