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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, science has become the mantra of the minister. He thinks that if he keeps saying it long enough we are going to go away. That is not going to happen.

For five years the elk industry has been buried under the heading of science and the government has avoided its responsibilities.

This is a one cow crisis that seems to be turning into the excuse for a full-out trade barrier by the United States. Specifically, what are the Americans demanding from us before they will open the border to our beef?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again, it is the completion of the science so that we can demonstrate that we do not have any more mad cows in the country and that our system is there and that it works. When that is completed we will be able to lay that on the table in front of the United States and demonstrate that to the Americans. Then the discussions can take place on opening the border.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber crisis is getting worse and, while the government seems to be oblivious to the industry's cries for help, they have been heeded by the Bloc Quebecois; yesterday we toured the regions of Quebec on a fact-finding mission. The reality is that thousands of workers have lost their jobs in Quebec and 75 sawmills are in serious trouble.

If this increasingly bleak situation is not enough, what will it take to convince the government to act now, to improve employment insurance and offer loan guarantees to businesses that have fallen victim to the softwood lumber crisis?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we are already aware of the problems in this industry. We met with the people from the Conseil de l'industrie forestière this morning. We are trying to find solutions. All provinces, the Government of Canada and the industry as a whole must maintain a common front in order to find solutions together. That is what we are working on at present.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a wonderful thing to study the problem from all angles. We, too, have met with people from the industry. The solutions we are proposing apply to all regions of Canada, to all provinces, and Quebec. They are not just for Quebec.

Why has the government not made loan guarantees available? The time for action is right now, not next fall, not in two years; it is now. For nearly a year we have been told the government is going to do something. The time has come for action. Improve employment insurance. Offer loan guarantees. That is what the industry told us.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the leader of the Bloc has been absent, but we have been taking action for a long time. We have assumed our responsibilities. We are working with the industry. We talked this morning with people from the industry. They are going to make a proposal. We are going to work together to find solutions to sustain the industry and all the men and women who depend on it. That is what we are going to do.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the course of the softwood lumber tour, I met with industry leaders, managers and workers, including Lucette Pelletier, owner of a SQATEC sawmill. This sawmill has been operating for dozens of years. For the first time, it has had to shut down, due to the softwood lumber crisis.

Will it take many more such occurrences before the government provides loan guarantees and makes the other changes to the employment insurance program requested to save our industry?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned and will repeat, we have taken steps to diversify regional economic development. At the same time, we are continuing our negotiations with the U.S. Also, we will work with the Quebec Forestry Industry Council to find solutions so that our Canadian industry remains as strong as it is has been in recent years.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of Ms. Pelletier's worst fears is losing her well-trained employees during this forced shutdown.

Does the secretary of state not understand that the economic diversification measures he takes refuge in when questioned about the softwood lumber crisis do not provide any short-term solutions to the problems experienced by the victims of this crisis? Instead, in cases such as the Pelletier sawmill and many others, these measures only make matters worse.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the Bloc Quebecois does not think we are the ones who imposed the surtax on wood. We too are working hard to help this industry, and we will continue to do so. One thing is certain: we will not give up, and we will find solutions, as the Government of Canada has done in all the other areas it has worked on.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food avoids giving straight answers on concerns over BSE, the Canadian cattle industry and our international trading partners are waiting for timely assurances.

When will the government implement a national strategy to instill international and national confidence in Canadian beef and when will the minister announce a compensation package for those suffering the ill effects from this Canadian beef problem?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I met with members of the industry yesterday in Edmonton and those members are in Ottawa today discussing it with officials. Those discussions are ongoing today. We certainly, as I said earlier today, look forward to expressing to those in the industry how we will be able to help them get through this situation that they are in.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, on another serious trade breakdown, the Minister for International Trade continues to say that he has wide support for his approach to resolving the Canadian softwood lumber controversy. This is not true.

B.C. forestry minister Mike de Jong has voiced concern over the proposed quota, as has the chair of the Alberta softwood lumber trade council. A total of six provinces have now told the Prime Minister that they are opposed to the minister's deal.

Given this lack of support from the provinces and the lack of support on a number of files, will the minister retract this disastrous deal and go back and meet with the provinces?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said last week, no, we will not.

AgricultureOral Question Period

June 5th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the HRDC minister. Carrie Sanford has worked on the kill floor of XL Meats in Moose Jaw for the past 12 years. She is a single mother of two children and she is making less than $30,000 a year. She has taken her vacation pay and despite the minister talking about her officials proactively, next Monday Ms. Sanford is going to be laid off as a result of mad cow without an ounce of help or compassion from the government and she will have to wait two weeks before collecting EI.

With a $10 billion surplus, why will the government not be helping Carrie and her children on Monday?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is asking about a specific case. If he would like to send me the information, I will gladly send it to the minister and see if we can get an answer for him.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, earlier today at the agriculture committee, there were groups from Saskatchewan concerned about Canada's current export customers. Eighty per cent of them say they will not buy genetically modified wheat.

Agriculture Canada continues to listen to Monsanto instead of Canadians and the world to have GM wheat licensed here. That would be a disaster because Canadian farmers will lose their markets. Saskatchewan's major farm and local government organizations are in Ottawa today. They are calling on the government to add a market impact analysis.

Will the government and the minister listen to this advice and commit to a market--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is not involved in reviewing an application for something such as genetically modified wheat. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the ministry of health are involved in it. That will be based on science.

I have said before in the House that we need to take a look at the other concerns that are in the marketplace and with the application and that type of thing. That work is being done by the government.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, cattle producers have had their farms quarantined. Their herds have been slaughtered, yet they cannot begin to rebuild their herds or their lives until the government drafts restocking guidelines.

When will the minister release the guidelines that will allow cattle producers to restock their cattle and rebuild their lives?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there is already a program in place and I know the hon. member is aware of this. When animals have to be put down because of a reportable disease, there is compensation to the owner of each of those animals. As soon as that process is finished, if the individuals wish to take that money and restock their herds, they can do that immediately.

In regard to the criteria of the United States, I will say again, we need the science and we will complete that science as quickly as possible.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of science fiction coming from that side of the House.

Cattle producers are already looking ahead to restocking their farms for the future. These producers are waiting for the CFIA to give them written guidelines for that restocking.

Can the minister tell us when the CFIA will publish those guidelines to allow for the restocking of farms and to allow the people to get on with their lives?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I think I am correct in saying that as soon as the quarantine is lifted farms can then start restocking.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette-et-la-Mitis.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.