Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada has come back empty-handed from Washington. There was no commitment from President Bush about the unjust and shocking dispute over softwood lumber, despite the NAFTA tribunal's decision in favour of Canada.
The Prime Minister has come home empty-handed on the issue of mad cow as well; President Bush told him that, someday, perhaps, the American border might reopen. What a firm commitment.
Meanwhile, thousands of dairy and beef farmers are suffering from the overall drop in the price of beef. The Prime Minister did not even get any hints from the American government that it might reduce its grain subsidies, which are killing our producers.
Finally, the Prime Minister was caught in a flagrant contradiction. While he is in favour of putting the coordination of the missile defence shield in the hands of Norad, he told President Bush that he was opposed to the weaponization of space but that, ultimately, the decision would be made in the fall, that is, after the election.
What a lovely example of democracy, and what a fine mess.