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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that it will give the Americans $1 billion to prepare for the next attack. It is a very dangerous precedent. There was a trade conflict, the companies battled it out, and they won. Then with the American refusal to submit to tribunals' decisions, the rules were changed. It is evident that companies will no longer want to defend themselves if they are the victims of another protectionist attack in the future, especially with the type of action taken by the government.

Yesterday, it was softwood lumber. Can the minister tell us which other sector he plans to abandon tomorrow?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. In principle, this agreement will protect the Canadian forestry industry. This was made possible by the leadership of the current Prime Minister, who held President Bush to an agreement that would respect the rights and interests of the Canadian industry. This is why Canada secured the repayment of 80% of the tariffs collected by the Americans. This is why the Government of Quebec and the Quebec forestry industry support this agreement which is good for the workers and for Quebec and Canadian companies.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, accepting 80¢ on the dollar is a sellout, accepting new export taxes is a sellout and accepting quotas on our softwood lumber is a sellout.

What is to stop other U.S. businesses from attacking other Canadian industries now that the government has rewarded George Bush and the U.S. lumber lobby with a billion dollar payout for ignoring NAFTA? What is protecting other businesses? What does the government have to say about that?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I get the impression that the questioners today, unlike the premiers and the forestry industry leaders, have not actually read the agreement. If they were to do so, they would see that the Americans are not keeping $1 billion: 10% will go to jointly agreed upon forestry projects that will help our industry, including through the pinewood beetle crisis in British Columbia; 80% will be returned to Canada; and only 10% will stay in the United States. That is 10% more than anyone would like but it is 90% less than the Americans would have kept had the Liberals still been in power.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, any way they try to cut it, it is still a sellout. It is still $1 billion that should be coming back to Canadians, the workers who have been hurt by this deal over the years. Even the Conservative Party platform talks about using the repayment of illegally collected tariffs to help displaced forestry workers and their communities but this deal was silent on that question.

Will the minister commit today to using these illegal tariffs to help workers, or are the Conservatives just like the Liberals, which is to say one thing before an election and then do something completely different afterward?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the premier and the government of her own province, British Columbia, the major forestry province in this country, support this accord because it is good for the province of British Columbia.

Let me quote Gordon Campbell, the Liberal Premier of B.C., who said, “This is a good deal for British Columbia”. Another friend of the former government said, “I want to thank the Prime Minister. He has driven this hard. What I really appreciate is that he made some changes to this deal that made it fair for Ontario”. That was said by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, during the previous election, the Minister of International Trade said that he would be, “the Prime Minister's worst nightmare”.

Now, with the government's softwood sellout of the century, will the minister admit to this House that he has now become British Columbia's worst nightmare by forcing it to accept a deal that he previously rejected?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

I am delighted, Mr. Speaker, that the member opposite raised the deal that was rejected by the current Minister of International Trade because when that minister sat in the Liberal cabinet he saw the Liberals come forward with a deal that would have sold Canada down the river and would have only collected $3.5 billion in duties.

He realized, when he saw the new Prime Minister, that he was a leader who would stand up for Canada and joined his cabinet. In fact, it is the Minister of International Trade who delivered the third party trigger that was an absolute sine qua non of an agreement on the part of British Columbia. The minister defended British Columbia and got a great deal for British Columbians.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, this deal is a disaster. The Conservatives have left $1.5 billion on the table, $600 million of which belongs to British Columbia. It gets worse than that. The $600 million will now be used against us.

When will the minister admit that he is bankrolling the U.S. industry to fight against Canadians, to fight against Canadian jobs and to fight against the Canadian economy?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

It is clear, Mr. Speaker, that the member opposite does not have a clue and does not understand the issue.

The current Minister of International Trade knows more about softwood lumber and this industry than the entire Liberal caucus combined. That is why he rejected the deal that would have sold Canada down the river that was on the Liberal cabinet table last November and that is why he specifically managed to persuade the United States to include in this agreement a provision that would ensure that the Canadian industry is not penalized if third countries begin to increase their market share in the United States. That is why British Columbians--

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Don Valley West.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his representative can try to justify this sellout deal all day but the fact remains that industry leaders and people in Ontario who made their livings in the softwood lumber industry know that our province has been sold down the river and jobs will be lost.

Why did the Prime Minister back down from his earlier stance of demanding a return of 100% of the illegally collected duties on Canadian softwood lumber from the United States? Why did he leave $1.5 billion in the hands of American lawbreakers?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

He did not, Mr. Speaker. We reject the premise of the question.

The member claims to speak for Ontario on this but I thought the Government of Ontario did. The Liberal forestry minister, David Ramsey, said that Ontario got a critical element or more reasonable share of softwood exports. His own premier, Dalton McGuinty, thanked the Prime Minister and said, “He has driven it hard and what I really appreciate is that he made some changes to this deal that made it fair for Ontario”.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Prime Minister and his representative do not realize this but, like all ministers, they are supposed to negotiate on behalf of all Canadians, and not on behalf of the American softwood lumber industry.

I therefore ask the Prime Minister the following: now that we have seen the catastrophic results of the negotiations in which the Minister of International Trade took part, is the Prime Minister going to ask him to sign on as a lobbyist for the American lumber producers, since the minister already seems to be working for them?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what was catastrophic was the Liberals' complete inability to act or to defend the interests of the Canadian industry when they were in power. Their total failure allowed the Americans to make off with $5 billion Canadian. Thanks to the Prime Minister's leadership, $4 billion of that will be reimbursed and put back into the pockets of Canadians. The Liberals never obtained as much.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Prime Minister's claims, yesterday's framework agreement with the Americans on softwood lumber is not all good.

Is the government concerned that by signing the agreement yesterday, it is tacitly agreeing with unsubstantiated American claims that Canada is supporting its softwood lumber industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would reiterate that this government has always supported loan guarantees for the forest industry if an agreement could not be reached with the United States. That said, all stakeholders, including the industry and the provinces, have always preferred to reach an agreement. And we reached one yesterday. It is good for Canadian interests because the Americans will give back $4 billion. This will really help Canada's forest industry.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the chairman of the American coalition that started this dispute invited Canada to take the opportunity presented by this agreement to change its softwood lumber trading practices, thus refusing to back down from its claims that Canada still subsidizes its industry.

How can the government call this agreement a victory when, in fact, it looks more like a truce than a long-term solution?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite simply because it really is a long-term agreement. I do not have the agreement here in French, but it states quite clearly that:

The agreement will be for a term of seven years and may be renewed for two years.

It is clear that this is a long-term agreement. Under this agreement, the U.S. has made a legal commitment not to cause any more problems for our industry. This is a good long-term agreement for the industry. It will really stabilize the situation.

FinanceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, last February, I wrote to the finance minister to find out his position on the Canadian International Trade Tribunal's recent recommendation to impose a surtax on the growing number of cheap imported bicycles. The main manufacturers affected are located in Quebec, namely, Raleigh Canada Ltd. in Waterloo, in my riding, and Groupe Procycle Inc. in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, in the riding of the current industry minister.

Does the Minister of Finance intend to enforce the tribunal's decision and support the Quebec and Canadian bicycle industry?

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that the minister is well aware of this issue and I urge him to wait for the budget to see how it is dealt with.

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the government going to subject the bicycle industry to the same fate as the softwood lumber industry, and by that I mean will it do nothing until the industry is forced to throw in the towel at the last minute? What will it take for him to do something?

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member will find that all will become clear next week. I urge him to be patient and wait for the budget.

HealthOral Questions

April 28th, 2006 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, at this moment the Garden Hill First Nation in my riding of Churchill is experiencing a tuberculosis epidemic. Since March the first two active cases of TB have spread to 20 people and hundreds upon hundreds of people, myself included, have been in contact. Despite pleas from the community leaders, the minister responsible has done nothing to prevent this disease from spreading further. This rate is 125 times greater than what the Minister of Health declared as a target for first nations on National TB Day.

I ask the minister, how many more people need to be infected before he will commit to helping the Garden Hill First Nation?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member is actually incorrect. The Government of Canada, Health Canada and Manitoba Health Services are working on managing the outbreak along with provincial regional health authorities.

In fact, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development met with the first nation chief about four weeks ago, immediately after the outbreak occurred. Clearly, the government is taking action and we look forward to working with the community and all other stakeholders to ensure that appropriate action is taken.