Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 52, I request an emergency debate on the agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures, which the World Trade Organization is discussing in relation to fisheries subsidies.
The situation is critical. There are texts circulating that call for the prohibition of subsidies, which would threaten the future of the fishery not only in Quebec, but in Canada. The texts mention subsidies in three areas. The first is infrastructure. As hon. members know, without wharves, there is no fishery. If we do not subsidize infrastructure, the future of the fishery is in danger.
One text mentions that the prohibition might apply to subsidies for the purchase, renovation and restoration of fishing boats. As in the case of infrastructure, without fishing boats, there is no fishery, because companies depend on financial assistance.
The third area is income support. As hon. members are aware, this could affect employment insurance.
Negotiations are under way at the WTO, and texts are being produced as a result. It is important and urgent that we discuss these texts now, in order to verify the nature and scope of the mandate given to our chief negotiator and to find out the government's position on this urgent and important issue.