These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Government Abandons Agriculture

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the government has done nothing to address the situation many of our farm families are facing as result of this year's record drought and disastrous growing conditions.

And now a lack of will by the government to deal with harmful trade policies and an inefficient transportation system has further compounded an already critical situation.

Why has the minister abandoned his commitment to support all sectors of the industry by allowing the importing of butter oil sugar blends and allowing domestic policies that are hindering the flow of grain?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the concern of the dairy industry with regard to butter oil sugar blends has been taken before the CITT here in Canada. The government did that. The CITT ruled on that and, of course, as the government does, we will abide by the ruling of the CITT.

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the dairy industry is very upset with that ruling. As a matter of fact, it is having a rally next week to protest what the government is doing. Grain producers are also unable to ship the grain, what little they have left.

Why will the agriculture minister and the trade minister not get up off their collective sacks of unsold agricultural products and go to bat for Canadian farmers and solve these issues?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade and I are constantly working with, not only our industry here but with other countries around the world in order to improve the international rules through the World Trade Organization and our membership in the Cairns Group as well.

In conjunction with the industry, we put together a very strong negotiating position, which is supported by the industry across the country, to take to the WTO to support and work with them on their behalf.