These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Doha

Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there have been some major developments in the agriculture trade negotiations which are breathing some new life into the Doha round. The European Union has signalled it is willing to eliminate its export agricultural subsidies. The U.S. has responded by showing flexibility in its export programs.

I would like to ask the minister, what is the Liberal government doing to get the Doha round back on track?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, presently the Minister of International Trade is over in Paris meeting with his counterparts to talk about the importance of the Canadian position. There are a number of issues within this trade round that are of concern to Canadian farmers, for instance, supply management. There is no question that the government is 100% behind Canadian supply managed farmers. I wonder whether or not the hon. member can actually say his party is.

Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade might be in Paris but he is not meeting with the EU, the U.S., Brazil, India and Australia that are meeting to try to get the Doha round back on track. Canadian inflexibility at the negotiating table has meant we have not been invited to these talks.

When is the Liberal government going to show the leadership required so that Canada is no longer excluded and left on the sidelines in the important negotiations on Doha?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance spoke with them this morning.

The Government of Canada plays a very important role in these talks. We can join together countries in the G-8 with some of the developing countries. We can join them together and work with them in terms of putting forward a position which I think is very important to Canadian farmers and farm families.

I can assure the hon. member and all Canadians that the Government of Canada takes these talks very seriously. The Prime Minister has indicated that he wants to make sure that we put forward a very strong Canadian position on this issue.