These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Canada Closes Border

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, every day the crisis in Canada's cattle industry deepens, pulling down more and more Canadian families.

The U.S. border is still closed to all trade in cattle and open to only a small fraction of the beef industry. One of the issues stopping progress on getting the U.S. border open to our Canadian cattle is the refusal of this government to open our borders to U.S. cattle.

The industry is calling for action, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association is calling for action, and the minister has even promised some action.

I ask the minister, what steps has he taken to eliminate this hurdle to open trade in cattle?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency along with the Ministry of Health and the industry continue to review the situation the member is asking about. It is a risk assessment based on health and the concern about disease coming into Canada from the United States. We have had some pilot projects on this. We will continue to monitor it and continue the risk assessment.

I also want to remind the member that he should be thanking the government for getting the border open to the extent that we have. We have now had 27 million pounds of Canadian meat and beef move into the United States already in the month of September.