These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Border Could Be Closed For Years

Mr. Rick Laliberte (Churchill River, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, farmers and the agricultural industry remain hopeful that we will regain our foreign markets soon, but a recent newspaper article stated that the borders could be closed for years and not months to Canadian beef.

Could the Minister of Agriculture tell the House what information this was based on and is this indeed correct?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first and foremost I want all hon. members to know that this document was a document speculating not on the opening of the U.S. border, but on Canada's support at the OIE to get it to recognize specifically our North American situation. It was obviously over pessimistic.

In fact since that time, borders have opened. For instance, the United States has opened its border to Canadian beef under the age of 30 months. We have heard today that Macao, another island country, will be opening up its borders shortly to Canadian beef.