|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Progress in Cuba
Paul Steckle (HuronóBruce, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for
the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The livestock industry has been
devastated since the discovery of BSE in Canada in May 2003 when many
countries around the world closed their borders to the Canadian beef and
other ruminant industry.
Could the Minister of Agriculture today tell the House what progress he
may have made when he was in Cuba last week?
Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that we were successful in
entering into an agreement with Cuba, one based on science that will allow
its borders to be reopened to live Canadian cattle, sheep and goats as
well as to a range or beef products from cattle of any age.
This builds on success in many other countries and is part of our
repositioning strategy for the cattle and beef industry so it can increase
its capacity on one side and have additional markets on the other side,
ensuring that it can be profitable with or without the U.S. border