|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC): Mr. Speaker, R-CALF trade mercenaries in the U.S. are threatening to take measures to slam the U.S. border shut to exports of Canadian boxed beef. These devious attempts to further cripple our livestock industry demand that we consider all options to increase our export markets for Canadian beef and livestock products.
Would the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food finally consider voluntary BSE testing to help access niche markets for Canadian livestock products?
Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as a government we have taken a large number of measures to assist the cattle industry. Our repositioning strategy is in part designed to create new alternative markets around the world. That is why we invested $50 million into a beef legacy fund to help with the marketing. As I have said on many occasions, we will consider a whole host of options all of which will be designed to help create additional markets for our beef and cattle around the world.
Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that is not enough. Greater efforts must be made to find new markets for Canadian cattle and livestock.
So far, the Liberal government has only announced the resumption of live cattle trade with Cuba, a country that bought an underwhelming $151,000 worth of live cattle from us over the last 10 years.
When will the minister stop making hollow announcements and start getting real results in exporting Canadian livestock?
Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, for whatever reason, the hon. member has forgotten our re-establishment of access into the Hong Kong market and our ability now through a protocol that we signed in China for our genetic material. We are making good progress in terms of the Japanese market. We are making good progress in terms of the Taiwanese market.
May I suggest to the hon. member that she concentrate on helping Canadian producers rather than trying to score cheap political points here on the floor of the House.