These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Anti-American Statements Hurt Producers

Mr. Howard Hilstrom (Selkirk—Interlake, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, Peak of the Market, a successful Manitoba export business, is feeling the impact of the Liberal government's anti-American actions and statements.

This farmer owned company has had orders from longstanding U.S. customers cancelled. Manitoba farmers and vegetable growers are among the first to feel the economic backlash.

What steps has the agriculture minister taken to improve relations with his U.S. counterpart?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade, the Deputy Prime Minister, myself and our officials are in constant contact with officials and the industry in the United States.

If the hon. member has a specific issue, a specific case, that he would like us to look into I would ask him to give that to me because to date he has not brought that to my attention other than just now. If he would, I would be pleased to look into it.

Mr. Howard Hilstrom (Selkirk—Interlake, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister to phone Mr. Larry MacIntosh in Winnipeg. I am sure he knows who he is and he will hear the same story.

Canadian farmers rely very heavily on trade with the United States and the Prime Minister and deputy minister are making a terrible mess of our trade situation with the U.S.

I would like to know how large of a negative economic impact the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Deputy Prime Minister are willing to accept before they speak up about the need to improve relations with our best trading partner and friends.

Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether that is a promotion or a demotion, but let me say that we have very good relations with the United States, as the ambassador himself said last week.

However I do not think that Canada can stand by and say that we should not take a principled position on matters of war and peace because we are afraid of some or other trade action being taken by our partners.

Surely to goodness, the notion of national sovereignty includes the fact that we make political decisions, especially of such importance as when we put our soldiers at risk, on the basis of principles that are bigger than whether or not we can make a buck out of having better relations.