These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Beef Marketing Strategy

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, we have been asking the government for months about a marketing strategy for Canadian beef.

Public trust must be restored. Where is the public ad campaign to promote the beef industry and what is the government's plan?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that through the work of the government and the industry it is being demonstrated very clearly that the Canadian beef product is completely safe. It has been recognized by other countries in the world by opening their borders in ways that have never happened before as far as receiving product from a BSE country goes.

That has also been recognized in the numbers. Canadian consumers purchased 62% more beef in July of this year than last year and 72% more in August than they did last year. The beef is moving and we just need to continue to work--

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar.

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent answer from the member whose government gives millions to millionaires and pennies to seniors.

Other livestock industries are being affected by the BSE scare: sheep, bison and cervids. Borders and markets must be opened and kept open for these Canadian products as well. Where is the government's plan for marketing alternative livestock?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, when the markets in the United States opened and when the markets in Mexico were opened those markets were opened in the very same way for the other ruminants, for all the other ruminants, as they have been for beef. The hon. member knows that. I am sure she read the press release. I am sure she read the information that is out there.

It is the science, it is the record of the Canadian beef industry and it is the work of our processing plants and the work of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that have had recognition given to Canada that has not been given to any other country in the world. We will keep building on that.

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Canadian livestock industry is going to change its name to Bombardier.

Canadian producers know that until our borders open to year round access to American feeder cattle the American border will remain closed to ours. This has been an issue for 10 years. Will the government agree to reverse its position and get all the borders open?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member fails to realize, so I will remind her and others again, that no other countries have had the borders opened such as we have. Unfortunately, we had a cow back in May with BSE, which puts us in the category that we are now a BSE country. Other countries in the world usually do not import products from countries that had a case of BSE, but our track record, our science and the work that has been done, that has been the strategy, and it is working.

Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, since the federal government refused to take its responsibilities, the Government of Quebec was forced to launch the second phase of its own plan to help farm producers who are victims of the mad cow crisis.

The minister should stop talking about the agricultural policy framework because farmers simply do not want it. Does the minister intend to implement a specific program for dealing with the mad cow crisis, as requested by farmers?


Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am certainly ready to help farmers more than we have to date and we are already for those provinces that have signed the implementation agreement. That implementation agreement is there with the province of Quebec.

I have had signing authority since last spring and would be more than pleased to sign that document. That will move even more money into the province of Quebec to help beef farmers and other farmers.