|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Ms. Denise Poirier-Rivard (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the representatives of farm producers are expressing concern at the Government of Canada's attitude in its defence of supply management in the negotiations taking place at the WTO.
In view of the concerns of the producers over the real intentions of the government, could the minister reassure them and confirm his intention to vigorously defend the retention of supply management and order his team of negotiators to do likewise?
Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, absolutely, we support supply management in this country without reservation. That is the negotiating stance that we took in Geneva last year. That is the negotiating stance that our negotiations are taking right now. It is what we will pursue throughout the course of these negotiations.
Ms. Denise Poirier-Rivard (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, BQ): Mr. Speaker, farm producers are concerned because the government recently backed off somewhat by agreeing to make supply management negotiable.
Why is the government not helping farmers by closing its borders to milk byproducts legally entering Canada duty free?
Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said in the answer to the previous question, in the broadest sense we are defending supply management through our negotiations in terms of WTO.
There are other measures in the interim that we should take. We are launching an appeal under the CITT. We are taking a look at some labelling issues and some standard issues. We put in a new monitoring system in respect of those specific items at the border. We will act as the need to act arises.