These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

GM Wheat

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board.

According to Ken Ritter, the chair of the Canadian Wheat Board, 82% of the board's customers say they do not want to use genetically engineered wheat.

Does the minister agree with the position taken by the Wheat Board's customers and the board's opposition to Monsanto's application to cultivate and market genetically engineered wheat in Canada?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as all hon. members will know, given our painful experience this summer with BSE, it is important to take a science based approach to cross-border trade issues. That having been said, I have a great deal of concern about the same things the Canadian Wheat Board is concerned about. We do not want to lose either markets or market share. A great deal of work therefore remains to be done to ensure intelligent and responsible behaviour in respect of genetically modified products.

The government is working very closely with the Canadian grains industry and other stakeholders, including the Canadian Wheat Board, to determine how best to proceed in a responsible manner.

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, with the collapse of the trade talks in Cancun, Canadian agriculture producers have been dealt yet another blow. Producers in Canada have been placing their future hopes on these negotiations.

The Minister for International Trade stated that WTO members must redouble their efforts to build bridges and find consensus. The minister needs to redouble his efforts to build bridges in his own backyard. Canadian producers are hurting. When will the Liberal government rebuild damaged relationships with our farmers and our international trading partners?

Mr. Murray Calder (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, everybody knows that there was nothing in the draft agreement that was agreed to in Cancun, but additional insights have been gained and that will lead to further discussions which will be taking place on December 15 in Geneva when the WTO group meets again.

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, Liberal policies continue to destroy international relationships and alienate and harm our Canadian farmers.

When will the government deal with opening the Canada-U.S. border to live cattle? When will it deal with high tariffs placed on grain farmers? When will it deal with restricted market access to agriculture producers?

Why is the Liberal government continuing to harm our Canadian agriculture producers?


Mr. Claude Duplain (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canada went to Cancun to agree on a framework document on agriculture that would allow us to continue to pursue our negotiation objectives, in other words, the elimination of export subsidies, maximum reduction of internal support that distorts trade, and true improvements to market access for all agri-food products, which is very important to us.