These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Exports to U.S.

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Liberals voted against what Mr. McGuinty is proposing to do in Ontario.

But I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

He will know that the U.S. International Trade Commission came out with its decision today. Unfortunately, it seems that the harassment of Canadian farmers will continue. A good decision on durum but a bad decision on spring wheat.

What does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to do now to protect Canadian farmers from this continuing unjustified harassment of Canadian exports to the United States?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have said prior to this that we would take every step that we possibly could, including launching panels in both NAFTA and WTO if that is seen necessary.

We have very successfully demonstrated in the past that the Canadian Wheat Board works and acts within WTO compliance. We have proven that in the past and I am confident we can prove it in the future.

Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the good news is the International Trade Commission has ruled unanimously today that U.S. tariffs on Canadian durum are illegal. The bad news is the ITC split two to two on wheat tariffs so the United States will doubtless continue its ongoing harassment against wheat farmers as political considerations trump common sense.

Does the government intend to launch an appeal on the 14% tariffs that harasses our wheat farmers and will it help by picking up some of the legal tab which is now running in excess of $10 million?

Mr. Murray Calder (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, Canada's wheat exports to the United States are not subsidized. We are carefully reviewing the U.S. decision and then we will examine our WTO and NAFTA options under the context of deciding the most effective steps to take.