IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on the $1 Billion Community Development Trust Fund

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on October 12, 2006, a very sad day, the Conservatives sold out the softwood lumber industry. Over 10,000 good jobs have been lost since. One billion dollars was thrown away and another half billion dollars in punitive taxes were levied against businesses that could not afford to pay.

Now we find out that the U.S. lumber lobby opposes the long overdue community trust fund. Is that why the Conservatives are delaying the plan, because the U.S. gets a veto?

Why will the government not put the trust fund to a vote today and get the money into the hands of the communities that need it now?

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Hon. David Emerson (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we all know that U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is one of the most protectionist organizations in all of North America. It opposes every policy that is announced in the forestry area in Canada. This one is no different.

The U.S. government has not brought this issue to arbitration. I do not expect it will.

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M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, ce gouvernement a donné un droit de veto aux Américains, on le sait très bien. De Trois-Rivières à Lebel-sur-Quévillon, de Prince Albert à New Westminster, de Kirkland Lake à Thunder Bay, de Flin Flon à Hinton, de Kamloops à Terrace, de Mont-Laurier à Maniwaki au Témiscaminque et encore à des dizaines d'autres endroits, les communautés sont dévastées parce que ce gouvernement a baclé le dossier.

Ce gouvernement arrêtera-t-il ce chantage et donnera-t-il son aide aux communautés forestières maintenant, sans plus tarder?

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(In English) Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, this government has given the Americans veto power, as everyone knows.

From Trois-Rivières to Lebel-sur Quévillon, from Prince Albert to New Westminster, from Kirkland Lake to Thunder Bay, from Flin Flon to Hinton, from Kamloops to Terrace, from Mont-Laurier to Maniwaki to Témiscamingue, and many other places, communities have been devastated by this government's mishandling of this file.

Will this government stop this blackmail and help the forestry communities without further delay?

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Hon. David Emerson (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the reason that the U.S. protectionists do not like the softwood lumber agreement is it prevents them from bringing more trade remedies against Canada. It prevents them from bringing antidumping cases. It prevents them from bring countervailing subsidy allegations. It constrains them, and they do not like it.