IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period - Softwood lumber sellout

39TH PARLIAMENT, 1ST SESSION
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the 23 page terms of surrender to George Bush on softwood lumber are an indictment of the government's fawning desire to negotiate any deal no matter what the price to Canadians.

The surrender terms give away over $1 billion to the trade criminals, require Canadians to have a permission slip from George Bush for any forestry changes, and throw away our binding dispute settlement rights.

Our ambassador to Washington admitted that there were no instructions from the government to stand up for Canadian rights under NAFTA. In fact, the instructions were clear: capitulate. Why did the government surrender?

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The truth is, Mr. Speaker, the agreement is founded on deception, but in that way, it seems remarkably similar to the election campaign the minister ran in Vancouver Kingsway.

It is unprecedented. The softwood sector has to take our own government to court in order to uphold Canada's rights. What a mess.

Will the minister commit today, as his surrender is being rejected by Canadians, that the government will do what it should have done in the first place, invoke chapter 19, provide loan guarantees and litigation support for the softwood companies so that Canadians' rights are maintained and we get every single dollar back?