IN THE HOUSE ~ Question to Minister of Trade on softwood lumber surrender

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Carl Grenier, vice-president of the Free Trade Lumber Council, described very clearly what happened last Thursday. He said, "Every victory obtained over the past three years under NAFTA has just been erased with the single stroke of a pen".

This government has just undone everything we gained under NAFTA. It has just paid George Bush a 22% commission for his trade crimes and it just strong-armed our companies and required them, forced them, to accept the unacceptable.

Honestly, why be so irresponsible?


Mr. Speaker, the minister says this is a good deal for B.C. How would he know? He has not been seen in his riding in three months.

We know what the Conservative strategy on softwood lumber is. It is to wave the white flag of surrender. The Conservatives surrendered $1 billion in illegally taken tariffs that the Americans keep as the proceeds of trade crime, surrendered Canada's dispute settlement rights, and surrendered the interests of every softwood community in Canada.

Now we learn that the Americans filed their appeal anyway and that premiers like B.C.'s Gordon Campbell were not even told about concessions such as the anti-circumvention clause.

How could they sign such a bad deal?