IN THE HOUSE ~ Question to Prime Minister Harper on softwood lumber agreement and NAFTA

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

Mr. Speaker, last August Canada won on softwood lumber under binding dispute settlement. When the Bush administration in effect said it would not respect NAFTA, the former Liberal government did absolutely nothing to stand up for Canadian rights.

One month ago, on the Prime Minister's watch, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed further illegal punitive tariffs on Canadian value added products, like flooring.

Would the Prime Minister tell the House what specific actions he has taken to protect the small businesses newly hit by the latest bullying, or has he just rolled over here, too?


Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see the minister emerge from the witness protection program. I can see why the Conservatives took a Liberal to handle this file; there is no difference in policy.

For Woodland Flooring in Comox, B.C., this bullying means a loss of 25% of sales.

Giving away Canadian rights under NAFTA by trying to negotiate a side deal means the death of binding dispute settlement, and that opens every other industrial sector to the same kind of illegal actions.

Since he has no plan, would the Prime Minister at least commit today to not accept one penny less than the over $5 billion that is owed Canadians?