IN THE HOUSE ~ Speaking on Bill S-38, international trade commitments by Canada regarding spirit drinks of foreign countries

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

Mr. Speaker, we are, of course, very supportive of Bill S-38 because it shows what can be done when we have good, effective trade policy that is win-win.

Basically the European Union wanted access to our markets in the same way that Canada wanted access to its, but at the same time we wanted to protect the appellations that exist in Europe and in Canada for the creation of a market for good Canadian quality products. Bill S-38 is an example of very effective trade policy.

As the parliamentary secretary knows, we have another issue, that of softwood lumber, where the government has clearly been completely ineffective and in fact negligent. We have an industry that is bleeding $4 million a day. Our partner in the United States has ripped up those aspects of NAFTA that the Bush administration does not like and the government has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to defend the interests of the softwood lumber industry, the 20,000 workers who have lost their jobs, and the communities across British Columbia, across northern Ontario, across Canada indeed, that are suffering from this long-standing dispute.

I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary what has worked in this case. Canada very clearly has negotiated equally with the European Union in order to bring forth a bit of trade policy that works for both partners. Why has the government manifestly failed on softwood lumber?