IN THE HOUSE ~ Speaking on NAFTA

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

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his very interesting comments.

He alluded to the government's lack of rigour. We are well aware that this government has lacked rigour regarding trade issues. That is also the case with Bill S-38. As for NAFTA, we saw the government's reaction or, rather, lack of reaction when President Bush and his administration made a mockery of our dispute settlement mechanism. This important NAFTA component was abused. Moreover, there was no reaction on the part of this government. We have been waiting for the past two months. One telephone call was made and that was it. There has been no action, just a lot of rhetoric.

The government is trying to avoid helping the softwood lumber industry. We had to go through this period because of the government's lack of reaction and rigour.

I have a question for the hon. member. The government has shown no initiative to support the softwood lumber industry. Moreover, it has done absolutely nothing to make the Bush administration respect NAFTA and the dispute settlement process that is clearly enunciated in that agreement. In light of all this, does the hon. member think that there is also a lack of rigour on the part of this Liberal government as regards the NAFTA issue?