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Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is dedicated to building a stronger, prouder, more prosperous Canada by delivering real results for everyday Canadian families.  He has spent his entire political career standing up and speaking out for Canadians who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules.

As Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has delivered real action on the priorities of all Canadian families including:

  • Passing the tough new political fundraising rules that take the big money, corporations and unions out of political party financing.
  • Reducing the GST from 7% to 6% and now, to 5%.
  • Providing $1,200 per year, per child under six, that parents can spend on their own child care priorities.
  • Giving Canadians tax credits for money spent on transit passes, textbooks and kids’ sports.
  • Strengthening Canada’s product safety laws, including the first ever federal mandatory recall law, and new rules for what can be called a “product of Canada”.
  • Passing tough new laws that will keep gun criminals and sexual predators behind bars.
  • Taking real action on the environment with Canada’s first ever mandatory greenhouse gas emission regulations.
  • Investing in new patrol ships, satellite surveillance, and arctic rangers to protect our sovereignty over Canada’s North.

Click here to learn more about our leader prime Minister Stephen Harper

Bezan Welcomes World Trade Organization’s Fourth Decision on COOL

Selkirk, Manitoba- James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, today issued the following news release on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) latest and final decision on the U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) policy:

COOL was implemented by the USDA in 2009 and ruled an unfair trade barrier by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2011.  The United States proceeded to appeal the WTO ruling, and the WTO once again ruled in favour of Canada.  For the fourth time, the WTO has ruled against the United States’ COOL policy, reaffirming Canada’s long-standing position that these measures are protectionist and discriminate against Canada. This decision is final, without the possibility of further appeal.

“As a former cattle producer, I can proudly say this is a great victory for Canada’s livestock industries, “said MP Bezan.  “After the United States decided to implement COOL in 2009, the Canadian livestock industry took a big hit as our exports of hogs and cattle to the United States drastically declined.  Two-way trade in the livestock and meat sector will no doubt increase with the removal of COOL and we will start to see the growth of jobs in this vital industry.”       

“Hog producers and Ranchers throughout Selkirk-Interlake have been hurt by this regressive protectionist policy that flies in the spirit of free trade,” continued MP Bezan. “COOL increases food processing costs, impedes the economic principles of free enterprise, reduces the competitiveness of the US meat industry, lowers returns to livestock producers on both sides of the border and does nothing to improve consumer awareness.” 

In light of the final ruling, and due to the fact that the United States has continued to discriminate against Canadian livestock products, Canada will be seeking authority from the WTO to use retaliatory measures on U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural products. In June 2013, Canada released a proposed list of targeted U.S. imports, and Canada is now preparing our request to retaliate.

Our government stands on the side of Canadian farmers and ranchers, and we will continue to protect all hardworking Canadians throughout this retaliatory process.

“I would like to congratulate Ministers Ritz and Fast for following through on legal actions against this blatantly protectionist policy. The US Government must abandon this destructive and regressive policy.  I urge the American government to respect NAFTA, the WTO, and work at enhancing Canada/US relations, not undermining them. I demand that they resend COOL, which is an illegal trade barrier,” summarized MP Bezan.

For more information on the proposed retaliatory measures, please consult the 2013 Canada Gazette notice seeking comments on the proposed list of targeted U.S. importshttp://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2013/2013-06-15/html/notice-avis-eng.html#d115.

For details of the WTO report on COOL, please visit Appellate Body issues report on United States—Country of origin labelling requirementshttps://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/384_386abrw_e.htm.

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