Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 03, 2008 17:17 ET

Minister Hearn Comments on the WTO Doha Development Agenda

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

Recent media attention has focused on the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, which is a World Trade Organization (WTO) process that has been ongoing since 2001, and proposals under discussion that could impact the Canadian fishing industry.

The current text dealing with international trade rules contains proposals related to the fisheries that are unacceptable to Canada and most other WTO members.

Our government stands up for Canadian fisheries on the international stage and we are working with a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, provinces and territories, to get the best possible outcome for Canadians.

It is irresponsible and inappropriate to suggest that this process will be over by April, as some have done. Before the WTO could even consider concluding negotiations, they would need to hold a Ministerial-level meeting and reach a final settlement on all aspects of the talks, including industrial products, agriculture, and services. No such meeting has been scheduled at this point and many issues are still outstanding.

The process to review and suggest changes to the first draft of the negotiating texts, including the proposals related to fisheries, is on-going.

Our government is reviewing the text in great detail, and it involves not just me but several of my colleagues, including Ministers Emerson, Ritz and Flaherty.

This government has shown time and time again that it stands up for Canada on the international stage, and we will do exactly that in this case.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Joshua Zanin
    Special Assistant, Communications