Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister for External Relations):
Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that we have indeed been invited to participate in this event and also that we have agreed with the topics to be discussed, provided we can also agree on the conditions for federal participation. I think my hon. friend will agree with our proposal, which is that since the federal Government has most of the responsibility in this area, it cannot be treated as just another participant, like the co-operative movement, for instance.
Thus, we are trying to reach agreement with the Government of Quebec on having a position at least equal to theirs in this seminar or mini-summit. We are negotiating with the Government of Quebec about this problem. I wrote a letter to Mr. Landry this morning, to get us a little further down the road towards a consensus.
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS