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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 067

CONTENTS

Tuesday, June 7, 2016




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 067 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Commissioner of Official Languages

    I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 67(1) of the Official Languages Act, a special report by the Commissioner of Official Languages entitled “Air Canada: On the road to increased compliance through an effective enforcement regime”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

[English]

Commissioner of Lobbying

    I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the year 2015-16.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), these reports are deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 19 petitions.

Committees of the House

Agriculture and Agri-Food 

     moved that the third report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, presented to the House on Tuesday, May 17, be concurred in.
    She said: Mr. Speaker, it is a true privilege today to rise and speak about the Canadian dairy industry as the member for Fundy Royal, the dairy centre of the Maritimes. The farmers in my riding contribute to approximately half of the province of New Brunswick's milk production. I am also particularly proud to rise today as the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, Reg Tabor, who probably never imagined that I would be here in this House delivering my maiden speech in support of Canadian dairy farmers.
    I am standing here today to raise an important issue in this House on behalf of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. As stated in the tabled report, the government strongly supports supply management, dairy producers, and the Canadian dairy industry. Likewise as stated in the report, we recognize the magnitude of the issue of diafiltered milk to the Canadian dairy industry, and recognize the industry is calling for a resolution of the problem. Our government is actively engaged on the issue.
    On May 2, 2016, our government announced its intention to initiate discussions within 30 days to help the dairy industry adjust to CETA. The government has delivered on that commitment, and continues its important and productive conversations with the industry. While meeting with stakeholders, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the parliamentary secretary discussed CETA, the issue of diafiltered milk, and sustainable solutions to modernize Canada's dairy industry.
    The government is moving forward on all points in this report. I would like to point out that the government understands very well the challenges that milk producers face on a daily basis. In fact, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the parliamentary secretary were both dairy producers. The minister's farm is in Prince Edward Island while the parliamentary secretary's farm is now in its fourth generation in Quebec.
    The supply-managed Canadian dairy sector is one of the largest agriculture and food sectors in the country and is essential to a strong and prosperous Canadian economy. It supports over 12,000 farms and farm families and 200,000 Canadian jobs; and contributes nearly $20 billion to the Canadian economy. On this side of the House, support for Canadian supply management is clear. Our system is a model of stability around the world. It provides a fair price for farmers; stability for processors; and safe, high-quality products for consumers at affordable prices. Supply management preserves and sustains Canadian farmers, farm families, and rural communities across this country, including in my riding of Fundy Royal.
    Recently, I have found it shameful that the Conservative leadership contestant is advocating for an end to this crucial Canadian system. That member has said that Conservative values are not in line with supply management. The Liberal Party is the party that fought for and implemented supply management. We will continue to protect and defend it for all of those who would like to see it destroyed. I would like to assure this House that Liberal values are in line with supply management and will continue to be.
    The position of the member for Beauce is frankly disturbing, especially given the large number of dairy farms and farm families in his region. I can only imagine the type of feedback the hon. member will receive from the hard-working farmers and their families in his riding who depend on supply management for their future. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the Conservative deputy critic for agriculture, the member for Lévis—Lotbinière, is the co-chair for the leadership campaign calling for the end of supply management. Not only that, but the former Conservative finance minister, Joe Oliver, has also recently spoken out against supply management. That is the Conservative record and the Conservative position. However, I want to be clear that on this side of the House we support supply management and dairy farmers. Our government is committed to supporting a bright future for Canada's dynamic dairy industry.
    This year, the government announced an additional federal investment of $1.75 million in the dairy research cluster. This investment will support the work of scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in two key areas: number one, increasing the energy content of Canadian forage crops to help increase milk production; and, number two, understanding the role played by dairy-fat products, including their positive impact on type 2 diabetes.

  (1010)  

    The total federal investment in the dairy cluster is $13.75 million. Our message has been clear from the beginning: the Government of Canada strongly supports Canada's supply management industries.
    I want to speak about an experience I had yesterday. I was able to visit the Bühlmann dairy farm in the riding of my colleague, the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell. What I witnessed there was a family working together, embracing technology, and planning for the future because of the stability offered to them by the supply management program.
    The work they are doing not only provides Canadians with world-class milk but their farm is an economic provider in the community of St. Isidore, Ontario. This farm is not unique, it is not one of a kind. In fact, innovation of our dairy farmers can be seen from coast to coast, from Scott and Sabrina Robinson's farm in Wards Creek, New Brunswick, to the Haambuckers' farm in Enderby, British Columbia.
    As the executive director of Dairy Farmers of Canada said yesterday, “It is important for elected officials to meet a dairy farm family and see first-hand the dedication and care that goes into operating a modern dairy farm.” This might be good advice for the hon. member across the way.
    Innovation is critical to the success of Canada's dairy industry. Farmers are making great strides in productivity and sustainability. Canadian dairy farmers can now produce the same quantity of milk as they did 20 years ago, with close to half the number of cows and producing 20% less greenhouse gases. Canadian dairy farmers are among the global leaders of their industry when it comes to the environment. Our dairy farmers have a smaller footprint of carbon, water, and land than almost all leading dairy farmers around the world. Our farmers are taking action on the environment, but they need the resources to do so.
    Earlier this year, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food were at McGill University to announce federal funding and an investment of $27 million over five years to help producers find ways to reduce greenhouse gases on their farms. This investment is part of the Government of Canada's efforts to support a competitive, viable, innovative, and sustainable agriculture sector, and that includes the dairy sector.
    To further help farmers implement green measures on the farm, budget 2016 is investing $1.9 million in green jobs for young people. Not only will this get farmers the help that they need, but it will also inspire our young people to consider a future in agriculture.
    Dairy Farmers of Canada is also showing strong leadership on the environment. DFC has launched a sustainability initiative called “proAction”. This program highlights farmers' commitment to high standards of care on their farms, from milk quality to food safety, animal care, traceability, biosecurity, and the environment. Dairy farmers clearly demonstrate responsible stewardship of their animals and the environment, sustainably producing high-quality, safe, and nutritious food for consumers.
    As I said, our government is fully engaged with the industry over the concerns with respect to the use of diafiltered milk in the making of cheese. Our government is working hard on this issue, in line with this report from the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. Consultations with producers and processors from all across Canada have been very co-operative and productive, and discussions are continuing on this important issue.
    The minister and government officials are in regular contact with dairy stakeholders in order to find long-term, sustainable solutions to the very serious issue. Our government also understands the importance of transition support to the dairy sector resulting from the increased access to cheese under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA.
    In anticipation of Canadian ratification of CETA, we will move forward with a plan to help the industry adjust to market access concessions. Several meetings have been held with the dairy industry to obtain its views on the program and investment options for producers and processors.
    Engaging with the dairy sector is crucial to developing the best options possible to help sector transition in the face of both challenges and opportunities. The result will inform our government's important work toward long-term, sustainable solutions for the Canadian dairy industry.

  (1015)  

    There are challenges that we need to address, and I appreciate the opportunity to do that here in this chamber. However, it is important to remember that the challenges also come with opportunities. The Canadian dairy industry is doing great work in growing markets through branding, collaborating with industry, and harnessing innovation.
    The Canadian dairy industry is second to none. Further development of unique Canadian dairy products that meet changing consumer preferences will help sustain and strengthen demand amongst Canadian consumers. A report from Farm Credit Canada, released in April, notes that Canadian dairy consumption is projected to continue to increase by 6.8% over the coming decade. This is largely due to positive consumption trends of butter, yogourt, and specialty cheeses.
    We will continue to work with the industry to help dairy farmers take full advantage of new marketing opportunities here in Canada and throughout the world.
    In order to capture the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead, the government has begun to discuss with industry, the provinces, and territories a new multi-year agricultural policy framework for Canada. Innovation will be a central part of that discussion as a key to helping producers and processors keep pace with changing consumer preferences and tastes.
    We are reaching out to producers and all stakeholders to develop a framework that is built for the future. The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food has launched a website designed to seek feedback from stakeholders to help shape the development of the next agricultural policy framework. This first phase of online consultation will provide stakeholders and Canadians with the opportunity to share their views on Growing Forward 2, the current agricultural policy framework, as well as to offer input on what they would like to see included in the agricultural policy framework of the future.
    Additional consultation activities will be ongoing in the coming months to gather feedback and will help form the next framework. In July, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will begin meeting with provincial and territorial colleagues to begin discussions on the direction of the new framework for agriculture. As well, our Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food will also be examining the agricultural policy framework, and I do look forward to getting started on that important study very soon.
    These open and transparent consultations with Canadians will help shape the direction of future policy and programs to meet this objective. The goal is to help the agriculture and agrifood sector be more innovative, safer, and stronger.
    Within the dairy industry itself, a constructive dialogue is under way between farmers and processors on ways to make the industry more competitive and innovative. There is no doubt that collaboration with the industry is the best way to address broader challenges facing the dairy sector.
    To close, meeting challenges and capturing opportunities will take a lot of hard work and collaboration. Our government will continue to partner with the Canadian dairy farmers and food processors to grow a great future for the Canadian dairy industry.
    We will continue to protect, preserve, and defend Canada's supply management system. That is why I am pleased to say that the government concurs with this, the third report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    There is an old saying that I would like to remind the House, as well as all Canadians, about, “If you have eaten today, thank a farmer.”

  (1020)  

    Madam Speaker, I just wanted to comment on what the member had to say in her speech.
    I would quote from our Conservative Party policy document. On page 45, paragraph 117 on supply management says, “A Conservative Government will support supply management and its goal to deliver a high quality product to consumers for a fair price with a reasonable return to the producer.”
    I would like to correct the member's view of what our party believes. We certainly support supply management.
    I heard a lot of talk coming from the other side, but there have been questions from this side of the House, coming continually, asking what immediate action the government will take to stop the unfair practices and products that are coming in and unfairly competing with ours.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's interest in the dairy industry.
    It is interesting that you point to your policy statement, that of the Conservative Party, on supply management and the support of dairy farmers. Certainly, you must be as surprised as we are to hear several members—
    I just want to remind the member that she is to address her comments to the Chair and not to individual members.
    Excuse me, Madam Speaker.
     I find it interesting that the member opposite brings forward this point as there are several members of her party who have spoken out clearly against supply management. I want to reaffirm that this side of the House does not waver on our support for supply management. It is part of our Liberal values and we will continue to support supply management, and dairy farmers and their families.
    Madam Speaker, I listened with fascination to my colleague, trying to see if they were actually doing anything to support supply management. As for the Liberal Party's record, I will give the member five words: Martha Hall Findlay, John Manley. They ran to take down supply management. It comes from the member's own party. Far be it for me to defend the Conservatives on anything and they will back me up on that, but let us talk about a clear record.
    When the region I represent, which is dairy, is looking at the undermining of supply management through the trade agreements that have been signed in terms of cheese standards, in terms of milk substitutes coming in, we see that the government is telling us that it supports it but we have not seen any action.
    Rather than tell us all to thank a farmer today, the farmers are saying, “Do your job”. I want to see what commitments the Liberals are going to make to stand up and stop the practice of undermining supply management through these trade deals that are being negotiated. That is the question before us today, not pablum.
    Madam Speaker, thank you to the member across the way for your interest in the dairy farm industry. I think it is interesting that you point to a couple of members who have spoken out—
    I want to remind the member again that she is to address the questions to the Chair and not to individual members. Thank you very much.
    I am sorry, Madam Speaker.
     I find it interesting the member opposite has referred to members who are no longer here in the House because I think that speaks very clearly to what farmers think when politicians do not support supply management. That is why we are so focused on making sure that we do deliver a message that is supportive to them.
    In respect to what we are doing to support dairy farmers and to address this issue, as I mentioned in my speech, we have taken the opportunity over the last 30 days to meet with several stakeholders. I have had the opportunity to speak with farmers and they have told me that they found these meetings to be very productive and focused on long-term solutions in how we move the dairy industry forward.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the many fine words from my colleague. What farmers want to hear is that commitment to supply management. I believe the member was right on when she emphasized just how important supply management is for this government.
    We have seen, whether it is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food or the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, emphasize time and time again that this government supports supply management. The Liberals are the same political party that instituted supply management.
    At a time in which people have concerns, I believe and would ask my colleague to affirm that what dairy farmers want to hear is that commitment to supply management. That is something that has been unequivocal from the Prime Minister and from the government. They should rest assured knowing and feel confident that this government will do what is necessary in order to protect a vital industry for all Canadians.
    I would ask my colleague to provide some further comment in terms of the importance of confirmation.
    Madam Speaker, I think the hon. member makes some very good points. Supply management is the key to the success of the dairy industry in Canada and we have been very careful as a government to consult with dairy farmers as we look forward to the opportunities of the future.
    Certainly we have some challenges now and we are looking at long-term solutions for those, but we also need to be focused on the opportunities that are afforded to farmers through trade deals such as CETA. I have heard from farmers that they are very happy about the conversations that they have had and how this government is prepared to invest in the industry so that they are prepared for those trade deals.
    Madam Speaker, I think the record will show that over 10 years in government, the Conservatives not only defended supply management but defended it in the midst of a variety of very important trade deals in which many people thought it would not be possible. People thought we would lose supply management in the trade deal with Europe and TPP, yet we got through those very important negotiations and we preserved the supply management system.
    I want to ask the member specifically about the record of Martha Hall Findlay, who is the former international trade critic for the Liberals. While we were negotiating important trade deals preserving supply management, the Liberals had a critic responsible for international trade who came out later as being opposed to supply management. How does the member square that with these high-minded words about the Liberals' commitment to supply management, when the person they put in charge of international trade clearly did not have a commitment to supply management?
    Madam Speaker, I would reiterate that this is a former member who no longer represents the Liberal Party and the views we have going into these trade negotiations and ratifications.
    Our Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food have been very clear when talking to farmers and among ourselves. I want to mention as well that this discussion has been very meaningful in the way that it has involved members who are not only representing areas of dairy but also the consumers, those who consume milk, because it has raised awareness about the importance of the dairy industry and has provided many people with the opportunity to discuss this important topic.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. colleague for her speech today in the House. It has been a pleasure working with her on the agriculture committee.
    As we know, thousands of farm families came to Ottawa last week. They took the time out of their days. These are people who work 365 days a year and support rural economies. They took the time to come to Ottawa with their tractors and cows 30 days after the consultations with the government. These farmers are losing thousands of dollars. They are fed up with the government. They are at the end of their ropes. This is the glass overflowing. They have no hope. They are coming to us saying, “I have to sell my farm. I'm giving up hope. I don't know what to do.”
     The government has been consulting. It has been listening but there has been no action. The farmers are fed up. We all know what the answer is. The long-term solution is for the government to stand up, apply the rules in place, and ensure that we are defending Canadian farmers instead of getting on our knees for the Americans. We have to ensure that we are applying the rules as they are. Will the government finally do that and stop these consultations?

  (1030)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the discussions we have had in the agriculture committee in support of dairy farmers. We have many similarities when it comes to wanting to support dairy farmers.
    I too was able to speak with farmers on the Hill last week. I found it to be a very productive conversation. Their presence here has elevated this issue. It has allowed many members of the House to partake in the discussion. We definitely understand the importance of their issue. I very much think that the conversations we have had over the last 30 days will contribute to a long-term solution for the dairy industry.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, nearly two months have passed since April 20, and here we are once again debating the subject of diafiltered milk. Why? Because this government does not take action. The facts have not changed. They are the same. The government has neither taken our recommendations into consideration nor changed its position.
    To help the Minister of Agriculture get a clue about the situation and to remind him that his inaction is costing our cheese producers hundreds of millions of dollars right now, I would like to lay things out clearly.
     Supply management is like a three-legged stool. Each leg, or pillar, is equally important. The first is farm gate prices, which ensure that the price dairy producers get for their milk takes into account production costs, including capital and labour costs, and overall Canadian economic conditions.
     It is important to note that the retail price is not set by the Canadian Dairy Commission, the provincial milk marketing boards, or the producers. The price paid by the consumer at the grocery store and in a restaurant has always been set by the retailers or restaurant owners. That is the first pillar, and it is currently being undermined by diafiltered milk. Indeed, farmers are facing a drop in milk prices specifically because diafiltered milk is being allowed into the country. The first pillar is therefore under attack.
     The second pillar is production discipline, which ensures that the supply of Canadian milk corresponds to the demand from consumers. Each dairy producer in Canada holds a quota, that is, a market share establishing the quantity of milk that it can produce, depending on the demand from consumers. The quantity that the quota allows to be produced is adjusted upward or downward according to demand.
    That is the second pillar of supply management, and it is also being undermined by diafiltered milk, because Canadian dairy farmers have seen a drop in their production capacity, given that diafiltered milk is replacing Canadian milk. This means that two of the three pillars are being threatened by diafiltered milk.
     The third pillar is import control. For supply-managed sectors, imports are controlled by means of tariff rate quotas.
     Tariff rate quotas allow a predetermined quantity of dairy products to be imported at preferential tariffs, generally duty-free, while maintaining control over the quantity imported.
    The third pillar is also very threatened by the import of diafiltered milk to Canada because diafiltered milk bends the rules related to American milk's access to the Canadian market.
    The three pillars of supply management are being threatened by diafiltered milk. I hope that the government fully realizes that.
     When the three pillars of supply management play their allotted roles, they enable the dairy industry to weather all economic storms, attain a high degree of self-sufficiency, and ensure its sustainability.
     Conversely, if one of the three pillars becomes unstable, as all three currently are, it can jeopardize the whole system.
     This brings me to the reason why we are here today, namely milk proteins. It used to be that Canadian milk was a primary source and basic component in the making of dairy products. Even though certain makers of cheeses and yogurts still use 100% milk, for which I congratulate them, a growing number of them are adding ingredients such as milk protein isolates, milk protein concentrates, and diafiltered milk to replace milk.
     These ingredients may be produced in Canada or imported. When they are imported, they are not classed under chapter 4 of the customs tariff schedule, which includes milk products. Instead they are classed under chapter 35, which includes ingredients such as milk protein substances.
     Originally, these milk protein substances were imported in dry form. Over the last five or six years, however, we have seen a change in the import model. The quantities of milk proteins imported in liquid form under the same tariff line have increased significantly.

  (1035)  

     Once they have entered the country, these milk protein substances are used as ingredients in making cheese and yogourt.
    However, the situation becomes complex when the same product is treated differently by two government agencies. When one agency considers a product to be an ingredient and the other treats it as milk, then we have a serious problem.
    Under the Canadian cheese composition standards, a minimum percentage of the protein used to make cheese must be sourced from milk. The percentage required varies from one type of cheese to another. For example, at least 80% of the casein contained in cheddar must derive from milk, and a maximum of 17% of the total protein content can derive from ingredients, including milk protein substances.
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for applying the cheese compositional standards. That means that it has to verify that the milk-to-ingredients ratio defined in those standards is adhered to for every cheese. Since milk protein substances are ingredients that are sometimes less expensive, some processors use them to make up their required minimum quantity of milk in cheese making, instead of using them for their permitted percentage of added ingredients. This situation is also inconsistent with the classification of these ingredients at the border, where they are not treated under the chapter on milk and dairy products and enter the country duty-free.
     One of the most serious issues today is the growth in the uncontrolled importing of milk protein isolates. Imported in ever-larger quantities, they are competing with the skim milk solids and milk proteins produced here in Canada, thereby altering the competitive context and undermining the revenue of dairy producers.
    The importing of milk protein isolates has been growing exponentially since 2012. Canada adopted tariff rate quotas on milk protein concentrates around the mid-1990s. About 10 years ago, a few companies began to import milk protein concentrates, isolates, to obtain larger protein concentrations.
    Milk protein concentrates are a skim milk product from which lactose and permeate, which is mostly water, have been removed to varying degrees. These highly concentrated proteins are imported into Canada duty-free, which allows companies to get around the tariff rate quotas. The Dairy Farmers of Canada tried to resolve this situation by bringing the matter before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. The concentration of protein in normal farm gate skim milk is about 35% in dry matter. Any product whose protein concentration is above that percentage is considered a concentrate.
    The Canadian International Trade Tribunal determined that a product with a concentration of over 85% is an isolate, not a concentrate, even if it is used for the same purposes. This product was designed for the sole purpose of circumventing the tariff rate quota on milk protein concentrates. This decision defies common sense and is not in line with government policy.
    In any case, the Government of Canada attempted to rectify the situation. Around 2008, the government set a new tariff rate quota and tariffs for milk protein isolates. The only problem is that these tariffs do not apply to NAFTA countries, namely the United States and Mexico. Consequently, the border with the United States remains open. Milk protein isolates cross the border as ingredients but can be used in Canada as milk. This conundrum leaves an ambiguous situation.
     The Conservative government took significant action in 2007-08 by establishing cheese production standards to limit the quantity of ingredients that could be used. However, recent imports of diafiltered milk from the United States are once again threatening supply management. This product was designed solely for the purpose of circumventing border controls and Canadian cheese standards.

  (1040)  

    These proteins replace skim milk in cheese and yogurt production. In fact, there is no technical limit to the use of these proteins in production. This scheme is unacceptable.
    At the border, this product is considered an ingredient by the Canada Border Services Agency, which allows it to enter tariff-free. However, for yogurt and cheese production, it is considered milk by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This means that its use is not limited by cheese and yogurt production standards. The federal Liberal government therefore has an important role to play.
    Diafiltered milk needs to be considered an ingredient under the compositional standards for cheese and yogurt. This will ensure that the standards and the spirit behind them are honoured. Also, the verification rules for these standards need to be strengthened to ensure compliance.
    We all have to work together to come up with a solution to the problem of diafiltered milk. We are all aware of that. I believe that many members of Parliament are keenly affected by and aware of this serious problem. We ran into the problem of solid proteins and then pizza kits, which the previous Conservative government was able to fully resolve.
    The dairy industry says it has no choice but to use diafiltered milk in the composition of its dairy products. As I said earlier, diafiltered milk was created to circumvent border rules and manufacturing rules.
     I was able to confirm, when one of my questions was answered in the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, that no one in the United States was making cheese using liquid protein concentrates, whose protein content is 85%. Processors do not do that. That does not exist in the United States.
     In Canada, processors use that product now for competitive reasons, that is, for the sole purpose of reducing their production costs. However, that makes no sense, because those savings cannot benefit Canadian dairy farmers. In the end, the processors do not benefit, either. It is profitable downstream from the processing stage.
     Frankly, this situation must end, because the whole industry is doing it to the detriment of supply management. As long as the issue of imported diafiltered milk remains unresolved, we can be sure the processors will use every means possible to reduce their production costs. We want the rules of the game to be fair for everyone, and we urge the Liberal government to take action on this matter.
     The processing industry in the United States produces cheese without using diafiltered milk. Hence, Americans are eating cheese made without diafiltered milk. Canadians should not be eating cheese made with American diafiltered milk. There is no justification for it, because there is no economic incentive to do so. There is no reason to act in this manner.
     The only thing driving Canadian processors to import diafiltered milk is that that ingredient is cheaper, because it is not subject to tariffs and can be used in production with no restrictions. That is the only reason.
     With regard to imports coming into Canada, what quantities do we need to meet market demand? We do not need any, because in Canada there is an abundance of skim milk that can be used to produce those ingredients.
     If the government decided to control the use of those ingredients, we would produce them in Canada at a competitive price, and we would use them here. We have no need of those imports, since we have an abundant quantity of skim milk at our disposal.
     Whether it is imported or produced in Canada, the product used by many processors is composed of milk protein substances containing at least 85% milk protein. That is consistent with the definition of ultra-diafiltered milk. According to the regulations, there are no restrictions on the use of ultra-diafiltered milk in ordinary cheese and other dairy products.
     With no control of imports, it is impossible to manage supply so that it matches demand. Failure to control imports would inevitably lead to overproduction and instability in our supply management system.

  (1045)  

     Moreover, it is not enough to have the right regulations in place; the validation and audit process and the enforcement of those regulations are just as important.
     At the moment, people who might want to circumvent the rules are fully aware that when it comes to dairy products, Canada is not enforcing the existing border controls consistently and uniformly.
     It is therefore essential that laws be enforced and audits be performed properly to discourage those who might try to exploit those loopholes. People can be very creative when it comes to circumventing tariffs and quotas. The problem of pizza toppings is an excellent example.
     The Canadian dairy system is unique and has proven its worth. It provides dairy farmers with enough income to cover their costs, and it provides processors with a stable environment. It helps maintain the social fabric and support the economic development of our communities, while providing consumers with high-quality products at a competitive price. To us, therefore, it seems clear, justified, and more important than ever that everyone involved must work to support supply management.
     In recent trade agreements, the Conservative government succeeded in keeping high tariffs at the borders. That is a vital pillar in maintaining our supply management system. We hope that the Liberal government will not tear down what the previous Conservative government built up to protect the supply management system.
     With regard to controlling the borders, at least four departments are concerned with the issue of effectiveness. The Department of Finance is concerned with the payment of tariffs, while the Department of Public Safety is responsible for border controls through the Canada Border Services Agency. There is also the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, because agricultural policy is involved, and the foreign affairs department, when we have trade agreements and we have made commitments to our partners. Our trading partners also have agricultural policies and specific requirements.
     In conclusion, by doing whatever has to be done to solve the problem of diafiltered milk and other dairy substitutes crossing our Canadian borders, we will restore balance in our supply management system, thus benefiting the entire Canadian dairy industry. We will also restore harmony in the entire industry, from farmers to processors and distributors, so that products can be delivered to consumers.
     For more than 45 years, we have managed to keep Canadians happy with high-quality dairy products at a fair price, in accordance with the wishes of this House. To succeed, the industry needs to be supported by a regulatory and policy climate that maintains supply management and the three pillars that are currently being threatened by diafiltered milk, including producers' revenue. At the same time, it must provide flexibility for primary and secondary processing and the value chain and support the development of new capacity through technology and cutting-edge manufacturing processes that also boost productivity.
    In closing, I can assure my colleagues that we will do everything in our power to support the vitality of Canada's dairy industry for future generations.

  (1050)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his insight into the diafiltered milk issue.
    I need to seek clarification from the member opposite, because he has spoken quite strongly today about his support for supply management. I wonder if he would clarify how he can have this strong a position and also be co-chair with a member who is seeking the leadership of the Conservative Party.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my party and I have always supported supply management.
    Our party is in the middle of a leadership race. I will let the potential candidates debate their election platforms. I would like to remind my colleague that when I was first elected in 2006, the first thing we did when we went to the WTO with our chief negotiator was change our negotiators' mandate. According to the mandate that Paul Martin's former Liberal government gave them, they were not to protect supply management. The first thing our government did in its first months in office was give our WTO negotiators a new mandate. I was there personally, and I would like to remind my colleague of those facts.
    Madam Speaker, I listened with interest to my colleague's speech, but it left me rather perplexed.
    I wonder how many personalities can coexist in an MP's head. For 20 minutes, the hon. member talked about the importance of defending and maintaining the supply management system. The NDP could not agree more on that. There is no greater defender of dairy farmers and the supply management system than the NDP.
    However, while the member tells us that it is important to maintain and defend the supply management system, he is the one who is going to head the leadership campaign for the member for Beauce, who has already promised to abolish Canada's supply management system.
    How do these two realities coexist in his brain?
    Madam Speaker, that policy decision will be made by the members of our party at our next convention in 2018.
    Today, the Liberal Party recognizes the problem of diafiltered milk. When we recognize a problem and do nothing about it, we become part of the problem.
    I urge the Liberal Party of Canada to do its homework as the government and resolve this problem as soon as possible. Last year, Canadian dairy farmers lost $220 million. This year, the losses could go as high as $300 million, and who knows what will happen next year. The time to act is now.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech today and for the great explanation of the importance of supply management. It is a very important issue in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap. I truly support the dairy and poultry producers there and the economic input they have.
    I would like to ask the member if he sees this issue popping up today as a deflection issue to take the focus away from what really concerns dairy producers across Canada, and has for a number of months, while the Liberal government dithers and does not deal with the issue of diafiltered milk entering Canada. Does he see this as a deflection issue?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal Party is a master in the art of deflecting issues.
    To me, diafiltered milk is like termites in a house. If you have termites in your house and do not do something to resolve the problem, sooner or later, it will fall apart.
    As I stated very clearly in my speech, diafiltered milk is undermining the three pillars of supply management. First of all, its entry into Canada is no longer being controlled. Second, Canadian farmers have seen a drop in milk prices. Third, their production has also decreased because American diafiltered milk is replacing Canadian milk. Diafiltered milk imports are a direct attack on the three pillars of supply management.
    The government acknowledges this problem in its motion, which is why we will be supporting it. However, if the government does not do something, it is part of the problem.

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to talk about another important issue related to milk from the United States, namely, the issue of genetically modified organisms.

[English]

    Years ago, Canada took a stand against allowing bovine growth hormone to be registered in Canada. Therefore, our milk is safe from this contaminant. However, for U.S. milk, and the importation and efforts to get the thin end of the wedge in against our supply-managed system, any of the milk coming in from the U.S. contains bovine growth hormone, which is a health risk.
    I want to know from the hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière if they are also concerned about this aspect of allowing more U.S. milk into Canada.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    This question needs to be put to the government, since it cannot guarantee at this time that diafiltered milk is made from milk that meets Canadian standards. That is another problem.
    I hope the government will verify all of this and limit diafiltered milk imports or ban them altogether.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by the member, but we have known this to be an issue now for the last number of years. We know the value of supply management. We have had members on this side of the House espouse just how important supply management is and how important the dairy industry is.
    Why does the member believe that the former government was not able to deal with the issue in a more timely fashion? Does he have any thoughts on that issue?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, about 10 years ago, a similar tactic was employed, but using milk protein concentrates. We solved that problem. We also had the problem of what was known as pizza kits, which involved a pizza crust covered with about 10 cm of cheese. We also solved that problem.
    The industry is very creative and very innovative when it comes to coming up with new tactics, and the one currently being used is diafiltered milk. It started off very slowly, but it is growing exponentially. We therefore need to solve this here in the House and work together to help our Canadian dairy farmers.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will give the previous Conservative government a little bit of praise and a little bit of criticism, because on the one hand, in trade negotiations, it did, in large part, defend supply management. However, supply management is made up of three pillars: price controls, production controls, and import controls. In both CETA and the TPP, the former Conservative government gave concessions. It allowed more products to come into Canada from Europe, with tariff rate quota cheese, and in the TPP, I think up to 3% of all products in dairy can now come into Canada tariff free, which is by any honest, objective standard, a derogation from supply management, because it attacks the import control aspect of supply management.
    I wonder if my hon. colleague can square that circle for me and explain to me how he can stand and say that the Conservatives support supply management, while at the same time they signed trade agreements that derogate from import controls that are so vital to making sure that supply management works in this country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the biggest victory for supply management in these international agreements is the recognition of Canada’s supply management by the European Union and the members of the trans-Pacific partnership. A group of countries recognizes that Canada, as a sovereign country, is entitled to its own agricultural policies. Even though there have been some concessions in different categories, the other countries have accepted our supply management system.
    Madam Speaker, it is my great pleasure to rise once again in the defence of our dairy producers.
     It seems that government after government is taking pleasure in making their lives difficult.

  (1100)  

[English]

    I must admit that I am very frustrated by the fact that we are still talking about this issue. There has been consultation, and once again, no action on the part of the Liberal government.
    Two years ago, I introduced a motion in this House that was unanimously adopted. Past Conservatives promised to compensate producers for the concessions they made in the agreement with the European Union. In this agreement, the Conservatives gave away 17,000 tonnes of new cheese import quotas to the Europeans. These 17,700 tonnes are on top of the 13,000 tonnes the Europeans can now sell to our supermarkets. This crack in our supply management system will cost our producers millions and millions of dollars.
    A similar situation happened in October when the Conservatives negotiated the TPP in secret and gave away 3.25% of our dairy producers' market share. This is another attack and crack in the system, which hurts our producers. Being good players, they said that they were open to both agreements as long as other industries were not potentially profiting at their expense.
    As the NDP and all parties voted in favour of the motion, the producers believe that they should be adequately compensated for their losses under CETA and TPP.
    Negotiating and signing these trade agreements has created uncertainty for the industry, which continues to see negative impacts. What is more, while the Conservatives had announced compensation for those agreements, the current Liberal government has backtracked and has made more uncertainty for the industry.
    The Minister of International Trade said that she did not feel bound by the plan the Conservatives announced and wanted to hold consultations.

[Translation]

     After more than seven months in power, the Liberals still have announced nothing, apart from consultations. The minister prefers to announce that she is focusing on the coming into effect of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA, between Canada and the European Union in 2017, instead of reassuring producers with a compensation plan.
    By and large, since coming to power, the Liberals have only compounded the uncertainty for the dairy industry. They are of course profuse in their use of the word of the year, “consultation”. They say they are defending supply management, but when one looks at the tangible measures they have taken for the dairy industry, the real impression is that they want to put an end to supply management. They are only aggravating the situation with their inaction.
     I will always be here to remind the government of the importance of the dairy industry and need for our supply management system to function smoothly. For two years, our supply management system and the producers who work under it have been threatened by another type of breach.

[English]

    Supply management is supported by three pillars. The first pillar is production management or discipline, which means that the quantity produced is regulated by quota. Producers agree to produce what Canadians need, and if they overproduce, they are responsible for those costs. The second pillar is producer pricing, negotiated based on production costs. Last but not least, the final pillar is one entirely in the government's hands, which is control over imports.
    Based on these three pillars, supply management is like a three-legged table or chair. If one leg is unstable, the entire system is unstable. That is exactly what is happening.

[Translation]

     For more than two years, the government has not been playing its role of import controller, and a milk product known as diafiltered milk has been pouring across our borders. This product was created for the sole purpose of circumventing the tariff rules, and in 2015 it was responsible for losses of over $220 million for Canadian producers. From what the industry is saying, the losses in 2016 will be even more substantial.
     In response to the industry’s appeal during the election campaign, the NDP and the Liberal Party pledged to resolve the problem quickly, once they were in power. We all know the October results. I know that we are debating this issue in the House, but I would still like to offer a little history on it.
    Since last December, I have been hounding the government to tell us when it will finally resolve the problem of diafiltered milk. The inaction of this new government has forced us to remind it of its commitment and the importance of acting on this matter for the vitality of our dairy industry and the proper operation of our supply management system.
     At first, the Liberals said that they wanted to consult the industry and they were abreast of the file. In February, there was a little glimmer of hope for our producers when the minister told them there had never been any question of diafiltered milk being used as milk in the cheese compositional standards. In fact, it must be remembered that at present, in Canada, diafiltered milk has a dual identity, courtesy of the Conservatives, and now courtesy of the Liberal Party as well. This product crosses our borders as duty-free milk protein concentrate, making it advantageous for processors. Then it is considered as milk by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, even though it is nothing like the milk we pour on our cereal.
    As a result, processors have no specific limits in their use of diafiltered milk, in contrast with other milk protein concentrates. That explains the growth in imports over the last few years. Furthermore, remember that the Americans do not use diafiltered milk in their products. It was designed specifically and exclusively to get around the Canadian rules.
     Let us now get back to where I was today on this issue.

  (1105)  

[English]

    In February the minister told us that diafiltered milk should not be used like milk and he was going to make sure that all processors were made aware of that.
    At the standing committee on agriculture, we heard representatives from across the dairy industry who, for the most part, believe that diafiltered milk should be considered as a dairy protein concentrate rather than milk. After that the minister repeatedly stated in interviews that diafiltered milk should not be used as milk.
    Based on those statements, the producers and I were at least a bit reassured that the government would understand that the ideal solution would be to consider diafiltered milk as DPC and to have the cheese compositional standards apply to all processors.

[Translation]

    We naturally remained concerned about how quickly the government would move to finally apply this solution, which did not seem to be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, as we have come to expect from the Liberals since the start of their mandate, they changed position overnight. Another complete 180-degree turn from the Liberal Party of Canada. Now the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the government went back to square one by launching consultations again, as if they didn’t know the solution. Indeed, I do not like the word “solution” because applying its own standards to everyone is not a solution. It is the least one can do; it is simple common sense.
     In other words, having said that they were making sure the standards were clear for everyone and they would apply to everyone, the Liberals backtracked once again. They began giving us the same response again and again: they were protecting supply management, they were in discussions with the dairy industry, and they were aware of the problem they had inherited from the previous Conservative government.
     After weeks and weeks of hearing this in the House, to ensure the well-being of the industry and to protect our family farms, my party and I decided to debate this issue of diafiltered milk another time, on an opposition day. The motion I tabled on that day asked the government to resolve the problem immediately by enforcing its cheese compositional standards, while recognizing that every day it did not do its job, producers were suffering substantial financial losses and many family farms were disappearing.
     We know the rest of the story. The Liberals voted down our motion. They promised to consult the industry in the next 30 days to find a long-term solution. Yes, that is right: more consultations to buy more time. Now it was a matter of finding a long-term solution for the entire industry. These are fine words, but on paper and in real life, their search for a long-term solution is leading to the disappearance of many family farms and the loss of thousands of dollars for our Canadian dairy producers.
    These producers are losing between $15,000 and $20,000 on average a year. That is shameful. Meanwhile, U.S. producers are getting rich at the expense of Canadian producers. It seems to me that U.S. producers are already well subsidized by their government and that they do not need additional help from the Canadian government.
    The search for a long-term solution led more than 3,000 producers to protest on Parliament Hill last week. They wanted to remind the Liberal government that it has sole control of one of the pillars of supply management and that, at present, it is not doing a good job of controlling imports of diafiltered milk under the duties relief program.
    Over the course of one year, dairy producers have been forced to protest on Parliament Hill twice because the Liberal government has not shown them any respect, as was the case with the previous Conservative government.

  (1110)  

[English]

    During the House debate on our motion and on the Facebook pages of several Liberal MPs, some have said that the solution lies in investing in processing facilities. Others have even said that enforcing the current standards would simply be a Band-Aid solution. However, not one of them could explain what was preventing the government from enforcing the standards and then looking forward to another long-term solution.
    The same applies to investing in processing facilities. This would not prevent or control the quantity of diafiltered milk coming into Canada. Nothing is preventing the government from considering diafiltered milk as DPC and enforcing cheese standards, while also investing in processing facilities. Nothing is stopping that. I know the Liberals have not always been unanimous on supply management, and there sure has been a lot of discontent and dissent, but I simply do not understand why it is taking the government so long to act and stand up for family farms, unless it just does not want to do it at all.
    What I have to say is even more troubling. Why are the Liberals not being honest with Canadians and producers and telling them what is really going on? There is no difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives with respect to producers. They keep them in the dark and in limbo until the last minute. If the Liberals have a good reason for not addressing the problem of diafiltered milk, why will they not explain that to producers? Why will they not explain that to us in the House? Why are they not fully compensating producers for their losses? This would not be the first time the Liberal government has sacrificed the dairy industry for another sector, but at least our producers could get on with their lives and make do with this compensation.

[Translation]

    Perhaps the government would come to its senses more quickly if it realized just how many farms have disappeared. To make sure that I have made myself understood I will repeat that the NDP continues to believe that the law is the law and that it applies to everyone.
    The classification of diafiltered milk as a milk protein concentrate by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the application of cheese compositional standards to all processors is the solution that we would have implemented within 100 days, had we become the government.
    I am really tired of watching as our producers close their doors. I am discouraged for dairy producers. I tell myself that perhaps the government would be open to compensating producers for its inaction because we should remember that, right now, the producers are paying the price for the Liberal Party's poor management and the government's irrational decisions.
    If the government does not do something quickly, the future of many farms, our region's economies and, even worse, the supply management system will all be at risk.
    Considering what is happening around the world, I am lucky that there is a supply management system in Canada. I sincerely hope that the Liberals will keep their election promises, stop spouting empty rhetoric and will take action on behalf of Canadian producers.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it seems sometimes that the only thing the opposition hates more than consultation is not being consulted.
    The process to solve this problem requires a comprehensive sectoral approach. Yes, supply management must be and will be protected. That is the policy of our government. Yes, the situation is unsustainable as it currently is configured, and the damage that is being done to family farms is recognized. Be assured that every single member of our caucus who represents farms has been speaking up on the issue among all of us to ensure we are aware of the seriousness of the situation.
    However, the dynamic that is critical to understand is what has to be balanced here. There are 22,000 people employed on dairy farms in our country, but there are also 22,000 people employed in the manufacturing of cheese and dairy products who also need to make sure their supply chain and their work is protected in a comprehensive settlement, so we do not lay off people in one sector as we try to resolve an issue in another sector.
    It is a complex issue we are dealing with here, and the reason we are consulting is to make sure that we protect the whole industry when we move, not just part of the industry.
    Would the member opposite like to comment on the fact that 22,000 people are employed in the dairy industry in our country and their jobs are just as important to protect as dairy farmers?

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, this is a problem that has been going on for over two years. It is a problem we inherited from the Conservatives.
    At committee, we had people from industry, we had Dairy Farmers of Canada, and we had processors. They all came together and told us they were consulted under the old government 60, 70, or 80 times. Therefore, the officials and the minister were aware. They were working, hopefully, on solutions.
    Fast forward, we had an election and seven months later the Liberals are in power and are going to be here for another four years. We know what the solution is. Whether dairy farmers, processors, or transformers, we all know the government has to apply the rules. The government has to recognize that diafiltered milk is causing a lot of losses for dairy farmers and is disrupting supply management.
    The transformers know they are going to have make that change. Once the government applies the rules that are already in place and actually stops it from coming in at our borders, they will have to stop using it. They will have to pay more and actually use Canadian products. That is it. That is the reality. There are not going to be any job losses.
    The government has consulted enough. Everyone is on the same page. The government just has to act. That is all.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague for her opinion on the following issue.
    During the election campaign and last week, when farmers came to demonstrate on Parliament Hill in order to have and preserve the right to produce, they told me very clearly that they did not want any compensation.
    All they want is the right to produce. They do not want compensation. They do not want anything more from this government than they did from our government when we were in office. They want the right to produce, and that is why we protected supply management and our policies always sought to protect supply management.
    Could my colleague give us her opinion on that?
    The reality is that dairy farmers want to contribute to the Canadian economy, not by getting government contributions that take money out of taxpayers' pockets, but by simply producing and reaping the fruits of their labour.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    The dairy industry and the supply-managed industry are suffering huge losses as a result of the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement and the trans-Pacific partnership.
    The former government negotiated a $4-billion compensation plan, which was also designed to fix the problem with diafiltered milk. However, a few months later, the Liberal government came to power and chose not to honour the compensation plan announced by the former Conservative government. The Liberal government says that it is consulting representatives of the supply-managed industry to find a long-term solution to the problem of diafiltered milk.
    The industry and processors say that the simple solution is to enforce the compositional standards for cheese, put an end to tariff circumvention, and stop diafiltered milk from entering Canada. Canadian producers are suffering huge losses of $15,000 to $20,000 a year. Family farms are disappearing at lightning speed. Last year, more than 250 family farms shut down, and two-thirds of those were in Quebec.
    The government must take action. If it genuinely wants to protect our supply management system, it must stand up for producers.

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé for her speech and congratulate her on the expertise she has developed on this matter.
    During the election campaign, I visited some farms with my colleague and had the opportunity to meet with dairy producers. On visiting these farms, I came to understand how important the family farm model is to Quebec.
    Today's debate is urgent. We already know that there is a problem with people passing their family farms on from one generation to the next.
    If our farmers are losing revenue on top of that, will we see more family farms in Quebec being sold? This model is so important to us.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières for his question.
     We should certainly be proud of Canada’s supply management system. When we look at farming and uncertainty in other countries, it scares us. That should make us feel even more like proclaiming loud and clear that it is important to defend our supply management system, not only in our trade agreements but especially at the border.
     As a member representing a rural area with 37 municipalities and several hundred dairy farmers and poultry producers, I recognize the importance of our supply management system. It is important to take action.
     The government has been holding consultations for 30 days, and it has been in power for seven months. Everyone agrees that the supply management system must be protected.
     The solution is simple: the Liberal government must stand up to the Americans and stop the importation of diafiltered milk into Canada.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member indicated that she sat on the agriculture committee, and that she had followed this issue for the last couple of years.
    I have a fairly straightforward question. Could the member indicate to the House if we have contractual agreements between companies that possibly have not expired, and to what degree does she, or her party, believe the Government is Canada is obligated to at least entertain and possibly respect those contracts? Does that play in role in the discussions we are having today?
    Madam Speaker, I have been on the agriculture committee since 2012. I tabled a motion in 2013 in support of supply management, asking the government to compensate the industry because of losses under the Canada-European Union trade agreement.
    We are talking about diafiltered milk. Everyone is aware that this problem has been going on for two to three years. Industry has been consulted. Transformers and processors have been consulted. Everybody is aware. We have regulations in place. When diafiltered milk comes into Canada, it is not considered milk, so is not taxed a certain way. If the government were to actually apply the rules in place and stop diafiltered milk from coming into Canada, we would not have these losses. Transformers would actually use Canadian products. It would support management, reassure our producers, and solve a lot of problems.
    We are just asking the government to act. It has consulted enough. There has been a lot of talk and enough hot air. There were 3,000 people on the Hill. We need to government to finally do its job, that is all.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to note that I will share my time with the member for Shefford.
    I would also like to thank the member for raising this important question on behalf of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
     On this side of the House, our intentions towards the industry under the supply management system have always been clear. Supply management provides consumers with a safe, stable local market and allows the farming families that benefit from it to make a living from their calling with dignity.
     Forty years ago, the Liberal Party fought to introduce this system, and we will keep fighting to preserve it against those who would dismantle it.
     The government realizes that dairy farmers are suffering economic losses due to the use of diafiltered milk in cheese making. The industry’s concerns are a priority for us, and we are paying special attention to the industry’s call for a solution that will ensure the sustainability of the system.
    We promised to listen to the needs of the various stakeholders in the industry, and that is exactly what we are doing. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and his team, along with the entire Liberal caucus, are in constant communication with the players in the industry.
     While our colleagues in the Conservative Party are holding forums on abolishing supply management, our government is working to ensure that dairy farmers are in the best possible position and that the industry remains at the cutting edge of technology to stay competitive in a constantly changing global economy.
     For that reason, last month, the minister and the parliamentary secretary met with dozens of important players in the industry, such as the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Dairy Commission, the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec, milk producer associations across Canada and dairy processor and farmer associations. Those discussions have been very productive and will help us develop a long-term sustainable strategy for the dairy industry.
     While my colleagues focus on the contribution of Canadian dairy farmers, I would like to draw their attention to Canada's processing industry. A source of pride for Canadians, the food processing sector produces a variety of delicious foods of the highest quality. The sector stimulates our economy by employing nearly 300,000 Canadians across nearly 6,000 facilities in every part of Canada.
     What is more, this sector is a significant contributor to Canadian GDP, with sales of over $100 billion, including $17 billion in dairy processing. A strong dairy processing sector is therefore essential and vital to the industry, and for that we need a sustainable, long-term strategy.
     We promised to support the food sectors in a way that allows them to remain leaders in job creation and innovation in Canada.
    As indicated in the minister's mandate letter, we will make every effort to ensure that the food processing industry remains focused on innovation and that it has all the tools it needs to compete. The minister also has a mandate to invest in an agri-food value-added investment fund in order to attract investment and create high-quality jobs in the food processing sector and keep processors on the cutting edge of technology. This will open the doors to new trade opportunities for the industry.

  (1125)  

     Thanks to our supply management system, our Canadian producers, and our food processing industry, when Canadian families go grocery shopping, they know that the delicious dairy products are made in Canada from milk from Canadian producers.
     Over the years, the supply management system has served farmers, processors, and consumers brilliantly. It enables producers to remain competitive, while drawing a stable and fair income from their work. The supply management system has been providing Canadian consumers with superior-quality products at stable, predictable prices for over 40 years, thus avoiding all unexpected fluctuations.
     We, on this side of the House, are dismayed that the Conservatives want to destroy this program, which has proven its value to Canadians for more than 40 years. We are also disappointed that our colleagues in the official opposition have failed to take a clear stand. One day they say they are defenders of supply management and, the next, they decide to campaign to abolish it.
    The hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière is a good example. When he won the election in his riding, he promised to protect supply management. Now, he has changed his plan and is co-chairing a campaign against it. Confusion or a false election promise? One has to wonder.
     In reality, we are the only allies of Canadian producers, and we will fight to ensure that their concerns are heard and taken into consideration.
     I am a fourth-generation milk producer myself. I have worked the earth, tended my cows, and cultivated my land all my life. When I say that this issue is close to my heart and that we will make every effort to find a sustainable, long-term solution, that is not the politician talking, but the farmer in me. I have no doubt that our common efforts and our investments in innovation will position the Canadian sector so that it can realize all of its potential, while helping our economy to reach new heights.
     Today, I want to tell all of the stakeholders in Canada’s dairy sector that they can count on our government to act in their best interest. We recognize how valuable their sector is to the Canadian economy and the well-being of Canadian families. We will be sure to make every effort to defend our supply management system.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, I would advise my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, to keep a close eye on his party and government. I noticed that in his speech, he defended processors, who are the cause of the diafiltered milk problem. Processors are the ones who are bending the rules. They went to the United States and purchased diafiltered milk to the detriment of Canadian dairy producers and the three pillars of supply management. This same parliamentary secretary, this same member, is rising in the House to say that he supports supply management. He has blinders on.
    Right now, the processing industry is doing everything it can to destroy supply management by importing diafiltered milk. That undermines the three pillars of supply management, which are border control, production, and price controls.
    I would like my colleague to acknowledge this situation and take a stand on what is really happening. If he wants to protect supply management, he needs to put an immediate stop to the importation of diafiltered milk.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lévis—Lotbinière for his question. Obviously farmers and processors are very concerned about the entire food and dairy industry. That is why they are currently in negotiations. They negotiated and are still negotiating. As we said, our party implemented supply management and we are going to continue to support and look out for the best interests of everyone involved in that system in the long term.
     Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for his speech in the House today.
     The government boasts that it introduced our supply management system. However, when we look at what is actually happening at the moment, our government appears to be in the process of destroying our supply management system by permitting the importation of diafiltered milk. The Liberal government should be ashamed. Farmers came here to the Hill to demonstrate. Three thousand farmers came here to say that they were fed up and had had enough of consultations. Everyone agrees on the solution.
     The government needs to do its job, enforce its regulations, and put an end to the importation of diafiltered milk into Canada. That is all. It is simple. The government tells us it is a complex situation for which it is seeking a long-term solution. This has to end. The government must enforce the regulations under the existing laws. Then perhaps it can look for other solutions, but everyone knows what the solution is. The government must take action and stand up for Canadian farmers.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    As a former farmer, I was very proud to see all the farmers who came here to the Hill last week to make it clear that they want us to keep protecting supply management and to talk about diafiltered milk. For that reason, we arranged consultations, which have just concluded, and solutions will be considered to help this sector in the best way possible with the problem affecting farmers.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary talked about himself being a dairy farmer, and how it has been on the farm for generations.
    I had the opportunity to tour a dairy farm, and I would like the member to provide some comment on technology and advancements. I was quite impressed in terms of how important it is and with the quality of milk that is being produced here through technologies and different types of advancement, and how that will ultimately complement supply management into the future.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    As I said, there is a dairy operation in my constituency. Innovation and technology are important to the quality of life of corporate farmers. At the same time, they provide farmers with the opportunity to spend quality time with their families. Because of those technologies, there is higher-quality milk on the market.
    Madam Speaker, I should begin by telling you that I will share my speaking time with the member for La Prairie.
     I am happy to be able to take part in this debate today, as the Canadian dairy industry plays a key role in our economy and in the food security of Canadian families. I would therefore like to thank the member for Fundy Royal for raising this important issue on behalf of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    The government concurs with the report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on the following points: we will protect supply management from those who wish to abolish it. We recognize the scope of the problem involving diafiltered milk, and we are listening to the industry in order to develop a sustainable, equitable, and long-term solution.
     While we are working with the industry to protect our supply management system, which provides farmers with fair compensation for their work and Canadian families with high-quality, safe local food products, the Conservatives are holding forums on abolishing this system. It is unacceptable—
    Order. The member for Lévis—Lotbinière on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague indicated that he would be sharing his time, but since he is the second speaker, he cannot share his speaking time with another person. Would you please clarify the situation?

  (1140)  

    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said that he would be sharing his speaking time with the member for Shefford. Therefore that member cannot share his speaking time. He will have 10 minutes to speak and five minutes for questions, but he cannot split 10 minutes into two five-minute periods because the 20-minute speech has already been split.
    Madam Speaker, it will be a 10-minute speech. I will pick up where I left off.
    How can the Conservatives claim to defend our Canadian producers while questioning an innovative system that guarantees them a fair income to feed and house their families while they do work they love?
    Agricultural land accounts for 75% of my riding, and 15% of our jobs are directly or indirectly related to the agriculture and agri-food industry. My constituents realize that they cannot put a lot of faith in that kind of doublespeak.
    The Government of Canada is determined to promote research and development so that our dairy industry can prosper in a constantly evolving global economy. The Government of Canada even invested $19 million in the dairy research group. The group is responsible for 23 research projects and employs over 100 scientists from 15 institutions and eight government research centres in Canada, including the cutting-edge facility in the Sherbrooke area.
    In its leadership role, the dairy industry focuses on a certain number of key fields, such as the nutritional profile of dairy products. These sizeable investments will also support the research being done by scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in two key areas: improving the quality of forage crops in Canada, which will help increase our milk production capacity, and understanding the role played by dairy-fat products, including their positive impact on people with type 2 diabetes.
     We support this report. We are quite aware that diafiltered milk is not the only concern here: we also have to ensure that our supply management system functions effectively and over the long term in a global economy that is constantly changing.
     To fully understand the sector’s concerns, we promised to consult with its various players, and that is exactly what we have done.
    While others are working to abolish supply management, the system that allows farm families to earn a fair and dignified living from their calling, our government is making every possible effort to protect it.
     In recent weeks, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials, the minister, and his parliamentary secretary have held discussions with representatives from all dairy sectors, ranging from small farmers to the bigger producers, processors, and the provincial and national producers’ associations.
     These consultations have been very productive. They have enabled us to collect quality information that will help us build solid long-term bases for our dairy sector and for our supply management system.
    Let us turn now to the future of agriculture in Canada, a promising future filled with opportunities for expansion, given the constantly growing global demand. More and more Canadian consumers are choosing Canadian dairy products because of their quality. To help our agricultural and agri-food industry seize these opportunities and build a solid, promising future, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have committed to developing the next agricultural policy framework, which will guarantee better results for the sector.
    This framework will be more focused on innovation and on strengthening the sector’s competitiveness, while aiming to improve sustainability and opportunities for the various links in the agriculture and agri-food supply chain.
     The next policy framework will also enable the sector to properly manage risks in a productive manner, in order to provide farms with more stability. We are currently meeting with industry representatives to discuss the challenges before us.
    In closing, productive and effective consultations, huge investments in R and D in the dairy sector, and the development of the next agriculture policy framework, which will focus on innovation, marketing, and risk management, are all measures our government is taking to protect Canadian agriculture.

  (1145)  

    I am confident that all the effort and energy that our government is putting into this in the interest of Canadian farmers will result in a strategy that will ensure the long-term sustainability of our supply management system.
    Supply management helps provide farmers with a fair and stable income in return for their dedication, while allowing them to remain competitive. This system also helps ensure that Canadians receive the best-quality products, produced by farmers in our own communities, processed in our communities, and at stable, predictable prices.
    We on this side of the House will denounce anyone who would abolish such a system. Unlike the Conservatives, who say that the fundamentals of supply management fly in the face of their fundamental values, to the Liberal Party, those values are in our DNA. We fought to introduce supply management 40 years ago, and today we will do everything we can to protect it.
    As the government, we want to ensure that our farmers are in the best possible position and that our food processing sector is on the leading edge of technology, and we will defend supply management against anyone who wants to eliminate it.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Liberals have supply management support in their DNA. What are you actually and practically doing to serve and help the farmers who protested last week on the Hill. They are waiting for the government to do something about it?
    I want to remind the member as well to address his questions through the Chair and not to individual members.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very proud to be able to answer my colleague's question.
    As I mentioned earlier, agricultural land accounts for 75% of my riding, and I am proud to see that farmers are taking charge of their affairs. They came here to mark World Milk Day and to tell us that supply management is important to them.
    I met with them and I agree with them.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the region of Timmins—James Bay has a large dairy sector. One of the fundamentals of the dairy sector is that it does not have the boom and bust that has affected grain prices and the cattle industry. It is because it is a principle in how production is carried out.
    Canada has basically the only system in the world that is not subsidized. We are going up against international competitors that pump billions of dollars into their export-driven milk industries, subsidized by taxpayers. Our system is not subsidized.
    When the government is signing negotiations, signing away pieces of the market here and pieces of the market there, the overall stability of the sector becomes destabilized. We have been hearing this message from family farms across our region.
    The government is talking about a consultation process and it is talking about that because it does not want to deal with the fact that it is going to have to start compensating and subsidizing dairy farmers for the trade deals it is signing.
    We are either going to support supply management with clear principles or we are just going to hear more government hot air.
    All morning long I have heard the Liberals tell us how much they love farmers and how important farming is to them. However, I have not heard a single commitment about dealing with the issue of the undermining of our markets. The flooding of foreign ingredients into our markets is undermining the ability of the supply management sector to stay afloat without subsidies.
    Could the member tell me if the government is planning subsidies? Will it work with the sector to stop undermining a system that works?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his question. We talked about this earlier.
    Last week I met with tens and even hundreds of dairy farmers in my riding and also on the Hill. They never talk about compensation. The farmers I met do not want monetary compensation. Let us be clear. They want the supply management system to be protected. They are proud of their system. They are proud of what the Liberal party established 40 years ago and how it protected supply management, how we are talking to them and how we consult them. They are also proud that we have entered into discussions to find fair and reliable long-term solutions.

  (1150)  

[English]

    Again, Madam Speaker, it seems the only thing the opposition seems to hate more than consultation is not being consulted. We are damned if we do and damned if we do not. The consultations, which have been wrapped up now, as we move toward the action that the opposition has asked us to take, are critically important.
    My question is about the trade deal we have signed. I have not seen a trade deal signed and delivered to the House of Commons. I know not of what they speak. I know there are consultations about a proposed trade deal that has implications for the sector, but it has not been signed. In fact, we are now in consultation with the sectors, including the dairy sector, because all we have signed is the agreement on the wording that is to be discussed as part of a ratification process.
    Would the member agree with me that no trade deal has been signed, despite what the opposition insists on today?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, our new approach is to ensure that we liaise and hold discussions with the industry. In my opinion, the industry is very proud to be involved in the various discussions.
    Obviously, the trans-Pacific partnership will be discussed in the coming weeks and months in order to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the situation.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased, yet rather surprised, to have to once again rise in the House to talk about the diafiltered milk issue. Everyone has been aware of this problem for months now. The problem is growing because nothing is being done. The problem is getting bigger and it is blowing up in our faces, here in the House of Commons, since 3,000 dairy producers came all the way to Parliament Hill to protest and express their frustration.
    Dairy producers were not just here to mark World Milk Day. I heard a government member say that a few moments ago and it made me smile. Does the government really think that dairy producers took a day of their time in the middle of forage crop season to come say hello to their MPs in Ottawa, tell them that it is World Milk Day, and celebrate with them? Let us be serious here. Dairy producers did not come to Parliament Hill to celebrate World Milk Day. They came to protest against the importation of diafiltered milk. It is important to point that out.
    I heard the previous speaker talk about a new government approach. The government is now taking the time to listen and talk.
    This is not a new approach. Listening and talking is what the government has been doing for seven months. There is never any action or anything tangible. This is not a new problem. There was an election on October 19, and we had a change in government. It just so happens that during the election campaign, dairy farmers decided to meet with every candidate. What was on their minds? They asked us to resolve the problem of diafiltered milk. This was an existing problem and all the parties said they would take care of it, that they would resolve this problem once they were in government. We said the same thing. When we were in the previous government, we started working on resolving this problem. The Liberals came to power having made this big promise to our dairy farmers that they would resolve the problem. Seven months later, the Liberals are saying that they are going to consult, they are going to discuss, and they are going to negotiate.
    Will the problem be resolved with the motion before us? It says that the problem is recognized. It is rather surprising that it took the government seven months to start recognizing that there is a problem. The motion says, “That the House recognizes that the government strongly supports supply management”.
    The government needs a motion telling it that it recognizes a problem. I have never seen that before. I never would have thought that the government would need the House to tell it that it recognizes a problem. Unbelievable.
    There is more. The motion calls on the government to recognize “the magnitude of the economic losses to Canadian dairy producers”. Producers lost $220 million in 2015. It is done. It is over. There were complaints; there were losses.
    The motion also urges the government to “recognize that the industry call for the problem to be resolved rapidly”. It seems to me that we have been hearing this for seven months.
    Then, the motion urges the government “to meet with dairy producers and Canadian dairy industry, within the next 18 days”. First, there was a 30-day deadline, more than 30 days ago. Now, the motion calls for another 18 days, which will take us right into the summer, when producers will no longer be mobilized and will no longer be able to come and meet their members of Parliament in the House, because we will all be back in our ridings. This is a way of watering down the problem and spreading it out across Canada. This is yet another deadline with no action.
    Further on, the motion urges the government “to propose a sustainable solution toward modernizing the dairy industry”. That is all we want. The government was not ready. It got elected on false promises. I am not just talking about diafiltered milk, but most of the files that the current government has brought here to the House.

  (1155)  

     This government said it had a plan, but we are realizing that it was not a plan to govern, but to prepare for its governance. That plan was to consult people to determine how it should govern. If that had been presented to the voters, I am not sure the result would have been the same. However, that is how the Liberals chose to present themselves to the voters and, of course, to get themselves elected under false pretences. The diafiltered milk case is rather telling in this regard.
    The farmers who came to the Hill last week were from every part of Canada and Quebec. The farmer who made the biggest impact on me was in the aisle opposite the front door of the House of Commons. I was talking to the farmers and, at one point, I saw about eight pairs of boots on the ground. I went up to the farmers and asked them why they had put their boots on the ground. They replied that it was to make the government realize that it needed to walk the talk. They said that, since the government was all talk and no walk, they were going to provide some boots. In other words, they said the government was not keeping its promises.
     I hope that government members will use those boots so that we can finally find a solution and implement the solution that has already been proposed many times by the dairy farmers. By the way, I salute those who gave up a day’s work on the farm to be here and give that message to the government.
     When I walked around among the farmers, they said they did not understand why the government still had not taken action. However, the solution is quite simple: treat diafiltered milk as a dairy ingredient, period. The farmers are telling us that if that were done, they would no longer have a problem. So why are we not doing it? It seems simple, but you have to understand that it is complicated.
    Since we started asking this government questions about agriculture, and particularly about diafiltered milk, we have not seen much action. The Minister of Agriculture himself is mostly absent from the debate on diafiltered milk. His parliamentary secretary has answered most of the questions, probably because the minister is not very familiar with the diafiltered milk issue.
    In fact, the Minister does not seem very interested in agriculture. In another bill that we are studying here in the House, Bill C-15 on the budget, there is nothing about agriculture. There is no mention of agriculture in the last budget, which we are being asked to pass and for which the government was forced to use a time allocation motion to prevent us from talking too much about it and from pointing out the budget’s flaws.
     When we ask the government why agriculture does not come up in Bill C-15, we hear that it invested to improve Internet access. That does not really feed Canadians. Yes, we need it in our regions, and it is an extremely important issue for all of our rural communities, but why does the government talk about the Internet when we are talking about agriculture? The government seems to have a profound lack of knowledge about agriculture.
    I did a little research in Hansard online. I discovered that the Minister of Agriculture deigned to reply at least five times to opposition members' questions about the diafiltered milk problem. Here is a sample of the minister's answers:
    In May 2016, he said, “...I appreciate [his] concern. We recognize the importance”.
    On May 11, 2016, he said, “We recognize that this is an important issue for dairy farmers, and we are working to reach a long-term solution”.
    On May 3, 2016, he said, “Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that this government supports supply management, and we are fully aware of the industry's concerns about the use of diafiltered milk”.

  (1200)  

    On March 11, 2016, he said, “Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question... I can assure him that I have met with many sectors in the agriculture industry, including the dairy farmers”.
    Another contradiction: the Liberals were aware of the issue, yet they are asking us for 18 more days to resolve it. Today's motion requests 18 more days to meet with people again. What does the minister not understand? Why does he need more meetings? Is the solution not simple? We have put it to the House and to the committee a number of times.
     In March 2016, the minister answered a question as follows:
    
     Just to make sure the record is straight, I am not negotiating with anybody. It's the industry and the manufacturers that are in discussions, but I am not negotiating with anybody. My job is to make sure that both sides understand the regulations.
    We understand why the Liberals are not doing anything; it is because they do not want to. They are trying to teach us something. They are trying to explain why they do not have a solution and explain the regulations. The cat is out of the bag. They are not interested in negotiating or coming up with a solution. They want to make sure that farmers become fed up, and they are waiting for the parliamentary session to end so that they can avoid taking a position and have a nice, quiet summer. They will not get the chance, because we will not let them get away with it. They can count on all the opposition parties to ensure that that does not happen.
    The parliamentary secretary is the one who has answered most of our questions on diafiltered milk. In fact, he has answered our questions 16 times, so here is the score: parliamentary secretary, 16, and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, 5. We see the importance the government places on the diafiltered milk issue.
    What did the parliamentary secretary say on June 2, 2016? He said, “With respect to our commitment, we are still listening to the people in the industry...we are aware of the industry's concerns about the use of diafiltered milk in cheese production.”
    The message was more or less the same as the minister's message.
    On May 19, he said, “We are in regular contact with industry stakeholders, and we are listening to what they have to say about compensation. We are aware that compensation is important to the supply-managed sector.”
     There is something I do not understand about that statement, but let us move on.
    The parliamentary secretary answered 16 questions about diafiltered milk, while the minister answered five questions. We get the picture quickly of what this means. The best was when the parliamentary secretary said that he wanted to “act quickly”.
    On May 9, he said, “I remind members that last Tuesday we committed to consulting with [the entire] dairy industry in the next 30 days”.
    That was in early May and the deadline has now expired.
    On April 21, he said, “We need to take action quickly. That is what we want to do, but first we need to take the time to come up with a lasting agreement...I understand the time crunch, but we are holding discussions.”
     Blah blah blah: I just summed up in a few syllables what the Liberal government has to say about diafiltered milk.
    I sincerely think that the government needs to take action. It needs to grab a pair of the boots that were left on Parliament Hill last week, put them on, and get to work. The government has to walk the talk. It needs to understand that this is urgent.
    I could have shared the concerns of all the dairy farmers in my riding, and those from all the ridings in Quebec and Canada who talked about their major financial problems. The equivalent of their annual income is on the line.

  (1205)  

    These are not rich people, contrary to what many are implying. That money goes toward their wages. The dairy producers are often the only economic engines in our towns. While they struggle to make ends meet, the government spews its empty rhetoric.
     It is important to remember that, basically, what we want is not complicated. We want the government to acknowledge that, in producing cheese, there is good cow's milk and there are dairy ingredients. The dairy ingredients have all sorts of names: concentrates, powders, isolates, diafiltered milk. That is clear. These are all ingredients produced from milk. It is not that these products are bad, but consumers have the right to know what is in the products they consume.
    Unfortunately, this changes in the case of diafiltered milk, because at the border diafiltered milk is considered an ingredient. When it arrives at the plant, however, it is considered milk.
    In front of the crowd of producers last week, the president of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec, Mr. Letendre, challenged all those in attendance and all parliamentarians to sample a glass of diafiltered milk to see if it was really milk. He said he was sure that after trying it, no one would doubt that diafiltered milk is not milk. Milk is milk, and diafiltered milk is dairy ingredients. That is the way it is.
    Once again, I will make myself the producers’ spokesman and invite the government members to sample a glass of diafiltered milk and take up the challenge launched by Quebec’s milk producers. They will tell us if diafiltered milk is milk. I advise putting it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before trying it. That might improve the taste a bit, but it will still be diafiltered milk all the same.
    When we buy cheese and the label says that it is made of milk ingredients, we know exactly what we are getting. When we buy cheese that was made with diafiltered milk, the label merely indicates that the product is made of milk. The label does not indicate that the cheese was made with American proteins created to dispose of any surplus of American milk, which contains growth hormones that we do not want here in Canada. That is the reality and that is what Canadian consumers have the right to know. If we deal with this small problem, then we are resolving a big problem for consumers and a very big problem for dairy producers in Quebec and Canada. That is what the government needs to understand.
    Many cheese factories in Quebec are currently having trouble competing and that is because of the unfair competition created by those who use diafiltered milk. There is a small cheese factory called La Bourgade in Thetford Mines in my riding. It uses only milk, which supports our dairy producers. The company is really proud of its cheese, but it costs $1 more at the store than the cheese made by producers who use diafiltered milk. One dollar does not seem like much, but it is a lot at a time when everyone is doing everything they can to keep money in their pockets.
    In conclusion, enough with the Liberals' empty rhetoric. Let us take action now, not in 18 days. We are pleased that the government is being told by the House to recognize the problem. We did not think that the government needed a motion in the House to recognize a problem like this one. We will obviously support this motion, but I do not think that the producers, who are back home working hard on milking their 30 or 50 cows, understand the nuances of the motion before us.
    Why did the government need a motion to recognize an existing problem? That is the real question. The government is not listening and is looking only to get an extension to find and implement a solution. I am reaching out. I am asking the government to act now and not to wait 18 days. Everyone, all the parties in the House, and especially all Canadian dairy producers will be pleased with the solution and the government's response.

  (1210)  

     Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
    In it, he talked about empty rhetoric. I have been observing politics for 10 years, and I have been listening to empty rhetoric since 2010, when 4,800 tonnes of milk protein entered the country. All we heard from the government at that time was empty rhetoric.
    In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, the previous government spouted empty rhetoric and now, in seven months, we are being asked to solve the problem. When a house is damaged, it takes time to repair it, and that is exactly what we are doing.
    It also takes champions in the House, and the members opposite are supporting a champion who is against supply management, namely, the member from Beauce. He said earlier that the opposition party would support this motion. However, some members of his own party do not support supply management.
    I, too, was outside last week, and I spoke with dairy producers from Beauce who were not happy with their MP.
    How can my colleague defend supply management if the members of his own party cannot even agree on this issue?
    Mr. Speaker, I like this question because I see that my colleague had no problem using lots of empty rhetoric. His question was full of it. The Liberals have a habit of doing that.
    As for the position of my colleague who is running for the party leadership, unlike the Liberal Party, we do not muzzle anyone. People have a right to their opinion. Our position is clear: we support supply management, period. We will not twist anyone's words. We will not claim that the comments made by one of our colleagues apply to everyone, as the member opposite has been trying to do all week. It is unbelievable.
    Dairy farmers do not accept that. Those I have met with are all well aware of the Conservative Party's position on supply management. They will clearly say that they agree with us when we say that we defend it. We have defended supply management in the past, and we will continue defending it.
    We on this side of the House do not muzzle our members so that everyone says the same thing. People have the right to speak up and express their opinions. We have the right to disagree, darn it. We have the right to disagree with people who express their opinions. Yes, we do have that right.
    Yes, we support supply management, and no, we will not engage in petty politics as the government is doing. It has no answer to give other than to try putting the ball in our court, because it does not know what else to do.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, for the folks back home who want to know what is happening today, this is an attempt by the Liberal Party to rewrite what has really happened. What the Liberals are trying to say is they meant to say they actually support dairy farmers. It is because the dairy farmers came, asking for action, and the Liberals turned their backs on them. There was a debate in the House about supporting the dairy farmers, and the Liberals turned their backs on them. Now they have heard from their constituents and have realized they have alienated the dairy sector, because at a time when they should have been standing up for them, they voted against them.
    For folks back home, what is happening is this is a fiction we are debating, the importance of the Liberals to consult. The Liberals consult on everything. When we look up “consulting” in the Liberal playbook it means keep talking and do nothing. That is something people really need to understand. Every time they hear a Liberal say “consult” it means keep talking and do nothing.
    That is not good enough for dairy farmers. That is not good enough for the farm families who came to Parliament Hill asking for action.
    Therefore, I would like to ask my hon. colleague what he thinks about this spectacle that we are dealing with here, of debating something that was already debated, and the Liberals voted against a clear form of action. Now they are debating something to continue to debate, to show they are actually willing to debate. It is a complete waste of time and energy for the farm families of our country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the question because it sums up the situation quite nicely.
    The government talks so much that farmers had to bring boots to the Hill to encourage it to walk that talk and move things forward. That was a powerful and impressive image.
    In terms of debates and whether or not to support the motion, it is like milk that is not milk, because the government has finally realized that diafiltered milk is not milk.
    Now the Liberals face those representatives when they go back to their ridings. In the course of a week, they get such an earful from dairy farmers that they realize they have no choice but to reconsider. Now they are recognizing that there is in fact a problem.
    However, the government was unable to get there on its own: it took a motion in the House for the government to recognize the problem. I think the real problem is with the Liberal government, not somewhere else.
    Mr. Speaker, the farmers in our region know that during the election campaign we promised to resolve the issue of diafiltered milk in the first days and weeks following our election, if we were elected. My colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable, I myself, and many of my colleagues in the Quebec caucus all agree. We will do what it takes to stand up for supply management.
    People came to the Hill on behalf of the entire industry to urge the government to take action now that it has been in power for seven months. The Liberals also promised to resolve the issue of diafiltered milk. However, they have yet to do anything about it other than listen and talk without really saying anything at all. As my colleague just said, that is all we have been hearing in the House for weeks.
    I would like my colleague to share what he heard on the Hill. The farmers are saying that they just want to earn a living from what they do. Is that what my colleague heard?
    Mr. Speaker, I commend my colleague on his work. He is a strong supporter of dairy farmers. He also came with us to meet the farmers in front of the House of Commons, to talk to them and understand their message.
    These people did not take a day off right in the middle of forage crop season, sacrifice some of their work, and hire people to fill in for them, which cost a lot of money, just to tell us that milk is wonderful and white. They came to tell us that there was a problem with something that is not milk at all. The diafiltered milk problem can cost them up to $10,000 a month.
    They are simply asking us to let them do their work, contribute to their local economy, and earn a living for their family. That is all they want.

  (1220)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat amazing that we have members of the Conservative caucus coming forward trying to portray that they are defenders of supply management. For years I sat on the opposition benches and the Conservative government was absolutely silent on this issue. When we take a look at what the Conservatives are saying today, we have to wonder where they were when they were in government.
    There is a process we are going through. The Conservative members are attempting to make a mockery of the Liberal motion that we are debating here today. We have a government that is trying to express its concern with respect to a very important and vital industry to our country and the Conservatives are choosing to make a mockery of it as opposed to recognizing the value of the motion itself. We understand and appreciate the seriousness of this issue and we are working to resolve it.
    The member made reference to the fact that we have had 20 answers. Most of the answers came from the parliamentary secretary. My question to the member is this. Given the concern the Conservatives have, why does he believe the NDP are asking more questions than the Conservatives and yet they are double in terms of numbers?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there are many parts to that question.
    First, the member criticized the previous government for being silent on this issue. It is true that we were silent, but we took action. Which is better, being silent and protecting supply management in our international agreements, or talking all the time and doing nothing? Frankly, I think we have the right approach. I prefer to talk less and take action. That is what has to be done.
     Second, I just cannot believe it. I love my colleague when he asks questions, because they always have a different angle, and this one is particularly good. My colleague says that the government is trying to express its concern about supply management. However, I thought it was the farmers’ role to express their concerns and the government’s to respond to them.
     We are doing more than talking; we are taking action.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to share my speaking time with my colleague from Mirabel.

[English]

    I thank the members for raising this important issue on behalf of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    We fully support the committee's report, and as a member, as part of the government's strong support of Canada's supply management system.
    While I will be speaking specifically to Canada's supply-managed dairy sector, please understand that the Government of Canada fully supports Canada's entire supply management system. Supply management plays a tremendous role in Canadian agriculture and our government is proud to have such a strong and vibrant dairy sector in this country. Canada's supply management system is a model of stability, providing high-quality products at a reasonable and stable price, without any taxpayer or government subsidies.
    Unfortunately, recently, we have seen members on the opposite side of the House speak against supply management. The member for Beauce, for instance, has called this model of stability a “cartel”, which is fundamentally unfair for farmers.

[Translation]

    He also said that supply management impedes innovation. Either he does not take the time to visit dairy farms in Beauce or he is completely unaware of the facts. For us, in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, a region that has more than 300 dairy farmers, innovation is very prominent.
     Yesterday, together with a few other members, I visited the Sonibrand farm. The farm’s primary goal is to produce high-quality milk. To do so, the owners have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a robot that milks the cows in a manner that is more efficient and healthier for the animals.

[English]

    Because of this investment, animal care has gone down 30%. Each day, they save three hours of chores related to milking and all cows are free-roaming in this barn. Because they are saving three hours a day, this saved time is spent on improving animal welfare. In fact, this farmer designed hay with less potassium, which is meant to improve hoof care or foot care for cows.

[Translation]

    The member for Beauce believes that supply management impedes innovation, which is completely false. I respect his position. It is nice to have principles, but those principles also have to be backed up by true statements.

  (1225)  

[English]

    I am proud to stand here and say that every member of this caucus supports supply management and that our Liberal values align with supply management.
    My colleagues can rest assured that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is deeply committed to supply management and is working with the dairy sector to ensure we find a long-term, sustainable solution that works for the whole Canadian dairy sector. Having been a dairy farmer himself, the minister appreciates how important supply management is to the sector and to Canada's economy.
    In early May, our government announced our intention to initiate discussions within 30 days to help the dairy industry adjust to CETA, as well as work together on the issue of diafiltered milk.
    We have delivered on that commitment, and we continue to talk to the industry. The minister and parliamentary secretary have held many co-operative, productive, and important discussions with Canadian dairy producers and processors from across the country over the past week.

[Translation]

     I am constantly communicating with our dairy farmers, so that I can defend their interests. I know that the minister and his parliamentary secretary are as well.
     I will provide an example. Yesterday, I talked to a dairy farmer. I later ran into the minister. The minister immediately telephoned the farmer to speak to him directly. Our minister is available to the dairy farmers.

[English]

    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade had a very productive meeting with the organizers of last week's rally in support of supply management. Together, our government will work with our stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes are reached and opportunities for the future are achieved. The dairy industry provides over 200,000 jobs for Canadians, supports 12,000 family farms, and contributes nearly $20 billion to our GDP. If we were to listen to Conservative values, we would lose a large portion of that contribution to our economy and our rural communities across the country. Canadians rely on dairy farmers to deliver the high-quality dairy products they feed their families.
    The industry is doing great work in growing markets through branding, collaborating with industry, and harnessing innovation.
    I would like to speak to the importance of innovation once again to this sector, to place the trade issue we are considering today in a broader context.
    Innovation technologies and practices are opening new horizons in the dairy sector. The government is proud to support this innovative industry. Total federal investments in the dairy research clusters have reached $13.75 million over five years.
    Our budget also announced significant measures to support Canadian agriculture, including supply managed sectors. Investments of $30 million over the next six years will support genomics research. Over $40 million will support the modernization of a number of research centres across Canada.
    Budget 2016 highlights a new innovation agenda that supports Canada's innovators, including those in the dairy sector, so that they achieve success. Our government is committed to ensuring that this innovative trend continues and that Canada's dairy industry remains vibrant.
    We realize the importance of further investments in the dairy sector to help it reach its full potential. Recent discussions have helped shape the collaborative approach our government is taking to work towards an appropriate mitigation package as part of the comprehensive economic trade agreement.
    Canada committed to ratifying the Canada-European comprehensive economic and trade agreement. CETA will open markets for key Canadian agricultural exports, such as beef, pork, grain, and oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, and processed food. We will absolutely continue to advance all Canadian agricultural interests as we consider trade matters, and that includes the supply management sectors.
    The Government of Canada wants to ensure that we find long-term, sustainable solutions that work for the whole Canadian dairy sector. That is why we are meeting with industry stakeholders and obtaining their views. There are tremendous opportunities for domestic growth in markets for fine cheese, yoghurt, and butter, for example, due to increasing consumer demand.
    There are also technological advances to improve efficiency and to develop innovative new products. Taking advantage of these opportunities may require improvement in the competitive position of the dairy value chain. It will be a collaborative process, with government and industry working together to help dairy farmers capture these opportunities.
    I must reiterate that the Government of Canada fully understands the importance of transition support for the dairy sector. In anticipation of Canadian ratification of CETA, we will move forward with a plan to help the industry adjust to market access commitments.

  (1230)  

[Translation]

    I will say it once more. We will move forward with a plan to help the industry adjust to Canadian market access in anticipation of the Canada-Europe free trade agreement.
    The Government of Canada is working with the dairy industry on the diafiltered milk issue. There have been a number of productive meetings with diary producers and processors in order to find long-term solutions that will help not just today's dairy producers, but also their children and grandchildren.
    Therefore, I am proud to say that we concur with the report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    During the election, I was on the Hill with the dairy producers from my region, and I was on the Hill with them last week. I will always be there with them, and I will always defend their interests.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, once again I am listening with fascination to this concurrence debate the Liberals are bringing forward.
    If people back home were listening, they would be thinking that this is an emergency debate to respond to the fact that a couple of Conservative members are running for leadership on the question of supply management.
    We did not end up having any emergency debate when Martha Hall Findlay, the trade critic for the Liberal Party, campaigned extensively to destroy supply management. John Manley, a long-time Liberal, has been outspoken on supply management.
    In fact, we had a debate here just recently in the House. It was on a very clear question of whether we were going to support the dairy industry in dealing with diafiltered milk, and the Liberals voted against it.
    What we are seeing here is an attempt to sort of change the clock and create the impression that the Liberals actually support the dairy industry. What we have heard from them this morning is how much they love cows, how much they love their neighbourhoods, and how much they love all the people who put food on our tables, but we are not hearing a single thing from them about committing to standing up for the dairy industry as it is being undermined by the international trade agreements the Liberals are signing.
    I come from farm country, and we have large diary and cattle interests. If I went to a farmers meeting and told them how much I loved them, and expected them to love me back, they would put the run on me. They would ask what I was doing for the industry, because they are the backbone of the region.
    We see the Liberals standing up promoting their love for farming, without doing anything to respond to the issue of the undermining of supply management, and trying to change the channel on the fact that they voted against supporting farmers. Why are they wasting our time in the House with this useless debate?
    Mr. Speaker, while I do not think this debate is useless, I think dairy farmers need to hear from our members across Canada.
    On the NDP position with regard to fixing diafiltered milk, do they realize that what they are proposing would be only 10% to 20% of the solution? I could go back home to Timmins—James Bay, for instance, and tell my farmers that what we are proposing is only going to be 10% to 20% of the solution. It was not that long ago that if I went back home and had 20% on a test, my mother would not be happy with me.
    Mr. Speaker, it is alarming to hear the issue of diafiltered milk being dismissed. In the big picture, we have a huge issue with the definition of this product. As another colleague has suggested, try and drink it. It is not milk. I do not care what percentage of a solution it is in the rhetoric of inaction right now. I would like to hear the member tell me the definition of diafiltered milk, because I do not believe that the government knows the crux of this very simple issue that could be fixed right now. Liberals turned their face on it when our hon. member brought a very simple solution forward. They should recognize their conflict in the definition.
    What is the definition of diafiltered milk?
    Mr. Speaker, this issue is not new. MPCs have been coming into the country since 2010, and even previous to that, but they have exponentially grown over the past three years. Again, the solution they are proposing will not fix the issue.
    I am not practising the politics of false hope. When I go back to my riding, we talk about modernizing the industry, from producer to processor all the way to consumers. We have to work with the entire dairy industry sector to ensure that we have a sustainable, long-term solution. Fixing the issue at the border will not solve the issue, and that is the truth they have to tell their members.

  (1235)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, to start off, I will take it upon myself to remind some of my colleagues what supply management is and what benefits it has.
    The dairy sector, as well as the poultry and egg sectors, operate under this system. Supply management is based on a number of basic principles that prevent overproduction and shortages thanks to a production quota system designed to fully supply the domestic market without creating surpluses.
    This system allows producers to cover all production costs and earn a decent income. With supply management, governments do not have to subsidize the industry. That is not the case for the U.S. My colleague from Beauce will like that. I understand that he supports cutting the size of government. However, I think that he is having difficulty understanding what is at stake because he wants to abolish the current system. I would advise him to go back to doing what he does best, which is election campaign jingles.
    On May 16, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food adopted a motion urging the government to do four things: recognize the problem and recognize that the industry is calling for the problem to be resolved, meet with stakeholders in the dairy industry, propose a sustainable solution, and present a plan to the committee.
    The government has been telling us for a year that it has a plan. I hope it will tell us what that plan is, because we cannot wait to hear it.
    The Liberal members on the committee felt the need to adopt the motion, to encourage the government to recognize that there is a problem. That is a start. Since they have a habit of saying nothing, this meaningless position is already an improvement. At this rate, they may get the job done in 40 or 50 years.
    Incidentally, 40 or 50 years is about how much time has passed since the Liberal government expropriated 97,000 acres of agricultural land in my riding for an airport that is now being demolished. Parliamentarians who live in Quebec see this historical fiasco every time they take highway 50 to get here, to Parliament.
    The diafiltered milk problem could have been a major issue for the thousands of families that were kicked off their land, but since the government stole this land from them nearly 50 years ago, the only issue for these families is the return of the expropriated land.
    Let us come back to the committee. The report is really weak, toothless, and ineffective. Rather than calling on the government to recognize the problem and continue to discuss it, the committee should have called on the government to enforce its own regulations. That is what likely would have happened if the Bloc Québécois had been a part of the committee, because we are not in the habit of kowtowing to the government like the Liberal members from Quebec sitting on the other side of the House. All they do is repeat the government's talking points.
    It is important to remember that an MP from a pan-Canadian party is not very reliable when it comes time to stand up on a major issue for Quebec. The energy east pipeline and the oil sands make for a good example, but that is not what we are talking about here, even though that remains a major issue.
    What we are talking about here is supply management. Most of Canada's agricultural production occurs in the western part of the country on farms that produce one crop for export. That is the opposite of what we do in Quebec with our food sovereignty model. The federal government wants to open the borders to make western Canadians happy. It opens them a little from time to time: 5% under the WTO, 7% under CETA, and another 4% to come under the TPP.
    Every time negotiations are held, western exporters gain foreign market shares and Quebec loses domestic market shares.
    Pan-Canadian MPs are torn between supporting western Canada and supporting Quebec, and they go through the motions of signing this type of agreement even if they are not truly convinced that it is a good idea.
    That is why we have such a weak report before us today. I do not see any other reason for such a weak report when the regions came to Parliament Hill last week to express their outrage and were ignored by the government and by a minister and his parliamentary secretary who have clearly chosen to forget where they came from in order to further their careers.
    Earlier, the parliamentary secretary gave a lovely speech. I liked the way he spoke about himself in the third person when he talked about meetings with dairy industry representatives.

  (1240)  

     There are three theories here. One, the parliamentary secretary has become really full of himself. Two, he is not the parliamentary secretary and did not attend these meetings. Three, he is only reading the lines his party gives him. I will not ask him to choose among these three options, but none of them is very positive.
    I would have liked to see the Liberals march with us in the rain last Thursday, with my colleague from Joliette and my many colleagues who were there on the Hill. I would have liked to see them trade in their dress shoes for work boots and stand up for their people, like I do every day when I come to Parliament. I would have liked that, but that is not what happened, because they were too busy taking limo rides.
    Power corrupts, and since the Liberal Party did not change its corporate culture during its 10 years in opposition purgatory, the minister and the parliamentary secretary have let power go to their heads.
    The Bloc will support today’s motion because one cannot be against the right thing. However the motion remains totally trivial and void of value because the government has not the courage to enforce its own regulations and follows the whims of the American market, which decides what it does. At this time, the government is thus nothing but the puppet of the American government.
     The Liberals have no interest in defending the agricultural industry as a whole. All they do is neglect the families that feed us and bring them to bankruptcy. That way they will not have to buy back the quotas before abolishing supply management. This is in fact what will come of their economic liberalism. With this sort of Liberal colonialist policy, Canada simply proves once again, as it did in numerous files, that Quebec and its agriculture would be much better served if Quebec controlled its own laws, taxes, and treaties itself. Canada is simply proving, once again, that Quebec would be better off free and independent.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there is a couple of things I could take issue with in terms of the member's concern over the province of Quebec. I can assure the member that Quebec members of Parliament within the Liberal caucus are very strong advocates, not only for the province of Quebec but for Canada also. We see that as a positive thing, given the important role and recognition that Canada gets as a nation.
    Having said that, I am wondering if the member would acknowledge that there are significant dairy industries in the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, and other regions of the country, and that the issue we have before us today is not something that was created overnight. The creation of a false expectation or a false hope that this issue can be resolved overnight does not do just service to the many dairy farmers who are looking for answers. The government is looking for those answers and is doing the necessary consultation and the prep work in order to get this issue dealt with in an appropriate way.
    Does the member feel that the Conservative government was successful in any fashion in dealing with this particular issue?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to say to my hon. colleague that if he finds my comments disturbing, that is perfect. That is why we are here.
     Could the Conservative government have done something before? I think so, but in my view the Conservative government and the Liberal government are Tweedledum and Tweedledee: they never solve problems when the problems are Quebec’s.
     Incidentally, I could have acted as the government habitually does and not even answered his question. However, being a parliamentarian and a member who is not second-rate, contrary to what has been said by a colleague of the hon. member, I will respond.
    Yes, the Conservatives created the same problems as the Liberals. The Liberals have not resolved the problem and the Conservatives did not resolve the problem. That is how it is.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Mirabel for his interventions. This is a subject on which we share not only the same concerns, but the same urgent need for action, something to which the Liberal government is deaf. It is washing its hands of it, as the Conservatives did before.
     Last year, 250 family farms disappeared in Quebec alone. Instead of being there to defend the dairy producers of Quebec, and indeed everywhere, the Liberals are not making sure that their own regulations are enforced, regulations that would see diafiltered milk, an American powdered milk, treated as an ingredient when it arrives at border services and customs. We do not know why they are permitting this trickery. For the moment they are doing nothing, apart from saying that they are looking for a long-term solution.
     According to my hon. colleague from Mirabel, how many family farms will have to go bankrupt before the Liberals find their famous long-term solution?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I am glad to know that, like me, he is concerned about such an important issue that must be resolved as quickly as possible, namely, Quebec independence. However, my understanding is that this is more about the fact that the problem of diafiltered milk needs to be resolved.
    I wonder how many farms will have to disappear. Probably as soon as the Liberal members start losing the farms in their ridings, they will finally start doing something. In any case, the Liberal members from Quebec never say anything, so the chances of this being resolved are pretty slim.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House something that happened to me last week, if I may.
    Last weekend, I was in my riding after having issued a press release the week before stating that I support supply management. I had supported it in the past and I promised to continue supporting it in the election campaign.
    I wanted to issue the press release in order to clearly make the distinction between that and a visit to my colleague's riding, Beauce, for the kick-off to his campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party. I attended the event as the Quebec caucus chair.
    If five candidates from Quebec ran for the party leadership, which I would love to see, by the way, I would attend all five events, regardless of the policies the candidates proposed, as the candidate from Beauce did on supply management. Indeed, I would be there regardless, because I think it is important to support our colleagues who want to run in a contest to represent Quebec in Canada.
    That being said, I was at an event this PAST weekend where I happened to meet quite a few farmers who were also there for Relay for Life. Those farmers are part of our everyday lives in the regions. They are part of our regional realities because they participate in everything. They sponsor events and are very involved in our communities. We started talking about this and that, and naturally, we ended up talking about diafiltered milk, an issue that is having a serious negative impact on those farmers, especially dairy farmers, most of whom are in Quebec.
    We promised to address the diafiltered milk issue if we were elected, but unfortunately, that did not happen. The Liberals are the ones in power now, and they made that same promise to address the issue quickly.
    Seven months have passed, and it has been 30 days or more since they got the consultations they were after. They consulted a whole lot of industry stakeholders. Now, according to the resolution they themselves put forward, they want another 18 days.
    It is truly incredible to see what this motion says. The government is saying it has a problem in its own motion. This motion was not drafted by the Conservative Party, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, or the Green Party. It is a motion in which the Liberals are telling themselves that things are not going well in agriculture. We do not need for a motion to see that there is a problem. I honestly do not know where we are going with this, but it does not look good.
    Life is tough for these farmers these days because they are losing income. They invested in equipment and in their farm to increase productivity. They did not anticipate having to compensate for a loss because of something else, a problem that the government is not fixing. They made those investments to increase their farms' productivity, to have a bit of extra money in their pockets and to be able to reinvest.
    Farmers know they have to constantly reinvest. It is impossible not to invest. A farmer who does not invest in his facilities or his productivity is bound to fail and possibly lose his farm.
    When farmers invest $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, and even more in their own farm to ensure that they increase productivity, they are not trying to make up for their losses.
    At present, diafiltered milk is costing them tens of thousands of dollars. As recently as April 13, the president of the Union des producteurs agricoles said that farms are losing between $15,000 and $18,000 a year. That is a lot of money for a dairy farm with 40 or 50 cows. That is a lot of money for these producers, who have to invest in relatively short periods of time.
    As a business person, I know that the reality is that any investments should be amortized over the shortest possible period because technologies change very quickly.

  (1250)  

    That now also holds true for agriculture. When farmers invest in milking machines, the amortization period must be as short as possible because the machines will inevitably become outdated, just like the methods they replaced. Technology is constantly changing and therefore being replaced.
    I spoke to a woman who said she was tired of fighting. Dairy producers have been fighting for decades against all sorts of things like the climate, changes, the increase in farm productivity needed to ensure their financial viability, and environmental constraints that are imposed on them.
    They have to constantly invest in their own farms. When a problem arises, such as that of diafiltered milk, which has become a huge problem in recent months, the financial losses are discouraging for producers.
    I sincerely believe that the human aspect, which we have not discussed today, is important. In the past five years, in Quebec and Canadian rural areas, there has been an unprecedented number of suicides in farming communities. This is the result of the pressure on the agricultural sector in general.
    Producers are being asked to produce more and more and to find more environmentally friendly ways of doing so. They are being stretched to the limit. They are under unbelievable amounts of pressure. Many producers who would like to hand down their farm ultimately decide to shut it down or sell it.
    Just last week, a woman was telling me that the president of Les Producteurs de lait in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region said that there had never before been as many active farm sales in Quebec as there have been in the past two years. That is because producers are exhausted.
    They are not able to cope with governments that do not keep promises, especially the current government, which promised during the election campaign to fix the problem quickly but is still conducting consultations seven months later.
     As my colleague said earlier, there is a lot of blah blah blah, but there is also a lot of meh. Nothing happens. The government does not understand farmers. Unlike what the Liberals have been saying since this morning, they are way out in left field. They could fix this problem very quickly and they committed to doing just that. I do not think that seven months is very quickly. This problem could be fixed in two days. I do not know why they will not do it, but it should have been done a long time ago.
    Agri-food research is being done in La Pocatière, in my riding, and there needs to be a kind of balance. Farms do not increase productivity simply by purchasing equipment. Research and development in processing and in the dairy industry are important as well. Everything is important.
    The Liberal Party seems to be defending only the processing industry, but this industry needs the milk in order to process it. If there is no milk to be processed, where will it get the milk from? We want Canadian products and we want people to buy local.
    People in Kamouraska have been talking to me about this for 20 years. I was mayor of La Pocatière from 2005 to 2009 and an RCM of Kamouraska councillor. People talked to us about processing and buying local. If people want to do that and make it possible for farmers to process food locally, they have to be able to make a living at it. Right now, they are definitely having a hard time making a living at it.

  (1255)  

    Farmers are having a hard time coping with and justifying this reality. Once again, these people are having a hard time getting through this. The government's delays are costing them $10,000, $12,000 or $20,000 per year, and at the end of the month, those losses make it hard for them to balance their budgets. The added pressure makes them want to quit farming. The government has to give farmers every possible advantage, and some impossible ones too, especially dairy farmers who are going through tough times because of diafiltered milk.
    The government must understand that it needs to fix this before the summer. Today is June 7, and I think it is important to deal with this before the summer so that farmers can go work in their fields with a load off their minds. Right now, all farmers are having a terrible time getting by. The government has the answers and needs to act. As my colleague said earlier, the government has to walk the talk.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the member across the way in regard to what is a very important industry. We have spent a number of hours talking about the importance of our dairy industry in virtually all regions of the country but specifically for me, in my home province of Manitoba, where I had the privilege of visiting a dairy farm to get a better understanding of how the technology has really changed.
    Listening to the parliamentary secretary or the minister responsible for agriculture, I find there is no doubt about the substantial and unqualified support of the Liberal government for supply management. It is just a question of timing in getting this issue resolved.
    Could the member tell me if the Conservative Party would be prepared to say that it is 100% behind the concept of supply management?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, to ask that question is to answer it.
    That has been part of our policy for quite some time, and we have no intention of removing our support for supply management. Honestly, my colleague opposite knows the answer, and I do not know why he is asking me that question when he already knows the answer. It is in their platform, and it is in our platform. There is no way we would turn our backs on supply management.
    If leadership candidates have their own ideas on this, they have every right to defend those ideas. In fact, all the parties have an incredible opportunity to say that supply management matters. I do not understand why we should be afraid of saying such a thing. That leadership candidate is speaking on his own behalf, because he is running for the party leadership.

  (1300)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the government is dragging its feet with respect to the consultation process. There is no respect for timelines, too much lip service, and more talk than walk.
    Does the hon. member believe that the process is taking too long and that the government is dragging its feet and is not about to make any decisions soon?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    He is quite right. Clearly, the Liberals do not understand the situation. Just last week, 3,000 farmers made their way here to Ottawa on their tractors, some from as far away as the Gaspé. I am not sure whether my colleagues know how long it took them, but it was more than just hours; it took them days to get here. As my colleague said earlier, they paid out of their own pockets to come and demonstrate here.
    All 3,000 people who were here last week were mostly farmers. It took them days to get here, in order to show the government that the issue of diafiltered milk is important and that it needs to be resolved quickly. This is like the third overtime period in a hockey game. This issue should have been resolved a long time ago. The government promised to do so during the election campaign. It seems simple to me: when you promise to do something, you do it.
    We were known for keeping our promises. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the current government.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and for his candour and passion.
    I think it is a shame that the previous Conservative government dragged its feet on this issue.
    Why does the member think that the new Liberal government is unable to solve a simple problem by recognizing the fact that diafiltered milk is an ingredient and that it should be stopped at the border? This would help our dairy farmers, including those in Quebec, who need it, who are desperate, and who are being ignored by the Liberal government.
    Mr. Speaker, the answer to the hon. member's question is quite simple: there is no driver in the tractor. It is not complicated. We have a government with no leadership. This is a government that was elected seven months ago and promised in its electoral platform, in black and white, that it would resolve the problem of diafiltered milk. I am not making this up. They are the ones who boasted about this for 75 days, not just 30 days, saying that they would fix the problem. They said that in every riding in Quebec. Today, seven months later, the problem is still not fixed. We need to have a driver in that tractor and fast.
    Mr. Speaker, no matter where I am sitting, I will always rise to defend dairy producers. That is what we should take away today.
    I truly enjoyed the speech by my colleague, who said that it is important to the people in his riding to see concrete measures and not just feel that they have been listened to, because the government only wants to listen.
    Does my colleague sense that farmers believe a solution is urgently needed?
    Can my colleague tell us whether the people he spoke to are pleased with the Liberal government's response in the past seven months, or, once again, that the government is not walking the talk?

  (1305)  

    Mr. Speaker, if Quebec's dairy producers were pleased with the current government, they would not have descended on Ottawa and, in some cases, they would not have travelled 25, 30, or 40 hours to get here.
    That must be obvious. If I were a diary producer, I would not drive my tractor from Gaspé to Ottawa to listen to empty rhetoric, which is what they heard. That is unfortunate. The producers I met on the weekend told me that they were very polite. That is a very important point that I did not raise in my speech. Dairy producers are very polite and respectful. They are respectful as long as they are respected.
    When the day comes that they no longer feel that the government respects them, things will be different. Quite frankly, things are heating up. It is time for the government to take action and it is urgent because dairy producers and other producers under the supply management system are more than fed up.
    I believe that the government has the answers to these questions. It is up to the government to respond and to take action. Once again, the government must show leadership, there must be a driver in the tractor. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case.
    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.

[English]

     The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
     The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    Mr. Speaker, I ask that the vote be deferred to today at the end of the time provided for oral questions.
    Order, please. The House will now resume the remaining business under routine proceedings. We are under the rubric of motions.
    Presenting petitions, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

Petitions

Shark Finning  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today and present two petitions signed by residents of every single part of my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, from the Saanich Peninsula, Saltspring Island, Pender Island, Galiano Island, and Mayne Island. They are calling upon this House to take action to prevent the trade in shark fins in Canada. We know that this practice is contributing to the extinction of species around the world.
    Although private member's Bill C-246 would accomplish this, the petitioners are specifically asking that the House take action.

Security Certificates  

    Mr. Speaker, my second petition is also from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands who are very concerned about aspects of human rights and that the use of security certificates as part of the public security regime in Canada is inherently open to abuse and violates an individual's right to a fair trial. The petitioners ask this House to remove the use of security certificates.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition that overwhelmingly presents the position of Canadians across the country, from coast to coast to coast, on the issue of the protection of conscience rights for physicians. It highlights that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the freedoms of conscience and religion. The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to enshrine in the Criminal Code protection of conscience rights for physicians and health care institutions, to protect them from coercion and intimidation to provide or refer for physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.

  (1310)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1

     The House resumed from June 6 consideration of Bill C-15, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this time on the budget implementation bill. I always call budget implementation the time when the tires hit the road, when we hit the pavement and decide what it we will implement over the next little while. In some cases our budget implementation bill will undo some of the things we did not agree with in the last administration and it will put forward what we put into our election platform. These are details by which we debate.
    I would like to highlight a number of things. A lot of this has to do with my riding and by extension my province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I want to focus on two themes from the budget. A lot of it has to do with the individuals who I feel need a hand-up from the government, who need some help from the government to get by, through no fault of their own. It is one of the reasons why I ran for politics. It is one of the main reasons it has sustained me for the past 12 years. It gets me up in the morning and gets me to work every day. I feel that all 338 of us make a difference in our own sort of way, not just for our ridings but also in general, to further the dialogue of our country and enact elements of that dialogue into legislation.
    The two themes I want to talk about are smart investments and a sense of fairness.
    Smart investments come from the conversations we have had with people over the past couple of years. I remember when we were the smaller party in the House. There was a lot of discussion. There were good ideas from all parties at that time and there were great debates. I do not want to dwell on what happened in the last session too much, but I will dwell upon some of the things we looked at to create fairness within the taxation system. That is what we are talking about here.
    As for fairness for the middle class, I know in many cases a lot of the tax credits we talked about earlier may seem like a wonderful thing by the day's end, things like the credits that the former government put in place. Some of them were for good reasons. They were good for fitness, for books and for many other things. However, we looked at all the credits and decided we needed to invest in the middle class. All of these could be encapsulated into fairness so we could invest in our middle class and so people could provide for their families. In turn, we could help create employment as a result of that.
    Let me go back to my origin, to Newfoundland and Labrador. One of the best things we can invest in are the skills for people. Back in the early 1990s, when the cod moratorium was in place, one of the biggest lay-offs in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador occurred. Thousands upon thousands of communities were affected by the shutdown of the major fishery. The government of the day, under former prime minister Jean Chrétien, decided it would invest in people by allowing them to re-educate themselves, retool themselves for something down the road. It took a while to do that, but it got done in several ways.
    First and foremost, we talk about seafood as being a great export. We talk about our minerals and mines as a great export. However, one of our greatest exports that we have right now in our neck of the woods is skilled trades. My constituents travel the world: Norway, North Africa, eastern Russia, the Middle East; and even in our country into Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Many of our people travel away for a period of time, return, and live in my province, in my riding and throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet they find themselves going around the world making a living. The investments we made many years ago allowed that to happen. We were able to build the capacity by which we could educate people and by the same token we could create a post-secondary institution that was nimble and therefore able to adapt to the skills market it required. To dovetail that, we have cut taxes for the middle class. As a result of that, we also believe in the investment in the people and the structures by which they live.

  (1315)  

    One of the best things I found about this budget was that it would benefit the smallest of communities. There are about 140 communities in my riding and each of these communities is now able to invest in infrastructure in a way they could never before. How they do that is by allowing the flexibility within the system so they can invest with other levels of government, with provincial governments and the federal government.
    We now can make substantial investments in community infrastructure regarding recreation, heritage, tourism, culture. Beyond the industries I mentioned earlier, we also have a burgeoning tourism market throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Many have seen the commercials. They are enticing a lot of people to my area, but if there is nothing there for them, then it becomes very difficult to provide services and to create long-term employment as a result.
    I also want to talk about some of the specifics when it comes to seasonal work, which is a big element for central Newfoundland in particular. Division 12 of part 4 of the bill would increase, until July 8, 2017, the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid to certain claimants in certain regions, and my region is one of those. It certainly would benefit in a great way.
    It would eliminate the category of claimants who are new entrants and re-entrants, so it would not perplex people who are new entrants into the EI system to acquire the hours to get into the system for the first time. Before, it was rather unfair. Double the amount of hours were required for people getting into the system for the first time. Therefore, we are scaling it back to what everyone else has to do.
    It would reduce to one week the length of the waiting period during which claimants would not be entitled to benefits. It is not just about the one week; it is also about processing. In some cases, some people who apply for employment insurance have to wait not one to three weeks, but six weeks to receive that first cheque. That is two or three weeks beyond the late mortgage payment or the late payment for utilities. That certainly becomes onerous. Therefore, we are going to do that, plus we are going to enhance the system by which processing takes place in the public service.
    Budget 2016 certainly takes an essential step to grow the middle class. It puts people first and delivers the help Canadians need now, not in a decade from now. In the last session of Parliament, the emphasis was on the investment that was on the back end, as some people like to call it, meaning the latter part of the span got most of that money. We felt that investment had to be done now in many cases, certainly for Newfoundland and Labrador. In my particular situation, that had to be done soon.
    One of the examples I can use is that soon there will be harder regulations regarding waste water, for environmental reasons and for all the right reasons. In 2020, we are looking at some very onerous regulations for the smallest of communities, not just the largest cities. As a result, we have to help bring these communities up to a standard by which they can satisfy those regulations. That is very important to us and to Newfoundland and Labrador.
    I want to turn to the main text of the budget for a moment, because there are several areas I would like to touch upon. I mentioned small town recreation. Page 102 talks about investing in cultural and recreational infrastructure. Some of the best investments we have made are in things like playgrounds and ball fields. Recreational areas create jobs, yes, but more important, they allow communities to invest in themselves, and we want to be a part of that.
    Our 150-year celebration is just around the corner and the local and regional economic development agency, more commonly known as ACOA, or Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, provides an essential service for the smallest of communities. It tells communities that the Government of Canada believes in them and will be there. That is why I love this budget. I will vote for it, and I hope all members do.
    Rural broadband is absolutely an essential service. When I first arrived in the House, Internet capability was something for those who could afford it. Now it has become absolutely essential. Building a road to reach a community now is as essential as the reach of broadband Internet as well.

  (1320)  

    I believe in tourism and investments in it.
    Finally, I want to talk about the Manolis L, and the $6 million to come up with an assessment. It is a sunken ship off the coast of my riding. It had to be addressed, and was addressed in this budget.
    Mr. Speaker, the member talked about what the Liberals would implement with this budget. What are they implementing with the huge deficit they have budgeted for, with no plans to balance the budget? These are serious things to implement upon the Canadian public.
    What is more concerning to me is on page 235 of this year's budget. It is the GST revenue projections. If we take note of these numbers, the GST revenue is projected to rise by 21% over the next five years. The government is certainly not predicting, nor are any of the economic indicators suggesting, that our economic growth is going to grow by anywhere near 21%.
    I am concerned the government is planning to implement a GST increase. Is that the case?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's enthusiasm. During the campaign, there was never a commitment to talk about the GST or to increase it. I do not think—
    I'm not talking about the campaign.
    I am sorry if my answer is interrupting his heckling, Mr. Speaker, but I will try to keep going.
    These are projections based on the economic growth. I mentioned the investment in our communities, and how that would benefit us. I certainly believe the projections are there. Our debt-to-GDP ratio allows us to eliminate this deficit a few years from now.
     I would like to remind the member that this is nothing new. The idea of injecting money, investing in the economy, and investing for the sake of a stimulus measure is not new. Being in a deficit situation for a period of time was also talked about by the former finance minister, Hon. Jim Flaherty, God rest his soul. He said the same thing.
    When the other side says that this is a rather wasteful way of spending, that is not what they used to say, as we get into a hashtag disingenuous conversation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, when I go door to door in Trois-Rivières, there is one question I am dying to ask every person I see. I want to know whether they are satisfied with the tax cuts. Most times, people ask me what tax cut I am talking about.
    There is a big difference between the definition of middle class that I had in my mind and what we see in the budget.
    The median salary in Quebec is around $31,500 a year. As we all know, everyone who earns $45,000 and under will not receive a tax cut.
    Is my colleague truly proud of a budget in which the middle class, or those striving to join it, do not have access to the tax cuts? Is he proud of a measure that is supposed to be revenue neutral but that will actually cost hundreds of millions of dollars?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have been in the House 12 years. I do not often get to hear the NDP members advocate for tax cuts, but nevertheless I will address it.
    We are looking at the tax cut for the middle class, but we are also investing, the child tax benefit being a big factor of that. That is what a lot of people have asked for, and that is what we are delivering.
    I know both parties are on us about this idea of spending. We call it investment for all the right reasons. If members have been here as I long as I have, they would realize that these investments are crucial for all communities, including Trois-Rivières and the other communities he has mentioned.
    I would suggest the member hang on and look at how these investments will benefit his riding, and maybe he will take credit for it. They are solid investments in the middle class, such as the child tax benefit for those raising families. This is what it is about. The tax cut is there to help them. Compared to what has been done, it is a substantial tax cut.

  (1325)  

    I was the regional manager for the ministry of environment back in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia. In total, I spent 32½ years with provincial governments in British Columbia and Manitoba, working with provincial budgets. I was also mayor of the City of Cranbrook for three years and responsible for municipal government budgets.
    As anyone who has worked for government at the federal, provincial, or municipal level will know, governments always have money. This will not be news to anyone who pays taxes, which pretty much includes all of us except, perhaps, for the very wealthy putting money away into tax havens.
    Since governments always have money, it always comes down to priorities and how government chooses to spend our money. While this budget does some things right it, unfortunately, falls short in a number of very important areas. Let us start with the good news: what this budget does right.
    The bill contains some positive measures that were led and/or supported by the NDP, as follows: restoring the tax credit for labour-sponsored funds, adding feminine hygiene products to the list of zero-rated products for taxation purposes, raising the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors, and repealing the legislation to raise the age of retirement from 65 to 67 years of age.
    I have also heard from my constituents that they were pleased to see the increase in Canada student grant amounts by 50%, to a maximum of $3,000 per year for low-income families and ensuring that no student will have to repay their Canada student loan until they are earning at least $25,000 a year.
    At the same time, they are not happy with Liberal cuts that eliminated the education tax credit and the textbook tax credit. For students, with one hand, the Liberals giveth and, with the other hand, they take away.
    This is also true for the Liberals' Canada child benefit. While families will benefit with an increase in child benefit, the government is eliminating two very important tax credits, the children's fitness tax benefit and the children's arts tax credits. Both of these were important for helping to build physically healthy kids and to encourage our young artists. They will be sadly missed.
    While the tourism industry will benefit with the provision of $50 million over two years, dedicated to Destination Canada for marketing initiatives, the rest of small businesses have been betrayed by the Liberal government. During the 2015 election, I participated in 12 community debates throughout Kootenay—Columbia. At every debate, the Liberals said, as did I, representing the NDP, that if we were elected, we would decrease small businesses taxes from 10.5% to 9%. This was not a “We will consider”, or “We will consult with Canadians” election promise. This was black and white. My Liberal colleague promised that if they were elected, they would reduce business taxes to 9%.
    What happened to the Liberal mantra, “That's what we told Canadians we'd do and that is what we will do” on this one?
    As I said, there were some good things in the budget, but I have to say that after 10 years of Conservative cutbacks that hurt so many aspects of our lives in Canada, it is not hard for any government that followed to look at least sort of good to Canadians. This is especially true if we do not mind spending an additional $30 billion a year over and above the revenue that we are taking in; $30 billion a year in added debt that will fall to our children and grandchildren to pay back. This is a concern I hear over and over again from my constituents.
    I even heard it from school kids at the Kootenay Christian Academy in Cranbrook and the Crawford Bay School in Crawford Bay. They both asked the same question, “How will we ever pay back almost $700 billion in debt?”
    I have to say I did not have a good answer for them, other than to say, “Perhaps we should be learning from countries like Norway, where its federal government petroleum fund has $500 billion in surplus money, and is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020.” Being half Norwegian, I have to say that is a rainy day fund and a budget process to aspire to and be proud of.
    What do my constituents say they find most disappointing about the Liberal government? How much time do I have left? Possibly not enough time, but let me get started.

  (1330)  

    We are feeling left out in Kootenay—Columbia when it comes to employment insurance. The Liberal government's regionally based enhancements to employment insurance do nothing for my constituents, even though a number of them worked in the oil and gas industry in Fort McMurray. This discriminatory approach to EI must end and be replaced by a universal 360-hour eligibility threshold, and extended benefits should apply to all Canadians.
    Too many seniors in my riding live in poverty. Seniors should not have to choose between food and prescription drugs. The government needs to keep its promise to immediately enhance the CPP and the QPP. Our seniors helped to build this great country of ours, and they deserve to be treated better.
    On taxation, my constituents believe in tax fairness, which means that the Liberal tax cuts should have included Canadians who make from $20,000 to $45,000. It also means that the richest people in Canada should pay their fair share, which means closing tax loopholes, including offshore tax havens, and punishing tax cheats even if they are wealthy tax cheats.
    Infrastructure funding is a major concern. Municipalities in rural areas of Canada expect to get their fair share of infrastructure dollars. As a former mayor of Cranbrook, a city with just under 20,000 residents, keeping up with replacing 50-year-old sewer and water pipes, and fixing failing roads was a constant challenge.
     Many Canadians do not realize that for every dollar collected in taxes, 50¢ goes to the federal government, 42¢ to provincial governments, and 8¢ goes to municipalities. Meanwhile, municipalities are responsible for almost 70% of all infrastructure in Canada. While it is heartening to see additional money for infrastructure in this 2016-17 budget, we have yet to see when or how that money will be rolled out.
    I can tell members that in 2014, the former Conservative government announced, with great fanfare, its build Canada fund. The reality is that virtually no money made it to municipalities in my region of British Columbia that year. My Conservative member of Parliament at the time put the blame on the B.C. Liberal government for dragging its feet on getting the program under way.
    The approach to funding in infrastructure at that time was a one-third, one-third, one-third split, with each level of government having to come up with its share. I can tell members that it is extremely difficult for small rural communities to come up with their one-third. One cannot even get into the game without having the one-third, and having shelf-ready plans in place. Many small municipalities have a very difficult time having staff or contract money to even create shelf-ready plans.
    Therefore, while it is good to see more money for infrastructure in the budget, in order for it to be effective, the government needs to ensure a number of things.
     First, that there is money and a process in place to help small rural communities develop shelf-ready plans.
     Second, the one-third, one-third, one-third funding formula needs to change. Based on the taxes collected, it would be more appropriate if the formula for infrastructure funding would be 10% municipalities, 40% provincial governments, and 50% federal government, and as much of the infrastructure as possible should go directly from the federal government to municipalities with an appropriate funding formula.
     Third, the funding should be multi-year, with a minimum of four years to reflect the four-year term of a ruling party. This would give municipalities the opportunity to plan ahead.
    High-speed Internet, sometimes called dark fibre, needs to be considered basic municipal infrastructure in the future, along with roads, sewer, water, and storm drains, and it should be eligible for annual infrastructure funding. My major dream is that aging infrastructure funding should come out of politics and just be a line item every year in the Infrastructure and Communities ministry's budget.
    In conclusion, I would like to be able to support this 179-page omnibus-like bill, but it falls short of what my constituents in Kootenay—Columbia expected from the Liberal government, and I am unable to support it at report stage.

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments on this particular budget and the debate we are having today.
    I heard with great interest the discussion he mentioned about being with children and talking about the debt, and them questioning how we get out of so much debt. I hope he also took the opportunity to explain to them what taking on this debt could do for our country in terms of our ability to invest in infrastructure and get the economy moving again and getting things properly working.
    He was very critical of the debt we are taking on, but at the same time, also made comments about the fact that we were not able to balance the budget. I am wondering if he could provide some input. Given the fact that the NDP had made a commitment to balancing the budget, how would he have worked with his party? What would he specifically have cut in order to balance the budget, while at the same time providing these tax breaks that he spoke about for small businesses? Can he give us some insight as to how he would cut the taxes for small businesses and balance the budget? What specifically would he have cut or promoted to cut to add up to the $30 billion?
    Mr. Speaker, our approach to the budget was to increase corporate taxes, to increase the amount of revenue coming in. That, of course, is another aspect that is missing from the budget and from our approach to Canada.
    Increasing corporate taxes would bring in additional revenue. There was a bit of an expectation that corporations would do the right thing and reinvest the money that they saved on taxes in Canada. That has not happened and it was one of the things we really wanted to see happen.
    Mr. Speaker, I found it interesting that my colleague was comparing Canada and Norway, and the rainy day fund that Norway has.
    I would just like to point out, Norway does not have equalization payments to the provinces. Being from Alberta, I know exactly the impact that has had on our province; $10 billion has left our province.
    Is the hon. member saying we should eliminate equalization payments to the provinces? I am sure people in Alberta would have no problem with that.
    Mr. Speaker, equalization payments, of course, are part of Canada and have been for a long time. I am not suggesting that we get rid of equalization payments. I am suggesting that perhaps we take a different approach to how we deal with oil and gas revenues, similar to how they do it in Norway.
    Mr. Speaker, let me add to that point. Where did Norway get the brilliant idea of setting aside royalties that were priced appropriately to the value of the resource, for the benefit of their public? They got it from Peter Lougheed, the former premier of Alberta whose brilliant idea was trashed by his successor, Ralph Klein.
    It is not the money that would be in Alberta and Alberta would be awash in cash if only it was not for equalization payments. Alberta would have a heritage fund with money for its citizens if not for the policies of Ralph Klein, and equalization payments have nothing to do with it.
    Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree with the hon. member.
    Mr. Speaker, stupid is as stupid does. The reality is, the leader of the Green Party and the member who just spoke clearly do not understand how equalization works.
    If the member who just spoke says that we need to rethink equalization the way Norway does, that is nationalization of the energy that Norway has, and that is the difference.
    Is the new position of the NDP nationalizing our natural resources like oil and gas?

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, what I was agreeing with was that Alberta used to have a good, solid approach to having a heritage fund and having money in the bank, and that got squandered by governments that followed Mr. Lougheed. That is the point.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have many reasons to be proud of budget 2016.
    First, I am proud of the process that led to this budget. Budget 2016 is the result of an extensive, inclusive consultation during which we heard from a wide range of Canadians in big and small communities across the country, and Sudbury was no exception.

[English]

    In fact, Sudbury was one of the very first ridings to hold a pre-budget consultation. During our pre-budget town hall, we heard from individual business leaders; representatives of sectors as varied as mining, health care, and arts and culture; and concerned individual citizens. Each of them provided thoughtful, progressive, and insightful advice.
     I would like to thank them all for their important contributions to the budget. These stakeholders, and thousands more like them across Canada, are at the heart of the budget. Budget 2016 puts people first.

[Translation]

    I am originally from northern Ontario, and I can say unequivocally that budget 2016 is good for the people of the north. I grew up in a small community where the pulp and paper mill is still the biggest employer and a pillar of the local economy.

[English]

    Today, I am proud to represent a northern city known the world over for its exceptional mining sector. Anyone who has worked in a mill or a mine knows the meaning and the value of a hard day's work.
    They also know, and so does the government, that when local industries suffer, workers, their families, and entire communities suffer as well.
    Over the past few years, too many hard-working Canadians have faced tough times. Northerners know that when times are hard, families and communities must stand together and help each other to overcome adversity.
     When a business that has fed a family for generations disappears, when the mill, the mine, or the factory closes its doors, when people lose their jobs and have to swallow their pride and ask for help, the last thing they need is to get tangled in a web of bureaucracy that prevents them from getting the help that is essential for their families.
    The budget eases that burden by improving employment insurance and extending benefits in a dozen regions that have been particularly hard hit, including my riding of Sudbury. It is an important measure that will help Canadians when they need it most.
    I am delighted that the budget commits $150 million in new funding through regional economic development agencies, such as FedNor for northern Ontario, to renovate, expand, and improve existing community and cultural infrastructure.
    Sudbury is home to 15 housing co-ops, and access to affordable housing is an ever-growing challenge in our community, as it is throughout the country. Budget 2016 includes $1.5 billion to improve access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing, including shelters for victims of violence. It also includes support for the construction of up to 4,000 new affordable housing rental units.
    Throughout the country, close to 700,000 seniors' households face a housing availability challenge, and affordable options for seniors are extremely limited. That is why I am proud that budget 2016 commits more than $200 million to boost funds for the construction, repair, and adaptation of affordable housing for seniors. Our government will give Canadian seniors greater access to safe and affordable housing and a better quality of life.
    I am also proud to see that budget 2016 makes significant investments to improve the quality of life of indigenous communities, including $1.2 billion for housing, early learning and child care, health, and cultural and recreational infrastructure on reserve. These are significant, meaningful investments and mark an important step toward improving the lives of those who have, all too often, been overlooked by previous governments.
    We need to make sure that the economy works for everyone and to make sure that our tax system is fair for all Canadians. That is why, as one of its first actions, our government introduced a middle-class tax cut and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians. These changes give middle-class Canadians more money on their paycheques and increase the fairness of our tax system.
    I am proud that budget 2016 will take action to prevent tax evasion at home and abroad. In particular, though they have been largely ignored over the past 10 years, this budget commits to tackling tax havens head on. As part of a coordinated multilateral effort, our government is acting to address international tax planning arrangements undertaken by multinational enterprises to inappropriately minimize their taxes. These efforts will also increase transparency through the automatic exchange of financial account information between various international tax authorities.
    In order to crack down on tax evasion and tax avoidance, budget 2016 increases the Canada Revenue Agency's funding by $444 million and provides $351.6 million for the CRA to improve its ability to collect outstanding tax debts.
     As a tax lawyer, I am well positioned to attest to the fact that these measures improve the fairness and integrity of our tax system and contribute to fiscal sustainability over the long term.

  (1345)  

[Translation]

    A few weeks ago, I joined the right hon. Prime Minister and my hon. colleague, the member for Nickel Belt, to announce a $27-million investment for the Maley Drive extension, a new road in Sudbury.
    This kind of infrastructure investment, which responds to a priority identified by the municipality and involves support from all three levels of government, will create good jobs, make it easier for people and goods to get around, and contribute to economic growth for years.
    I am very proud that our government is prioritizing investments like this one. I am also proud that one of the first of these infrastructure investments is for Sudbury.

[English]

    It is a well-known fact that mining has been at the heart of Sudbury's economy for almost 130 years. Sudbury continues to be one of the largest integrated mining complexes in the world. However, Sudbury's economy is not just about pulling resources from the ground. It is one of the world's leading clusters of mining research and innovation.
    Local businesses continue to find new ways to increase their global competitive edge while becoming safer, more cost-effective, and more environmentally sound. That is why I am particularly pleased that budget 2016 sets out a new vision for Canada to stand as a global leader in innovation. Expanding Canada's network of innovative, globally connected firms will drive clean economic growth and will help grow our middle class for years to come.
    Sudburians know that investing in research and development is also imperative for sustaining long-term innovation, renewal, and growth. Budget 2016 will strengthen Canada's research excellence by investing in infrastructure and post-secondary institutions and by funding innovative research.
    Sudbury is also an important cultural hub, and given the tremendous range of artists and arts and cultural organizations that contribute to the local economy and raise the quality of life in Sudbury and across Canada, I am truly proud to say that the budget is great for arts and culture.

[Translation]

    Over the next five years, our government will invest over $1.9 billion to support this country's great cultural institutions, including the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, and the National Film Board of Canada.
    These investments will have a positive impact on hundreds of communities across the country and will enable Canadian artists to continue making their mark as leading lights on the international scene.
    I am also delighted that our government is investing an additional $675 million in CBC/Radio-Canada. This investment will ensure that both of our official languages are heard on public airwaves from coast to coast. The arts and culture community has been waiting for these investments for a decade. These investments will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and enable Canadian culture to shine here at home and around the world.
    We have every reason to be proud of our Canadian creators, and these investments make it clear that we support the good work they are doing.

[English]

    Budget 2016 is good for families, good for hard-working Canadians, good for businesses, good for innovators, and good for our cultural sector.
    The budget is good for Sudbury and good for the north, and it will be good for Canada.

[Translation]

    We are investing today to ensure a better, more prosperous future for our children.

[English]

    This will be our legacy. It marks the way to a brighter and more hopeful future for all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my Liberal colleague across the way a question specifically about veterans.
    As he may know, Bill C-12 was on the Order Paper. It dealt with increasing compensation to veterans. That is something the NDP supports. The budget implementation bill would swallow Bill C-12 and incorporate it among the many different acts that would be changed by this giant omnibus legislation.
     In light of the recent horrible news coverage the Liberals have been getting with respect to veterans, veterans groups have been tossing out words like “disgrace” and “shameful betrayal”. In light of those facts, why did the Liberal government not leave Bill C-12 alone so it could at least have gone to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs for further study? The committee would have heard from expert witnesses, and we could have debated things like increasing mental health support services and increasing support for veterans' spouses? Why was Bill C-12 swallowed up by this omnibus bill?
    Why are veterans not getting the proper care and treatment they need?

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, my grandfather was a veteran of World War II. One of the reasons I sought office was the treatment of veterans over the last few years.
    It was clear in our election platform that we wanted to help veterans by refinancing and bringing back the Veterans Affairs offices across Canada. Reinvesting in veterans was a key section of our platform. That is something our Minister of Veterans Affairs is working hard toward, and I am proud to support him in that endeavour.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on what is one of the greatest initiatives in the budget, and that is the Canada child benefit program. My colleague is aware of the fact that we will be lifting literally thousands of children out of poverty in every region of our country. Years from now, we will reflect back on this budget, and that will be one of the issues that will really stand out, at least for me, and I am sure many people.
    From the member's perspective, what does he believe is the most significant aspect of the budget for his constituents and himself personally?
    Mr. Speaker, there is so much in the budget we could talk about that would help my region in northern Ontario. The Canada child tax benefit is a very important one, as well as the significant investments in infrastructure. There is a huge infrastructure deficit in northern Ontario from years of cutting back by the previous government.
    The budget goes such a long way. We are already starting to see the fruits of the budget in investments. Those are long term. They will be creating jobs and helping out the middle class, as well, in northern Ontario.
     Social housing is also a big investment we would be making through our infrastructure projects. That would have a great effect in my community.
    Mr. Speaker, it was interesting to hear the previous question about the Canada child benefit program. We could better refer to the budget as the Canada child deficit program, with the continuing long-term deficits being brought in.
    I asked a question earlier today regarding the GST increases that are projected to be 21% over the next five years. That is far more than any increase in the economy is predicted to be. Where is the 21% increase in GST revenues coming from? Is it coming from a tax increase?
    Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. The budget has no increases in the GST. It is as simple as that.
    We are investing in the middle class and investing in infrastructure. After conversations with Canadians for the past little while as to what mattered to them, that is what the budget is about. That is why I am proud to support the budget.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. I just want to point out to the hon. member that we have about seven minutes, so when 2 o'clock strikes, she will have three minutes to continue when the debate continues.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise at report stage to speak to Bill C-15. In the seven minutes I have, I will try to be very economical and focus on a few points that have been mentioned by other members.
    I have a very strong view about the improper use of omnibus budget bills, and I want to reflect briefly on the history of omnibus budget bills.
    The mandate letter to the hon. government House leader makes it clear that he is directed to “end the improper use of omnibus bills”. Therefore, having fought very hard in the spring of 2012 against Bill C-38, the omnibus budget bill, I want to canvass this because I think it is important for me to say out loud that this is not an improper use of an omnibus bill but it comes dangerously close.
    Omnibus budget bills between 1993 and the 2000 were generally around 12 pages long. The biggest omnibus bill that I had seen was in the spring of 2005 under the previous Liberal government of Paul Martin, which topped 120 pages. People actually protested that the Martin government's 2005 budget bill, at 120 pages, was too long, including the leader of the official opposition at that time, who went on to become prime minister and became the champ of all inappropriate and improper uses of budget bills.
    This budget bill, at 179 pages, is clearly the longest omnibus budget bill from a Liberal government. However, it is a piker compared to the abuse of democracy that we saw under the previous Conservative regime.
    In the year 2010, we saw an omnibus budget bill that was 883 pages long. In the spring of 2012, we saw the first part of an omnibus budget bill that was 440 pages long, with a second part in the fall, which was another 400 pages long.
    What makes an omnibus bill appropriate or inappropriate? If in one piece of legislation we are working toward a single purpose and all pieces of the legislation stem from that single purpose, it is an omnibus bill all right, but it is not improper. What happened in the spring of 2012 is that Bill C-38 destroyed our Environmental Assessment Act, which was not mentioned in the budget, destroyed the Fisheries Act, repealed the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, repealed the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, and changed the National Energy Board Act. No fewer than 70 laws were changed at that time.
    Therefore, let us not muddy the waters. The warning to my friends in the Liberal government is that they should not tread too far. This one should have split out the commercialization of the Wheat Board. We needed to study that separately. However, overall, this one is not an improper use of omnibus bills; rather, it just flirts with the word “improper”.
    What is good and what is not good about this? Obviously, there is much in this budget to like. I was disappointed because I thought there would be more to like, and there are two specific elements I must mention, before we move to Standing Order 31s, that are really unfortunate and, in fact, egregious.
    In terms of the good things, there are changes to the employment insurance program that I welcome. However, as many groups have said, including those who testified before the finance committee, we need to go further and fix EI to get it back to the systems we had before the changes of the Conservative regime. Therefore, while it is certainly better to have the changes we just made, I tried in committee to make amendments to deal with the long-tenured worker, the idea that one has to work for seven years to qualify for those pieces. We have not yet seen the reversal of the changes to seasonal workers. We need to see that.
    In the case of the child benefit program, I agree with the Canadian Teachers' Federation, which described it as a good first step to alleviate childhood poverty. However, I found this evidence from the Canadian Teachers' Federation really telling, and we should all take it on board as parliamentarians. It stated:
    Each day in our classrooms, Canadian teachers engage with children and youth who are hungry, tired, and struggling due to poverty.
    I talk to teachers all the time. We need to do much more for our children. This is just a very small first step.
    With respect to veterans, I would say that the Liberals kept their promise to open the veterans offices across Canada that were wrongfully closed. They have done some things that will change the permanent impairment allowance and the grade determination. This is an improvement. However, we still need much more to be done for our veterans, just as we do for pensioners.

  (1355)  

    The National Pensioners Federation made the same point. The increase in GIS for pensioners is very welcome, but it is $2.60 a day. The maximum improvement for poor seniors in this budget is $2.60 a day. That is not enough.
    There is more that I liked in the budget, such as cultural industries and better deals for students, although the money needs to be improved. However, there are two pieces that are completely egregious. One is found on page 221, where the fossil fuel subsidy to liquefied natural gas is left in place until 2024. This is a violation of the Liberal election promise to end subsidies to fossil fuels.
    Also, at pages 166 and 167, we see a commitment to keep environment assessment in place under the Bill C-38 version, which as I just mentioned, destroyed our environmental assessment regime. Specific reference to continue to fund CEAA under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, is offensive to all of us who understand environmental law.

  (1400)  

    The hon. member will have four minutes remaining when debate resumes.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, I rise for a brief 60-second tribute to the people of British Columbia who stand united against the Kinder Morgan trans mountain expansion.
    Earlier today, Mayor Gregor Robertson was here, speaking in this place, along with Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Chief Ian Campbell, and Councillor Grant-John of the Musqueam and Squamish First Nations.
    I raise my hands to them. I am honoured to represent the Coast Salish peoples of Saanich—Gulf Islands and say huy tseep q'u for their being clear.
    We need to understand in this place that this debate over pipelines must not pit Alberta against B.C., or Quebec against Alberta.
    We need to recognize in this place that the export of raw bitumen to other countries is not in our national interest, and our national interest lies in processing material here and saying no to pipelines.

Streetsville Founders' Bread and Honey Festival

    Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the annual bread and honey festival in Streetsville.
    Since its inception in 1973, the bread and honey festival has celebrated commerce in the local community, originated in part by the flour mills. Having so many bee yards existing at the time, it was only natural to add honey. Even today, everyone enjoys bread that is specially baked by the local milling companies and generously coated with local honey.
     The weekend long festival is filled with events and activities for all ages, kicked off by a parade through the main strip of the village. I have attended this event for 31 years, this being my first as the member of Parliament.
     It was especially nice to see kids enjoying the festival, as I did growing up. I would like to thank the organizers and volunteers for making this year's bread and honey festival possible and for keeping the local tradition alive.

Fort Nelson Volunteer

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge one of my constituents, Joan Kinzett, who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of seniors in Fort Nelson, British Columbia.
     Joan Kinzett has worked for the Northern Rockies Seniors Society for more than seven years. Over those seven years, she has been instrumental in the fundraising efforts for a supported housing facility in Fort Nelson, as well as the seniors transportation program. Thanks to her hard work and dedication and after years of fundraising, seniors in Northern Rockies will soon have access to supportive housing.
    My staff and I always enjoy our conversations with Joan. She not only offers words of encouragement and support for the work we do here in Ottawa, but also has a genuine interest in our lives outside of this place.
    I ask all the members to join me in recognizing Joan for her dedication to Fort Nelson's seniors and to our Canadian community as a whole.

[Translation]

Brain Tumour Walk

    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, June 8, is World Brain Tumour Day. There are more than 120 types of brain tumours. They are all unique and require individualized treatment, making research complex and critical.
    For more than 15 years, my mother, Providenza, battled a brain tumour with courage and dignity. She left this world in 2011, but her memory and courage continue to move me.

[English]

    I was a natural caregiver for my mom during the last six years of her life, and I understand the effects of the neurological damages brain tumours have on the patients and their families.

[Translation]

    That is why, on June 12, I will be taking part in the Brain Tumour Walk in Montreal to raise awareness and raise money for research to put an end to brain tumours.
    I invite all my colleagues and everyone watching us to take part in a walk in their community.

[English]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, from coast to coast to coast, Canadians are encouraged that the government will finally be supporting the NDP's plan to make our electoral system a fair, inclusive process and a process based on cross-party collaboration.
    Just in the past few days, we have received thousands of emails, letters, tweets, and posts. Helen from Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, wrote saying:
    This is exactly what Canadians have been hoping for from the Parliament we elected last October....
     Jay from Chilliwack said parties will:
...have to collaborate to pick Canada's new voting system, and we will move forward with more trust in the consultation process.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

    It is not a victory for the political parties. It is a victory for the Canadians who elected us to the House to represent them.

[English]

    We are still a very long way from having a fair electoral system where every vote counts and every vote is equal, yet today we will take an important first step.
     This afternoon, the House will vote to set this historic process in motion, and we will continually work to earn the trust and take guidance from Canadians as we move ahead.

UNICEF

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize Canada's generous donors to UNICEF, and the work of UNICEF through its 128 Makani youth centres in Jordan. Jordan's schools cannot accommodate everyone by a long shot. UNICEF Jordan works in partnership with government and civil society to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable children, providing education and psychosocial support services.
    I talked to many of these children when I visited a Makani centre in Amman. The children love their teachers. They long to go to regular school. They play soccer. They dream of going to university. They feel safe and secure at the Makani centre.
    This year the World Refugee Day campaign is focused on displaced persons. Ban Ki-moon has said, “Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again.”
    Together with all members, I would like to thank Canada's partners in addressing the global refugee crisis.

Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola

    Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, I was proud to announce the official opening of my new constituency office in Summerland, British Columbia. One thing unique about my new office is that I am sharing it with the B.C. Liberal MLA who also represents Summerland at the B.C. Legislative Assembly.
    As many members of Parliament will know, often citizens come into our offices only to discover they are seeking assistance on provincial issues. Providing more services in the same location can better serve our constituents, and sharing some office expenses can create more efficiencies. At the end of the day, we must always be mindful that there is only one taxpayer.
    So far, I am pleased to report to the House that the joint office is working well to provide increased services at a lower cost to citizens in my riding. I would also like to thank B.C. MLA Dan Ashton for supporting this initiative.

[Translation]

Canadian Environment Week

    Mr. Speaker, this is Canadian Environment Week. Our government knows that it is essential to protect our environment while ensuring economic growth. I am proud to say that, for 30 years, the riding of Sudbury has been leading by example and proving that it is possible.

[English]

    Back in 1972, our sulphur-damaged landscape was chosen as a training ground for the crew of Apollo 17 as it prepared to go to the moon. Since then, we have planted more than nine million trees. The lunar landscape is now a huge green forest.

[Translation]

    Thanks to countless members of the community who planted millions of trees, our lunar landscape is becoming a huge green forest.

[English]

    It only stands to reason that Citizens' Climate Lobby, a grassroots organization that empowers Canadians to build a more livable planet, has chosen to establish its national office in our community. Tonight, I will hold a reception with the Citizens' Climate Lobby to support this organization in its efforts to dialogue with all parliamentarians. I am proud of the organization's work. I am proud of all Sudburians who strive, through community involvement or in their own private way, to protect our environment, not just during this week but all through the year.

[Translation]

    I wish everyone a happy environment week.

[English]

No. 2 Construction Battalion

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in the House to mark the 100th anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, which was formed in 1916 during the First World War and was almost completely composed of black Nova Scotians.
     At the time, there was no national policy on the enrolment of African Canadians in our Armed Forces. These decisions were left to individual commanding officers, meaning they were mostly excluded from service. When they were allowed to serve, they had to sleep in their own camps and be segregated from recreation, medical services, and even detention. However, even in the face of this prejudice, 300 brave individuals made up this battalion, which was based in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and more than 1,500 African Canadians fought abroad.

Canadian Men's Volleyball Team

    Mr. Speaker, after a 24-year absence from the Olympic Games, the Canadian men's volleyball team has qualified for Rio. At the final qualifying tournament in Japan, Canada beat China three games to two. In fact, the men won the fifth set 15 to 9. It should be noted that the Canadian team rallied, from down three games to one, to win the last two games.
    The Canadian team is led by Gavin Schmitt from Saskatoon. He scored 23 points in the come-from-behind win over China. Schmitt is a remarkable athlete. He is six foot 10. However, what makes this story even more remarkable is that Schmitt suffered a stress fracture in January and had to go through surgery. After a quick recovery, five months later he is on the court to lead Team Canada in the qualifying tournament.
    The volleyball team will head to Saskatoon later this month, but today it is a celebration for head coach Glenn Hoag and the rest of the men's Olympic-bound volleyball team.

  (1410)  

Steel Industry

    Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to extend a very warm welcome to the members of the Canadian Steel Producers Association as they partake in day two of “steel days” on Parliament Hill.
    Its member companies include Sault Ste. Marie's Essar Steel and Tenaris Algoma Tubes. Together with their partners in this association, they annually produce approximately 13 million tonnes of primary steel as well as one million tonnes of steel pipe and products in other Canadian facilities.
    This important industry is very dear to the Canadian economy, as it produces $14 billion. Also, the Canadian Steel Producers Association does other important work, such as employing 22,000 middle-class people across the nation. It indirectly employs and creates 100,000 middle-class jobs as well.
    I am glad to have this opportunity to welcome this very important association to Parliament today.

Armed Forces Day

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to recognize Armed Forces Day and the anniversary of D-Day, as a member of Parliament and a former air force officer.
    Our country is proud of our military roots and the contributions we have made, not only to the liberation of Europe on the beaches of Normandy and Juno on June 6, 1944, but to peace and security around the world since then.
     Today, I would like to offer our thanks to our military personnel for their service to Canada. Liberty and freedom are tenuous and often come at a high price. Whether at home or abroad, our Armed Forces stand ready to serve and to pay that price.
    To recognize Armed Forces Day, let us honour the contributions of our Armed Forces members and thank them for their service.

Ramadan

    Mr. Speaker, as-salaam alaykum. Ramadan Mubarak.
    Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar. Muslims across the world approach this holiday with much devotion and sincerity.
    It is a time for thoughtfulness, spiritual reflection, and acts of kindness. Those who are physically able will fast from dusk to dawn as one of the five pillars of Islam, while devoting themselves to worship and prayer to Allah.
     Let this be a time for all Canadians, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds, to join with those celebrating Ramadan by remembering the less fortunate and celebrating acts of kindness and charity.
    To everyone in Canada and around the world observing the holy month of Ramadan, I wish you all Ramadan Mubarak.

NWT Association of Communities

    Mr. Speaker, in 1966, municipal leaders from Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, and lnuvik met to discuss the formation of an association to promote the exchange of information and provide a united front for the realization of their mutual goals. Since then, the goal of the NWT Association of Communities has remained the same, which is working together to achieve all that our communities want to be.
    For the past 50 years, municipal leaders across the NWT have come together on numerous occasions to promote a strong voice for local governments. In 2016, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the NWT Association of Communities can proudly boast a membership of 33 or 100% of the communities in the Northwest Territories.
     I have had the pleasure of working with the association from many different sides, as a mayor, as an MLA, and now as a member of Parliament.
    I congratulate its members on the work they do for their constituents and on celebrating their 50th anniversary.

  (1415)  

Peter Wohlwend

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the passing of an exceptional Canadian and leader in Vancouver Kingsway, Peter Wohlwend.
    It is impossible to overstate the legacy Peter has left for us all. He was instrumental in connecting people, beautifying our city, making our streets safe, and inspiring compassion for everyone in our community.
    Peter helped form the Dickens Community Crime Watch, now the Dickens Community Group, a diverse array of volunteers who work together to make their neighbourhood a better place to live and raise families. He pioneered the Dickens listserv, a service that informs folks about local events and issues, and helped found the Kensington-Cedar Cottage Neighbour newspaper.
    Along with his partner Midori, he was a leader in planting on public spaces and brought the Vancouver blooming boulevards program to life. Peter helped establish the Windsor Street bicycle route, Windsor art way, and transformed McAuley Park. Throughout all, he committed countless acts of kindness and generosity.
    I thank Peter for being a visionary and for sharing his love of community, and I extend sincere condolences to Midori and family. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, today is tax freedom day, when families start working for themselves, not the government.
    We, as Conservatives, believe in empowering Canadians by putting more money back into their pockets to invest in what matters most to them. That is why we cut taxes over 180 times to their lowest level in half a century, and put over $6,000 back into the pockets of the average Canadian family. That is real support for the middle class.
    Yes, tax freedom day falls slightly earlier than in 2015, but I know the Liberals would not claim credit for a Conservative tax cut in a leap year. In 2005, under the old tax-and-spend Liberals, tax freedom day was not until June 26. Under our new tax-and-spend Liberals, we are headed right back in that direction. Their plan saddles Canadians with $120 billion in new debt. That is why Canadians know they will be doing a lot less working for themselves and lot more working to foot the bill for the Liberal—
    Order, please.
    The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today to speak about an amazing internship program that finished last week.
    Since it was established in 1991, the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary program has seen students from across Ukraine have the opportunity to intern in parliamentary offices and experience first-hand the work we do here in the House of Commons.
    This year, 31 university students travelled from Ukraine to Canada and joined offices on both sides of the House, where they were exposed to our parliamentary procedures and the democratic system used in Canada. Though coming from diverse educational backgrounds, these students have now returned to Ukraine where they will share the knowledge and experience they have gained during their stay.
    With more than 1.3 million Canadians tracing roots to Ukraine, it is easy to understand why programs such as CUPP are important in further strengthening the relationship between our two countries. I know, in my own office, we were fortunate to be exposed to many new and interesting aspects of Ukrainian culture.
    I would like to thank, personally, all of the offices that were involved in this great program.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister said the issue of electoral reform is too complicated for Canadians to vote on. However, he has it completely backwards. Canadians are smart. They are smart enough to understand what their vote means and they are smart enough to say yes or no.
    Therefore, will the Prime Minister finally get rid of his “Liberals know best” attitude, put his trust in Canadians, and commit to a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, trusting Canadians means trusting them with open consultations, not a closed question. It means engaging with Canadians on the kinds of values that underpin our electoral system, talking about complex nuanced issues with Canadians so they can better inform the decisions we take here in the House.
    On our side of the House, it is all about listening to and respecting Canadians, which cannot be said for when the previous government made changes to our electoral system.

[Translation]

National Defence

     Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not understand our military personnel and the dangerous world in which they operate. He naively pulled our fighter jets out of the fight against ISIS. Then the Liberals cut billions of dollars from national defence spending. Now the Prime Minister wants to choose what kind of fighter jets we should get.
    Why should Canadians believe that he will pick the best fighter jets for our military personnel when he does not even understand the value they bring to combat?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, what Canadians do know is that, for 10 years, the Conservatives completely missed the mark when it came to providing Canadians and our armed forces with the equipment they needed. The Conservatives threw their lot in with a plane that does not work and is a long way from ever working.
    In the meantime, our armed forces are unable to keep Canada's promises to NATO and NORAD. We inherited this problem and we will solve it.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not understand our military and the dangerous world it operates in. He naively pulled our jets out of the fight against ISIS, then the Liberals cut billions from defence spending. Now the Prime Minister is choosing what kind of fighter plane our pilots will fly.
    How can Canadians have any faith that he will pick the best plane for our men and women in uniform when he does not even understand the value they bring to a fight?
    Mr. Speaker, I find that a bit rich from the Conservatives who, when in government, completely botched their procurement process. They were unable to deliver the kinds of planes and equipment that the Canadian Forces needed and instead continued to play politics when what Canadians needed was the right equipment at the right price. They left us a mess that we are going to fix, because that is why Canadians elected us.

[Translation]

Softwood Lumber

    Mr. Speaker, now the softwood lumber industry is paying the price of the Liberals' inaction.
    We know that the former Liberal government and the United States ended up in a dispute that resulted in countervailing duties of 37%. Our government was able to bring those duties down to 10% on average, thanks to an agreement we reached in 2006.
    Can the Prime Minister commit to securing an agreement that will be good for Canada's forestry industry, an agreement he will soon be signing with the United States?
    Mr. Speaker, again, the Conservative government did nothing about the softwood lumber issue for years. We had to start by re-establishing good relationships with the U.S. government. Since forming the government, we have worked hard to deal with this matter. We continue to work hard on this because the previous government did not want to talk about softwood lumber. The only thing it wanted to talk to the Americans about was the pipeline. That was rather frustrating for the Americans and for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I invite the Prime Minister to hit the history books and read about what happened with softwood lumber in the past.
    The Liberals completely abandoned the regions, including my own region, on the softwood lumber file before 2006. We had an agreement that ended in October 2015. The former minister was already working on moving this issue forward. That is the truth. Yesterday, the Government of Quebec asked the federal government to consider the changes to the system that issues timber supply and forest management agreements in Quebec.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to signing an agreement that will make Quebec happy and that will take into account the new reality in Quebec and the rest of Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know very well that the former Conservative government completely bungled our relationship with the United States. They did not agree on anything.
    As we all know, our relationship with the United States is the Canadian government's most important international relationship, which is why we immediately started working on restoring a positive relationship with the United States, so that we can work on files that have a real impact on people's lives, such as softwood lumber, jobs, and innovation.
    That is what we are working on for Canadians.

Physician-Assisted Dying

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, one of the most respected constitutional experts in the country stated that the bill on medical assistance in dying is unconstitutional.
    He added his voice to those of the Barreau du Québec, the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. A lot of people are saying the same thing.
    Why does the Prime Minister want to force people who are suffering to take their cases to court? Why does he persist when he knows he is wrong?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect the government to defend the rights and freedoms of Canadians but also to protect the most vulnerable.
    Medical assistance in dying represents an important step in the evolution of our society, and it is important that it be done right. For that reason we tried to find the right balance and to introduce conditions and a responsible bill that will defend the interests and the choices of Canadians while protecting the most vulnerable. That is what we did.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister raised a red herring there. Actually, it is entirely possible to protect vulnerable people and guarantee Canadians' rights.
    The Supreme Court recognized a charter right: medical assistance in dying. The Prime Minister's law removes that right. It is as simple as that. For 10 years, the Conservative government trampled on human rights. Canadians expected better from the Liberals.
    How can the Prime Minister justify the fact that his government is behaving exactly like the Conservatives?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, whereas the Conservative government refused to do anything about this important issue despite the Supreme Court's ruling, we got to work immediately.
    We consulted Canadians and listened to their concerns. We sought to strike a balance between defending rights and freedoms and protecting the most vulnerable. That is exactly what we did with this bill. We recognize that this is an important stage in our society's development and that we have to travel this road responsibly. That is exactly what we are doing, and we are proud to have done it for Canada today.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals did not take action immediately. They waited until April to introduce their bill.

[English]

    Bill C-14 is unconstitutional. It would be challenged for years in the courts. The Carter family has said it feels betrayed by the government and by the Prime Minister. Here in the House, the Prime Minister refused to accept amendments that would fix the bill and make it charter compliant.
    I have a simple question. Is the Prime Minister going to accept those exact changes if they now come from the unelected Senate?
    Mr. Speaker, as we do in every situation, we listen to suggestions and amendments from all parliamentarians, including from the Senate. We accepted a number of amendments at committee from opposition parties and we continue to look forward to a fulsome debate in an informed way on this extremely important issue.
    Canadians expected us to balance the rights of Canadians with the defence of the most vulnerable. That is exactly what we are doing. We look forward to seeing what suggestions the more independent and less partisan Senate has to make on this important piece of legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just revealed that he is playing political games with a bill that is about reducing suffering. That is shameful.
    The Prime Minister talks of a middle ground, but since when do we compromise on human rights, human rights that have been guaranteed by the Supreme Court when applying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? For a party that loves to wrap itself in that charter, why is the Prime Minister pushing a bill which he knows goes against the charter?
    Mr. Speaker, I will let Canadians decide who is playing politics on this particular issue.
    We are focused on putting forward a significant change in Canadian society that both defends Canadians' rights and freedoms while protecting the most vulnerable.
    This is a big step in the course of our society, and this is one that we have made, listening to Canadians, listening to opposition parties, in the full understanding that this step will be followed by others in the coming years.
    This step was an important one to get right. That is exactly what Canadians expected of us and we delivered.
    I would ask the member for Timmins—James Bay to try to restrain himself.
    The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have broken their promise for a fair and transparent competition to replace our CF-18s and are sole-sourcing the Boeing Super Hornet instead.
    Maybe we should not be surprised. Boeing officials have met 10 times since February with senior political staff, including Public Works, National Defence, Industry, and the PMO. Half of those meetings included the senior policy adviser of the Minister of National Defence.
    Why have the Liberals rigged the process to replace our fighter jets and allowed Boeing to jump the queue?

  (1430)  

    As I stated before, Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to replacing our CF-18s because it is long overdue. They should have been replaced a long time ago.
    In terms of meeting officials from various companies, the hon. member should also know that on our trip to Singapore the CEO of Lockheed was actually with us at that conference. I met with her and sat with her at that table as well.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have invented an imaginary capability gap.
    In 2014, Conservatives invested $400 million to upgrade our CF-18s.
    Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, has said that the CF-18s' useful life has been extended to 2025 and they can do the job.
    Meanwhile, the Liberals have fabricated a false narrative to sole source the Super Hornet.
    Canadians deserve the truth. So, who is telling the truth? The Royal Canadian Air Force or the Liberals?
    Mr. Speaker, we should have replaced those fighters long before, so we did not even have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on extending the program. It has been close to 30 years that we have been flying these airplanes.
    Our men and women deserve the right equipment, and our government will deliver on that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the only gap here is on the government benches. The government seems to be suffering from an imaginary problem. Among their many gaps, the Liberals have a capability gap.
    On April 14, General Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, said that the CF-18s' useful life had been extended to 2025.
    Can the minister confirm that this is a ploy to allow the Liberals to keep an election promise?

[English]

    Yes, Mr. Speaker, the CF-18 will be extended to 2025. We do need replacements. They should have been replaced a long time ago. We have to start the process soon because our fighters have been flying for some time. They should have been replaced.
    More capability gaps have been created, just like in the shipbuilding program.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the capability gap was created in collaboration with lobbyists.
    Since February, Boeing had 10 meetings with senior political staff. More than half of those meetings were with the senior policy adviser to the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister. That many meetings with the same group smells fishy to me.
    The government claimed to want to be open and transparent, but did it rig the process to replace our CF-18s to help Boeing jump the queue?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to replacing the CF-18s. As I stated, they should have been replaced a long time ago. Maybe the hon. member should have been asking the questions when they were in government.
    The capability gap took place in front of us, and in 2025, the CF-18s will not be able to fly, and it is important that we move very quickly in filling this capability gap.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, by appointing the Liberal House leader as the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Prime Minister has placed his part-time minister into a precarious position.
    The minister is in a conflict of interest whenever he is dealing with the Irving family. They have numerous fisheries interests in Atlantic Canada, and Irving Shipyards is a key supplier to the Canadian Coast Guard.
    Why did the Prime Minister put his part-time Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard into a full-time conflict of interest?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect governments and ministers to act at the highest ethical standards. That is exactly what every minister of this government has done. Within hours of the Prime Minister asking me to assume these responsibilities, I proactively reached out to the Ethics Commissioner. I asked for her advice as to what measures could be put in place to ensure that there was no conflict of interest. Nor would there be an appearance of a conflict of interest. I will be following her advice at every moment, as I always have.
    Mr. Speaker, the part-time Minister of Fisheries has an admitted conflict of interest whenever it comes to the Irving family in New Brunswick. The Irvings have interests in fisheries habitat work, are involved in the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the minister's advisory panel on Atlantic salmon. Irving Shipyards is also an important Coast Guard supplier.
    When will the Prime Minister replace this part-time Minister of Fisheries with someone who can actually work on all of the files?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, l wish the member opposite would in fact ask questions in the fisheries portfolio that speak to the important economic interests that this department represents from coast to coast to coast in Canada, instead of fabricating and inventing conflicts of interest where none exist.

  (1435)  

[Translation]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, is it just me or does this whole fighter jet story feel like Groundhog Day?
    After slamming the Conservatives for buying the F-35s without a call for tenders, the Liberals are gearing up to do the same thing. To replace our aging CF-18s, they are going to buy Super Hornets and, surprise, surprise, without going to tender.
    Why are the Liberals acting so much like the Conservatives?
    Why are the Liberals making the same mistakes as the previous government?
    Is there anyone at the controls?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, we are committed to replacing our CF-18s and we will do our due diligence to do so. There is a capability gap that was created by the previous government and we will ensure that we will fill this gap.
    Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees we need to replace the CF-18s. However, sole sourced procurement is costly, bad for accountability and often ends up taking even longer to deliver the equipment we need.
    In opposition, the Liberals complained about the Conservatives when they sole sourced procurement for the F-35s. Instead, they promised Canadians an open, transparent competition to replace the CF-18s.
    Why are the Liberals now doing an about-face, breaking their promise, and behaving just as badly as the Conservatives on procuring fighter jets?
    Mr. Speaker, as I also stated in the past, even though we are launching a defence review, replacing our fighters and the national shipbuilding strategy are going to be going on a separate path, and that is what we have been doing. We are working very hard on that. We are doing all the thorough analysis. When all that work is done, we will be making the announcement for that.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, since taking office, the Prime Minister has repeatedly contradicted his minister's hints that a referendum might be okay.
    Yesterday his objection was, “This process is more complex than the “yes or no” of a referendum.” I promised myself that I would not raise quantum computing or one-armed planks in question period, but facts are facts, and in this universe the decision whether or not to endorse a new voting system that his government will propose really is a binary decision, yes or no.
    Based on this new information, will the Prime Minister now agree to hold a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, today is a great day. I am looking forward to the vote following question period where we all put our confidence in a parliamentary committee made up of all parties whose responsibility it is to reach out to all our constituents and bring their voices and their values into the conversation about electoral reform. I look forward to this co-operative and collaborative style of governance for many years to come.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's latest excuse to deny Canadians the final say in a new voting system from just earlier in this question period is, “we need open consultations, not a closed question”.
     This, of course, completely contradicts the minister who yesterday said that consultations were only step one of a three-stage process. Therefore, at some point, when stages one and two are done, a closed question will be appropriate, something like this, “Should election 2019 take place under the voting system proposed by the government, yes or no?” Is that not a reasonable question?
    Mr. Speaker, as always, we remain open and receptive to respectful and reasonable arguments. Today, we take step one of a long journey for which we are all responsible to ensure that as we move forward toward modernizing our electoral system and our democratic institutions, the voices of our constituents are included in our decision-making process. Let us focus on step one, one step at a time.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, in 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and father of the clarity bill felt that it would be necessary to hold a referendum before any changes could be made to the voting system. He said, “Precedent makes holding a referendum necessary in Canada: changing the voting system would require popular support.”
    Three-quarters of the population share that opinion.
    Can the Minister of Democratic Institutions tell us what she told the minister behind closed doors to make him go back on his own words?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the process of electoral reform requires the attention and the care of all members of the House.
    Today we will be voting on establishing an all-party committee whose responsibility it will be to reach out to our constituents, particularly those who have not been included in this conversation in the past, to ensure that the process and the outcome make sense for all of us.
    Let us focus on the work of the committee. There is a lot riding on this. We are all counting on it to do this work. I am looking forward to the vote today.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, it seems like the Minister of Democratic Institutions cannot even keep her talking points straight for a single answer. She has told the House that she wants to hear from Canadians, while in the same answer has stated that politicians should make the decision.
    Which is it? Politicians making the decision, or will the minister actually drop the talking points and leave this decision directly in the hands of Canadians through a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, I have no notes at my disposal.
    Let us review what we are here to do. Canadians have elected us to come to this place and to represent them with dignity and with full co-operation. That is what we are doing today. A committee will come together, made up of all parliamentarians, to reach out to Canadians and to hear from them first on what values and what aspirations they have for their electoral system. Let us recognize our responsibility to do this work right.
    Once again, I am really looking forward to the vote.

[Translation]

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, while most Canadians are law-abiding citizens, we learned today of another service that KPMG provides to its wealthy clients. This time, it is recommending its tax avoidance scheme not only to avoid taxes, but also to allow its clients to avoid paying divorce settlements and alimony. It is shameful.
    How can the Liberals continue to protect KPMG? When is the minister going to do whatever it takes to bring to justice not only KPMG's millionaire clients, but also the firm itself and its unscrupulous accountants, for developing this tax avoidance scheme on the Isle of Man?
    Mr. Speaker, middle-class Canadians pay their share of taxes, but some wealthy individuals are avoiding paying their fair share. That is unacceptable and it must change.
    CRA is investigating the taxpayers identified in the KPMG schemes, and the massive investment in our latest budget will help stop the organizations that create and promote such schemes for the rich.
    This matter is before the courts, so I would caution the member. I want to reassure all Canadians that no one can shirk their obligations.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, another day, another scandal involving KPMG. It appears it was not enough for KPMG to just advise clients on how to evade paying taxes, now it has been caught devising schemes so clients could dodge their support, divorce, or alimony obligations.
    Just how many more scandals do we need before the government finally launches a full investigation into the actions of KPMG?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would remind my colleague opposite that the KPMG schemes were denounced by the Canada Revenue Agency.
    Our government is committed to fighting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. We are keeping this promise through our historic $444-million investment.
    We are committed to developing a fairer tax system for Canadians. That is what we promised we would do, and that is what we are doing.

[English]

Canadian Coast Guard

    Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard work hard to protect Canadians and the bodies of water from coast to coast to coast.
    I recently had the pleasure of taking part in an announcement in Sydney with regard to the Coast Guard college. Could the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard update us on what is being done to ensure that the college in Westmount has the resources and facilities it needs to continue producing qualified personnel?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my outstanding colleague from Sydney—Victoria for his strong support of the Canadian Coast Guard.
    The Canadian Coast Guard in Sydney has been a world leader in the field of maritime studies for over 50 years. The member, on our behalf, announced $32 million on the weekend for a cleaner, greener college. These investments will reduce the facility's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by over 20%.
    The college is a top-notch facility, an example to other countries, and we are very proud of the work being done there.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has world-class assessment consultation and standards for energy projects.
    Unfortunately, the Liberals and some anti-energy mayors do not seem to have figured that out yet. The Liberals create more complications and uncertainty by adding an extra layer at the end of the independent science-based review process.
    Canadians need pipelines. These unnecessary delays do not help. Will the Liberals stop interfering and leave evidence-based decision-making to the experts?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure this morning to meet with a mayor of a major Canadian city, Vancouver. I have also heard from the mayors of other Canadian cities who hold a different view on pipelines and major energy projects.
    The sensible thing to do is to establish an independent panel of experts from western Canada to talk to mayors and others who have an opinion, after which the government will decide what it believes to be in the national interest.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are making upstream emissions a condition of pipeline approval. No other major infrastructure is held to the same bar, certainly not big city rail, and foreign oil imports are not either.
    Provinces already regulate upstream emissions. Canada produces the most socially and environmentally responsible oil and gas in the world. When will the Liberals stop blocking Canadian energy?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, we believe the environment and the economy go together.
    I was very proud to stand with the Minister of Natural Resources when we announced interim principles that would rebuild the trust necessary so we could get resources to market in a sustainable way, in the 21st century. That also includes taking into account greenhouse gas emissions, because we need to do our part to tackle climate change. That is the right thing to do. That is the thing to do for our children. Also, it makes economic sense.
    Mr. Speaker, steelworkers are excited for the job security that comes with over 1,100 kilometres of high-grade steel for the northern gateway pipeline. Thank goodness for energy east, its 4,600 kilometres of steel pipe and the 14,000 construction jobs that come with it.
     However, wait, the Liberals voted against energy east, and the Prime Minister killed northern gateway.
    Why are the Liberals saying no to building new pipelines and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's colleague stood in his place in the House and wanted the government to approve a pipeline project that had not yet been installed with a regulator. He believed that the responsible thing for a government to do was to assess a project before a single Canadian had the opportunity to express a point of view.
    We think a better idea is to have a transparent process, with predictable timelines and ways in which Canadians can let government know what they think is in the national interest, after which the government will decide.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada's steel industry provides 22,000 direct jobs, with an average salary of $75,000 per year. Another 100,000 indirect jobs are associated with the industry.
    According to Canadian Steel Producers Association, the value chain stretches all the way back to eastern Canada, to where iron ore is mined in Quebec and Labrador before being poured into primary steel forms in Ontario.
    Why are the Liberals killing jobs in our steel mills, mines, and factories across Canada that benefit from new pipelines?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand that 20% of the gross domestic product of Canada is in the natural resources sector. We understand that prosperity for western Canadians and, indeed, right across the country depends on responsible and sustainable natural resource development.
    The government understands that we have to protect the environment and create jobs for a prosperous future for Canada. That is what we intend to do.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, as World Refugee Day approaches, the refugee crisis in Europe is only getting worse.
    We all remember the young Alan Kurdi, whose photo was published around the world, but this kind of tragedy is taking place every day. Since the beginning of the year, almost 2,500 men, women, and children have died in the same way. The entire international community is being asked to do more.
    What further contributions will Canada make?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud of what our government has done for refugees.
    We have accepted four times as many refugees as the previous government. We have accepted more than 25,000 Syrian refugees. We will be accepting a total of 44 refugees. A total of 99% have already found permanent housing, and they have made a lot of progress in terms of language and employment. I am proud of what we have accomplished.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, by the minister's own admission, language is key to Syrian refugees' success. Amer Alhendawi has been here for almost a year, and he is still waiting for an ESL class. Thousands of refugees across the country have the same problem. Vancouver Community College has over 800 people on its wait list. It was forced to cancel classes because of an 8.5% funding cut by the federal government.
    How can the minister expect refugees to join the workforce if they cannot even access language training?
    Mr. Speaker, we have said, and I will say again, that language training is key to success. We have committed $600 million to resettlement in 2016-17 and an additional $37 million for Syrian refugees. There has been no cut. There is a three-year rolling average, where provinces that receive more, get more, and provinces that receive less, get less. That is fair. In addition, there are millions more dollars to accommodate language training for Syrian refugees.
    Mr. Speaker, if there has been no cut to the Vancouver Community College, why has it been forced to cancel language training services for over 220 immigrants and refugees? That is shameful.
    Yesterday, when the minister stood here and glibly claimed that he had a plan to address language training, was he looking at these cuts, or was he just planning his next photo op?
    Mr. Speaker, if the government wanted to send somebody somewhere for a photo op, I suspect there are people in this aisle it would probably send before it sent me.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Speaker, while the people across the aisle laugh at something like this, we have refugees in front of committee who are saying that they are isolated.
    Mr. Speaker, you are laughing right now, too. This is not a laughing matter.
    The fact that the government has not provided language training for refugees is shameful. When is it going to help the Calgary Board of Education? When is it going to help some of these agencies that cannot provide these services? It has spent over $1 billion, and it has not gotten the job done.
    The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill knows that members on all sides were laughing at the minister's self-deprecating joke.
    The hon. Minister of Immigration has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, we will put to one side the reason people were laughing. I think it was perhaps because they thought I was funny.
    However, in answer to the member's question, we do not consider anything to do with our resources for refugees to be amusing. I mentioned just a minute ago that we have committed $600 million to settlement for refugees in 2016-17 and an additional $37 million for Syrian refugees. The language training is important, and we have committed the funding for that language training to occur.
    Mr. Speaker, having grown up in government housing as part of an immigrant family, I know how generous Canadians can be.
     In my riding, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church has raised thousands of dollars to sponsor Syrian refugees. They rented an apartment and arranged a phone plan, day care spaces, and groceries for a year, but because of Liberal mismanagement, this family has not been processed. They have had to release the apartment, and thousands of dollars have been wasted.
    Will the minister apologize to refugees across this country or just use them shamelessly for more photo ops?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have already commented on photo ops, but the general point is that because of the overwhelming generosity of Canadians, I am probably the only immigration minister in the world whose main challenge it is to bring refugees into this country quickly enough to satisfy the immense demand by Canadians to support them. So this is a very good thing. It reflects the generosity of our country.
    However, at the same time, I have committed to bring in all of those Syrian refugees whose applications were submitted before March 31 of this year, and we have committed additional—
     Order, please.
    The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, francophone communities across the country have always contributed to Canada's culture and history.
    However, the francophone immigration program established in 2012, known as the francophone significant benefit program, was abandoned after only two years. Francophone immigration is important in many regions, such as Madawaska and Restigouche.
    Could the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship explain what measures are being taken to encourage francophone immigration to Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her good question.
    Supporting francophone immigration is a priority for our government and for me, and I am proud to say that we are launching an improved version of this program. The new program will make it easier to hire francophone workers and will support the vitality of francophone minority communities.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs said she knew exactly how first nations feel about transparency. Yet a member of Odanak First Nation said that without the transparency act, “It's not difficult for First Nations to get information on how their money is spent, it's impossible....”
    Beverly Brown of Squamish First Nation said the government would be “negligent if they didn't enforce the act”.
    Would the minister tell these individuals why they do not deserve easily available information, like all other Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, everyone, including first nations governments, wants increased transparency and accountability. We will achieve that in partnership with the first nations' leadership and organizations. We know that top-down solutions do not work.
    In the meantime, the member knows that first nation governments will continue their long-standing reporting of audited statements to our department, including chiefs' and councillors' salaries, and any first nation member can get that information from our department.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, today the Commissioner of Official Languages tabled a scathing report on Air Canada.
    Air Canada is a real delinquent when it comes to official languages and has been for 45 years. After hundreds of complaints, audits, and court challenges, the Commissioner came to the conclusion that nothing is working. If we want things to change, we need new legislative measures.
    Will the Liberals commit today to taking action to resolve this problem once and for all?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, the application of the Official Languages Act is a priority for our government.
    It goes without saying that Air Canada absolutely must comply with its obligations under the Official Languages Act. It is unacceptable that these problems that have been going on for years have still not been dealt with and are compromising the service to which Canadians are entitled.
    I will have the opportunity to work on this issue with my colleague, the Minister of Transport, and we will consider all of the recommendations in this report.

[English]

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Davenport, the residents are always seeking alternative ways to get around that are affordable, that avoid congested streets, and that minimize their environmental footprint.
    More bike paths would move residents across our riding and connect them to public transit and the downtown core. Bike paths are cheaper infrastructure investments relative to other modes of transport.
    Would the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities inform the House about the government's initiatives with respect to cycling and public transportation investments for the people in Davenport?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the hon. member for Davenport for her enthusiasm on this topic.
    Our government is investing $60 billion over the next 10 years in public transit and green and social infrastructure. The city of Toronto will receive $840 million in phase one, which can include active transportation, as we currently develop our second term, phase two, long-term plan.
    Bike paths can also be funded through existing programs, such as the gas tax fund.

  (1500)  

Ministerial Expenses

    Mr. Speaker, countless Liberals have defended the million dollars the infrastructure minister spent on sky palace 2.0. The average Canadian household only spends a couple of thousand dollars on furniture. The Liberals are so out of touch with everyday Canadians that the minister spent half a million dollars on furniture alone for one office.
    When will the Liberals realize that the money they are blowing is taxpayer money and not their own personal entitlement funds?
    Mr. Speaker, before November 4, 2015, Infrastructure Canada did not have a dedicated, stand-alone minister's office. We did not have a stand-alone DM's office, and we did not have a space for our staff members.
    The expenditures the member is referring to were to provide office space for the minister and the deputy minister and a space for all of our staff members, as well as to consolidate them on one floor. The department followed all the Treasury Board procurement guidelines. All contracts over $10,000 have been proactively disclosed.

[Translation]

Temporary Foreign Workers

    Mr. Speaker, more than 200 Quebec farmers are still waiting for foreign workers to arrive in order to harvest their crops. At present, 1,000 workers are required. In my riding alone, Les Frères Riopel family farm has lost almost $5,000 in crops to date, and it is not the only one. Even though the applications were submitted in November, the visas will not be ready before mid-June. The only reason for that is incompetence.
    Has the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food heard of the verb “to act”? Will he stop working in isolation and do what has to be done so that the workers can be in the fields by the end of—
    Mr. Speaker, I am aware that there is a problem with foreign agricultural workers. The officials in my department are working very hard. They told me today that these workers will arrive on June 25 or earlier. I believe they will be here in time to do the work.

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages said that taxpayer-funded Air Canada is violating its legal obligation to provide services in French. This is no surprise, because for 45 years, Air Canada has been at the top of Canadian institutions that have no regard for francophones. This is yet another example of Canada's failed official languages policy.
    Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage force Air Canada to obey the law, or will she do the same thing as her colleague from the Department of Transport and let the company thumb its nose at Quebeckers, just like it thumbed its nose at Aveos workers?
    Mr. Speaker, I assure my colleague that our two official languages are very important to this government. Enforcing the Official Languages Act is, of course, a priority for this government.
    Under the circumstances, it goes without saying that Air Canada must obey the law. The status quo is unacceptable. That is why I will work with my colleague, the Minister of Transport, on this issue, to ensure that the recommendations of the Commissioner of Official Languages will be examined. This work will, I hope, be done in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

[English]

Presence in the Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Josef Saller, President of the Federal Council of the Republic of Austria.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps you could explain to the House what would be the appropriate rules in terms of recognizing people in the gallery. For example, let us say that Gerald Regan, the former premier of Nova Scotia, were in the gallery today. Would it be appropriate for the Chair to recognize a former premier in the gallery?

  (1505)  

    It is a little late now, is it not? I suggest the hon. member check with the clerk or with my office about the guidelines for such things in future.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska on a point of order.
     Mr. Speaker, I have here a very interesting, thorough, and relevant document in both official languages. I ask for the consent of the House to table this document from my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and father of the Clarity Act, regarding the importance of holding a referendum on any changes a government makes to the voting system.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: There is no unanimous consent.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Electoral Reform   

    The House resumed from June 2 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.
    Pursuant to order made Thursday, June 2, 2016, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the opposition motion relating to the business of supply.

  (1510)  

[English]

    The question is on the amendment.

  (1515)  

    (The House divided on the amendment, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 79)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chan
Chen
Choquette
Christopherson
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Dion
Donnelly
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Gill
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Khalid
Kwan
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCallum
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 230

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Barlow
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Brassard
Brown
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Harper
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 91

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the amendment carried.
    The next question is on the main motion, as amended.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 80)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Benson
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Caesar-Chavannes
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Champagne
Chan
Chen
Choquette
Christopherson
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Dion
Donnelly
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Gerretsen
Gill
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Hardie
Harvey
Hehr
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Khalid
Kwan
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Lightbound
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCallum
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nault
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Trudeau
Trudel
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weir
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young
Zahid

Total: -- 229

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Allison
Ambrose
Anderson
Arnold
Barlow
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boucher
Brassard
Brown
Calkins
Carrie
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Dreeshen
Eglinski
Falk
Fast
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Harder
Harper
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Lake
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lebel
Leitch
Liepert
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Nater
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Ritz
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Trost
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vecchio
Viersen
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Watts
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 91

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion, as amended, carried.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the third report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    The question is on the motion.

  (1535)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 81)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Albrecht
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Ambrose
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Benson
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Brown
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Carrie
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Champagne
Chan
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Christopherson
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Dion
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Foote
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gould
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Harder
Hardie
Harper
Harvey
Hehr
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kang
Kelly
Kenney
Kent
Khalid
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leitch
Lemieux
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lobb
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCallum
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morrissey
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Nault
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Ramsey
Rankin
Ratansi
Rayes
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Ritz
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sopuck
Sorbara
Sorenson
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Trudeau
Trudel
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio