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Minutes of Proceedings

43rd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting 15
Friday, June 5, 2020, 2:03 p.m. to 4:27 p.m.
Webcast
Presiding
Pat Finnigan, Chair (Liberal)

• Martin Champoux (Bloc Québécois)
House of Commons
• Aimée Belmore, Procedural Clerk
• Grant McLaughlin, Procedural Clerk
 
Library of Parliament
• Corentin Bialais, Analyst
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
• Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President, Western Canada and Agri-Business
Equestrian Canada
• Kristy House, Manager, Welfare and Industry
• Richard Mongeau, Acting Executive Director, Cheval Québec
Hutten Family Farm
• Ted Hutten, Owner
Maraîchers L&L Inc.
• Catherine Lefebvre, Vice-President
Noggins Corner Farm II Ltd
• Andrew Bishop, Owner
Union des producteurs agricoles
• Catherine St-Georges, Consultant, Marketing
Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, April 29, 2020, and of Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the committee resumed its study of the Canadian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Richard Mongeau, Kristy House, Marilyn Braun-Pollon and Andrew Bishop made statements and answered questions.

At 2:56 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 3:01 p.m., the sitting resumed.

Catherine St-Georges, Catherine Lefebvre and Ted Hutten made statements and answered questions.

The committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to committee business.

Motion

John Barlow moved, — That, given the committee’s letter to the Standing Committee on International Trade on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, regarding its study of Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States (CUSMA), in which the committee outlined concerns about the impact on the Canadian dairy industry of implementing CUSMA before Saturday, August 1, 2020, and since it has been made public that the implementation date will now proceed on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the committee send for a copy of all briefing notes, memorandums, emails and documents related to the CUSMA’s implementation date and coming into force, to be provided before Wednesday, July 1, 2020, provided that the government does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was negatived on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Richard Lehoux, Alistair MacGregor, Larry Maguire, Gerald Soroka — 5;

NAYS: Lyne Bessette, Kody Blois, Neil R. Ellis, Tim Louis, Yves Perron, Brenda Shanahan — 6.

Motion

John Barlow moved, — That, given the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s written response to M.P. Philip Lawrence’s question on the cost of the carbon tax to the agriculture industry, in which their analysis and estimates do not reflect the federal backstop, the committee send for a copy of all reports, briefing notes, memorandums, emails and documents related to the federal carbon tax and its cost, directly or indirectly, to the agriculture industry, to be provided in both official languages by Saturday, August 1, 2020, provided that the department does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.

Motion

Yves Perron moved, — That the motion be amended by adding the words "broken down by province," before the words "to be provided".

The question was put on the amendment of Yves Perron and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Lyne Bessette, Kody Blois, Neil R. Ellis, Richard Lehoux, Tim Louis, Alistair MacGregor, Larry Maguire, Yves Perron, Brenda Shanahan, Gerald Soroka — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

The question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Lyne Bessette, Kody Blois, Neil R. Ellis, Richard Lehoux, Tim Louis, Alistair MacGregor, Larry Maguire, Yves Perron, Brenda Shanahan, Gerald Soroka — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That, given the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s written response to M.P. Philip Lawrence’s question on the cost of the carbon tax to the agriculture industry, in which their analysis and estimates do not reflect the federal backstop, the committee send for a copy of all reports, briefing notes, memorandums, emails and documents related to the federal carbon tax and its cost, directly or indirectly, to the agriculture industry, broken down by provice, to be provided in both official languages by Saturday, August 1, 2020, provided that the Department does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.

Motion

John Barlow moved, — That, with regard to the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the committee send for a copy of all documents with respect to Business Risk Management (BRM) funding, with details on the following: (a) the total number of AgriInvest accounts registered, and percentage that are deposited into and withdrawn from annually, (b) the total amount of dollars in AgriInvest accounts at the high point in the year and the low point of the year for the past ten years and broken down by province, (c) the number of AgriInvest accounts that are currently at $ 0, and currently below $10,000, (d) the number of AgriInvest accounts per year that were fully withdrawn to $ 0 as well as drawn below $10,000, for the last ten years, (e) the number of AgriInvest accounts over $50,000, over $75,000, and over $100,000, (f) the percentage of AgriInvest accounts currently sitting above 50% of the maximum amount allowed to be held in the account, as well as above 75%, broken down by sector, and (g) the number of open AgriInvest accounts by sector, and the average account balances within each of those sectors for the last ten years and broken down by province; that the documents be provided to the committee in both official languages by Wednesday, July 1, 2020, provided that the department does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Lyne Bessette, Kody Blois, Neil R. Ellis, Richard Lehoux, Tim Louis, Alistair MacGregor, Larry Maguire, Yves Perron, Brenda Shanahan, Gerald Soroka — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

Motion

John Barlow moved, — That, with regard to the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the committee send for a copy of all documents with respect to the government’s closure of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) District Office in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, prior to the end of October 2020, with details on the following: (a) job losses resulting from the closure, (b) economic impact of the closure on Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, (c) impact on current or future related research projects, (d) expected cost-savings from the closure, (e) the closure’s absence from the CFIA’s 2020-21 Departmental Plan; (f) other CFIA office closures expected over the next five years, and (g) CFIA offices closed since October 2015; that the documents be provided to the committee in both official languages by Wednesday, July 1, 2020, provided that the department does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Lyne Bessette, Kody Blois, Neil R. Ellis, Richard Lehoux, Tim Louis, Alistair MacGregor, Larry Maguire, Yves Perron, Brenda Shanahan, Gerald Soroka — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

It was agreed, — That a request be made with the whips of the recognized parties to allow the committee to sit beyond 7:00 p.m. for its meeting scheduled on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, and that for a period of 30 minutes.

At 4:27 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Marc-Olivier Girard
Clerk of the Committee