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View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
I would like to take this opportunity to move my motion, which I believe I got in first as a notice of motion. I have some copies here in both languages. If we can distribute it around, I'm going to read it into the record:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food conduct a comprehensive study into the Business Risk Management (BRM) suite of programs to ensure that they are adequately meeting the challenges of farming in the 21st century; that this study include hearing from witnesses with specific knowledge of how the BRM suite of programs are or are not currently meeting the needs of farmers; that no fewer than three meetings be held to hear from witnesses; and that the committee report its findings with recommendations back to the House of Commons.
I have been meeting with a number of agricultural stakeholders this year, and no fewer than six of them have raised concerns with the business risk management programs. Particularly, AgriStability seems to be a big one.
I know that this committee included some recommendations in a 2017 report that singled out the BRM programs for review. Given the challenges we face, notably from climate change, from uncertainty in international trade markets, I believe that this committee can work alongside the executive branch, hear from witnesses and present some comprehensive recommendations for how the programs could be amended.
The minister did meet with her territorial and provincial counterparts in December, but I see no reason that this body can't undertake this work, especially when I think all of us have been hearing a lot of feedback that these programs really need a review.
I'll end by saying that I would accept an amendment to my motion to include that we ask for a government response.
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