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Results: 1 - 15 of 736
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank our witnesses for being here on such a compressed schedule.
Dennis, could you explain to the committee how the beef industry is going to reconfigure itself to exploit the new market opportunities in Europe? I'm wondering as well what role the CCA plays in that. In other words, individual farmers probably have a role to play in terms of what they will or will not do if they see an export opportunity, but I would imagine there might be some networking going on. Could you explain to the committee how your industry is going to reconfigure itself and who the key players are in determining how best to reconfigure to exploit new opportunities in Europe?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
As a clarification, are we talking about a point of order? Like, this is a question that's—
A voice: The question.
Mr. Pierre Lemieux:Okay, then I do have a comment, Chair.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
I think you are right.
What happened was that Madam Brosseau put forward a concurrence motion in the House on the report, and that was amended. The House sent it back to committee with a specific recommendation that the committee look at amending the report. That is what will probably happen, right? There will be an amendment made to the report and then the report will be sent back to the House.
To clarify, we didn't vote against concurrence in the report. We voted for the amended motion, which was saying that when the report comes back to the House in its amended format, then there will be a concurrence vote. I will watch with interest to see how the NDP are going to vote on that because I'm getting such mixed signals.
The final text document is going to come back to the House, and then all MPs will have a chance to vote on whether they support CETA as negotiated because the details are now known.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Chair, I would just say that generally in committee meetings like this meeting today there is latitude given to the witnesses, and there is latitude given to the MPs with regard to exactly what it is they'd like to talk about. It generally has to be on theme, but there's a lot of latitude given.
The presentations that are made and the discussions following them are one thing, but what about the report? When it comes down to reviewing a report and amending the report, the House has given specific direction to the committee about having a single amendment to the report. It is not to completely rewrite it, not to remove other recommendations and replace them, and not to redo all the work on the report. It has given the committee specific, detailed direction regarding an amendment to the report, and the committee will ultimately decide whether or not it will follow the request of the House.
This has happened in other circumstances too. When the House gives direction to a committee, it doesn't open the doors to a complete overhaul of the report or of legislation. It is very specific. So although we might have witnesses come in, and we might have discussions, and the discussions might be wide ranging or narrow ranging or something in between, ultimately the committee will have to decide whether or not to follow the House's specific direction in amending the report.
That's my understanding, Chair.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Actually, Chair, if you're going to use up Mr. Allen's time, use up my time as well, because I was a key participant in that debate, so you can move to Mr. Eyking.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, can I just raise a point of order?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
We have witnesses in front of committee—
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
No, no; it's a point of order, though.
We normally discuss committee business when we don't have witnesses here. I would suggest that if we have committee business issues—i.e., about budgets, the number of meetings, and all those types of questions—we do that at the end, Chair, as we normally do, as part of committee business.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thanks, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Minister, for being here. I thank you for your opening remarks.
Certainly, one of the things I took away from your opening remarks was that it's an exciting time for agriculture, particularly in terms of science and innovation, Bill C-18, as well as trade, with our upcoming trade agreements.
Let me first ask about innovation and science. In reviewing the estimates, I noticed that there's going to be an additional 30 million dollars' worth of funding, which will bring a total of $549 million for science and innovation. I noticed that the industry capacity fund is going to increase to $78 million. I noticed that market access initiatives are going to increase to $223 million.
We're going to see increases, because of the estimates that are in front of committee right now, in those three areas. Just a quick cigarette-pack calculation, this is close to three-quarters of a billion dollars in improving the competitiveness of our farmers to both compete in Canada and sell abroad. On top of that, we have, of course, Bill C-18, which just passed through the House.
Could the minister explain to the committee the importance of the increase in funding that we're talking about here through the estimates, and also the importance of science and innovation, and the government's focus on science and innovation in making the agricultural sector more competitive, particularly at the farm gate?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Minister. You've certainly convinced me on the importance of science and innovation. I hope you've convinced the opposition MPs to support the estimates and the increased funding for science and innovation.
Let me raise one other issue in the few minutes that I have left, Minister, and that is the Canada-Europe trade agreement. I think this is an exciting opportunity for agriculture. I think it's absolutely germane that you comment on it because the House has sent our report, an excellent report, back to committee and asked them to consider an amendment to the report to make it even better and send it back to the House, which we're going to be doing in the next few meetings.
Minister, I'm wondering if you could elaborate to the committee on the opportunities you see CETA offering our Canadian farmers and the benefits that they would accrue through this important trade agreement.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Chair, I just want to know, perhaps, your view on whether that is a fair question to put to government officials.
There's government policy that's brought about in terms of focus and readjustment, and I'm not too sure if Mr. Allen's question is venturing into opinion, as opposed to stating the more quantifiable facts about the situation regarding science and innovation in the department.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Now you're into the hypothetical.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thanks, Chair.
I'm glad my colleagues have such a strong interest in science and innovation.
On the question of doing more with more, I highlight again the question I posed to the minister, and that is that these supplementary estimates (B) move more money into science and innovation to the benefit of our farmers. That's why I hope that at least the members here on the agriculture committee will vote in favour of these estimates because they are providing more funding, more resources, for science and innovation.
As I mentioned previously, we're talking about roughly $550 million—these estimates will move extra money into science and innovation, raising it to over half a billion dollars, and I'm wondering if the officials could perhaps provide some indication to the committee of what types of initiatives this will fund.
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Good, thank you very much.
Let me just shift gears a little; let me comment on food safety. My colleagues are probably aware that a recent third-party report indicated Canada had the best food safety system in the world, and then recent polling within Canada showed Canadians have extremely high confidence in our food safety systems here.
I noticed that the estimates are also moving additional funding into food safety, biosecurity, and traceability, and traceability is certainly a core element of our food safety system.
Could you perhaps share with the committee how the increased funding in traceability, biosecurity, and food safety will help the department do the work it needs to do in these respective areas?
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