Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 181 - 240 of 150000
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2021-06-15 16:48
At the end of your opening statement, you talked about the anxiety and the stress these incidents cause farmers. Can you elaborate on that? It's important to understand that farmers are very worried about the consequences of these break-ins.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:48
Yes, precisely. Actually, they are acts of trespassing. Poultry farmers in other provinces have been victims of these incidents as well. Farmers are left to fend for themselves when it happens. Protesters show up, and the farmer loses control of the situation. Things turn chaotic, and farmers witness their birds being mistreated or otherwise disturbed. They see the consequences on their operation. When it happens on some farms, every farmer has questions. They reach out to the Éleveurs de volailles du Québec in large numbers to ask what they should do if it happens to them. Not having legislation to deal with these incidents adds to their stress.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2021-06-15 16:49
Do you think Bill C‑205 establishes a robust enough framework for police, whether it be the RCMP or Quebec provincial police, to respond quickly?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:49
Yes, we think the bill could be passed as is because it establishes a framework; it introduces rules and parameters. It equates the act to trespassing. Treating the act as trespassing on private property sets a clear rule.
View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2021-06-15 16:50
Thank you, Mr. Leblanc.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Lehoux.
Mr. Neil Ellis, go ahead, for six minutes.
View Neil Ellis Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Neil Ellis Profile
2021-06-15 16:50
Thank you, Chair. As I said before, we're going to miss you at this committee. Maybe we can talk you into changing your mind.
I would like to thank the witnesses for attending today.
First I'll throw a question to Mr. Leblanc.
Except for this bill, are there any other legal means to address break-ins or any illegal entry to farms? Are they working, and why?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:50
From what we've observed, the measures that have been put forward, the legislation that has been passed, provide too much leeway. A pig farmer in my region was the victim of an incident and he had to fend for himself. The Sûreté du Québec did not know how to respond; officers did not know how to remove people from the premises, so it was complicated. I think the bill will send the right message and tell police, in fairly strict terms, how they should respond.
View Neil Ellis Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Neil Ellis Profile
2021-06-15 16:51
We talked about threats, and I believe it was you, Mr. Leblanc, or one of the witnesses...but is trespassing one of the main threats for your industry, or are there other threats that you face, such as biosecurity?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:51
That's a very good question.
Trespassing is becoming a threat. As I said earlier, trespassers on a turkey farm could cause the birds to huddle out of fear. It also puts biosecurity at risk because anyone who enters a farm without authorization and who does not follow the necessary biosecurity protocols could introduce other health problems, as I mentioned. For instance, those entering areas where animals are kept have to put on certain overgarments and change their footwear to make sure they are not introducing a disease such as laryngotracheitis or avian influenza.
The two risks you mentioned are major concerns for Quebec's poultry farmers.
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 16:52
The same goes for dairy farmers. Any disease that could be introduced into the herd could cause serious damage. Biosecurity measures are in place, and we can see from COVID‑19 what happens when those measures aren't followed. Pathogens we aren't familiar with could be introduced. That is the last thing we want to happen.
View Neil Ellis Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Neil Ellis Profile
2021-06-15 16:52
Thank you for that answer.
At the end of his testimony, Mr. Leblanc touched on mental health for farmers.
I'd like to ask this question to the dairy farmers, and this is coming, I guess, even from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Do you believe that Bill C-205 addresses critical issues such as mental health?
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 16:53
Well, it's a huge concern for us, obviously, because we feel the stress of people coming onto the farm. One of the things we see where some strengthening is needed is that there should be the requirement to have knowledge of what they're doing, or recklessness.... Those things should be removed, because to plead ignorance is unacceptable. Because of the damage it causes, there is huge stress on farms. We feel extremely vulnerable. To have people come onto the farm and simply claim ignorance and help to destroy the animals on the farm is simply unacceptable.
View Neil Ellis Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Neil Ellis Profile
2021-06-15 16:53
Thank you for your answer.
I guess this could go to whoever wants to weigh in on this.
Farmers' concerns have prompted provincial governments in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to pursue more stringent measures to protect farm owners and producers, including by increasing trespassing fines. Agriculture is an area of shared jurisdiction between Canada and its provincial partners.
Ontario pork producers were mentioned. In Ontario, with the enactment of Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act of 2020, pork producers, as well as others in the agri-food sector, now have protection. Has either of you contacted our provincial counterparts and spoken to a bill that might be similar to what other provinces are now enacting?
I don't know who wants to start with that one.
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 16:54
Certainly, there has been some work done in the provinces. For instance, I am from Manitoba and I spoke on a similar bill there.
Yes, we have come from a point where landowners were expected to address trespassing on their own, yet at the same time farmers were actually held liable for anything that might happen to anyone who trespassed. Those kinds of laws have been very difficult, and now they are being reconsidered.
My concern in all of this is that if we don't have some kind of a national framework around this, there are going to be varying degrees of legislation on this in different provinces, and that allows people who want to target farms to pick the jurisdictions where there are the least consequences for their actions. That is a huge concern.
View Neil Ellis Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Neil Ellis Profile
2021-06-15 16:55
Mr. Leblanc, did you want to touch on that question?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:55
Yes. We are already working extensively with the provincial government to establish biosecurity standards to protect food safety and animal welfare. The work has already started, in conjunction with Quebec's ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food, to ensure across-the-board compliance with animal welfare rules.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Ellis and Monsieur Leblanc.
Now we will go to Monsieur Perron for six minutes.
Go ahead, Mr. Perron.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for being here. It's a pleasure to see you all.
I'm going to start with you, Mr. Leblanc.
You said earlier that an incident occurred in Quebec and police did not know how to respond. How do you explain that?
A number of witnesses told us that Quebec already had laws in place to protect against trespassing. How is it that they are not enforced or not enforceable?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:56
It happened at a hog farm near me. It took police a long time to get the individuals off the premises.
As I understand it, the legislation will deter people from coming onto the property. Once activists gain entry to the property and occupy it, they do not up and leave just because police are on the scene. The law needs to deter people from breaking onto the property, to prevent the birds from coming under stress, to ensure their welfare and to protect biosecurity.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Not being able to get trespassers out of their facilities immediately must be very hard for farmers.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:57
Yes, it is stressful, and that stress spreads to other farmers and producers who see what's happening and how long it takes for authorities to respond. Once peace has been restored, the damage is already done. That's the problem farmers face.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Do you worry that unfortunate incidents will happen if the bill is not passed? If the bill fails to pass, what consequences will it have?
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:58
It is essential that the bill become law, in our view. That is a must. Laws are made to be improved. Time will tell how the law changes, but as things stand, Bill C‑205 has to pass. Not only do farmers need protecting, but so do their chickens and turkeys. In the end, it's about protecting animal welfare.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
Many witnesses told us that farmers were reluctant to file a complaint after an incident had occurred and that seeking redress was a complex undertaking. Do you think the bill, in its current form, unequivocally allows for action to be taken? The offence arises from being on the farm, not from causing a problem, even though the trespasser's presence could cause a problem.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 16:59
It's important to start somewhere. I think the bill as it currently stands meets expectations. As I told you, time will tell whether people ignore the law. What is currently stipulated in the bill does a good job of meeting expectations. I think the authorities will have the necessary willingness to ensure the law is properly enforced.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Lampron, do you think Bill C‑205, the way it's currently written, will have the same impact?
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 16:59
Thank you for your question.
We have actually recommended two amendments to the bill. I'll tell you what they are, and then, Mr. Tremblay can explain the legal ramifications. We are recommending removing the part that says the person who contravened the act would get off if they claimed that they did not know their behaviour would cause harm to the animals.
As Mr. Weins mentioned, these groups are often highly organized, hence the need for federal legislation. It will keep groups from targeting farmers in less protected provinces.
In terms of stress, the bill will definitely protect animals, but it also needs to protect farmers. Just think how you would feel if you saw a stranger in your yard stealing carrots out of your garden. Even worse, what if that stranger was sitting in your living room watching television? That is the level of stress farmers experience.
I realize the purpose of the bill is to protect animals, and we will get to that, but you asked about the farmer's stress. It's important to understand that, when someone breaks into your farm, your workplace, it's stressful.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
I completely understand.
In your opening statement, you brought up the proAction program and the way in which dairy farmers endeavour to pay attention to animal health. What do you say to those who would accuse us of trying to muzzle whistle-blowers and prevent people who suspect animal abuse on a farm from reporting it? Can you tell us what mechanisms currently exist in that regard?
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 17:00
I will go first, but Mr. Weins is the expert on proAction. The program is mandatory for all farmers and is overseen by the National Farm Animal Care Council. The program is rooted in the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, which is in the process of being updated. It's quite a program and it's based on legislation. We plan to incorporate this bill into the program as well.
I've said enough, but Mr. Weins can talk more about the connection with proAction and the program's credibility.
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:01
Thank you.
Certainly, proAction is mandatory for all dairy farms across Canada. We follow the same protocols. The whole point of proAction is to ensure that we have independent audits done on the farm to look at biosecurity, animal welfare and the list goes on, ensuring that all of these things are actually happening on the farm. It's not just in a code somewhere. It is being evaluated, so it's mandatory and, of course, you have to pass in terms of this proAction program.
That's what we do, and the whole point of the program is to let the public know what we're doing. This score card is not private; it's for everyone to see. It was done to address any concerns that Canadians would have about how, in this case, dairy cattle are being treated, housed and taken care of.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Perron.
Thank you, Mr. Wiens.
Now we go to Mr. MacGregor for six minutes.
Go ahead, Mr. MacGregor.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses.
I'm just wondering if the Dairy Farmers of Canada can clarify the amendment for me. It's in clause 1. Are you proposing that the sentence “kept knowing that or being reckless as to whether” be deleted? You want to remove both the “knowing” and the “reckless” reference so that it just refers to anyone who is entering a place.
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 17:03
Can you answer, Mr. Tremblay?
Érik Tremblay
View Érik Tremblay Profile
Érik Tremblay
2021-06-15 17:03
Yes, I'd be happy to.
That is a good question, and I would be glad to clarify.
That is exactly what we are proposing. We recommend that the references to knowledge and recklessness be removed from the bill, so they cannot be used as an excuse to contravene the legislation. The bill would then have enough teeth to protect all Canadian farmers.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Yes, I was having a conversation with legislative counsel about that, because in my opinion.... Do you not feel that having “recklessness” in there would cover everything? If a person knows they could transmit a disease, that requires a higher burden of proof, but if the Crown can establish that someone was completely reckless when they entered a place, that of course requires a lower burden of proof. You would still object even with that terminology in there?
Érik Tremblay
View Érik Tremblay Profile
Érik Tremblay
2021-06-15 17:04
Thank you.
Of course, we defer to the House's expertise when it comes to the exact wording that should be used. We can provide the necessary amendments, but all we are looking for is a bill with enough teeth to be enforced. We think the amendment we are proposing would achieve that.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
For my next question, I would like to have both groups respond. Amongst your member farmers, your producers, do your organizations have a signed policy in which you recommend that farmers clearly mark their properties with a “no trespassing” sign or signs to the effect that there are biosecurity measures in effect? Is that a uniform policy across Canada amongst your membership so that anyone who is approaching a property is, number one, aware that trespassing is not tolerated and, number two, aware that strict biosecurity provisions are in effect? Would that be something that is uniform across Canada, so that any would-be activists could not claim not to know?
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:05
That is a good point. In dairy, part of the biosecurity module of our proAction program is that you must have a sign on the entrance to your facility that states that there's biosecurity in place and that someone can't simply enter the building; they need to have permission. Then there's contact information given if they want to. Well, if they do go in, they know very clearly then that they are out of bounds and are going somewhere they should not be, and they know why they shouldn't be there. That is for all dairy facilities across the country.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Okay.
Monsieur Leblanc.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 17:06
The Éleveurs de volailles du Québec has similar measures to those of dairy farmers. Stop signs are installed at the entrance of each farm. Farmers are also required to have some type of fence, chain or otherwise, around the property, as well as a sign indicating that the farm is a secured area. Restricted access areas are also set up to let drivers who do not stop at the entrance know that stricter biosecurity measures apply the closer they get to the facility. Access is also restricted inside the facility, with signage telling visitors that they have to change their clothes in order to enter. Overalls and appropriate footwear must be worn.
Those measures fall under the provincial regulations farmers have to follow, but they also apply to all Canadian farmers, as part of on‑farm food safety systems. Quebec farmers who do not comply with the regulations are subject to penalties.
I should also point out that nearly 100% of evaluated farmers follow the regulations.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Section 7 of the existing Health of Animals Act states that if there is an area in which a disease or a toxic substance is present, the minister can require that the farm clearly put up a notice that biosecurity measures are in effect. There is also a provision that says that no person shall knowingly enter that building if that sign is in effect. Do any of your farmers have experience with that happening, and have those signs mandated under that existing section of the act been successful at keeping anyone off the farm? I'll open it up to anyone who might want to answer.
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:08
I could maybe answer at least part of the question.
I know we had a situation where animals inadvertently got into a substance that obviously was not intended for animals and would impact the quality of the milk. Those farms were then quarantined so that nothing went on or off the farm. There was ongoing testing done until the substance cleared up and the milk was safe, and things were opened up again.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Wiens and Mr. MacGregor.
We'll go to our second round now.
Go ahead, Mr. Steinley, for five minutes.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much to the poultry producers and the Dairy Farmers of Canada for being here.
First I want to go on record that the Conservative Party believes it is not the farmer's job to make sure that people don't come on their property. They're doing a great job with the signage and ensuring that people know where property lines are. Sometimes activists don't listen to signs. I don't think it's the farmers' fault when people trespass on their property. I just want to make sure that people realize the Conservatives stand with those farmers.
I'm going to be very clear. I think some of my colleagues have danced around this, asking the same question and hoping they get a different answer.
I'll ask the dairy farmers first and then the poultry farmers: Do you believe that this bill will help alleviate some of the fears and stresses that are put on farmers because of these activist activities?
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:10
I think it will go a long way towards addressing some of those concerns. Right now, like I said earlier, we're extremely vulnerable. We feel like we have very, very little control about who comes onto the property and what they do.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Go ahead, Mr. Leblanc.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 17:10
The members of Éleveurs de volailles du Québec share that view. They, too, have had people break onto their farms, despite signs indicating that access was restricted. I don't think stop signs at the entrance of a farm necessarily prevent anyone from trespassing.
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 17:11
I want to make clear that Bill C‑205 is a very important step to give farmers long-term peace of mind. As was mentioned, this is long awaited. To feed people, we need healthy animals, and this bill helps us keep animals healthy.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
We very much appreciate the work you all do.
On the second question, one comment was that if this isn't a national framework, some provinces that don't have the same laws in place might be targeted by activists. I would like you to build on that comment. I think it's very salient right now, to the point that the federal government should show leadership on this file and have a national bill put in place.
I just want to hear comments. If this isn't done nationally, will some provinces be targeted that don't have the same laws?
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:12
I would expect that would happen. We become easy targets. If this is going to be a hodgepodge right across the country, organizations can easily look at what we have and then they'll approach....
Again, farmers can do nothing about it. To have a consistent framework across the country is absolutely going to bring a greater sense of security to farmers to enable them to do what they do best.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Leblanc.
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
View Pierre-Luc Leblanc Profile
Pierre-Luc Leblanc
2021-06-15 17:13
I completely agree.
I think you just heard the answer: the legislation has to apply right across the country. It will provide a national framework, especially since our animal health and welfare laws are national laws enforced by our national office. For that reason, Canadian legislation is preferable.
That does not prevent a province from introducing complementary legislation afterwards, but Canada will have at least assumed its leadership role.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much.
Finally, I have one quick comment to make. A previous witness said there are many third party animal welfare auditors, like the SPCA and others, specifically industry auditors, that come on farms safely and check on animal welfare.
There is no hidden, behind the scenes production going on, on dairy farms or producer farms. There are already many audits being done by third parties to ensure animal safety.
Could you guys confirm that?
We heard it from a witness just before you guys came on. I want to make sure it is on the record that there are already third party auditors ensuring animal safety on farms across the country.
David Wiens
View David Wiens Profile
David Wiens
2021-06-15 17:14
There are, absolutely. Through proAction, validation happens on an ongoing basis by independent auditors. The process has also been approved by the CFIA, so it's credible; it's real, and it's on a regular basis. If you can't certify through that, you won't be farming for very long.
View Pat Finnigan Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Wiens.
We'll now go to Monsieur Drouin, for five minutes.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the witnesses, whom we know well. I would also like to recognize my fellow member Mr. Barlow, the bill's sponsor. I agree with him. I think the majority of the members on this committee agree with the purpose of the bill.
Mr. Lampron, if I wanted to visit your farm, I would have to put on special overalls, wash my hands and so forth. Those are things I do when I visit farms in my riding.
Why are those measures necessary when strangers come onto a farm?
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 17:15
It's a biosecurity protocol, to help keep contaminants off the farm. A farmer does not know where you've been before visiting the farm or what you might be bringing onto the farm unintentionally. Protocols are put in place for health reasons.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
All right.
Were those protocols put in place by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, or did they emerge from a partnership with governments?
Pierre Lampron
View Pierre Lampron Profile
Pierre Lampron
2021-06-15 17:16
I'm going to let Mr. Weins answer. I don't dare talk about the proAction program when Mr. Weins is around.
The protocols were developed by farmers in conjunction with governments and other stakeholders, mainly veterinarians. We have a lot of veterinarians on our committees. The purpose of the protocols is to reduce the risk.
Farmers know a lot about that, but professionals help us prevent disease.
Results: 181 - 240 of 150000 | Page: 4 of 2500

|<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data