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Results: 1 - 15 of 138
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 15:04 [p.2284]
Mr. Speaker, to follow up on that, my colleague from the Bloc mentioned that we should provide farmers with what they are asking for. I agree with moving this bill forward, and I urge the minister and my colleagues to do that today.
The CFA asked for $2.6 billion and it got 10% of that. Can the minister follow up on the Prime Minister's comments that more will be coming?
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:00 [p.2302]
Mr. Speaker, the minister has made these comments about supporting the dairy industry, and we certainly do support this bill. I just want to acknowledge the great, hard work and long hours that the people in the dairy industry put in to be able to provide this great product for us in Canada, and our processing.
I am wondering if the minister can further acknowledge and mention what further asks came from the dairy industry in the lead-up to this particular bill, Bill C-16. There is the $200 million that has been put in. Were there other things that were asked for?
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:01 [p.2302]
Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to speak to Bill C-16 in the House today as well. This bill is an act to amend the Canadian Dairy Commission Act. It is a bill to increase the amount that the commission can borrow to $500 million.
Before I start, I want to thank my colleagues from Foothills and Beauce for their presentations today, and the excellent speeches they made in regard to the need for further support in the agricultural industry. I also want to acknowledge the hard work, as I just pointed out, of the people in the dairy industry and their work in trying to convince the minister, who was trying to convince us and farmers that she's walking the talk. According to the reports I am getting, it is not working so well for her. We certainly want to give the minister some more ideas today as far as what kind of help we are hearing about in the country that might help her make a more firm commitment. I hope to leave the minister with those ideas.
I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Huron—Bruce, another great region of Canada, as far as agricultural production goes. Maybe that is why my ancestors in the Wingham area left there in the 1870s, to go west and find greater fertility on the bald prairies out in Elgin, Manitoba. Many of my ancestors still live there. I will have to get back and see them again sometime.
In supporting Bill C-16, we know the importance of the dairy industry in Canada. We also know the shortfalls that the government has had in regard to dealing with the dairy industry. My colleague from the Bloc today was trying to do a bit of a history lesson. He said he was a teacher, but I want to reiterate. My colleague mentioned the great trade agreements that we have had. I have had people from the dairy industry in my office supporting the TPP agreement that we signed. My colleague from Abbotsford signed that agreement with the prime minister and our minister of agriculture from Saskatchewan as well at the time.
These were great trade agreements that people in the dairy industry realized were an opportunity for them to continue with their industry in a very extensive way, and that the Conservative government at the time had their backs. We had put forward, as my colleagues from Quebec have indicated, a $4.2 billion plan to help the dairy industry with any kind of support it needed as the adjustment took place for the great pluses in other areas of the industry and other industries in Canada that were going to take place under the TPP.
I want to acknowledge that the government did make $2 billion available to the dairy farmers of Canada just a week or so before the election last fall, which seemed to be a bit suspicious timing. The Liberals did that because the agreement they were signing with the United States was not as good for the dairy industry as the one we were looking at signing with the TPP, so the Liberals felt there needed to be support there. We in opposition know and acknowledge again how important the dairy industry is.
There are many sectors that are hurting in the Prairies and in Ontario, because I have spoken with Ontario cattle people. I have spoken with my Quebec colleagues, and some in the Maritimes too, in regard to the hurt in the agricultural industry today. There does not seem to be the acknowledgement there that is on a parallel, as other colleagues have mentioned, with some of the other industries that have been supported in this COVID-19 pandemic. I reiterate that, to the question I asked of the minister a while ago, she said the Liberals would be there to help with the asks of the agricultural industry. In the question that I asked earlier, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture indicated that it would take $2.6 billion to support that industry.
This was a few weeks back when the organization made this claim, and yet the minister announces $252 million, of which $150 million is for the AgriRecovery program. As my colleagues have said, that is budgeted regularly every year in every province for the partnership arrangement that the provinces are involved in, to have an AgriRecovery program. Therefore, these are not even newly budgeted funds, and that is the biggest portion of that $252 million.
I acknowledge the expansion of the $200 million today in support of the Canadian Dairy Commission Act because of the need to make sure we do not have these kinds of perishable agricultural products spoiling and not being saved for further use. That is a very big concern, but it is a parallel that is not drawn by the government's commitment to the agricultural industry in sectors such as the beef and pork industries at this time. I would compare, as others have, the spoilage of butter, cheese and milk products not being acceptable to it being just as unacceptable to see piglets or culled cows being euthanized in Canada today as well. That is the result of a lack of immediate support and a delay in the support from the government in trying to meet and adapt to the needs of our agriculture industry, particularly our livestock producers.
The government thinking it can do it through the AgriRecovery program is, I guess, one step better than trying to do it through AgriStability, but I want to correct the Minister of Seniors. She just said the government was working hard to try and get the AgriStability program to 75% margins when, in fact, that is where it is and the industry is wanting it to go to 85%. The Minister of Agriculture acknowledged that, so I want to make sure they are on the same page in their own cabinet.
I want to reiterate that there is support in AgriStability, but many farmers have been through disasters before and support comes 18 months to two years after the fact. It is far too late for an immediate hit in a pandemic situation like this. What I mean by “immediate hit” is this. I have had feedlot operators tell me that it is costing them $800,000 a month to feed the cattle they have in a 10,000-head feedlot back home, and that one is a reasonable size in a province the size of Manitoba. I also know that from the bigger feedlots in southern Alberta, these are 20,000 to 25,000 heads of cattle each. I have been on many of them. They are huge operations and it costs upward of $2.4 million a month to feed that many livestock in those areas. This is about food security. We could talk about the size of the operations or anything else, it is all relevant, but we really have to make sure we are dealing with food security.
One of the programs I have heard a lot about, and that farmers have indicated they would qualify for and sign on to, is the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program. I will pass their suggestion on to the minister, that she should look at it and utilize it. It does not work now because, as I said in my question to her today, the premiums are not affordable. If it were made affordable, the government could use it now and go ahead with its AgriRecovery.
However, let us go back to March 13, the day the House rose. All parties agreed to that, so we know there was a disaster going on that particular day. We could use that as a reference point. If we look at Western Livestock, the Ontario people tell me it would work for them. If the premiums were affordable, they would sign up immediately, knowing full well that they would get a return out of it this year. The big problem with any insurance program is liquidity, so if the government were able to help with premium levels becoming more affordable, then it would get the buy-in from the livestock industry across Canada to make the liquidity viable. That is a big issue with that program.
To develop that, the farmers would have to sign on for three or four years and the government would have to look at supporting the industry as well. Farmers have told me that is what they would do, because they know it would be more predictable in helping them stabilize their livestock industry, both on the pork side and the beef side.
If they are going to sign up, we could look at agreeing on that in the House. It is all because we would have a recognition of the COVID-19 area.
That commitment is what makes it liquid, and the provinces would therefore be able to phase themselves in. We pretty well have to do it through federal funding right now, because the provinces are already being supported by the federal government in many ways.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:13 [p.2304]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for Foothills for that question. It is very relevant.
I did mention that this agreement the government signed, the USMCA, is weaker for the dairy industry than what we had before, the same as the $2.2 billion support level that was brought out a week before the election campaign. This support level is needed right now in the industry. Of course, it is caused by the pandemic that we are in, but the trade agreements needed to be much more solid for the long-term sustainability and viability of a very needed industry like the dairy industry that we have here in Canada.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:14 [p.2304]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for Kelowna—Lake Country for that intervention. I had the opportunity to visit her region in the early 1990s to deal with the new environmental programs they were using in the fruit industry and the orchard industry. It is a great industry, and a great part of Canada.
The government has a need, as I have said, to support some of these other areas, whether it is through AgriRecovery or AgriInvest in those areas. However, AgriStability is the weakest for the livestock industry for sure.
When we are in a pandemic situation like this, which is not a natural disaster that we would normally think of affecting crop production and orchard survival, there is a very serious need for an immediate set-aside program, and perhaps a per-head, per-day subsidy might be utilized. I do not know if that is what the Liberals are looking at in the AgriRecovery program now, but it would help that sector.
We need to look at all of the sectors of supply. The purchasing power of Canadians has dropped, because everyone has had to stay home and everything else. That affects the industry in British Columbia and throughout our wine-growing areas of Canada.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:17 [p.2304]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question because we are just not stacking up at all compared with our U.S. neighbours. I always look at things on a population basis. We have about 37 million people in Canada compared with 370 million in the U.S., so Canada has one-tenth of the U.S. population. The U.S. just put $19 billion into its agricultural industry with a stroke of a pen, and the money is out there. Canada has put $252 million forward. If we were making a parallel effort to that of the U.S., we would have put forward at least $1.9 billion, and our industry in fact asked for $2.6 billion.
Therefore, our industries here on the agricultural side are not even close to being competitive with our U.S. neighbours. That is on top of the fact the new trade agreement is not as plentiful as the old one was, either.
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 17:43 [p.2308]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague made many good points in her speech. I saw a report published in The Globe and Mail earlier this week by a grain farmer in Alberta, whose name is Mr. Nielsen. He indicated that he got into agriculture because he loved it, not because he thought it would be easy. The dairy industry is certainly not easy, as I pointed out earlier today.
Mr. Nielsen also makes a comment that farmers face weather, market volatility and costs of input on a regular basis, but they manage for that as much as they possibly can.
The mental health of farmers is something we need to look at too, and I would ask my colleague to comment on that. That article published by The Globe and Mail indicates that 58% of farmers meet the threshold for anxiety and 35% already meet the level of what is classified as depression. Even though they are like that, they love the industry. I was a farmer all my life so I know where they are coming from.
Could my colleague expand on that or does she have anything to add?
View Larry Maguire Profile
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-05-13 18:20 [p.2313]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's speech today, and to my Liberal colleague along the way, I know everyone's trying to work hard, but he talked about a month and three days, when our American cohorts put that same amount, or way more, on a parallel basis, out in three days, not a month and three days.
I just wanted to say that we continue to work at trying to improve these programs. A fine example is what we are debating here today. The dairy industry deserves to have this to make sure that it does not have to destroy the product that it has processed. All of the input costs are in that process, and it would be a shame to have to throw it out.
I want to say that in so many other areas, we have heard the government say, “Here is 10% of what was asked for,” and maybe it will give them some later. To your point about how we just do not know what is coming next and the uncertainty of that in dire straits, when they have already seen what has been asked, leaves everybody in a state of flux. I wondered if you could expand on that.
View Candice Bergen Profile
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-03-25 4:42 [p.2081]
Mr. Speaker, if I could take off my partisan hat for just a moment, we all recognize what a difficult time this is for the country, the world and the Canadian government of any political stripe. This is a very heavy load to bear. I am glad we can be here together, not always agreeing, but agreeing on one thing, that we are putting the needs of our fellow Canadians first and foremost.
My question has to do with small businesses. They seem to have been neglected in the finance minister's bill. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. Whether it is small restaurants, coffee shops or nail salons, these are folks who employ one to three people. They have been neglected. I would like to ask the Minister of Finance what the Liberals are going to do to help small businesses right now who need some support?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 11:23 [p.1659]
Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up on the member's points regarding the issue of palliative care.
During the debates in the last session there was a great deal of emotion that was expressed, and I valued and appreciated the contributions by members. I think members from all sides of the House were really trying to get a better understanding of the important subject matter that we were debating.
The member is quite right when it comes to palliative care. Whether it is the national government or the provincial governments who ultimately administer health care, we need to do a much better job on palliative care.
I wonder if my friend from across the way can provide some additional thoughts. I would ask him to look specifically at areas of the country where palliative care is nowhere near where it should or could be compared to other areas of the country. I am thinking of rural versus urban and even variations between urban centres.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 11:38 [p.1661]
Mr. Speaker, in addressing the bill, the member opposite made reference to the fact that he was quite disappointed that the federal government did not appeal the decision from the Superior Court of Quebec.
Does the member feel that, if the government looks at a Superior Court ruling, it would be a viable option for the Government of Canada and the Attorney General to forgo going to the Supreme Court to appeal, and instead make the changes that are being requested?
That is why we see the legislation that we have before us.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 12:24 [p.1668]
Madam Speaker, as a former provincial representative, my friend understands and appreciates the important role that provincial governments play in the administration of health care and in providing services. One of those very critical services is palliative care. We hear a great deal of debate on that particular issue. The federal government also plays a role in ensuring that there is quality palliative care throughout the country, to the extent possible.
I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts on how Ottawa needs to work with the other jurisdictions to ensure that the best possible palliative care is available.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 12:41 [p.1670]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to address a very important piece of legislation. Looking at it, I could not help but reflect on the previous debates that we had and the process in the development of Bill C-14, which led us to the point where we are today.
If members who were not here want to get a good sense of how thorough the debate and discussions were, I recommend they take a look at some of the comments in the standing committees, the many lead-up discussions, different presentations and the pre-study that was conducted.
I enjoyed listening to the debates then, because like the member who just spoke said, we heard a lot of personal stories. When people ask me what I enjoy about being in the chamber, it is the different types of debates that we have. These are the ones, like the debate today, that I learn from. I appreciate the stories that come before the House.
We are all concerned about protecting vulnerable individuals in our society. At the same time, it is important as legislators to have a role to support the eligible person to be able to seek medical assistance in dying. It is a very difficult issue.
A good number of us felt with the passing of Bill C-14 that we had something that would move us forward. Even during the height of that discussion, there was a feeling that in a number of years we should review it and take a look at what has transpired in the previous years. We are quickly getting to that point.
However, last September, a Superior Court in Quebec made a determination. Members of the Conservative Party say maybe we should have appealed that decision. I respect that opinion. I do not necessarily believe that would have been the best direction for the government. The direction we have chosen is to make changes to the legislation now, in the hope that we will better serve Canadians.
Having said that, once we get into the summer months, there is going to be a great deal of discussion because it is mandated. When I think of the Bill C-14 debate, and I will provide some personal thoughts on the issue of palliative care, I would like to see us talk about the issue of mental illness. I am hoping that, when we do that comprehensive review, we incorporate that along with palliative care.
I am sure I am not unique and that all 338 members would concur when we think of health care in Canada, there are a couple of issues at our doors: the issue of mental health care services and palliative care services. I used to be the health care critic 15 years ago in Manitoba. We did not have the same sort of dialogue that we hear in the last number of years on those two critically important issues.
British Columbia many years ago elevated the issue of mental illness and made it a separate ministry. There was a minister of health and a minister of mental health illnesses.
I say that because, more and more, provinces are aware of the issue and the importance of mental illness. The Government of Canada has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the last number of years, and continues to invest in mental illness and palliative care across the country. We are on a very strong footing when we look at where we are today.
We need to reflect on what brought us here. There were many consultations: literally thousands of people were engaged and many hours of debate and dialogue took place. It could have been in the thousands of hours. I do not know that for a fact, but I am sure that, between the time committees met on second reading of Bill C-14, the amount of consultation with Canadians in all regions of the country and the responses received via all sorts of mediums, hundreds of thousands of Canadians in all regions of our country were able to weigh in on this issue.
If we advance to January of this year, again there were consultations and round tables that took us to the different regions of Canada. There was the survey that has been referenced already today on several occasions. Approximately 300,000 Canadians were engaged in that particular survey at the beginning of the year. I do not know if all of the results have gone public to date, but I trust the individuals who helped formulate the legislation we are debating today did their homework in terms of consultations and incorporating all of the ideas. I know the Department of Justice and the Department of Health are following this debate and listening to what members have to say.
From a personal perspective, based on experiences I have garnered over the years, there are two concerns I want to express. One is with regard to health care services and the other deals with the legislation itself. Let me expand on both points.
If we were to ask Canadians what makes them feel good about being Canadian, we would often hear our health care services. I suspect this is probably number one. I referenced mental illness and palliative care. I have witnessed first-hand the evolution of palliative care.
My grandmother was in the St. Boniface Hospital, and many hospitals in our country have palliative care sections. Many of them panel seniors, in particular, who cannot get the quality care necessary in personal care home facilities or the supports they need in their communities and in their homes, so they end up going into hospitals and are panelled.
Many of them will go into palliative care because there are no designated palliative care units in health care facilities, so they end up in hospitals. My grandmother was one of them. She had terminal cancer, and we watched as the weeks went by. Family members visited and it was very difficult on them.
We had a very special relationship, as we all do with our grandparents. Many of us wondered why she had to be in a hospital. Even though it was kind of sectioned off from the emergency department and other aspects of the hospital, she was still in a hospital. It is a different type of a situation, and not necessarily the most comfortable.
Ultimately, my grandmother passed. Then, a number of years later, I had the personal experience of being there for my father in the days prior to his passing. He had to go from home into a hospital, and we were very fortunate that we were able to get him into the Riverview Health Centre. In that centre, with its large windows and beautiful atmosphere, you get the feeling that the type of care is very different.
I reflect on that. I was there at the moment of my father's passing, and we had discussions a number of days prior when he was in fear of what was going to happen, because he witnessed what had taken place with his mother, my grandma, at the St. Boniface Hospital. He did not have that choice, but we talked about having that choice.
I think, knowing my father, he would have been very happy with the way in which he ultimately passed. I really attribute it to his world-class treatment at that particular facility, and I kind of wish that my grandmother had the same sort of atmosphere. Not to take away from the fantastic work that those health care providers and others did at the St. Boniface Hospital, but it was a totally different atmosphere.
During the Bill C-14 debate, we heard many stories like the one we just heard from the member opposite. They are very touching, they are compelling and they make us ask what we can do here in Ottawa to ensure that we have the best quality of health care services we can possibly provide.
It is one of the reasons I am very passionate on the issue of the national framework. It does not have to be a system where we have one thing in British Columbia and another in Atlantic Canada or in the province of Quebec, or in provinces that do not have the same economic means or the same sort of treasury to provide the type of service that they should. This is where the national government has a role to play.
When I listen to comments inside the House with regard to where we might want to go from here, or very serious concerns about the current legislation, I would suggest that we reflect on what we are going to be able to potentially do in the coming months, when we have the opportunity.
Unlike in the Manitoba legislature, our standing committees can be exceptionally effective. It is truly amazing, the type of authority, ability and participation that we can witness if we are prepared to park our partisan hats at the door and try to do what is best for Canadians on this issue. If we can take a look at what took place, with regard to C-14, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we can do that.
If members listened to the previous speaker, they would get a sense of what was taking place when we had the debates on C-14. Whether it is in the health standing committee or whatever it is that we come up with collectively, with representation from all the parties, I would encourage them to take into consideration the possibility of going outside of Ottawa.
Maybe we should look at different regions and see what some of these other provinces are doing, and maybe tour some of the palliative care facilities. There is a great variance.
We need to look. If I reflect on the province of Manitoba, we should take a look at what is happening in Winkler, Flin Flon or Winnipeg. We should take a look at the difference between Riverview Health Centre and what takes place in the Seven Oaks hospital.
Where, and what role, can we play as a national government to ensure that we are maximizing the benefits of providing the type of palliative care that Canadians expect and deserve, given the limitations that we actually have? Only the national government can do that. I suggest it is going to be in a very important role.
Earlier today, the standing committee on trade tabled the CUSMA deal, the trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Many of the members were taking pictures of that particular committee, feeling very positive in terms of what they had been able to accomplish.
My challenge to the health committee, if that is going to be the standing committee, is to take that role very seriously in terms of the potentially life-changing report it could produce for Canadians.
I truly believe that the will is there to support what that committee is hoping to accomplish. It is just as significant as, and maybe even more important than, the report tabled today by the trade committee, which from what I understand was supported unanimously by all members of the House. If one listens to the speeches thus far, I do not think anyone would dispute what I said in regard to it.
I really encourage the standing committee, in the strongest way I can, to look at the mental illness issue using the same principles I talked about regarding palliative care. It is such a critically important issue, and Ottawa needs to play a stronger national leadership role on that. Hopefully that will happen, but because of time I am only going to highlight a few very brief points.
The proposed amendments would allow for a waiver of final consent for persons whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable, in the sense that they have been assessed and approved to receive medical assistance in dying, and have made arrangements with their practitioners for a waiver of final consent in certain situations because they were at risk of losing decision-making capacity by their chosen date to receive MAID.
I also want to highlight that the government is very aware of the concerns about the increased risks when MAID is provided to persons who are not dying in the short term. The bill, therefore, proposes additional safeguards that would apply when a person's natural death is not reasonably foreseeable.
These new safeguards aim to ensure that sufficient time and expertise are devoted to exploring requests for MAID from persons whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable and that such people are made aware of, and seriously consider, available means for relieving their suffering.
There is another really important part to me, but maybe I will do it in the question-and-answer period.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 13:02 [p.1672]
Madam Speaker, I have a couple of quick points on that matter.
First, I do not necessarily concede to the member in terms of the commitment he has referenced. Record amounts of money have been transferred to the provinces to deal with health care. A historic number of dollars has flowed to the provinces. A significant amount of that has been allocated to palliative care, although I really do not know the actual dollar figure.
For the second point, I will pick up on the first point to try to alleviate the concerns the member has. I talked about the importance of having the committee go forward into the summer, and part of its discussion and study should take into consideration what sort of financial role Ottawa could be playing to support this. As I said, we want to make sure there is a sense of equity among the provinces. I think part of that study, which we will be having in the coming months, also needs to take into consideration the issue of the costs of palliative care.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 13:05 [p.1673]
Madam Speaker, as the member knows, there was a debate process, and the passage of Bill C-14 ultimately received, I believe, unanimous support from the House. However, there is no doubt that during that dialogue there were some differing opinions. The government at the time genuinely felt that this was the best way to proceed. Some wanted the government to go a little further. It is one of the reasons why we recognized back then that this was the type of issue, given the nature of the legislation, we wanted to come back to. Even if the Superior Court in Quebec had not made the ruling it did back in September of last year, the House would have reviewed the process.
The decision by the Superior Court of Quebec allows us to speed up on this very important issue, and that is why the government has chosen to bring forward the bill. It might change to a certain degree, and we will wait and see what happens once it gets to committee, but even at the conclusion of the bill, we will still have this future study, which is a good thing.
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