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Results: 1 - 15 of 589
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much. Thanks for sharing your time.
Thank you to all the witnesses for being here.
It's an incredibly important conversation, because I think confronting the challenges of climate change and pollution while supporting our farmers is what's needed. I was very encouraged by the conversation Mr. MacGregor had about how we can provide solutions. Leaving things the way they are is not a solution.
One thing I like to say is that often, when some of the members talk about the costs of these programs, they don't talk about the cost of doing nothing.
You were talking, Mr. Spurr, about the increasing climate events you and many farmers are facing. We know that with plastic production, not only are these microplastics getting into our environment, but they affect groundwater, food chains and supply chains, and they are having a huge impact on human health. We never look at the costs that are incurred from that; we only see the one side of it.
You said that the quality and the environmental standards are very important to you.
I spoke with two members from your organization yesterday, Dave and Aaron. We were talking about the greenhouses in particular. One thing they were talking about was how the carbon is captured in the greenhouses to be used for growing the plants. I thought that was really encouraging.
Is that one thing we can look at in terms of continuing to have a price on pollution to help us reduce greenhouse gases, but at the same time rewarding farmers for what they are doing to help with environmental goals?
Mr. Larrass, I'd ask you that first.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
It does. I think it's one really good example.
I think the other thing is that often these estimates are based on people not reacting to the price signals. It's kind of the status quo, and let's look at what would happen if the price was put on, and people don't....
As you say, there are a lot of innovative, creative solutions that we can come up with by co-operating. Perhaps compensating farmers for the contributions they're making to offset or to sequester carbon is one of those ways. I appreciate that.
I think I'm at time. I was going to ask Mr. Spurr for his comments on it, but that's okay.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Louis. Actually, you asked one of the questions I was going to ask.
I'd like to continue directing my questions to you, Ms. Pfenning.
I appreciate what you're doing as an organic farmer. In my constituency there are several of them, including Southbrook Vineyards and Bill Redelmeier, Frank's Organics, Joyfully Organic Farm. I have spoken to a number of them, and they're very concerned about the organic standards that we have in place and the cost of certification.
I'm wondering if you have any comment on that and what our government can do to support organic farms in particular.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to direct my questions to the executive director of Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition.
Ms. Malcolmson, thank you for being here today and highlighting the challenges we face with Lake Simcoe and the pollution loading up on the lake.
You started by mentioning the Chippewas of Georgina Island. There are other first nations, like the Rama and Beausoleil first nations. It was not too long ago that the first nations under the Williams Treaties actually got back the rights to harvest fish.
Looking at not only the levels of pollution that exist but the new contaminants, like the PFAS and other contaminants we are finding now, it would seem that newly found right could be very difficult to exercise if the fish are in fact contaminated.
When you talked about the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, you mentioned that they weren't going to do a review unless asked to do a review on the health of fish.
I am wondering who they are waiting to be asked by. I think you have asked repeatedly for that review. Who needs to ask? Is it the province that has to ask?
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Right. Thank you.
Yes, it seems that under the jurisdiction of DFO, and in our jurisdiction, are indigenous rights, although we're transferring that and hopefully they will have more rights to directly ask the Government of Ontario about what's happening.
With the Ministry of Transportation, the Government of Ontario basically exempted the entire project from an environmental assessment. Then the Ministry of Transportation is saying they're not going to request any kind of review from DFO, as well.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes. This sounds like perhaps something the Canada water agency can do in terms of having the federal and provincial levels collaborate.
I was reflecting on what you were saying about the phosphorus levels. The phosphorus levels have gone down over time, but they haven't gone down enough. They're going to increase, obviously, with more development. It seems a little bit like medication in that, rather than addressing the underlying cause, you try to treat the symptom, only to see that there are side effects and that, in fact, the problem is going to persist.
Therefore, I think this issue of how the federal government can work with provincial governments is very important. Thank you for bringing that up.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'd also like to submit a motion.
It's in reference to our water study. It's unusual to have one of those that's in reference to the study we're doing.
It reads:
That in reference to the water study the committee hold two additional meetings after its 13th meeting to hear from witnesses, with each panel including one witness suggested by each party as per usual; that the committee also hold a further additional two meetings exclusively dedicated to hearing from representatives of those provinces and territories able to attend.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Riel, for being here.
I appreciate your code of conduct and ethics that you have in Costco. I know that you have been co-operating and working with the government. Thank you for your submission. However, we still are dealing with high grocery costs. For me, as a representative in Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, that's a great concern to many of my constituents. That is one issue.
The other is for independent grocers who feel that it's very difficult to compete with the large chains and with, as you mentioned, more competition in especially the smaller areas. For the smaller regions of Canada it is important.
You mentioned that you thought it was very important to work collaboratively with the government to address these issues. I know that we had committed to stabilize prices. Actually, my colleague across the way was incorrect when she said that we were going to bring them down. We had said that we were going to try to stabilize prices with the grocers.
When I look at the many, many articles that talk about why grocery prices are or have been so high in Canada—I'm looking at one here from CTV, but I have read many of them—they talk about supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic. They talk about the geopolitical turmoil in Russia. They talk about extreme weather and climate change as well as many other factors.
When you're dealing with these kinds of issues, what do you think we can do collaboratively with the grocery retailers and other players in the chain—as you have mentioned, there are many—to try to bring some more relief to consumers who are struggling right now?
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
That's fantastic. Thank you.
Also, the value of the Canadian dollar was impacting grocery prices—
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
—so the more we produce here, the better.
You're saying to not just look at farming but also at some of the secondary and tertiary manufacturing as well, and at doing more here. I agree. Of course, that would also help with our climate change issues.
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
The shorter the distance we transport things, the less we have to pay for the rising costs of gas and fuel as well.
That's one interesting....
Do you work to support any Canadian manufacturers or businesses? Do you extend vertically at all in your chain?
View Leah Taylor Roy Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have one last question. It's just on the independent grocers.
We value small business in Canada. We value local services and our downtowns. A lot of them are the local independent grocers.
What do you think can be done to help them compete against some of the larger chains that are right now dominating the market?
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