Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to stand in this place and defend and work hard for the people of Battle River—Crowfoot and, specifically, tonight, the hard-working farmers from east central Alberta and coast to coast.
I would be remiss if I did not say a very happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart Danielle. I am not sure if she is watching, but I love her and I hope that she and those three boys are able to enjoy Valentine's Day back in Alberta.
We are talking about Bill C-234, a common-sense Conservative bill that would eliminate the carbon tax for many of the essential aspects of the work that our hard-working farmers and ranchers from coast to coast pay for and that ultimately drives up the price of their operations.
What is really unfortunate, in this entire process, is that this is where the Liberals lose the plot.
I am honoured to be the fifth generation on my family farm in Alberta's special areas. I know so many classmates and people I have gotten to know across the country since getting elected.
I want to reference, specifically, a young lady named Mady from Saskatchewan. I believe she is 12 years old. She told this story recently in an interview in New York. Her story is an incredible one. She was asked a true-or-false question during a test in school about whether farming was bad for the environment. She knew that the teacher expected the answer to be true. She marked that but put a frowning face beside the answer.
As Mady describes, and I believe she was eight years old at the time, it was this that inspired her and her parents. I have chatted with Mady and her mom. She has had the opportunity to speak to the ministers, the previous minister of agriculture and, I believe, the current Minister of Agriculture, and to advocate for farmers across the country and now even around the world. She knew that it was essential to get the message out about the value, the ability and the solutions that Canadian agriculture brings.
Where the Liberals lose the plot is summed up in a bumper sticker. I know that the Liberals hate when we use slogans, but this is not something that I created. This is something that I have seen on bumper stickers and the back windows of many trucks, minivans and tractors across my constituency. It is: “No farmers. No food. Know farmers. Know food.”
This is where the Liberals have lost the plot. They are blaming the very people and they are punishing the very people who are able to solve the problem that our country faces.
I received an email just the other day from a local food bank operator in Flagstaff County. Lynn told me I could share this story. She shared how tragic it was that there were a number of instances where, when individuals come into the food bank, they are lying about the number of people in their homes and where they live.
One would say, “That is not good.” It is never good to lie, right? We are taught that. One has to ask why they are lying. It is because they are hungry. These people, these families, are hungry. In some cases, they are so hungry that they have no choice but to go from food bank to food bank in order to be able to feed themselves.
Where the Liberals have lost the plot is that they blame farmers and believe that punishing them and all Canadians is the solution to somehow helping those individuals who are, in some cases, starving, as Lynn shared with me just the other day.
Instead, the solution is very simple, if one reduces costs for those who produce the food. Like I mentioned the other day, at every step of the food supply chain, one can reduce, ultimately, the price of food for Canadians. That is where we are. We have a simple, common-sense solution. We can get Bill C-234 across the finish line, as it was intended, and allow farmers to get to work, so they can reduce the price of food, and Canadians can afford to eat.
However, the problem is that we saw unprecedented political manipulation by the Prime Minister, the Liberals, and the criminal, socialist, activist of an excuse of an environment minister that we have. This was manipulation at an unprecedented scale, showcasing how the so-called independent Senate is anything but.
We saw the Liberals' carbon pricing scheme, which is now admittedly a failure. In fact, just today they announced they are rebranding it; it is so misunderstood. They do not even trace the emissions that it has reduced because they cannot see that it has even helped the environment in this country. Can members imagine an environmental platform that does not help the environment? What kind of absurdity is this?
We see that the Liberals saw that their carbon tax scheme was falling apart and that the scam was being seen for what it truly is: a scam. The Liberals put on the full-court press and pushed the Senate to pass a number of amendments that gutted the bill. It would have been common-sense relief to farmers. They could have worked at lowering the price of food for all Canadians, but instead, they played politics with the hungry stomachs of Canadians. That is the sad reality. As a result, we are seeing the consequences.
The simple fact of the matter is that if the coalition that is ruling this country would agree to pass Bill C-234, unamended, we could get to work and could see that amended.
For all the farmers and producers watching, the question is simple. They should reach out to their Liberal, NDP or Bloc member of Parliament. Tell them that it is time to do the common-sense thing and to pass Bill C-234, unamended, so that we can provide that much-needed relief for farmers so that they can do what is truly required to ultimately lower the price of food for Canadians.
We have heard from all parties, I believe, this week about Canada's Agriculture Day. It is interesting that there is only one party in this country that truly stands for our hard-working farmers and ranchers, and that is the Conservative Party. Here is the offer I would make, as a farmer and a parliamentarian, as somebody who cares deeply about the agricultural sector and about the hunger crisis that has been caused by the Liberals, the failed carbon tax, the inflation and all the dynamics leading to that; let us get to work to pass Bill C-234. We can show Canadians this thing called “leadership”.
My fear is that the Prime Minister, the Leader of the NDP who is just as weak and, it seems, just as corrupt because he is certainly propping up the corruption of the Liberals, and the members of the Bloc Québécois, seem clueless as to how they are impacted by this carbon tax, by the national mechanisms associated with it and by the national impact associated with it.
Let us pass Bill C-234 in its original form, and demonstrate to Canadians that common sense still exists in this country for the thousands of farmers I represent, who depend on common sense for their daily operations. I see a number of rural MPs. In fact, I think everybody who seems to be left in this debate represents at least part of a rural constituency.
Common sense rules on the farm. It rules in rural Canada, so let us see common sense rule in this place so that we can bring home lower food prices for Canadians. The question is simple: Will those other parties pass Bill C-234 to bring home lower prices and axe the tax?