Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much for being here today.
I wish I could remember what size of honey container I bought at the farmers' market and how much the difference in price is between Saskatchewan and Quebec. My husband and I love honey. I use it in my baking and everything, and I buy it from the local farmers' market.
You talked about parasites and the registration of new products to combat them. How long does it take for the registration of a new product to help against parasites? Do you know? Do you have a timeline?
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
I think we will have to talk to the minister about that.
I have a question for you. When we run out of honey at our local farmers' market, would our farmers from Saskatchewan be able to talk to Quebec farmers and transport between the two provinces? Are there regulations stopping the trade between provinces for honey producers?
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
Well, I'm from Saskatchewan and I can really say we have very good honey producers in Saskatchewan.
Recently the Prime Minister made an announcement about how the Government of Canada is going to change the labelling in some way, and hopefully that announcement, the final announcement, will come soon, after the report that was put out by this committee.
Did you read his announcement ,and what were your feelings about this at that time?
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
I think up until now it's been very confusing for people when they go into the market and they see “Made in Canada”, and it doesn't say it's grown in Canada, or whatever. So I think the labelling regulations have been confusing.
You lost a lot of bees. Have you been able to partake in the farm programs that have been available to farmers in Canada? Have you been using the programs and have they covered the cost of your losses?
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
I've been listening to all the comments. I wasn't invited to the press conference, but that doesn't bother me, because I was at home working in the riding. When the Prime Minister and the minister talk about our Government of Canada, most citizens of Canada look at all of us as the Government of Canada. We're the parliamentarians. We're the ones who are doing the work. I know that everyone in my riding is looking at the agriculture committee and the report. I don't feel slighted. I think we're doing great work, and the people of Canada see that.
Every one of us sitting around this table is working for our constituents and for the agricultural community in Canada. I don't feel slighted. I'm glad that the Prime Minster looks at this issue as being serious for all Canadians. He will go forward after we put in this recommendation and look at it very seriously.
I don't know why we have to get into this discussion. I don't think it's political. We're moving ahead on something. We're not going to talk about it and wait for two months after the report comes in. We're going to move faster on it. We have to stop and look at it as a positive move.
I don't feel slighted about it. I wasn't there. I was working in the riding. I think that's how we have to look at it. We have to look positively at it and say thank God the government's doing something on our behalf. We're the ones who started it. We put the pressure on the minister and the Prime Minister. I think it's a very positive move.
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
I don't know. This is really bothering me, because I feel that since I first came here, about eight years ago, working on committees and everything, governments have sincerely looked at committee reports. In my heart I know that this report is going to be looked at, and I know the work will be taken seriously.
I'm sitting here, and we've talked about this for an hour. I want to know what the committee members from the opposite side of the table want us to do. They've brought their feelings forward to us, but I want to know what they want us to do. Do they want us to not finish our report?
I think we would be losing a lot of valuable time and it would not accomplish anything. We've wasted.... Well, we haven't wasted time, but we've talked about this for an hour. Can we go forward and complete the report?
I know the minister and the Prime Minister will seriously look at what we've brought forward. Everyone has expressed their feelings on the whole situation. Let's move forward and get this finished.
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much for being here this morning. In regard to the report on plans and priorities--that over the next year the government will spend $2.2 billion to make Canada a world leader in biofuel development--I would like to know if this amount is going to be used primarily for large-scale production of biofuels from non-food sources, or can you give me the department's vision? I look at the whole biofuel industry, as someone coming from Saskatchewan, as very beneficial for our country. So I would like to hear the department's thoughts on that.
I would like to reassure Canadians, too, that just because we're going into biofuels and the products from...we're not going to deplete the food supply. I would like your assurance on that, and what the department has done to make sure that will not happen.
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
I do believe the department watches what's going on around the world every day, as a lot of us do. In looking at what's happening around the world right now, we're going to get in a lot of countries...wheat production is going to go up. Of course, with Burma being one of the largest rice producers in the world, with the tragedy that's happened there, there will be problems for those countries.
I do believe the United States had a 10% carryover of its corn crop from last year. Have you heard that? It didn't go into—
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
Also, I want to talk about the environment program. In there, you have put that it is an improving trend. What does “improving trend” mean? How will you measure that trend?
View Carol Skelton Profile
CPC (SK)
On page 32 you have stated that the objective for producers adopting improved food safety practices is 65% by March 31, 2010. I'd like to know what the current percentage is for producers, and whether we should aim for 100% in the long term. As well, is the department looking at this as a marketing tool for producers?
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