Evidence of meeting #34 for Agriculture and Agri-Food in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was markets.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

I'll hold you to that.

4:35 p.m.

President, Farmers' Markets Canada

Robert Chorney

I'm not trying to nail our friends at Loblaws, but the word is, had that organization done a better job at treating farmers right, we wouldn't have as many farmers' markets as we have.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

Mr. Chorney, I would like clarification on something you said a couple of minutes ago. I moved on before asking about it. You made a comment about some of your organizations having to buy memberships in various things. Basically I took it that you implied that government should pick it up.

When I farmed I belonged to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and in effect the Canadian Federation of Agriculture for 30 years, and I bought my membership. I was a beef farmer, so I joined the OCA and the Bruce County Cattleman's Association. I belonged to a few other groups.

I'm asking you, should the government have been picking up my membership costs there as a producer?

4:35 p.m.

President, Farmers' Markets Canada

Robert Chorney

I don't think so, not at all. I think these are professional associations, and if you want to be part of that I think it's your obligation and your duty. Individual farmers' markets have membership fees for the right to sell there, and there are stall fees by the day, that sort of thing—

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

I hear you. I just wanted clarification on that. So governments shouldn't be picking up—

4:35 p.m.

President, Farmers' Markets Canada

Robert Chorney

I don't think so, not at all.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

On both sides of the issue?

4:35 p.m.

President, Farmers' Markets Canada

Robert Chorney

I don't think government should be picking up membership fees to belong to professional associations. That's up to the farmer.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

Okay, but you implied that government should for markets and what have you. Was I taking that the wrong way?

4:35 p.m.

President, Farmers' Markets Canada

Robert Chorney

What I'm stating is that Farmers' Markets Canada, in order to market the sector, needs help from government to tell the farmers' market story nationwide, to provide training to members, to further increase the awareness with health units. All of those programs we should be doing nationally, helping the provinces with those things. Some provinces don't have—

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

Okay. You're getting away from what I was asking. You talked about memberships, and that's good.

Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe.

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

As I mentioned to you two minutes ago, Larry, I'm going to take the five minutes that we have to introduce a motion I have, and I gave Pierre a heads-up on this. I'd like to read this motion into the record, please.

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

Okay. You certainly have the right, Mr. Atamanenko. We talked about this earlier today. I think you're abusing your privilege here because this meeting isn't for this, but, again, you can go.

A point of order.

April 4th, 2012 / 4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Yes, I have a point of order, Chair.

I think this should be moved to the end of the meeting, and I'm saying this because this is the way we normally deal with this. When we deal with motions, we deal with motions as part of committee business. They don't pop up during our question periods.

Chair, I think you should consider what it is that he's asking. He may have spoken to me, but I'm telling you what I told him, and I'm telling my committee members what I told Alex, that it is inappropriate to raise it when we have witnesses here, when the theme of today's meeting is to look at the supply chain, to discuss with witnesses. So it's not following due process as set out by this committee. This is normally committee business.

If Mr. Atamanenko wants to have committee business on his motion, for example, at the end of the meeting, then I think it's appropriate for us to do it at the end of the meeting as part of committee business, as we would normally do. This is very disruptive, Chair. It's not fair to committee members who are here to dialogue with witnesses. It's being foisted upon the committee.

We have a protocol for dealing with this, and the protocol is that it falls under committee business. Committee business is not on the schedule, so, Chair, you could quite rightly say, not today, there's no committee business on the schedule, and this is clearly committee business. Or, Chair, you could also say, I'll move this to the end of the meeting when we will have committee business because we might wrap up this meeting early.

That's my point of order, Chair, that this is irregular. We have a process and a protocol for dealing with this, and I would say that's the way we should deal with it.

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Larry Miller

I take that comment. As I think I've basically verified what you said, I think this is inappropriate.

However, I would respectfully ask you, Mr. Atamanenko, if you would move it to be dealt with after the rounds of testimony are done.

But again, the way the rules are set out, if Mr. Atamanenko insists right now, I will have to accept that.