House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the member. He is right on target. I can tell he has done his homework. I know what message he is trying to bring. I know oftentimes it does not seem to click with the other side.

I want to ask him another question. This is something I think is vitally important when we talk about these environmental assessments, the importance of the reserves we have of gas and oil in our country and why it is so important for us to develop those important resources.

Why would those regulations make a difference as to how our country could grow and how we could generate wealth in those areas?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, he is probably one of the best small businessman in the House today.

I mention again competitiveness because I know the other side does not get it. We are competing with countries like Australia and Brazil, countries that are making environmental assessments happen in six months' time. Every minute that we cannot compete with these other countries, capital will leave our country, go elsewhere and never return.

It is more important now than ever before that we get it done one time and get it done right. Let us get the investments to Canada. Let us make it happen in Avalon.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:20 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-38 is so huge that the media have called it a mammoth bill. For those who may never have seen one, because you cannot just go to a zoo and see a mammoth, elephants are descended from mammoths, but mammoths are larger. So when the media called this a mammoth bill, the analogy was clear. As my former colleague from Montcalm would say, this is a thick document.

To further educate everyone, I should explain that mammoths have disappeared. We would like Bill C-38 to do the same. Unfortunately, we are stuck with this bill because the government has a majority. But this is not the first time the Conservative government has handed us a poison pill in one of its implementation bills. It did that even when it had a minority.

We all remember the crisis that erupted when the government made the not-so-subtle decision to eliminate funding for political parties in an implementation bill, thinking that the measure would slip through unnoticed. It also decided to start messing around with pay equity and remove the right to strike from certain officers and public servants. That did not happen because the majority, which was the opposition, decided that it was ready to topple the government and trigger an election.

Refusing to back down, and playing cheap partisan politics, the Conservative government decided to prorogue Parliament to prevent an election. That is how it operates. That is how it does business. When things are not going its way, it behaves utterly undemocratically. That is what it did once. Other times, it decided to trigger elections even though the House had passed a law to set fixed election dates.

A whole bunch of measures were included in this bill. The Conservatives are taking advantage of their majority, since they know they can pass the bill despite challenges by the opposition and the public. The government wants to muzzle not only the opposition, but also all organizations and all individuals who might be affected by Bill C-38. The government put things in this bill that were not previously announced. I heard some other members earlier giving a list of these things. For instance, Bill C-38 includes a complete overhaul of employment insurance.

Everyone was surprised, because never, ever—not in the election campaign or since coming to power in 2006—had the government even suggested that it would make any such changes that would penalize the regions in particular. I know that Quebec and the Atlantic provinces will be especially hard hit by this reform. Many seasonal workers back home will of course suffer as a result of this new reform, which this government should have presented in a separate bill.

That is also what the government should have done for many other measures that were included in this bill without any forewarning. Another example is adding two years to the retirement age for seniors. I heard a Conservative member rhyming off a bunch of quotations. Well, I have some quotations of my own, including one from the Fédération de l'Âge d'Or du Québec, which said that this government is behaving like a dictator and abandoning seniors with this decision to increase the retirement age in Bill C-38. I quote:

Not only is there a complete lack of measures to improve the quality of life of seniors, but the government is restructuring programs in a way that will jeopardize the future for generations of seniors to come.

That is what we heard in response to this change, which the Conservatives also had not announced during the election campaign. They also want to change the Bank Act. We have heard about this. The Bloc Québécois has raised this issue here in the House. We are not the only ones. This also caused a stir in Quebec City, when the finance minister unilaterally decided to disregard Quebec's Consumer Protection Act, saying that banks fall under federal jurisdiction.

However, he forgot to mention that contracts fall under Quebec's jurisdiction, as does the province's Consumer Protection Act. That is simply telling the banks that they can now do whatever they want in the province and there is no longer any legislation that applies. The Quebec justice minister, Mr. Fournier, even wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance of Canada, in which he said:

...we wish to inform you of our concerns with respect to your proposal. The federal Parliament cannot decide in a peremptory manner that provincial laws do not apply to a given sector.

The rejection of Mr. Fournier's arguments will undoubtedly make him want to push a little harder for a sovereign Quebec, given that he himself said that he no longer saw himself as part of today's Canada as a result of the Conservative government's decisions.

We do not want to achieve our own country in this way, because we want to build a country with honour and enthusiasm, as someone already said, and not because the government knocks us on the head. Nevertheless, more and more people are thinking about it because this government is sweeping away all Quebec's values.

The same principle applies to food inspection. The budget implementation bill contains changes to food inspection. This government does not seem to have learned any lessons from the listeriosis crisis. I was a member of the agriculture sub-committee established to identify the problems that unfortunately caused the death of 22 people at the time. Even today, the government is knowingly playing with people's health and safety, which defies all logic.

What the government wants to do is limit debate as much as possible; all these time allocations have made that clear. It is the same for Bill C-38.

Although the general public has been warned by the opposition parties in the House, it does not change the fact that we are continuing to discover many new measures in this document, which is over 400 pages long. These measures are going to affect the public, perhaps not right away in some cases, but certainly within a short enough period that the government will hear a lot about it during the next election.

Although the government did not want to talk about the measures it was going to insidiously add to Bill C-38, I am certain that it is going to get an earful about them from Canadians between now and 2015, when the next election is held. Some aspects of this bill are completely unacceptable, particularly those that affect the environment.

For instance, we know that division 1 of part 3 enacts a whole new piece of legislation on environmental protection, whose purpose is to expedite the approval of large projects, particularly those involving oil sands exploitation. The same is true of division 2 of part 3, which amends the National Energy Board Act in order to allow the Governor in Council, or cabinet, to decide whether a certificate should be issued for any large pipeline projects.

What the government wants now is clear: it wants as few environmental assessments as possible in order to fast-track these large projects, which are often harmful to the environment, as much as possible.

These projects can be implemented but things must be done right. An assessment must be conducted using the strictest possible standards. If the project meets those standards, then it can be implemented.

Finally, the government wants to help the large oil companies—as though they need any more help—and the gas companies by approving all their projects as quickly as possible.

This example pertains to the environment. I do not need to reiterate—it has been said often enough—that this bill puts an end to the Kyoto protocol once and for all. I am wondering what this is doing in a budget implementation bill.

However, we have been asked many times, during questions and comments, what is good about the budget implementation bill.

The government listened to the Bloc Québécois when it asked that the Governor General be required to pay income tax, just like all Canadians and Quebeckers, except the Governor General's salary was doubled by the Conservative government. That is rather ironic.

I have not done the exact calculations. It is not easy, because in addition to his salary, he receives other compensation, but at the end of the day, he will earn more money after being taxed than if we had kept things as is. That is rather ironic on the part of the Conservative government. I imagine they gave this gift to the Governor General in celebration of the Queen's jubilee.

Nevertheless, it is a symbolic gain: The Governor General of Canada will finally pay taxes.

It is no surprise that for these reasons, the Bloc Québécois will vote against Bill C-38. We will obviously be here tomorrow to try to make this government listen to reason, to make it pass certain amendments that would shorten this mammoth bill a bit. Nevertheless, what will remain is a massive, unacceptable bill.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:30 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Quebec for his speech.

In my riding, a number of seniors must cut some of their essential needs, such as medication and food, to be able to pay for housing. We also know that because of this Conservative government, some seniors living in poverty will have to wait another two years for the provincial program that gives benefits to the poor.

I would like to hear what the hon. member thinks about how this government is downloading program costs onto the provinces, including Quebec, for example with respect to prisons.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:30 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is quite right. That is exactly what is happening with the increase in the age of retirement eligibility. Those who are most vulnerable will be affected. What will happen to these people when they are not entitled to receive their old age pension or guaranteed income supplement for an extra two years? They will have to turn to social assistance. Clearly, this is downloading once again.

Personally, I think it is appalling not only that Quebec and the provinces will be stuck footing the bill, but also that seniors will be the ones most affected by these measures, while this government is spending millions of dollars. For instance, it has spent millions of dollars this year to celebrate the monarchy and to commemorate the War of 1812, which no one remembers or cares about. It has spent huge amounts of money. Maybe those millions of dollars are symbolic.

This government's political priorities are rather surprising. Consider, for example, the purchase of fighter jets at a cost of billions of dollars. We will probably never see them fly. At least I hope not, because that aircraft's communication system looks really complicated and it seems as though it is really hard to find a plane that meets Canada's needs. So it amounts to utterly useless spending compared to all the cuts this government is making, particularly at the expense of our most vulnerable seniors.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent speech. It is too bad he is a sovereignist, but I guess we all have our faults.

He represents a riding that has a lot of agriculture. One important point about a catch-all bill like this one is that many things are happening at once. Members have talked about employment insurance and food inspection.

I would like my colleague to use this opportunity to talk about what is happening in his riding and what the implementation of this bill really means for his region.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Bourassa for his question.

It is not the first time he has heard sovereignists make very good speeches in this place, nor will it be the last time. The next election is pretty far off, and I will leave it at that.

As I mentioned in my speech, in ridings such as mine, all these changes to employment insurance will surely affect a number of industries. In my riding, as in several regions of Quebec and Canada, the tourist season lasts a certain amount of time. Specialized workers hold down seasonal jobs, and they will be harmed by the government's decision to change employment insurance.

With regard to agriculture, the changes to employment insurance will create other problems. For example, in my riding, there are many cranberry operations. Producers hire many foreign workers. The government has asked that employers hire as few foreign workers as possible and instead hire more local people to work on the cranberry farms. However, it will be very difficult to find workers with the necessary skills. We can already sense that farmers will have problems.

This is also the case for produce growers in my riding and throughout Quebec. They are already very worried about losing their workers and having to train people who, in any event, will probably quickly look for work elsewhere. In many cases, it will be difficult to harvest the crops.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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June 12th, 2012 / 10:35 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favour of Bill C-38, jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act and against the NDP and opposition attempts to delay it with their multiple amendments to defeat it. While the NDP and Liberals want to engage in partisan games to delay Bill C-38, I know as an eastern Canadian the importance of economic action plan 2012 and its commitment to responsible resource development.

I am proud of the work that has been done by our Conservative government to better and more effectively contribute to our economic growth and job creation in a sustainable, responsible way now and for future generations.

In today's economy, it is paramount to ensure that Canada's great natural resources, including the fisheries, be proactively managed to ensure that we are globally competitive and that we remain competitive for years to come. I would like to focus on the fisheries modernizations contained in the bill and dispel some of the concerns raised by the opposition to delay today's act. It is time to bring Canada's fisheries protection into the 21st century. We are proposing changes to the Fisheries Act that would enable us to make real tangible strides toward managing threats to Canada's recreational, commercial and aboriginal fisheries for the benefit of all Canadians.

The changes to the Fisheries Act would protect the productivity of Canada's fisheries while providing much needed clarity to Canadians by, first, focusing the government's protection efforts on commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries; second, drawing a distinction between the vital waterways that support Canada's fisheries and unproductive bodies of water; and third, identifying and managing real threats to the fisheries, including direct impacts to fish habitat destruction and aquatic invasive species.

Many have welcomed these amendments to the Fisheries Act and our larger commitment to responsible resource development. In my own riding of Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, the mayor of Colchester recently wrote me supporting the changes we are making to this act so that they can better support different development projects within the riding, such as main culverts, road creation and managing the fisheries resources within that municipality. They are strong supporters of this legislation.

I would like to take the time to address the positive changes in today's act related to the Fisheries Act in more detail.

First, the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act include a suite of tools that would help protect Canada's fisheries. However, like all great ideas, the opposition has chosen to ignore these. These include the establishment of ecologically sensitive areas, such as critical spawning habitat for salmon and other species. If any activities are proposed within these areas, proponents would be required to submit plans for review. The minister could then specify the protection requirements for these areas.

Other tools to protect fisheries include enhanced compliance and enforcement tools such as enforceable conditions of authorizations, the obligation for proponents to notify government officials in the event of serious harm to fisheries and significant penalties that are aligned with the Environmental Enforcement Act.

With respect to the word “habitat”, there is a new prohibition in the legislation which states that it is prohibited for any person to undertake works, undertakings, or activities that result in serious harm to fish that are part of the commercial, recreational or aboriginal fisheries or to fish that support these fisheries. “Serious harm” would be defined as the “death of fish or any permanent alteration to or destruction of fish habitat”.

Our government recognizes that healthy and productive fish habitat is essential in order to sustain fish that contribute to or are a part of a commercial, recreational or aboriginal fishery. We are serious about focusing our resources on managing the threats to these important fisheries which includes fish habitat.

Protecting commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries requires protecting their habitat over a large geographic scale. Our focus is to manage threats to commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries to ensure that they are available for future generations of Canadians, looking at today and years down the road, something the opposition's “living for today” mindset is unfamiliar with.

It is also important to note that the prohibition also refers to protecting the fish that support these fisheries so that many other fish species would remain protected.

Conservation groups have also indicated that we are currently using our resources ineffectively and that there are better ways to protect important wetlands, rivers, lakes and oceans.

The message we received from them was that the laws are indiscriminate and mean that all bodies of water, whether fish live there or not, are subject to the same rules and evaluation, regardless of size, environment or contribution to a fishery.

The proposed changes to the Fisheries Act address these issues by focusing our efforts on fisheries of commercial, recreational and aboriginal importance. Over the course of the next few months, we will be engaging key partners and stakeholders to develop the regulatory and policy framework to support the new and focused direction set out by these proposed changes to the Fisheries Act.

Through these changes, Fisheries and Oceans Canada would be better able to focus on its core mandate of protecting Canada's commercial, recreation and aboriginal fisheries, and also would ensure their sustainability and ongoing productivity. We would also reduce duplication and overlap.

We want to move the federal government out of the business of reviewing every activity in every body of water, regardless of the impact, to focusing on activities that pose a significant threat to the sustainability and productivity of the commercial, recreation or aboriginal fisheries. We want to adopt a common sense approach to managing real and significant threats to fisheries and the habitat that supports them, while minimizing the restrictions on routine and everyday activities that have little or no impact on the productivity of Canada's fisheries.

However, we cannot do this alone. The Fisheries Act amendments would allow us to effectively partner with the provinces and territories, aboriginal groups, conservation organizations and other stakeholders for the protection of Canada's fisheries. Under the revised Fisheries Act, the government would be able to enter into productive partnerships with provinces, industry and conservation groups to enable them to use their expertise to protect, monitor and conserve Canada's fisheries. This would allow the federal government to maximize its ability to collaborate with agencies and organizations that care about protecting the fisheries.

The new act would give the minister the authority to declare that if a provincial regulation made under the Fisheries Act met or exceeded the federal government standards, only the provincial regulations would apply where provinces have significant protection standards already in place. The federal government would not need to intervene in these situations.

Unlike the NDP and the Liberals, our government supports economic development in this country, while also ensuring the sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries for future generations of Canadians.

The proposed changes in the Fisheries Act would help us achieve that goal. We ask the opposition members to get behind the bill and support it.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member kept referring to common sense. I remember, under a lot of these ministers, the common sense revolution from that side of the House that used to be at the provincial level in Ontario. We know how detrimental that was to Ontarians. I worked for the public service at the time.

I want to just touch on some of the environmental piece that my colleague was speaking of, and it is not common sense. There is a difference between streamlining and gutting. When we are talking about gutting, there is a lot of concern. We just have to look at the Plains Midstream Canada pipeline spill that has just happened in Red Deer River and the concerns that are being raised there.

We have concerns about what is happening in Ontario because we have the Ring of Fire that is about to be developed. The lax environmental laws are extremely concerning to fishermen, hunters, first nations and all of our communities. What kind of legislation will the Conservatives put in place as protection? We can see that they are gutting it and there will not be any protection for our wildlife and there will not be any protection against draining our lakes

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite likes to talk about common sense, but what we hear from the NDP members never makes common sense. There is no resource development program they would support. There is no tax they would not increase, and there is absolutely no other country they would not want to send Canadian tax dollars to.

What does not make sense is for us to supply a $20 billion bailout to European banks, which is what their leader wants to do. A $20 billion bailout of hard-working Canadian taxpayers' money, sent to another country, sent to another continent. That is the type of common sense we hear from the other side. I will take the common sense we hear from this Minister of Finance any day.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:45 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am quite distressed. I am a terrestrial ecologist. I am not as expert as some of the members in the House here about what is under the water, but I know enough to know that it is ecosystems that matter. It is not just the fish that are fished by humans that matter. It is all fish, and beyond that it is all ecosystems.

Some of us know, but not all Canadians know, so let us share it with them one more time, that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act is basically repealed in this omnibus bill. One of the things that is repealed is the definition of environment. The definition was written way back in 1993 under a previous Conservative government, I will add, a more sophisticated and knowledgeable government. That definition included the land, the water and the air, including all layers of the atmosphere, all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms and the interacting natural systems that include components referred to, et cetera.

I would like to ask the Conservatives why they simply do not care about ecosystems any more. Why, whether it is critters or fish, do they only care about the ones that are taken for human needs?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:50 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I served on the environment committee. Our government is definitely committed to sustainable development. However, we do not believe it should be unbalanced, where we are just on one side of the issue or the other. We believe that we have to support the economy because without a sound, robust economy we cannot protect our environment. We need to have a balance.

That is what the bill is all about. It provides protection for fish habitat and it brings common sense solutions. No longer are we going to punish farmers who happen to have a pool form in their field and have to do ominous environmental assessments for the federal government for something that is standing water, basically. Now they will only have to do an environmental assessment when it actually affects the commercial fishery, the aboriginal fishery or the recreational fishery. It will be a fisheries act that actually protects the fishery. That is common sense.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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10:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House this evening to speak to Bill C-38, this massive bill that I would like to put into the recycle bin, but cannot. That is why I am here. I am representing the people of Berthier—Maskinongé.

The 2012 budget contains reckless cuts to services including the old-age security program, health care, transfers to the provinces and environmental assessments.

Bill C-38 is the budget implementation bill, but this bill is unlike any other. This 425-page document includes not only the measures described in the budget, but also some changes that were not previously announced to the public. What a surprise. As a result, there is less transparency and more secrecy surrounding the government. That is just great.

This aspect worries me quite a bit. As elected members, we have a duty to defend the interests of our constituents. Beyond partisanship are the voters. That is why we are here. Those voters put their trust in us and we must be as transparent as possible. I am not seeing that across the way. With this bill the government is not being transparent with the public.

This bill is even preventing us, my colleagues and me, from doing our jobs. How can we study such a document in detail in such a short amount of time? The very essence of Parliament is being undermined because MPs are prevented from being well-informed about the content of the bill and its repercussions.

I am very worried and so are the people in my riding. They are worried about their jobs and, as I speak, I still have not received a clear answer from this government about the future of the Shawinigan tax centre. They are worried about their jobs. They are worried about the environment.

Every day, I receive letters from people who are worried about the government's cuts and the 2012 budget. These people feel that they have been taken hostage by the government and they are looking for a way to have their voices heard.

I thought I would share with you a letter from one of my constituents who wrote to me about the environment and said:

Ms. Brosseau,

I am writing to express my indignation and shame about the cuts the Conservative government is making to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Parks Canada.

Through these cuts and Bill C-38, the Conservative government is destroying the entire environmental protection structure, created over a number of years, to benefit the polluting and destructive industries.

Need I remind you that the environment and human health are closely linked? By cutting environmental protection measures, this government is endangering the public, and particularly the least fortunate who are usually more exposed to environmental stressors.

Need I also remind you that a number of economic sectors depend on a healthy environment? For example, by removing some fish habitats from the Fisheries Act, this government is showing its blatant lack of knowledge of environmental dynamics. Contamination knows no borders, and it can cause irreparable damage to the fragile balances within ecosystems.

Ms. Brosseau, can you remind this government that it serves Canadians and not the other way around? Can you also remind the government that it must not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs, and that it must especially not compromise the health of current citizens.

Charles de Grandpré

The public is concerned and informed. These people see what the government is trying to do with this Trojan Horse bill.

I am here to share their concerns. These people have a right to be heard.

I think the government should listen to them.

Canadians are worried about creating high-quality jobs, protecting our environment and improving retirement security.

What is this government doing? It is driving up the unemployment rate. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that this budget will result in the loss of 43,000 jobs in Canada. The government is withdrawing Canada from the Kyoto protocol and weakening environmental protection regulations, while attacking environmental protection groups. By withdrawing from Kyoto, the Conservatives are making Canada the laughingstock of the world. The Conservatives are slashing old age security, despite the fact that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed that the old age security system is viable. Yet the Conservatives still want to balance their budget at the expense of our seniors.

I would now like to quote some of my constituents who have written to me recently about the budget. “Bill C-38 worries us and we oppose the idea behind this bill, especially when it comes to EI reforms.” Another citizen said, “Dignity has no age or social status.” Another wrote the following, “Yes, old age security at age 67 is discouraging, and employment insurance requires far too many hours to qualify.” Lastly, another person said, “I worked my entire life, and now, at age 65, I am starving and very sick.”

These are just a few of the comments that I received. They clearly show that people are concerned, and not just in my riding.

In closing, I would like to talk about the changes to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Several parts of the agency are about to be privatized. These cuts to food inspection are a step backward, since we know that the listeriosis crisis in 2008 was caused by a lack of inspectors.

I would like to read a quote by Bob Kingston, president of the union that represents Canadian food inspectors. On April 24, 2012, he said:

These cuts and changes were planned behind closed doors and without the benefit of public input or the perspective of those who work on the front lines.

[...]

We will be doing all we can to make sure politicians and the public understand the impact of these cuts and hopefully the government will live up to its promise that food safety will not be compromised.

Bill C-38 also amends the Seeds Act to give the president of the CFIA the power to issue licences to persons authorizing them to perform activities related to controlling or assuring the quality of seeds or seed crops. This is found in division 26 of part 4. This amendment opens the door to having private companies do food inspection related work. This also sends worrisome signals about the growing likelihood of privatization of some parts of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

These changes scare me and I know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

How can the government make $56.1 million in cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and still assure Canadians that they will be safe?

Canadians need transparency. People are not going to have confidence in this government if it quietly passes measures that will have a significant impact on the entire population. Why do the Conservatives want to pass this bill, which contains so many cuts, so quickly? Who stands to gain from them? The people in my riding? Canadians? I do not know. These are questions that I am asking myself as a member of Parliament, a citizen and a mother.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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11 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, in her remarks, the member talked a fair bit about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I know she is a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. In fact, we did a tour of the supply management industry a week ago in the Casselman area.

The member also talked a fair bit about what Mr. Kingston had to say. Does she know the implications on our food safety system as a result of some of these measures that are being proposed in this particular bill?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
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11 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the trip with the member when we visited the pullet farms. With the committee, I also had the chance to visit Cargill in Guelph, which was quite the experience. It was memorable and something I will never forget. I learned a lot.

However, it really scares me when I think that these businesses will have more control to inspect food. It scares me and the people in my riding. It makes me worry about my son eating meat or salad. Businesses have no right to inspect their own foods. It needs to be up to the government. The privatization scares me.