House of Commons photo

Track Gerry

Your Say

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is farmers.

Conservative MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 66.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Trade February 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the hallmark of this government is listening to our industry when it comes to agriculture. We continue to work with it arm in arm in whatever is going to be required to make sure it has a bottom line. The last two years in a row we have had record returns in our agricultural sector, and a lot of the rules and regulations the government is putting in place and taking out of the way so businesses can have a solid bottom line, we will continue with. The opposition cannot support it. That is at its own peril.

Food Safety February 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the world is certainly welcoming of Canadian red meat products, including our beef industry. That is why we have gone to the mat for them in the European Union and opened that market. Of course, the opposition voted against that. At the same time, we brought forward $200 million more in Budget 2014 to enhance our BSE surveillance, and the opposition voted against that.

We stand firmly with our beef industry; the opposition does not.

Food Safety February 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the World Organization for Animal Health recognizes Canada as a controlled risk status country.

The CFIA and the market access secretariat continue to engage our trading partners to ensure that markets stay open, and to re-open markets to Canadian beef as quickly as possible.

With regard to the countries the member mentioned, while they have imposed temporary restrictions, these markets, while important, represent a small percentage, some 3%, of our overall trade.

Food Safety February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, of course, the glacial speed was the other party over there in the corner.

Having said that, we continue to work with CFIA and with the farm that is under quarantine at this point. We also put forward in our latest budget some $200 million to enhance our BSE training, and that party voted against it.

Food Safety February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, another positive case of BSE was found in a cow in northern Alberta, in the Spruce Grove area I understand. The expectations of the farm and CFIA are that they will source this out. They are doing that right now, according to the international protocols that we all adhere to.

Questions on the Order Paper January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), in anticipation of the government’s funding of certain restructuring costs of the Canadian Wheat Board, CWB, through the Canadian Wheat Board transition cost program, CTP, the CWB notionally estimated $177.3 million in reimbursable costs as of July 31, 2012, accrued in their financial statements.

With regard to (b), the funding provided under the CTP was in relation to the following restructuring expenses that were incurred in the year ended July 31, 2012 and described in the CWB’s financial statements as follows: loss on property, plant and equipment; impairment loss on intangible assets; employee severance expense; and net expenses related to the curtailment of pension and post-employment benefit plans.

With regard to (c) and (d), see the Public Accounts of Canada.

With regard to (e), the purpose of these expenditures from the CTP was to reimburse the transaction costs of the CWB as it transitions to a voluntary grain marketing organization. By assisting with the transition costs, the CWB will be better positioned to be a viable marketing alternative for farmers in the open wheat and barley market.

With regard to (f), the amounts were transferred in fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15.

With regard to (g), the department has conducted an economic analysis of a June 2008 study by Informa Economics. The Informa study examined the potential impact on farmers of an open marketing system for wheat, durum, and barley in western Canada.

With regard to (h), since Bill C-18, the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, has received royal assent, consultations with stakeholders are ongoing.

With regards to (i), (j), (k), and (l), this information is protected under subparagraph 21.(1)(e)(3) of the Canadian Wheat Board (Interim Operations) Act.

Questions on the Order Paper January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the CFIA has taken immediate action with regard to the regulatory authority for which it is responsible upon learning of this situation.

To assess the state of compliance with humane transportation provisions of the Health of Animals Act, staff conducted humane transportation inspection blitzes. While the inspection team observed some minor health issues with transported animals, the district veterinarian concluded that the inspected loads were in compliance with the sections of the regulations that were assessed.

A team of subject matter specialists external to the region was tasked with conducting a review to determine whether federal rules were broken and if appropriate inspection actions were taken. The results of this review are pending and appropriate actions will be taken based on the review results.

To address any perceptions or concerns of regulatory capture, CFIA has increased inspector presence within the Western Hog Exchange barns. The increased inspection presence will continue until the results of this review are received and an action plan is in place.

CFIA management has met with inspection staff in the area to reinforce our values of courage, rigour and respect. The CFIA has also taken this opportunity to discuss with staff our ongoing expectation that animal welfare responsibilities be carried out in a compassionate and respectful manner.

With regard to (b), the CFIA is committed to updating Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations, which pertains to the transportation of animals, and continues to work on the proposed amendment. There have been ongoing consultations with Canadian stakeholders and the CFIA is currently assessing feedback received.

With regard to (c), the Government of Canada is taking significant measures to implement appropriate penalties in the agricultural sector. Among others, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food introduced Bill C-18, the agricultural growth act, which contains provisions that propose to amend the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, AAAMP. In the bill, clauses 114 to 116 aim at increasing monetary penalties for businesses from $2,000, minor violation, $10,000, serious violation, and $15,000, very serious violation, to $5,000, $15,000 and $25,000 respectively.

The government believes that this updated regime of penalties included in Bill C-18 will be dissuasive and encourage compliance from regulated parties in the sector. Unfortunately, the Liberal agricultural critic introduced an amendment during the consideration of this bill at committee stage to water down this updated regime. A majority of members of Parliament disagreed with this amendment and defeated the attempt by the Liberal agricultural critic to significantly lessen the impact of this provision.

Canadian Wheat Board December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this is not a political process, as we said when we put that bill forward in October 2011. This is following the timeline and following the outline that was prescribed within that.

The directors at the Wheat Board have decided to expedite to bring stability to what it is offering western Canadian farmers predominately, but it has increased its footprint across Canada with the purchase of Mission Terminal and loading facilities in Quebec. Should that come to fruition in the coming months or in the couple of years that they have in that timeline, bringing that stability would be a wonderful thing,.

As to bonuses and so on, that is certainly in the purview of the Wheat Board, not mine.

Canadian Wheat Board December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, absolutely none of that is true. The member for Welland should actually get better research. He could maybe talk to the Wheat Board itself, or I would be happy to give him a briefing.

The Farmers of North America imposed its own timeline, trying to find out from farmers if there was any desire to put together the several hundred million dollars it would take to be a serious contender. They never did that. They actually never did put forward a serious bid. If they had, it would have been adjudicated along with everyone else's by the CWB, working in concert with an international accounting and legal team to ascertain the best bid.

Agriculture and Agri-food December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank and congratulate my colleague from Yellowhead for that question. He is absolutely right. No one in western Canada understands what these guys mean when they talk agriculture policy. They really do not have any.

Today our government took another step in modernizing Canada's grain industry with the introduction of Bill C-48. This legislation would enhance producer protections and improve grain quality and safety assurances to our customers around the world. It would also modernize the Canadian Grain Commission to make it more responsive to the needs of farmers in this great era of marketing freedom. Of course, the opposition's only policy would be to take that away.