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Track Gerry

Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is food.

Conservative MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster (Saskatchewan)

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

Statements in the House

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I like the admission that they sometimes listen; that is very helpful.

At the end of the day, of course, we have a balanced piece of legislation moving forward. There are numerous pieces to that, and not just the service level agreements but the information package, which will give us a lot more timely and on-point information from the railways, from the shippers, so we can start to coordinate, corridor by corridor, the specificity that is required to move grain, potash, coal, timber, and all those other commodities that need to be moved as well.

Come this August, when this legislation moves into the next phase, the Minister of Transport and I will sit down with all shippers and work out their surge requirements moving into the next year.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, of course the key to longevity on this type of legislation is balance. There are more shippers out there than just grain. Everybody had a sad tale to tell about rail serviceability and reliability. Having said that, this is a very comprehensive piece of legislation. I want to thank the opposition members for the great non-partisan work that they did, and all of the witnesses who came forward. They helped us to strengthen that bill, and there are some amendments that have been passed. I look forward to it being put through the Senate as well, very soon.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, the panels ended last night, with representation from across the spectrum out there, predominantly from western Canada, where they are facing the backlog.

We continue to work forward. I know that the clerk is putting together the report that will come back. Amendments are due tomorrow morning, I understand, at 10:30 a.m., and we will see what comes forward.

I have a quote from Norm Hall, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, who is a good friend of the member for Wascana. Listen to this:

Agriculture, in relative terms, is doing well. Even with the rail backlog, we’ve had a number of decent years with decent prices behind us. So we’re not hurting like we were in the ’80s and ’90s.

That was under their stewardship.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I welcome any help from opposition members. Generally they just vote against anything we bring forward when it comes to helping Canadian farmers, especially western Canadian farmers. Marketing freedom has been an overwhelming success. We are starting to give more oversight powers to Quorum, out of Edmonton, so that they have the information we need to watch corridor by corridor with the specificity we need to make sure that all commodities get to the marketplace that they desire.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if the member were paying attention at those committee meetings, he would know that all sectors, all segments of the supply chain, are working together to make sure that in that supply chain all links are strengthened.

The bill we are putting forward certainly does that, including giving Mark Hemmes, of Quorum, more powers to look at quarter-by-quarter specificity, the capacities of those corridors, as well as making sure there is information, which is not available now, as to the export value and the purchase value of the grain on the Prairies. All of that is within the regulatory powers that will be under this legislation.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member's lack of knowledge about the agricultural safety nets probably underscores why he was moved from that particular station.

At the end of the day, farmers have access to far more. They have increased value in their crop insurance. They now have livestock price insurance available to them. A number of things have come forward that are much more usable, bankable, and predictable than AgriStability or AgriInvest ever were.

We continue to build a solid business risk safety net system for farmers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food April 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member for Wascana has pointed out a portion of the new legislative package, Bill C-30, and the regulatory capacity under that. As he well knows, witnesses will be there all this week at the SCAAF committee, talking about this very issue.

What we have in mind is for the ability of farmers to have some reciprocity when a contract is issued by a grain company, so they actually have some power to push back. Right now, there is only buyer's preference. We would like to see something from the farmers' perspective that would give them some leverage as well.

Agriculture and Agri-Food March 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as the CEO of CN runs down his list of excuses, I would be appreciative if the member opposite would actually listen to all the witnesses that will be coming before the SCAAF committee this coming week, and look at the reasoned positions that a lot of them will put forward. I have had the opportunity to meet with all of the bulk shippers in western Canada. They all tell the same story. They are under capacity. They are a lot of tonnage and bushels behind, including Canpotex, which is a quasi-single desk and is several hundred thousand tonnes of potash behind.

The answer is not a single desk. The answer is increased capacity and increased awareness of all sectors in that supply chain.

Agriculture and Agri-Food March 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows there will be full hearings at the SCAAF committee all this week, starting today, where I and the Minister of Transport will appear. A lot of the witnesses will be bringing forward different ideas. I think it is too soon to prejudge what form any of those amendments should take or what they will be. We are there to listen and we are there to put forward the best foot that we can.

Agriculture and Agri-Food March 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, what farmers asked for a couple of years ago was the opportunity to market their crop at the time and price and place of their choosing. We did that with no help at all from the opposition.

We have moved forward on that rail review. We had Bill C-52 a year and some ago. The opposition did help us in that one, and that was welcome, but we also briefed them yesterday on the next steps: a piece of legislation going forward that will address a lot of what the member is asking for.

I am not sure just exactly what he misinterpreted from that yesterday. I thought we were very clear and very succinct in exactly what that piece of legislation would do.