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  • His favourite word is entrepreneurs.

Conservative MP for Beauce (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 50.70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Trade December 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the member that we have signed the free trade agreement with the European Union and the party opposite has yet to support that agreement.

One very specific provision clearly informs cheese makers in Quebec and Canada that there will be a compensation mechanism. We are currently in negotiations with them and compensation will follow in due course.

Agriculture and Agri-Food November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to repeat what I said last week. My colleague and I were in Quebec City, and we met with people from the dairy and cheese industries. We told them that our government had signed 38 free trade agreements and that we had always preserved supply management and promoted it internationally.

The people who were with us, the people from the dairy and cheese industries, agree with us. They support our government, and we will continue to stand up for these people, as we have always done in the past.

Agricultural Growth Act November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult for me to give my colleague a detailed answer in one minute. The most important thing is that I can tell him that I come from Beauce, which is a rural region. There are many farmers and agricultural operators in that area. I would like to point out that they are very much in favour of this bill because they think it will guarantee their future and give them a market. In fact, this bill will ensure that Canadian regulations will be in line with world regulations, and that products exported will be recognized as Canadian. With international recognition of Canada, the bill provides guarantees for food safety and future markets and, lastly, it ensures that our products will be welcome in other countries without tariff and non-tariff barriers. That is important to small producers in Beauce. They are very pleased that I am supporting this bill on their behalf. These entrepreneurs will become major agricultural entrepreneurs one day thanks to the improvements made to our laws, which will allow them to grow their businesses.

Agricultural Growth Act November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague that today's farmers are large farmers. They are not small farmers, as my colleague likes to characterize them. Nonetheless, before becoming large farm operators, they were small farm operators. They grew and were able to become major providers thanks to increased productivity. The same is true right now for small farms or people who want to benefit from market opportunities. This bill will allow them to seize market opportunities and hope to become major producers who will one day supply the world.

Agricultural Growth Act November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to speak today on the subject of Bill C-18. My NDP colleague said that farmers and the agri-food industry do not support this bill, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I would like to begin by quoting William Van Tassel, first vice-president of the Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec. He has made his position clear, and he supports our bill. I would like to quote from his testimony before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The federation supports those changes, which would make the PBRA consistent with the 1991 convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants...which governs breeders' rights and protects the intellectual property resulting from research into the development of new crop varieties. This harmonization is necessary in an environment where research collaboration is increasingly global and no longer restricted by geographical borders.

Our position is also evident in our commitment to Partners in Innovation, which brings together 20 groups and represents most of the agricultural producers in Canada. Moreover, all partners welcome the update to the regulatory environment.

Once more, for my NDP colleague:

Moreover, all partners welcome the update to the regulatory environment.

He goes on to say that:

The federation believes that protecting intellectual property can only encourage investment in research by various stakeholders in the grain industry, which will offset the reduction in public efforts in scientific agricultural research. It is also an incentive for researchers from different countries to make their research findings available to Canada, thereby promoting the diversity of genetic resources and the availability of varieties for Canadian and Quebec grain growers. With a diverse range of genetic resources, the industry can be more responsive to market needs and maintain farm competitiveness.

It is quite clear that Canada's agricultural producers and farmers support these changes to the legislation. That is why it is so disappointing that the opposition parties have proposed amendments—which you quoted earlier, Mr. Speaker—in an attempt to undo and water down this bill until it no longer addresses the concerns of farmers.

Before I go into the details of the bill and how it will modernize various aspects of Canada's regulatory regime, I would like to remind the House what agriculture means to Canada and what Canadian agriculture means to the rest of the world.

If we just look at a map of the world, we see right away just how huge Canada's land mass is. Canadian farmland covers 75 million acres of our vast territory. On average, Canada exports about half of its agricultural products. We are one of the world's top exporters of wheat, grain and coarse grains, as well as pork and beef, of course. Wheat is considered a food staple, and Canada consistently ranks among the world's top three exporters of wheat.

We heard the testimony of Mr. Tassel, a representative from the Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec, who speaks very highly of our bill. It is therefore disappointing to hear the opposition members say this morning that farmers do not support this bill.

Protecting plant breeders' rights is a key point in this bill, which also includes many other principles. What we think is most important here is that this bill will boost and capitalize on Canada's competitive advantages around the world.

However, as we know, to succeed in international markets and reach consumers throughout the world, we must work within increasingly modern frameworks, trade agreements, standards and conventions that are in line with the latest trade agreements. That is the purpose of this bill.

The bill before us today will harmonize Canadian legislation through such trade agreements, standards and conventions. Bill C-18 will strengthen and protect our agricultural sector, while increasing its export potential. The bill will also allow us to continue to succeed in international markets, remain at the forefront of food science and help solve problems related to food production.

It is not surprising that the overall demand for world-class food produced by our farmers is increasing. The world's population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050. To respond to this increasing demand, we need productive, competent farmers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, world food production will need to be 60% higher. That is a major challenge for our farmers and farmers throughout the world. That is why the improvements in safety, efficacy and productivity set out in this bill are so important for farmers.

The agricultural growth act seeks to modernize nine laws. Seven of those laws are used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to regulate Canada's agricultural sector, and two of them are enforced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Here are some examples of improvements that the bill makes in the feed and fertilizer industries. Under the existing system, animal feed and fertilizer are registered on a product-by-product basis. Bill C-18 will allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to license and register fertilizer and animal feed operators and facilities that import or sell products across provincial and international borders.

Licensing or registration of facilities and operators will make it faster and easier to verify whether agricultural products meet Canadian safety standards.

This approach will not only enhance food safety in Canada but also further align our regulatory practices with those of our trading partners.

We will continue to work with the United States and the European Union on implementing more comprehensive animal feed regulatory systems that include hazard analysis, preventive controls, licensing, and the enforcement of international standards such as best practices in feeding. We will continue to work in close co-operation with all our trade partners.

I did not touch on every benefit in this bill. I hope to have the opportunity to talk about it with my opposition colleagues in other forums. I hope they will come around and support our bill, which farmers have asked for and which meets with the approval of Canada's agricultural community.

Agricultural Growth Act November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a hard time understanding why my colleague does not want to support this bill.

As far as the recent changes he proposed in the House are concerned, the vast majority, 60% of them, are technical amendments that have to do with the French translation of this bill. These amendments will be reviewed in due course. Nonetheless, the body of the bill is very important for farmers. The members across the way do not seem to be taking that into consideration.

On behalf of my government, I would like to take a few minutes to explain the benefits of this bill. We believe we are responding to the demands of farmers, who are calling for Bill C-18 to stimulate agricultural and economic growth here in Canada.

That is why it is important to vote in favour of this bill. I still do not understand why the opposition is against it.

International Trade November 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as is always the case, we will do what we said we were going to do, which is to protect supply management and promote it internationally.

Next week, the hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and I will meet with Quebec's dairy and cheese industry to hear their concerns. I want to reassure them by pointing to an important clause in the free trade agreement providing that if the producers ever lose money, the Government of Canada will compensate them. We will honour that agreement and our signature.

Health October 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer my colleague's question.

Indeed, radio frequency emissions can be hazardous to Canadians. However, I would like to point out that Canadian regulations are very modern and address Canadians' concerns.

Red Tape Reduction Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to sit with my colleague on treasury board. We are all working hard to ensure that entrepreneurs can do what they do best, which is create jobs and wealth in our country. As a government it is very simple: it is more economic freedom. If people are free to realize their dreams, they will be able to do what they want to do and, at the same time, create jobs and wealth in the country. It is not a big fat government that creates jobs; it is the entrepreneurs.

To allow entrepreneurs to do what they do best, this legislation is important. Now we will reduce the burden and abolish the red tape so entrepreneurs can do what they do best, and that is great news. That is the language of our free trade agenda, our low tax agenda and red tape agenda.

I am very pleased today that we have the opportunity to vote on this excellent bill.

Red Tape Reduction Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I said earlier in my speech that 2,300 irritants that were affecting entrepreneurs have been eliminated, as these were measures that were no longer needed. This will give us a more effective regulatory framework.

Canada has been a country since 1867, and some legislation contains outdated regulations. We will continue to examine those outdated regulations and eliminate them. That is why we are studying this bill and the one-for-one rule here today. It is important to eliminate the outdated regulations as new ones are introduced.

Treasury Board does this kind of work every day, and we will continue to do it in order to ensure that Canada will always have an effective regulatory system in place, without any unnecessary regulations.