Agricultural Growth Act

An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Gerry Ritz  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends several Acts in order to implement various measures relating to agriculture.

It amends the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to amend certain aspects of the plant breeders’ rights granted under that Act, including the duration and scope of those rights and conditions for the protection of those rights. It also provides for exceptions to the application of those rights.

It amends the Feeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Seeds Act, the Health of Animals Act and the Plant Protection Act to, among other things,

(a) authorize inspectors to order that certain unlawful imports be removed from Canada or destroyed;

(b) authorize the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to take into account information available from a review conducted by the government of a foreign state when he or she considers certain applications;

(c) authorize the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to issue certificates setting out any information that he or she considers necessary to facilitate certain exports; and

(d) require that a registration or a licence be obtained for conducting certain activities in respect of certain feeds, fertilizers or supplements that have been imported for sale or that are to be exported or to be sent or conveyed from one province to another.

It also amends the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act to, among other things, increase the maximum limits of penalties that may be imposed for certain violations.

It amends the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act to modernize the requirements of the advance payments program, improve its accessibility and enhance its administration and delivery.

Finally, it amends the Farm Debt Mediation Act to clarify the farm debt mediation process and to facilitate the participation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in the mediation process when that Minister is a guarantor of a farmer’s debt.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Nov. 24, 2014 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Nov. 19, 2014 Passed That Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments] .
Nov. 19, 2014 Failed That Bill C-18, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 7 with the following: “—the right referred to in paragraph 5(1)( g) cannot be modified by regulation and do”
Nov. 19, 2014 Failed That Bill C-18 be amended by deleting Clause 2.
Nov. 19, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
June 4, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and that, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, considering the licensing and registration systems and the fact that it will add the need for additional resources at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and considering the government's record in the last couple of years of budgeting for departments but then not delivering the budgeted money, we have a concern that will cause delays in licensing and registrations, as well as in enforcement. I would like the member's comments on that point.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

We have not had the final figures yet on how the government spent it.

I just hope that the government is not doing the same with the farming industry as it has with many others. It is encouraging its administrators to not let the money flow and not let things happen, so it can pad the books and make its budget look good.

We are finishing the harvesting season right now, and we should know in the next few months if the government has good intentions with advance payments for the agriculture industry. There were a lot of crops out west that had problems this year. We are going to see how the program is rolled out and how good the Conservative government is at helping farmers.

In regard to the hon. member's question, we will know in the next few months if the government is doing a proper job, or whether it is doing like many other departments, which is holding back the money from hard-working men and women.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the hon. member across the way. We serve on the agriculture committee together. We like to work together on issues, and I want to ask the hon. member a question.

We talk about breeders' rights. We heard a lot of witnesses speaking to what we need in terms of a modern-day plant breeders' rights system, and UPOV '91 addresses that. There have been a lot of concerns around this in terms of what farmers can and cannot use, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. I would like the member across the way to reiterate what we heard from most witnesses about UPOV '91 and their support for it.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, the horticulture and the landscaping industries were talking about varieties of roses that we could develop here. There is no doubt that there is a whole lot that is good in the bill for Canadian farmers. However, it is only going to be good if the money is there for research. If we are going to have the research in our country and come up with new varieties, so be it.

There were many groups that came forward, and there were two items. One was that with global climate change and various things, we need to continue to have better varieties. Also, we are positioned well to be selling varieties of plants all over the world.

What I am concerned about is smaller farmers getting pushed around a bit and not having the legal advice or legal wherewithal to protect themselves. If there is one thing that I would like to see added to this, it is to have a kind of ombudsman, so that if a small farmer feels he is not being treated right and does not have the capacity to take on the big guys, that we step in. That is what I see is lacking here.

The proof is in the pudding. It is about how this is going to roll out. A lot of small farmers do not have the money to defend themselves. There is a part here for an ombudsman, or someone, so if they have a complaint if they are treated wrong about their seed issues, someone will take that up for them.

There was a lot of support from witnesses for that part of the bill.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:25 p.m.
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NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, my friend talked a bit about public research. I would like him to elaborate a bit more. The bill would allow public research with patented material up to a certain level, but not for commercial use. People could not actually commercialize it if they used it. If they could not actually make money from it, and there has been a decrease in public dollars actually going into public research, does the member have any fear or concern that the public research piece of the balance may actually decline? Where does he see it going? Even though they could get the material from a private company, they could not commercialize it, because it would be explicit that it was for non-commercial use.

Does the member see any threat to public research in the sense that there is a lot of stuff to work with but nothing to do? What effect would that have on farmers, ultimately?

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the Conservative government has a track record of cutting research. The other problem we have to watch, if the research is commercial, is whether the big companies are doing it and the government is ponying up money.

Recently I was at the agricultural college in Truro, and I saw the research being done there with public dollars. It was amazing. Just on the blueberry industry alone it was on spraying equipment, reduced pesticides, and varieties.

At the end of the day, we have to have a good research program in this country, one that is publicly funded. Not always is the best research commercialized, big-company research. A lot of research can be done. In Newfoundland, they have the cold-crops research place. Without public money going in, it would never happen. No matter where one is in this country, we need public research and public funds going into it, or we are just going to have big companies like Monsanto taking over all the research.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his thorough speech on this legislation. He is an expert, of course, on agriculture, with his background, and he brings a lot to this House in terms of that experience.

The member just spoke of the importance of research. I want to ask him a specific question about the research being done in the Annapolis Valley at the Kentville research station. In recent years, we have seen, through attrition, a reduction in the number of researchers working there. They are not being replaced at retirement.

Given the member's experience in horticulture, does he agree that regional, decentralized research is essential to the future of industries, whether it is the apple industry or the growing grape and wine industry? The research done in the Annapolis Valley is going to render a different result than that done in the Okanagan Valley or in Prince Edward Country in Ontario or in the Niagara region. As such, should we not be focusing more on regional research as opposed to centralizing it, which seems to be the trend with the current government?

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kings—Hants for that question. He has one of the nicest areas to visit at apple blossom time or any time of the year.

The first time I visited that research station, I was 19 years old. I was in agricultural college, and I was amazed, and I am still amazed by what the researchers do in Kentville. When I was there first, they were doing research on potatoes for the valley and the type of soil they had there. Ten years later, when I went there, they were doing research on apples, and they came out with varieties that transformed the whole apple industry in the Annapolis Valley, which was amazing. It brought the apple industry back. Now when I go there, they are doing grape varieties and other varieties of fruit and vegetables that are very important for the Atlantic region and the valley region. That is key.

We have two things. We have climate change and we have consumer tastes changing. It is hard to believe, but where all those potato fields could have been, where they were doing research, now we see vineyards all through the Annapolis Valley, and it has become one of the fastest-growing areas.

It is key to have that research. It is one thing to bring people in and invest money in agriculture in the area, but they need research and people to help them with varieties, soil tests, and whatever needs to be done. That is a very important point the member for Kings—Hants made. If we do not continue to have that, these pockets of our country are not going to have the environment for agriculture we have seen over the years. We are going to lose it, because research in certain areas is not applicable to other areas.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

I would first like to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to Pat Quinn's family for their loss today. He was a great Canadian.

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to express my support for Bill C-18, the agricultural growth act. This is a well-informed bill.

The proposed legislation is the result of extensive consultation with Canadian farmers, producers, and the organizations that represent them. In my view, this is the mark of a progressive, responsive, and responsible government. It is one that identifies, reviews, and establishes laws, policies, and programs in collaboration with the citizens most likely to be affected.

I support Bill C-18 because it would foster the continued growth and maturation of this country's agriculture and agri-food industry. One of the ways the proposed legislation would achieve this is by supporting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's modernization and transformation agenda.

To fully appreciate the last point requires a good understanding of the larger context.

The CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding our food supply, along with animals and plants that contribute to that food supply. Ultimately, the CFIA serves to enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment, and economy.

The Government of Canada established CFIA in 1997 as the federal agency responsible for the regulation and enforcement of key food and agriculture legislation. Prior to that time, several departments and agencies shared responsibility for this legislation.

Since the agency's inception in 1997, almost 20 years ago, there have been many significant changes in the agriculture and agri-food sectors across Canada and around the world. These changes include dramatic increases in crop yields due to advances in science.

In general, farms are getting larger, and economies of scale continue to grow. Land that produced enough to feed only 10 people a century ago can today feed more than 120. That is a dramatic increase.

Another significant change is the growth of international trade in agricultural products. Today Canadians regularly eat foods produced in countries around the world. In Canada's agriculture and agri-food industry, the focus is more and more on international markets. Last year, in 2013, the value of Canada's agriculture and food exports set a new record, topping $50 billion for the first time in our history.

The legislation now before us would modernize existing statutes and support the CFIA's transformation so that it could provide the best and most efficient and effective service possible.

The next step is up to us in Parliament. By endorsing the legislation before us, members of this House can help make sure that Canada's legislation remains in step with modern processes and practices. Here is why.

Some of the laws Bill C-18 proposes to amend date back to the 1950s. Although they have served Canada well, they must be updated to support further progress to help our home-grown entrepreneurs harness innovation, add value, and create jobs and growth right across this country.

According to stakeholders who appeared before the House standing committee, Canadian farmers spend as much as $4 billion each year on fertilizers. That is more than they spend on any other crop input. It is estimated that without fertilizer, crop production in Canada would decrease by half.

The Feeds Act and the Fertilizers Act provide the legal basis for the regulatory framework that govern the use of fertilizers. During his testimony in committee, Mr. Clyde Graham, acting president of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, had this to say about the current state of the regulatory framework:

The federal regulatory system has served the industry well for 50 years. It has ensured a science-based and consistent regulatory environment for fertilizers and supplements, which emphasizes the principles of safety and efficacy for all products.

...That being said, the fertilizer and supplement industry supports new provisions in the bill that would enable tools such as incorporation by reference, licencing, export certificates, and acceptance of foreign equivalent scientific data.

Bill C-18 includes the provisions and tools Mr. Graham referred to in his comments. The proposed legislation now before us proposes new, broader controls on the safety of Canada's ag inputs through the licencing and registration of feed and fertilizer manufacturers.

I would like to share another relevant comment from a stakeholder who appeared before the committee. Reg Schmidt is with the Feeder Associations of Alberta, and this is some of what he told the committee:

When the Feeder Associations of Alberta was first notified last fall of the new set of amendments, we were not anticipating this exceptional amount of change that is being proposed. We were thinking more of a lipstick and makeup approach. Instead what we got are a very well thought out set of amendments that bring another round of comprehensive updates to an otherwise excellent program

As Mr. Schmidt pointed out, Bill C-18 involves a series of improvements. Among other things, the legislation proposes to authorize CFIA to license or register fertilizer and animal feed operators along with facilities that import or sell products across provincial or international borders. This would enhance the current system under which feed and fertilizer products are typically registered. Adding the provision to license or register facilities and operators would provide a more effective and timely approach to verifying which agricultural products meet Canada's stringent safety and other standards.

This approach would allow for better tracking and oversight of production processes and the products being produced, a more efficient system that identifies issues early, and a faster response if and when a product recall was required.

To license or register feed fertilizer facilities and operators, regulations would have to be developed. The government would work closely with stakeholders to design an effective regime.

It is important to recognize that the new requirement would not apply to farmers who make these products for use on their own farms. It would only apply to businesses that sell their animal feed and fertilizer products across provincial and international borders.

It is also important to note that the proposed amendment would better align Canadian legislation with that of our international trading partners and would help our feed and fertilizer industries maintain their export markets, especially in the U.S.

Bill C-18 also proposes to address international trade in agricultural products in another way: by strengthening border controls for agricultural products.

Bill C-18 would authorize CFIA inspectors to order imported shipments of feeds, fertilizers, and seeds out of Canada if they failed to meet legal requirements. This would be similar to the provisions already in place that authorize the CFIA to order imported plants and animals removed from Canada if they do not meet legal requirements.

The CFIA already takes action now and sometimes seizes illegal products related to animal feeds, seed, and fertilizers. Under the current process, after seizure the CFIA assesses the ability of the importer to bring the products into compliance. Where this is not possible or where the importer refuses to fix the non-compliance, the CFIA may have to destroy or dispose of the product, sometimes at taxpayers' expense. In some cases, court proceedings may be launched. While this process works, it sometimes leaves Canadians paying the bill for the disposal of illegal products that have been seized.

Bill C-18 would give CFIA inspectors the ability to allow the importer to fix the problem in Canada but only if it was not a matter of safety and if they could be sure that the issue would be addressed properly and in a timely manner.

The legislation would also provide the agency with even stronger tools to protect Canada's plant and animal resource base. It would also provide additional reassurance that imported agricultural products met Canada's strict requirements. For Canada's farmers it would mean that they would compete on a level playing field.

Now I would like to again touch on the issue of UPOV '91. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency consulted broadly on plant breeders' rights. The agency conducted formal consultation sessions across Canada and received valuable feedback from plant breeders, farmers, horticulturalists, seed dealers, and the general public.

The feedback led directly to a series of proposed amendments that would increase investment in plant breeding in Canada and would encourage foreign breeders to protect and sell their varieties here. The amendments would also align the rights of Canadian plant breeders with those of their counterparts abroad.

This would effectively level the playing field for Canadian farmers and give them greater access to innovative new varieties bred to enhance crop yields, improve resistance to disease and drought, and meet specific market demands. It is what farmers want. In other words, the amendments would support the continued success of Canada's agricultural producers.

Amendments in the proposed legislation would also explicitly recognize the traditional and popular practice known as farmer's privilege. The practice involves saving, conditioning, and replanting seed generated from protected varieties grown on Canadian farms.

As members will be aware, a further amendment has been brought forward on the issue, one that makes the language in the act explicitly clear that storage of seed is included in farmer's privilege. This amendment, once again, shows that the government listens and responds to farmers.

Canada's farm community is very supportive of the reforms proposed in Bill C-18. For instance, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canada's largest farm organization, posted a page on its website entitled, “C-18 is Good News for Farmers”. Indeed it is. The page includes a quote from federation president Ron Bonnett, as follows:

The proposed changes reflect a number of recommendations made by industry over the years and showcase the government has been listening. We're pleased the government has taken action and followed-up in a concrete way with legislative changes and formal consultations on these proposed amendments.

That is a certainly a ringing endorsement. The federation's web page also points out that the proposed legislation will boost innovation in the agricultural sector and inspire more farmers to plant new crop varieties. The bill is designed to modernize Canada's agricultural legislation and encourage innovation in the sector.

Joe Brennan, chair of the Canadian Potato Council, said the following about Bill C-18 and what we did as a government at committee stage:

The proposed amendments will encourage the development and availability of superior potato varieties that will further enhance the competitiveness of the Canadian potato industry.

Keith Kuhl, president of the Canadian Horticultural Council, emphasized that the proposed legislation would make Canadian companies more competitive internationally. He said, “Ensuring that our plant breeders' rights regulations are aligned with our global trading partners is imperative”.

We heard more of this support from witnesses at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The Agricultural Marketing Programs Act was enacted more than 15 years ago. The act requires that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, in collaboration with the Minister of Finance, review the effectiveness of the legislation every five years. The last review was completed nearly two years ago and a report on the review was tabled in the House in November of 2012.

The review included a series of activities during the spring of 2011. For instance, stakeholders participated in a series of nine engagement workshops held in communities across the country. The sessions attracted a cross-section of Canada's agriculture industry, producers and administrators, along with representatives of producer organizations and financial institutions.

During the sessions, the stakeholders freely expressed their views on both the act and on the program that it authorized. Participants discussed program relevancy, performance, operations and delivery. They outlined specific strengths and weaknesses, and provided suggestions for potential improvements.

The review also involved a targeted survey. Questionnaires were sent out to approximately 3,000 producers who participated in the advance payments program, also known as APP, in 2008. These engagement sessions and questionnaires led directly to many of the proposed amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act included in Bill C-18.

In general, the amendments would reduce the administrative burden that producers and producer organizations must bear to participate in the program. More specific, the amendments would provide additional ways for participants to repay their loans. They would also broaden the criteria used to determine eligibility in the program and foster multi-year advance guarantee and repayment agreements, with administrators to streamline delivery.

I now wish to talk about the consultations with stakeholders that took place to inform the proposed amendments in another key part of Bill C-18, the Plant Breeders' Rights Act, administered by the CFIA. These stakeholder views are positive and tell only part of the story of Bill C-18. This is because the proposed legislation will inspire further consultations as resulting regulations are readied.

This government remains committed to consulting in order to determine the best path forward for farmers. Should the legislation now before us receive royal assent, some changes will come into force almost immediately, while others will be phased in or require regulatory amendments.

The overarching goal of the agricultural growth act is to strengthen Canada's agriculture and agri-food industry in a way that protects our food supply and promotes economic growth. Bill C-18 proposes to achieve this goal by ensuring that Canada's legislative framework is effective, innovative and nimble enough to deal with 21st century realities. Updated, streamlined and harmonized legislation would benefit Canadian farmers and industry, support the Government of Canada's and CFIA's modernization initiatives, and meet the interests of Canadians and Canadian farmers.

I encourage my hon. colleagues to join me in supporting Bill C-18.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments put on the record by the member opposite, but I have a question with regard to an issue on the Prairies. Other colleagues of his have made reference to Manitoba's pork industry. This legislation deals with the exportation. There are great opportunities in Manitoba's pork industry, but there have been some issues with the federal government in being unable to get support with respect to temporary foreign workers, in particular, the Brandon plant.

There is a need in Canada within our agricultural community to look at seasonal workers. When we talk about the importance of the agricultural community and how productive it is for our economy, could the member provide some feedback on what he believes the government's agenda is, going forward, with regard to the temporary foreign worker program and the agricultural industry as a whole?

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, although we have not studied that issue in depth at agriculture committee, the issue of TFWs, as it relates to the agricultural industry, is an important one.

From our perspective on this side of the House, we absolutely want to ensure that every Canadian is employed before any temporary foreign workers get jobs in our country. We want to see Canadians get these jobs first and foremost.

That said, there are areas that have needs, but again, we hope Canadians respond to the job opportunities that are there on the Prairies. If they need a job, we need them on the Prairies.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, on so many bills, we have made proposals to enhance them to ensure that we have protections for the different entities they affect.

On this bill, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food had indicated:

I've also heard some good suggestions about providing more clarity, making the bill's language more useful, and as you alluded to, Mr. Chair, we will be passing some amendments to that end...

Yet here we are. We did propose an NDP amendment that would have required the intent to infringe on patent protection be proven first. This would have protected producers from being sued for patent infringement due to accidental reasons, while continuing to ensure that deliberate patent infringement would be pursued.

Could the member opposite explain why the government defeated this proposal, given the fact that we wanted to ensure that the proper protection would be in place?

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, being a long-standing member of the agriculture committee, certainly we have our differences when it comes to UPOV '91. We see predominantly that the world and most Canadian producers want to see UPOV '91 introduced into Canada and really played out on the Prairies.

The member alludes to the fact that members of her party made amendments and they were not supported. The fact is that it is democratic place, it did pass as it was. Although it was extensive, debate was there.

I, for one, supported the bill as it was and wanted to see it go forward. We heard from many stakeholders that wanted to see UPOV '91 and the modern things that really would give plant breeders the protections, while protecting the rights of farmers by using their own seed.

For us, it is good the way it is, and that is why it went forward and passed democratically.

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is important agricultural legislation. I want to make a general comment and look forward to his response to it.

Most of the rural areas and most of the farming areas in our country are represented by Conservative members of Parliament. There are, on the other side, though, a few members who certainly represent farmers and who have an interest in the issue.

I want to make that comment and ask for the member's thoughts on the assurance farmers can take, knowing that they are represented by Conservative MPs who have had a careful look at this legislation and have determined it to be something they are willing to operate under.

Many of us are involved in farming operations and still depend on rules that would allow us to continue to farm, particularly after we get out of politics. We want rules that will work. Would the member respond to that?

Agricultural Growth ActGovernment Orders

November 24th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I happen to be sitting beside another member in the House who is a farmer.

I found this a little interesting, too. In dealing with marketing freedom for farmers in past legislation, farmers from the west actually sat on the panel, making these decisions and supporting some of these motions. The bill we are putting forward today is not just a bill by some politicians. It is a bill for farmers, by farmers and passed by farmers.

Farmers are in good hands with us. We want to ensure that we do what is right for Canadian farmers across the country, and we are doing that in this bill.