Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have four questions and I'll run through them. I also have a fifth, if we have time.
First of all, thanks to the CFIA for the cost comparison. We haven't had time to go through it, but there's a lot of meat in the issue there, I believe.
I earlier asked the minister about the farm families options program and I'm wondering if any of you folks can give me an answer on that. The commitment was made when the 50¢ on the dollar was paid out. Where is the remainder of that, to pay it up to 100% of what was originally committed, and when can we expect it? That's question one.
Question two you may not be able to answer. I am wondering if the gag orders placed on the board of directors of the Canadian Wheat Board are still in effect. Has there been any consideration by the department to provide compensation for the firing of Adrian Measner--it was a government decision to do so--to compensate the board for that? What might the calculations be?
Third, the minister mentioned increasing food aid. Am I correct, though, that under the new arrangements, under the new announcement, none of this product has to be Canadian? How does that compare with American food aid? I understand American food aid has to be American product, so what's the relationship in Canada?
Finally, to the CFIA, as we know, the hog and beef industries are in huge trouble. There are two major areas in the beef sector that are a problem. There's the 30-month-aged cow decision. On inspection of cattle, if your animal is 30 months old or has the teeth, then immediately the price of that product drops massively, to be in fact worthless. Can that be changed? And if not, why not?
I'll read you what a producer...I mean, a little common sense would go a long way. A producer loaded cattle in Prince Edward Island the other day, drove 30 miles to the plant in Borden-Carleton. On the way to the plant, the animal broke its leg. It was put down the next day--in other words, thrown in the rendering tank, because the new regulations won't allow the slaughter of hurt or injured animals.
This was a perfectly good beef animal with one broken leg, and the animal was destroyed and the farmer took a substantial loss. Why is that necessary? When the animal went on the truck, it was in fine condition--in fact, it walked on the truck--but the animal broke its leg. I'm wondering why there can't be a little common sense in the system to ensure that the farmer gets a little bit of money out of that.