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Evidence of meeting #44 for Agriculture and Agri-Food in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was corn.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Rod Scarlett  Executive Director, Canadian Honey Council
Bill Ferguson  Owner, Ferguson Apiaries
Davis Bryans  President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery
David Schuit  President, Saugeen Country Honey Inc.
Hendrika Schuit  Member, Saugeen Country Honey Inc.

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

No, that's right. Some of the programs—

4:45 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

You're going to lose a lot of equipment. It's the same with crop insurance. Bill called his crop insurance guy this year because he was aware he might have a problem, and he said, “You've had a problem with sprays? You're not eligible for crop insurance this year.”

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Well as I said, the AgriInvest and AgriStability don't concern themselves with that. They're more focused on revenue.

4:50 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

A band-aid is what they are. They're not really—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

They're not going to solve why the bees are dying. They won't solve that. In the meantime, if you're going through difficult financial times as a result of that, that's what the programs are there for.

4:50 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

But once you draw from them, there's nothing left.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Pardon me?

4:50 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

Once you draw from it, there's nothing left for the next year. What happens to the next year?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

The programs are meant to provide financial assistance to farmers that find themselves in difficult circumstances, due to circumstances that are beyond their control. I'm not saying it's going to fix all of your problems or that it is going to find out exactly why bees are dying. The research will focus on that.

But these types of programs are there to help farmers—

4:50 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

A lot of this research you're talking about has nothing to do with this insecticide poisoning.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

I'm sorry, I disagree. I've been reading through the different projects that have been launched. As I say, some of them are for substantial amounts of money, and they are touching on or they are focused on survivability of bees.

4:50 p.m.

President, Munro Honey & Munro's Meadery

Davis Bryans

And they meant to neonicotinoids?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Larry Miller

Okay, we're not going to debate this back and forth.

I think to our witnesses, Mr. Lemieux has mentioned some programs and some of them will cover disasters, whether they're tornadoes.... One went through Grey and Bruce county here a couple of summers ago, and that money helped out. It will cover things like flooding or drought. I'm not sure whether this would qualify, but it probably has the potential to qualify under one of those. I think rather than debate it, at least investigate to see if those programs will help in the interim. And I think we need further study into why the bees, themselves, are dying.

Ms. Brosseau, you have five minutes please.

June 4th, 2012 / 4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

God bless the Internet and iPads because I did a quick little Google search and I found that on May 25, 2007, the Minister of Agriculture for Canada and the Canadian Wheat Board gave $136,000 to two projects that were supposed to address the unexplained losses of the bee population.

I was just wondering if we could get information to see where those projects or those reports are. That's just an idea.

Mr. Bill Ferguson, if it's possible, could you please table that report to the committee so we could have a chance to read it?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Larry Miller

That report is 100 pages and in order for it to be tabled before the whole committee, it has to be in both languages.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Okay.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Larry Miller

That's going to be, I'd just say, impossible to do. I'm sure that online someplace that report is probably available in both languages. Would that be fair or not?

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Could it be given to the clerk?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Larry Miller

It could be but all I'm saying is that once it comes to the clerk, in order for him to distribute it to all members, it's supposed to be translated, which is a huge cost.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Is it available online?

4:50 p.m.

Owner, Ferguson Apiaries

Bill Ferguson

Yes, it's available online.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Could we get the information for the link? Then it could be circulated and we could look at it on our computers in the office.

4:50 p.m.

Owner, Ferguson Apiaries

Bill Ferguson

If I get who I am to send the link to, I can do that.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Thank you, it's the clerk.

I want to thank you for sharing your stories with us. I can't imagine what you're going through. It's heartbreaking. I was almost in tears listening to your story, and I'm really sorry.

What do you want us to do? I'm really thankful that you're here and you're educating us and sharing your difficult time, but what do you advise the federal government to do? What do you want to see happen? What do you want to see come from this meeting?

4:50 p.m.

President, Saugeen Country Honey Inc.

David Schuit

We want to see this chemical banned. I have difficulty saying the name. It's so long—neonicotinoids. We want to see it banned. We really do.