I think it's really important that we look at these measures. We are the agriculture committee. I know the finance committee will be looking at the subject eventually. What I'm really concerned about is that the consultations started in the middle of summer.
I represent a rural riding. We had floods in the springtime. Many of my constituents weren't able to work and plant as they wanted to. It was a really rough year for certain people who owned land by the St. Lawrence. When this consultation was announced, they were out working. Now and for the last little while we've been getting a lot of calls, letters, and emails.
I think it's really important that as the agriculture committee, which is supposed to stand up for farmers and agriculture here in Canada, we better understand the proposed changes. There is an opportunity to demystify what they are and maybe calm some of the fears.
Last year we had a wonderful bill before the House of Commons. I talk about it often, and I won't stop talking about it. It was my colleague Guy Caron's bill, Bill C-274, about transferring family farms, small businesses. Most of the members on this committee supported it. I don't know whether Mr. Saini or Madame Nassif supported that bill, but it was a really important bill. It would have helped the transfer of family farms. Sadly, that bill didn't even get to committee.
I think, then, that it is even more important that we, as members of the agriculture committee, look at these changes. In my constituency I get a lot of phone calls about this matter; I'm sure you get a lot of phone calls about it too. It's our duty to look at this.
My fear is that once it gets to finance committee, agriculture will just be puffed off. We are the experts. We have to look at this. I'm really hoping that the members on the other side would be open to looking at the matter.
We know that the government, the Minister of Finance, is consulting. I think we should extend the consultation period. We should be consulting and looking into this deeper at agriculture committee. I'm not saying that we stop doing this study on food policy, but I think we need to look at the subject, maybe after this study is done, because it has to be done in November.
We have 10 meetings—