Thank you, everyone, for appearing.
I'm certain that some of the soybeans from Essex County make their way to market through you, Mr. Fowler. We're quite known for them.
We've heard a consistent theme about a lack of communication from the federal government about the programs that exist. You've mentioned several of them here today that you've found on your own and have access to. We hear consistently from SMEs that they don't know where to go.
What you've done, Mr. Fowler, is quite positive and unique, but it shouldn't be that it's in isolation. It shouldn't be that it's a community that's trying to find solutions on their own. There should be government support and a very clear path on how to access, what the programs are and what they offer.
The other thing is the trade agreements themselves. Madam Fréchette was talking about trade agreements. I think one of the fundamental flaws that we have is that SMEs aren't at the table in negotiations. On the opportunities that exist in trade agreements, the big players are already there. It really is for the SMEs. I hope that, going forward in future trade agreements, SMEs have a particular focus. I know there's been an attempt in some of the more recent ones to have a chapter to at least have the beginning of a conversation. I think it needs to be more extensive if we're to see those opportunities realized.
The question that I would have for all of you is: What would you incorporate into trade negotiations to address the issues of SMEs to ensure the best possible language and outcome for them? I know it's a bit of a big-picture question, but what do you envision that looking like?
I'll start with the chamber.