Thank you, gentlemen, for being here this morning.
I'm going to summarize a bit in my mind so I have it clear.
In the supply management sector, we've preserved in negotiations the integrity of supply management. Now, we have some issues with integrity of the border, and I'm sure the Liberals will consult with you, consult with you, and consult with you, until maybe they'll wake up one day and make a decision, but that's an issue. Compensation is crucial, though, because you have to mitigate some of the losses. You did give up some market access to allow other parts of the agriculture sector to get access into other countries.
Now, when it comes to the chambers—you're in Quebec—you're talking about how you need the deal itself so that your businesses can actually export, but you also need assistance from EDC and BDC. You need to know the programs that are available so that your manufacturers and service industries can take advantage of the opportunities they provide.
We had a plan called “Going Global”. We had workshops right across Canada explaining to small and medium-sized enterprises exactly what's happening in that area and how to take advantage of the EDC, the BDC, and the commercial crown corporations.
Mr. Vaillancourt, you talked about the need for small farmers and about local concerns and “buy local”. It's a romantic idea, it really is. In the province of Quebec you have eight million people, so with your ratio of farmers to people, I can understand that probably you could buy local and your farmers would do very well, but I come from Saskatchewan. I need to export.
With a million people in Saskatchewan, if we were to buy local, we'd take half our farmers and say “gone, goodbye”. We would take half our beef guys and say “gone, goodbye”. If they don't have that access to markets, they're not there, and they're family farms. They're big, no question about it, but everything is big out west. It's just the way it is in that environment.
How do you tell those families that we're going to shut down our borders and they're going to be out of business? How do you mitigate that?