Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister and officials, for being here today.
These are issues that, as you rightly point out, sir, have been ongoing. I am buoyed by the fact that you're talking about maintaining trade corridors, you're talking about funding the clusters, and you're talking about agricultural innovation, all good things that need to be carried on. It's very flattering that you're taking that on and continuing on with the work we began a number of years ago. I'm hopeful then that we'll actually see something about agriculture in budget 2017 that will feed into that, as that funding becomes renewed.
There's one other point that I think needs to be made when we talk about issues like this that are very difficult to get around, especially when there are four different departments involved. That's the maintenance and continuation of the value chain round tables. The officials with you today, Mr. Gorrell and Mr. Forsyth, will tell you how important those are in getting everyone from the farm gate to the kitchen plate at the table talking about issues like spent fowl and diafiltered milk. Those are where the solutions will be found. They won't be found here; they'll be found from those people who have a grounded sense of what's needed.
You also talked about the certification program in the U.S. on spent fowl, which I'm aware of. The point I would make is that there is an easy fix, then, because we no longer do meat verification at the border. We did away with that—off-loading, freezer testing, held up—and moved on. We went to a system that everyone agrees with, where the product is done at the point of processing, in the U.S. in this case, and the label for spent fowl is put on it at that point. Why does that then not follow through on those exports coming into Canada? Why are we dropping the ball when that's the new reality of how these things are done?