Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the House of Commons international trade committee.
We have been very busy since the start of this session. Of course, our main issue right now is the TPP, but our committee deals with other trade issues as well. We are finishing up on the European trade agreement, but we also have many other issues, especially with the United States. We have softwood lumber and a couple of agricultural issues. The dairy and chicken industries have issues with the States. Our committee is fairly busy, but the TPP is our main focus.
My name is Mark Eyking. I am the chair of our committee. We have members from all across the country. We don't have the full committee here, but we have a good representation. We have Ms. Ramsey and Mr. Van Kesteren from southern Ontario; Mr. Ritz is from Saskatchewan; Ms. Ludwig is from New Brunswick; Madame Lapointe is from Quebec; and we have Mr. Dhaliwal from British Columbia. We have a good representation across Canada.
We landed in your beautiful province last night, and we took a bus ride through, which was nice. It is beautiful country here. I have been here many times, being from Cape Breton and a farmer. You are blessed with your resources and the people you have. We got to taste some of your stuff last night. We had lobster and potatoes, so it was a really good start to our leg here.
We have gone through six provinces so far—seven now. We finished New Brunswick yesterday. We are going to do Atlantic Canada the rest of the week. We are going to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We have had video conferences with the territories. We have over 125 briefs, and we have had over 260 witnesses. We are doing a couple of things a little differently from many committees. We are accepting emails from average Canadians on what they think of the TPP. Right now we have over 20,000 emails. We are also doing open mikes in each meeting, where we are hearing a lot from Canadians across the country.
October will wrap up our consultation process, and in November and December we will be putting our report together. After that, it will be presented in the House of Commons.
Thank you for coming. Everybody's input will be reflected in the report we do.
As you could see last night if you watched the debate in the U.S., the TPP came right up there. We are going to do our part in Canada to make sure we have a good report. We are also watching very closely what they are doing down there, because it has a reflection on where we go from here.
We have farmers, or representatives of the farmers, right off the bat here this morning. I am a vegetable farmer from Cape Breton, so I know many of the farmers from P.E.I. I went to agricultural college with many of them. They are good bunch to hang out with.
Without further ado, we are going to start. With us this morning we have the Dairy Farmers of P.E.I., the National Farmers Union, and the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture.
We usually try to keep each group to five minutes. If it gets to be over five minutes, I will put my light on or give a reminder, and you can wrap up. Then we will open dialogue with the MPs. This format has gone quite well, and everybody seems to get in their five cents' worth.
Without further ado, we are going to start with the Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island. We have Mr. Douglas Thompson and Mr. Ronald Maynard.
Whoever wants to go, go ahead, sir.