Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Frontenac for his question.
He began by talking about what farming used to be like back in the 1960s. While I was not a grown man at that time, I remember what farming was like. I remember my parents shipping cream back in those days, not quite the way the hon. member described it, but it did bring back some memories hearing his comments.
As the hon. member for Frontenac is aware, agriculture has changed substantially in the last 35 years. The industry and the producers are always far ahead of government. It is not government regulation or legislation that causes progress in industry, including the agriculture industry.
Whether it be a supply managed industry, a free market industry or the growing of wheat under the Canadian Wheat Board, which is in neither of the aforementioned categories, we have seen dramatic changes in the industry over the last 35 years as world and domestic conditions have demanded better operating practices from farmers no matter what the commodity is that they produce.
The member talked about the need for a consistent supply of milk over a 12-month period by producers. I understand what he is saying. He seemed to be indicating that my colleague from Vegreville was suggesting something that would be in conflict with that requirement. I was not in the House to hear what my colleague said yesterday on this issue, but he related to me that he talked about a need for a more competitive environment.
The hon. member for Frontenac indicated that would pit producer against producer. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are talking about the need to be competitive as a Canadian industry. We are looking at the industry versus the needs of the consumers and what consumers expect of the industry. We are also looking at what will be required both internationally and interprovincially with regard to the dairy industry.
For the most part international agreements have already been signed. We know that Bill C-88 will be before the House very soon. It deals with internal trade in Canada. There are some real problems with internal trade, particularly in the dairy industry. Some things have to be dealt with. Part of that was the cause of the bickering between the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberals yesterday.
I am sure what my colleague was suggesting and what I would reiterate is that the industry needs to be competitive. However it needs to be competitive as a whole industry, not producer against producer. In this way we can compete in the new climate under GATT and NAFTA and break down the barriers to internal trade within Canada so that our agriculture industries and other industries flourish under that scenario.