Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to comment on the motion that is before the House.
First, I am very disappointed in the lack of knowledge or understanding that the member who has just spoken has concerning the bill that is before us today. He needs a few more trips to some place in Canada where there is supply management and he needs to talk to more producers and more stakeholders in the industry to get a better understanding of it.
I am also disappointed he does not seem to recognize and have faith in the dairy industry that which the rest of us have to adapt to the changes that the dairy industry does know are happening. It is addressing them.
It is very clear that in all sectors of the dairy industry, including the primary producer and the processors, are prepared and are rolling with the punches as the industry evolves not only here in Canada but throughout the world.
The bill before the House does absolutely nothing to change the role and the participation at the present time. Reaching consensus on any major Canadian industry initiative, whether it is in the dairy industry or wherever, is always difficult. Reach-
ing unanimity is even more difficult but that is what has happened with this bill.
The representatives of 26,000 dairy farmers and some 300 processors and marketers have clearly voiced their strong support for the bill. I remind the House that the value of this industry to Canada is $8 billion a year.
The members of the national Canadian milk supply management committee, provincial governments and the milk marketing boards and agencies throughout Canada have agreed to all aspects of the bill. I find it very contradictory for the member to stand in this place, representing a party which continually says that the industry should be able to adapt the way the industry wants, and give a contradictory message. That is exactly what this bill does today. It is an industry decision.
None of the parties involved, and this shows the distance of the member from the issue we are discussing, agrees with this motion. The parties have been to the standing committee. None of the parties involved in this have asked for this.
The administration of pricing and the pooling of milk and of returns by the Canadian Dairy Commission on behalf of the producers requires legislation dovetailing certain provincial and federal powers. There is absolutely no infringement on provincial authority involved in this legislation.
Most provinces currently have legislation allowing milk pricing and pooling within their boundaries. Bill C-86 has absolutely no effect on current provincial powers.
To duplicate the equity which the current levy system provides to the new national pooling system, similar powers must be provided for milk sold across provincial borders and that is interprovincial movement of milk and for export.
There are four points in the bill. The first is the bill provides the power to establish and operate a pool or pools. The second is the power to establish the price of the milk or cream to be included in the pool.
The third is the power to collect the returns from the milk or cream to be pooled. The fourth is the power to establish and operate a special program that will enable processors and further processors to obtain milk or milk components at special prices.
Only the last of the powers is subject to formal agreement between the Canadian Dairy Commission and the provincial milk marketing boards. While the other three powers will be delegated to the provincial authorities under the new pricing and pooling system they are and should remain strictly within federal jurisdiction.
The legislative changes replicate the same federal-provincial power sharing now in effect through the levy system and the special assistance program for processors and further processors. The bill will allow maintenance of the dairy sector's current successful, effective and equitable framework for the orderly marketing of milk and dairy products in Canada.
In closing I emphasize to the member and to other members in the House that the motion would not represent a change from what exists at the present time. It certainly would not be what the industry asked for. I remind the member to touch base closer with the industry so that he can assist us in doing exactly what he keeps asking us to do: provide the industry with what it wants.
More formal agreements between the federal and provincial governments would only be further restrictions on the dairy industry which is not our wish. Our wish is to do what is wanted by the Canadian milk supply management committee which represents the total industry. That is what the bill does.