Mr. Speaker, my riding of Waterloo—Wellington is a mix of urban, rural and suburban areas. Approximately 30% of the wealth of my riding is generated as a result of agriculture and agribusiness. Needless to say, farming is very important to the economic well-being of Waterloo—Wellington.
Farmers throughout Canada are very concerned about our supply management system and what might happen to it. Over the years farmers have come to rely upon the supply management system to ensure the viability of the family farm.
It is a system which has brought stability to agriculture throughout Canada and it is a system which has ensured a reasonable rate of return for farmers as a result.
There are always those who would strip away the supply management system, so it is important for the federal government to take a lead role in protecting the interests of farmers by protecting the supply management system wherever and whenever possible.
This protection often is reactive. For example, the government will have to defend our system before a tribunal as a result of the American challenge. Government also needs to be proactive. Therefore the next meeting of the World Trade Organization will be crucial in this matter.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food outline exactly what steps the government will be taking at this meeting to maintain a viable and strong supply management system?