Fundraisers perhaps, as we saw in Quebec in March and in previous months.
A major difference—and I want to say a word about it—concerns the appointment of the president. The governor in council will have to consult the 14 other directors already sitting on the board in order to appoint number 15, who will become the president.
We in the agriculture committee managed, thanks—and I say it in all humility—to my intervention and also to the support of my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Malpeque, to include in the bill a provision whereby the remuneration is fixed by resolution of the board.
So, if a nitwit is appointed, board directors will have the power to decide that this person's salary will be one dollar per year. This way, the nitwit will not hang around for too long and will quickly give up his position. The board of directors will also have the power to include or exclude certain grain categories.
Let us take the case of canola, for example. Canola is currently not covered by the Canadian Wheat Board. Of course, should canola producers wish to join the Canadian Wheat Board, three very specific rules will apply. However, the most important decision, the biggest hurdle, will be to obtain a mandate from registered canola producers. A vote will be held, but it will not be by show of hands, since some people can then move quickly and vote two or three times. There will only be one vote per producer.
If a majority vote yes and the other two conditions, which I will deal with later, are met, then all canola growers will have to join the Canadian Wheat Board.
That is not what some members of the official opposition were hoping for, which is for producers to join the Canadian Wheat Board one year because it suits them, and leave the next year, because they were able to sell their grain on their own. In other words, producers will not be allowed to join the commission when prices are down and then to opt out when prices go up. Either you're in or you're out. Either all producers join the Canadian Wheat Board or they're out.
In closing, I would like, of course, to congratulate the new Minister of Agriculture on his appointment. For once, the Prime Minister brought in someone who knows agriculture well. I find it unfortunate however that the responsibility for the Canadian Wheat Board was given to another minister, who no longer heads the Department of Agriculture. Like all members of this House, I think this is most unfortunate. Even among government members there is discontent.
What is the rationale? When the current minister was agriculture minister, he was naturally put in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board. Like the Canadian Dairy Commission, the wheat board falls under Agriculture Canada, not under External Affairs or Justice. This decision is fraught with consequences the Prime Minister will have to live with for years to come.
To conclude, members of the Bloc Quebecois will support this government initiative, which they believe is a step forward. It may be a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless in modernizing the Canadian Wheat Board.