Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 52 I have filed for an emergency debate regarding a very serious issue facing Canadians. This would be a non-partisan debate, Mr. Speaker, if you should be as forthcoming as to allow it. It has to do with the potential problems the country may face with respect to foot and mouth disease.
We have an $11 billion livestock industry in Canada. We do not want this to be fearmongering. Nor do I wish it to be a partisan issue. I simply want a venue in which members of parliament can put forward precautionary measures that could and should be taken by all Canadians, not only by those in the industry. The measures could also be taken by tourists who come and go throughout the country and by people who import and export on a continuous basis.
I ask you, Mr. Speaker, and your office to please allow members of the House the opportunity to put forward the protective measures necessary for this terrible disease.
The minister of agriculture has today, with CFIA, put forward an advertising campaign. I applaud the CFIA and the department for allowing Canadians to have a better understanding of what we are dealing with. What better place for parliamentarians to debate the issue than in the House? That is why I ask you, Mr. Speaker, in the good graces of your office, to allow us to do so.