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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague from Crowfoot. Like so many of us who represent rural western ridings, I know that he spoke with great emotion. Indeed, all members of Parliament, regardless of political stripe, could speak to this subject if they are representing their rural voters and would find it very difficult not to get emotional because we know how it is affecting families.

This is how I always try to look at it. It is not just a business. Whether it is a trucking business or a packing plant or an auction mart or a farm, it is families that are hurting badly because of this border closure.

The motion states that the Prime Minister should lead an all party non-partisan delegation to Washington. I certainly support that. It would seem to me that if the Prime Minister-in-waiting, the member for LaSalle-Émard, really cared about ending some of the western alienation in this country, he would pick up that cause and lead that delegation as the new Prime Minister-in-waiting. He could show that he cares about this issue and that he cares about these farm families.

I know that every one of us from every party would be happy to send some of our members with him to Washington in a non-partisan atmosphere to solve this problem and get the border open so that these families do not have to face the dismal winter about which my colleagues from Okanagan--Coquihalla and Crowfoot just spoke about.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, obviously this is an emotional issue. When I was first elected in 2000, I remember coming back to my office and seeing the results in Great Britain of foot and mouth disease. We pushed the government to do everything so that this disease would not come to Canada because we recognized the effect it would have on the industry.

Last year we saw the worst drought in Alberta history in 133 years that affected not only the grains and oilseeds but also the cattle industry. They were hit hard. I was involved in the hay west program and we saw farmers in Ontario responding. We applauded them for their action and assistance. They helped Alberta and the west in sending hay and drawing attention to the severity of the drought.

I can remember driving down the highway and hearing on the radio that one case of BSE was found. I knew that this would be a crisis that would need some leadership and that it needed a government that would have a plan.

To be honest, when I first heard the motion which was put forward today, I was not sure if I could support it. Is it the best thing to send a leader who has been discredited to a certain degree, who even his own side is trying to push out quickly, and one who has been very vocal on what he believes about the Americans?

The new member for Perth--Middlesex talked about going to Cancun and the importance of that. Maybe our Prime Minister would have a great deal of influence in Cancun. I am not sure how much influence he has in Washington. We recognize the importance for the highest level of government being there to show leadership on this. I am in a kind of a dilemma, do we really want to send our current Prime Minister?

We want to send individuals who will make a difference. We want to send individuals who care about the industry and who have influence in seeing this border open. I wish I could stand and say that it was my Prime Minister. I am not sure I can.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister on a point of order.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

September 23rd, 2003 / 5:10 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Madam Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That notwithstanding Standing Order 106(1), the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food be permitted to meet on Thursday, September 25, 2003, at 3:30 p.m. for the purposes of Standing Order 106(2).

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Shall we proceed with questions and comments for another two minutes?

Is the parliamentary secretary in agreement? There is not enough time for a debate. Would you rather make comments?

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Agreed.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Wild Rose.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Madam Speaker, I know the member is familiar with my riding and that the area is filled with ranchers and cattle. In fact, there are more cattle than there are people, but those ranchers are anxiously awaiting some real results coming out of this. There is one thing that they would like to know more about and that is the involvement of the NAFTA in this entire situation. Would the member take a moment to explain what that is all about?

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, we certainly believe in the NAFTA in our party. There are certain parts of the NAFTA that talk about border closures and health risks, but if I understand it correctly it is contingent on the fact that there is science and evidence.

Now that there is science and evidence showing that it was one isolated incident, it would give cause to put a little pressure on the government to open the border. However, I would be very cautious before we move to any type of trade lawyer or any type of trade dispute because the Americans, or any country, can use such court cases to stall, postpone and hold this issue up even more.

Therefore, we need to move carefully. I am not one who says we should bring forward a dispute that is there in NAFTA with trade lawyers and such, but we need to move cautiously on it. However, NAFTA does say that if the evidence is there the border should be opened and we hope that it happens soon.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Madam Speaker, I just wanted to mention that the comments made by opposition members this afternoon indicated their opposition to what the government has been able to do.

I will be voting against this motion because we have already heard from the opposition members, who did not quite agree as to whether the Prime Minister should go or not. These speeches attested to the government's actions, past and present, with regard to the mad cow crisis.

I am voting against this motion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

It being 5:15 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

Is the House ready for the question?

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

All those opposed will please say nay.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Call in the members.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Madam Speaker, the vote is to be deferred.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Accordingly, the vote is deferred until September 24, 2003, at the end of government orders.