Mr. Speaker, I rise to thank the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for taking the time to meet with farm leaders of Peterborough county. We particularly appreciated the minister's time within a week of the birth of his son, J.D. Our congratulation to J.D. and his parents.
The minister discussed the BSE issue and other matters with farmers representing the beef, dairy, sheep and bison sectors, all hard hit by the closing of the border. He was presented with a proposal for a regional abattoir and suggestions on designing help for BSE affected sectors in such a way that the sectors would be fully sustainable when the border problem is resolved. He received a brief on the CFIA. The minister was commended for his efforts to diversify markets for Canadian products, especially in Asia.
The BSE crisis is an ongoing tragedy which cannot be solved by Canada alone. We are glad we have a Minister of Agriculture who listens. We urge all parties to support him in his efforts on behalf of Canadian farmers.