Madam Speaker, I am pleased to hear that the member for Haldimand—Norfolk and her party will be supporting Bill S-38. She has outlined a number of points in terms of its benefit to rural Canada.
I want to deal with a couple of points with which the member had some concern. One point the member mentioned was the matter of consultations. I do not think a government in Canadian history can be found that has consulted as wide as this one has on so many issues. In fact, Spirits Canada has made it very clear to us that it is supportive of the amendments that were made in the other place. I am not sure whether or not the member is aware of those amendments. I will outline them for the member.
It is clear that when the bill was being debated in the other place, we did receive input from the Association of Canadian Distillers, as well as additional input from International Trade Canada regarding the exact nature of Canada's trade obligations. The Senate acted to deal with those concerns with amendments.
The Senate decided to amend the bill to make a distinction between the type of protection Canada is obliged to provide for the spirit drink names under the Canada-EU wine and spirits agreement and the type of protection for names in the NAFTA and in the food and drug regulations.
The Senate decided to eliminate the blending provisions for Scotch whisky and for Irish whisky, as these provisions would more appropriately remain in division 2 of the food and drug regulations where the rest of the blending provisions for spirit drinks reside. I believe that concern that the member raised has been in fact addressed.
With regard to her second concern on the term “spirit drinks”, the government and the department has undertaken an interdepartmental review of this question related to the provision of Bill S-38 and feels that including a definition for spirit drinks would not be necessary. A general definition is not required as the legislation is very specific as to which spirit drinks are affected.
The proposed legislation does not actually reference “spirits” only “spirit drinks” and those specifically identified in the schedule to the Spirit Drinks Trade Act. We do not see a problem with relying on the definition of spirit drinks as that term would be commonly understood.
I believe we have addressed the concerns that the member raised. We would hope that hearing that, the member will be game for speedy passage of this legislation.
The last point is with regard to her comments on Bill C-27. There will be an opportunity to debate that on another day. Certainly, I hope that the official opposition is not going to start to compromise on that bill. Really, what that bill is all about, where the fuss is at the moment, is the dairy industry coming forward and wanting truth in labelling. I think all parties in this House should be supporting truth in labelling.