Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague from the Bloc, the agriculture critic, the member for Richmond—Arthabaska, for his motion today, giving us this chance to again talk about a desperate situation that we have in agriculture and, really, the future of Canadian agriculture as it relates to the World Trade Organization.
As I mentioned earlier in the debate today, the huge concern that we have is that there has not been a Canadian position advocated for Canadian farmers. We do not what our position is regarding supply management. We do not know what our position is for our grain and oilseed producers and our livestock producers, whether hogs, cattle or bison. We are not sure where we are at when we are sitting around the table in Hong Kong, Geneva, Doha, Cancun, or Seattle. We have actually been just sitting in a quagmire of rhetoric, not knowing the true position.
We want more than just verbal support, and that is what we have been getting out of the government. We want real action and a real position advocated. The Liberal government had an opportunity to represent that at ministerials that were held throughout the last few years. Just as an example, back in March, there was a mini-ministerial that took place in Kenya and the government did not even bother showing up. Why? Because Liberals were holding their convention at that time.
I would like to state, Mr. Speaker, that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Central Nova, who will pick up after question period.
The real key here is that we have to ensure we have a firm Canadian position, so that the industry knows where the government is headed. We want to know what the negotiators are working from as their base when they go into negotiations. We have to remember that the WTO is a negotiation. It is a poker game and there will be give and take, but we want to ensure that the parameters are laid out. That is essentially what we are asking for here, that the parameters are set.
Agriculture has been an integral part of rural Canada. It is an integral part of urban Canada, as well. Spinoff jobs occur in grocery stores, food processing, packing plants, refrigeration companies, and trucking companies. These are all tied to agriculture. Jobs in mills, distilleries and ethanol plants are all based upon agriculture. We have to ensure that we have these opportunities to hold government to account when we start talking about a trade relationship.
I will continue this discussion after question period, so that we can more formalize the discussion around the World Trade Organization talks.