Mr. Speaker, I am rising to respond to the point of order raised yesterday by the member for Malpeque on Bill C-46. I gave a brief response yesterday, and wish to add to that at this point in time.
In the point of order that was raised, the member stated that section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act stood in the way of the government's introducing Bill C-46.
I thought you should know, Mr. Speaker, and I know it is not for you to decide questions of law, but you should be aware in considering this matter that a review of Bill C-46 demonstrates that it does not itself change the Canadian Wheat Board's marketing mandate. The bill would only clarify the authority of the Governor General to amend or repeal a regulation made under subsection 47(1). Therefore, the bill is not the kind of situation contemplated by section 47.1. As such, there is no validity in the point raised. Whether or not you wish to delve into that area of questions of law, I leave that for you to determine.
However, Mr. Speaker, I would also add that even if you did find that it was a valid issue, we did indicate that there had been clear consultations. I can advise you further that the then minister of agriculture had met at the time with members of the Canadian Wheat Board on a number of occasions, and he did discuss the government's intentions with regard to the production and marketing of barley. Of course there was a broadly taken referendum that was the subject of many questions in this House, so I know that you, Mr. Speaker, will be well aware of that. The result of that consultation was announced in this House. That result demonstrated clearly not only that a consultation occurred, but that the barley farmers did indeed want that freedom of choice in marketing, which is of course the objective of Bill C-46.