Madam Chair, my colleague and I have tangled on these issues many times in the past six years and I am sure we will continue to do so.
Earlier the minister brought up a situation. We talk about people making a living from this industry and how they are able to sustain a standard of living within their communities because of all the negative aspects that she mentioned. She mentioned the labour market agreements. Here is the problem: The labour market agreements do not provide EI benefits. They do not provide that extra amount of work, so they do not provide the extra weeks. In seasonal work, that is a problem. That puts that aside.
Earlier in the season, earlier this year and even into last year, a memorandum of understanding was worked out between three particular groups. They included the union, specifically FFAW in Newfoundland and Labrador, producers as well as harvesters and, of course, the provincial government. They all came to the conclusion that there was a glaring absence of a federal presence. I know the government is talking about the provincial jurisdiction over this when it comes to the processing.
However, I would like to remind the parliamentary secretary before he answers that in the mid-1990s, the Liberal government brought forward a program which allowed people to ease out of the industry in the processing sector. Before he uses that as an excuse, I do not think it is much of one.
What is the government's involvement in allowing people to either ease out of the industry or to continue in a period of growth?