Actually, the leader of the government before that is now a Liberal. Things change in life. At some point in time, leaders decide to do other things.
One of the things that bothers me a great deal in the bill is about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and people need to be concerned because things get hidden in the bill. On the surface of it, many aspects of this agency appear to be on their way to being privatized, which sets a dangerous precedent.
Sheila Weatherill, who was hired by the Conservative government to look at CFIA, said that part of the reason the listeriosis crisis broke out was that there were not enough public inspectors doing the work that needed to be done to keep our food safety system and keep our food safe. She recommended that be changed. To give credit to the government, it decided to make the change, but now it is going back on those changes.
The government is moving backwards. It would take us back to a place before the listeriosis crisis of 2008, a place where the food inspection system would not be as rigorous as it should be and would not live up to the standards that Canadians expect or think it is, which is even worse. When Canadians think they have a certain standard in place and it turns out not to be true, they lose faith in the system.
On the labelling piece, as it starts to unravel, if there is a complaint or health concern about a label, I am not sure who the contact would be, but I guess it would be a 1-800 number. People would call 1-800-something to say that they did not like the label. The response might be, “Are you validated to complain about that label?” Of course, the answer would be no, they are not validated, and therefore they would no longer have a complaint. If someone called CFIA, they would say, “Sorry, we do not do that anymore. We have handed that off.” Whom would we call for health and safety complaints about labelling and food? Would it be a call centre? Where would it be and how would it be staffed? Would it be staffed with folks who just follow a chart that says if the question is Y, answer X, or if the response is Q, make it a P? Who knows?
Clearly this government has rammed a whack of legislation into a budget bill and made it an omnibus bill, which it did not have to do. Oversight is needed, whether on environmental regulations, CFIA or the multitude of other things in the bill. The government could have brought the budget implementation bill, which would have taken care of the piece that it is required to do, and we could then have debated the other legislation piece by piece. We could have had an honest, open debate in a democratic fashion and not be faced with time allocation.