Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague, the chair of the agriculture committee, for his comments. I believe I said it the other night but will say it on the record again today that I thought he chaired the committee admirably when it looked at Bill C-18. I thought there was a good balance of witnesses. His ability to chair is one thing. My trying to convince the other side to accept amendments is my own responsibility and I have to admit that I was not quite as successful as I had hoped to be. In baseball parlance, it is called an “ofer”. In other words, 16 up to the plate and 16 outs. That happens in life.
The chair asked committee members to study the bill in a professional manner, and we did. We were presented with some very professional suggestions that we thought were amendments to bring forward. Where I take slight issue with the chair is when he says that these amendments to take UPOV '91 out of this particular bill before us now would leave us eons back in time. That is not quite true. If we go back to UPOV '78, which everyone is regulated under today, it has been fairly successful. I would suggest to the chair respectfully that farmers in this country have done very well, and so they should. They have worked extremely hard. If UPOV '91 is taken out, UPOV '78 would be there.
I think the chair perhaps overstates things. I recognize that members in the House sometimes stretch things a bit, but we would clearly still have a UPOV agreement. It would be UPOV '78.