Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague from the agriculture committee.
This is an omnibus bill, as I maybe should have stated from the beginning, and there are a number of pieces in it. There are things under the Fertilizers Act and things under the advanced payment program, and there are a number of other things in the bill that we New Democrats fundamentally agree with, so my recommendation for my colleagues would have been a totally different one if the bill had been split.
We brought forward the advance payments program, even though the government had to make a major amendment to it, and justifiably so. It was probably the correct amendment, and we actually voted with the Conservatives on it. We would have voted for the advance payments program. It is what farmers actually wanted. The Conservatives heard farmers on that one. I will give them that. That is what we heard from farmers. There were a couple of other bigger groups that wanted an increase in the amount of money, but basically they heard them. On the Fertilizers Act, we would have voted for that one as well. There are big pieces of this bill on which we are in agreement. That is what farmers were saying, and that is what we heard from our witnesses as well.
However, the fundamental piece on which there was the most concern was the Plant Breeders' Rights Act, because that is about intellectual property. It is about who owns the intellectual property of a seed, which is the very life of a plant. That is the beginning of life for a plant. I do not mean to overdo it, but it is. We can buy seeds at Canadian Tire and grow carrots if we want. I would offer up to all of those who have never taken an opportunity to plant a seed and see something grow that they should do that.
Clearly, they want to own the very essence of a plant: the seed. They have won the day on that. The issue was how we balance it out to ensure that both parties who are involved in growing food for us as a nation are on a level playing field. Unfortunately, in this case the big companies won and the farmers, in my view, did not.