Madam Speaker, it is absolutely my pleasure to rise on my private member's bill, Bill C-206. To me, it is a fantastic wrap-up for the year, if we go to an election.
A couple of weeks into being an MP, I was in Ottawa and my staffer came to me and said, “You won the lottery”. I did not think I had bought a ticket. What did that mean? I had gotten number 16 on the private member's bills, which then put in place a large canvass of issues: ones that affect people across Canada and in my wonderful riding of Northumberland—Peterborough South. One issue that kept coming up was the impact of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act on the agricultural sector.
I am a very proud advocate for and supporter of the agriculture sector and rural Canada in general. I had been told that dirtier fuels like diesel and gasoline were exempt from the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act but propane and natural gas were not, and of the impact this was having on our local farmers. When I had the opportunity, I was compelled. This was something I had to bring forward for the residents of Northumberland—Peterborough South and for our farmers across the country.
I have enjoyed this process. It has been an iterative process and it has been collaborative. In fact, this whole hour has been an island of its own in a sea of partisanship. This has been full of non-partisanship. We had the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell stand up for my private member's bill and for a commitment he made to a couple of constituents. That is the very epitome of what it is to be from rural Canada and rural Ontario. When we give our word in rural Ontario and in rural Canada, we stand by it. That is exactly what this member did, and I salute him.
One of the issues he brought to attention in his discussion was that things may change, and that very well may be. That is why the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford made a wise amendment to my private member's bill, which was to timeline it and have it go for only 10 years. If technology evolves and, in a decade, we can get to a point where there are biofuels or some other way, we are all for it, but as of now there is no other solution. Climate change is 100% real, and we are all in the House to fight climate change.
In the absence of exemption, we are pushing our farmers out of competitiveness because they are dependent on worldwide markets and on trade boards for pricing. When a cost is increased, such as with the carbon tax, it is put directly on the tables of our farmers. Farmers work so hard. Especially through this pandemic, they have not stopped for a moment, and because of that they have kept our food supply the best in the world. We produce the best grain, the best poultry and the best beef right here in Canada, and we need to make sure that our farmers stay competitive because when we increase input costs, those come directly from the farmers.
These costs not only affect our farmers, but entire rural communities because farmers are largely the ones who drive our economies. They are the ones who go to tractor dealerships and buy tractors. They are the ones who go to local restaurants, and there may be only a couple of restaurants in their towns. They are also the ones who support our local grocery stores, so we need to support and protect our farmers.
As I said, we are at the end of the session. I would like to take a moment to thank all the wonderful members of my constituency of Northumberland—Peterborough South and thank the farmers for this wonderful piece of legislation that I have been able to work with. Particularly, I would like to thank Brandon from the Grain Farmers. I would like to thank my staffer Hailey, who was fantastic and critical to doing this. Most important, I would like to thank all the members of the agriculture community who worked so hard to get this on board. We will have a vote on Wednesday and we will get this across. Hopefully, we will be back in session so we can get this bill passed and help our farmers.
I thank everyone out there so much. It has been a great pleasure to hear all the interventions. Some of my best friends, across the aisle and otherwise, have spoken. The member for Hamilton Centre is even wearing a blue suit for us, if I am allowed to acknowledge that he is in the chamber. I really appreciate that. I thank everyone for their learned interventions and their contributions. It is a great day for farmers.