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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was industry.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Prince Edward—Hastings (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Agriculture October 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the risk assessment has been done and is being redone as we speak. The risk assessment results to date have indicated clearly that to this date the border should not be open, but in that stage, even with that, some pilot projects were done this year so that risk assessment continues. I remind the hon. member again that all risk assessments by the scientists, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to date have indicated that the border should remain closed.

Agriculture October 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member fails to recognize the fact that before these types of things have to happen we need to have all the scientific risk assessments taken.

I understand, and I have heard him very clearly, that the industry wants it open, and there is no question that we want our borders open as much as we possibly can. But we have to recognize, for the health of the whole cattle industry in Canada and for the health and concerns of humans in Canada, that all of the disease and the risks that go around that have to be taken into account.

That we will do. When that risk assessment is completed, then we will act upon that risk assessment.

Agriculture October 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member could give me a copy of the letter from whoever responded on behalf of the government.

We have a number of issues and that party over there wants us to address all of them. The reaction of the government within 30 days of announcing we had BSE was to come forward with $260 million, followed up with $36 million more. Two weeks ago I announced $600 million in transition funds. We signed implementation agreements. There is over $500 million in business risk management for Canadian farmers.

We have made that money flow. We have shown we are there to support.

Agriculture October 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the way to recover for the beef industry is to get beef moving and then Beth and her employees will have an opportunity to truck cattle again.

As I have said, we have the American border open partially. We have the Mexican border open now and a majority of the product that we have sent to Mexico, to our second largest customer, will now be eligible, can I say, to go there.

We are moving very well as far as opening the border to the United States for live cattle under 30 months of age. We anticipate that in the not too distant future that is the way Beth and everyone in the beef industry will start to recover even more so from the situation that we are all in.

Agriculture October 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Peterborough for his involvement and engagement on this and other issues for his agriculture constituency.

Yes, we are very pleased that the country of Mexico has opened its borders to boneless beef. This will now allow certificates to be granted and shipments started to Mexico. It is our second largest trading country. That will add to what we have already shipped to the United States, this month's certificates, 35 million pounds. We are looking forward in the near future to making similar announcements for countries such as the Philippines, Russia and others.

Agriculture October 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we have said prior to this that we would take every step that we possibly could, including launching panels in both NAFTA and WTO if that is seen necessary.

We have very successfully demonstrated in the past that the Canadian Wheat Board works and acts within WTO compliance. We have proven that in the past and I am confident we can prove it in the future.

Agriculture October 2nd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not think that the hon. member is suggesting that slaughtered meat that is sold is not inspected and not slaughtered whether it be in provincially or federally inspected plants. I know she is not saying that.

However the business risk management programs are there. She could encourage those provinces that have not signed it to sign the agreement so that the money can be moved.

I will repeat it again. We have hundreds of millions of dollars to assist farmers as their incomes change because of circumstances like this. We would sincerely like to move that money to farmers.

Agriculture October 2nd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly continue to emphasize and demonstrate to the purchasers of ruminant products around the world that we and our industry have been providing for the safety of ruminant products including those that the hon. member is referring to.

The provinces have provincially inspected plants. Those are privately owned. There are federally inspected plants. I do know that some of the owners of those plants are looking at changing the status of their plants to federally inspected plants. In so doing we will work with them to assist them in any way we can.

Agriculture September 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency along with the Ministry of Health and the industry continue to review the situation the member is asking about. It is a risk assessment based on health and the concern about disease coming into Canada from the United States. We have had some pilot projects on this. We will continue to monitor it and continue the risk assessment.

I also want to remind the member that he should be thanking the government for getting the border open to the extent that we have. We have now had 27 million pounds of Canadian meat and beef move into the United States already in the month of September.

Natural Resources September 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Natural Resources is not here today but I am aware that the minister is aware of these concerns and has made every effort to ensure representation on these concerns is brought to his attention. He will continue to deal with this issue as he has very capably in the past.