Madam Speaker, I would point out that right now the Canadian Wheat Board marketing system forces farmers to the wrong side of the equation.
The member talked about supply management. Under the supply management system farmers have the opportunity to sell their product as well as process it. Under the Canadian Wheat Board system farmers are forced to sell their product to the board. There is no opportunity to do anything further with it. If farmers want to do anything further with it, they have to buy the product back at a rate that makes it completely uneconomical for them to do anything with it. That is the frustration that they face.
The member talked about co-operative enterprises. Groups of people have tried to form new generation co-operatives or companies that could market their grain, make pasta, put pasta plants in place and develop our industries in western Canada, but the government stopped that.
The government's buyback program only applies to farmers in western Canada, in the prairie provinces. People have to sell their wheat to the board and then buy it back at a higher price before they can do anything with it. When we travelled in Ontario people said that they did not have that buyback. They were excited about the opportunities and the chances they had to develop their industry.
Would the member have any comments about the inequity and inequality that is shown when the government forces prairie farmers to buy back their grain at a higher price than they sold it, while farmers in other parts of the country, including his own province, are allowed to be free of that?
If the government will not make a voluntary marketing agency, we insist that farmers have the opportunity to have a no cost buyback; be able to get their wheat back and be able to do something with their friends and neighbours, like forming companies that could help small communities thrive.