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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was grain.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Cypress Hills—Grasslands (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 69% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Kyoto Protocol November 26th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Members seemed so eager to hear the member speak and they made a point of interrupting his speech so that they could point that out. I would like to call for quorum at this time.

And the count having been taken:

Canadian Wheat Board November 22nd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, it is worse than that. The board of directors of the Canadian Wheat Board, with this minister's knowledge, has been stealing prairie farmers' money to pay wheat export permits for Ontario and Quebec farmers. This activity actually directly contradicts the minister's own legislation.

The board is breaking the law and working against the interests of prairie farmers. Will the minister continue to allow the board to operate outside the law or will he step in to recover the money stolen from prairie producers who now need protection from the Canadian Wheat Board?

Parliamentary Reform November 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am interested in knowing if the hon. member thinks it is more important that the Prime Minister appoints those members to create those balances, as she calls them, rather than letting the voters in the constituencies make the choice of the candidate they would like to have represent them in the House of Commons.

Parliamentary Reform November 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of her speech the member opposite talked about the importance of the voters selecting good MPs and making sure they have good representatives here.

I am just wondering if she would agree with me, then, that her party's policy, used in so many places and times, of appointing candidates rather than letting the constituents choose their candidate for her party, undermines her credibility and her party's credibility when they claim to be interested in allowing parliamentary reform and in allowing voters more participation in the process.

Parliamentary Reform November 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, for the last while in the House we have watched the government avoid its legislative responsibilities. We have found today and yesterday that it is trying to use up time with the health debate and parliamentary reform debate. However I want to talk a little about what we are not doing.

We heard today from the Industry Canada study that the effects of Kyoto will be very severe in a lot of different industries. In the coal industry, investment may be down 48% and employment may be down 21%. In the crude petroleum industry, investment may be down 33% and employment may be down 14% if Kyoto is ratified. In the refined petroleum sector, investment may be down over 50% and employment may be down 27%. I have been involved with agriculture. We have heard about the fact that input costs could go up 30% and net income could drop 25% to 40% because of the implementation of Kyoto.

I find it interesting that, while we have spent a lot of time over the last week talking about some of these things that are important, when it comes to what I would call an issue that is essential for the future of Canada, the government seems to have indicated that it will give us hardly any time at all to debate this issue.

Would the member be willing to give us her wisdom on the aspect that on one hand we seem to be filling in days and on the other hand, when we come to these important issues, it seems like the government wants to rush them through and not give people the chance to debate them cleanly and clearly?

Supply November 6th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am not sure that it is parliamentary for the member to mislead the House. We are not trying to destroy the Wheat Board. We are in favour of a voluntary wheat board. I would ask him to retract his statement about that.

Supply November 6th, 2002

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.

Supply November 6th, 2002

Madam Speaker, the member speaks as though the marketing agencies and government run marketing agencies like the Wheat Board are benevolent for the people.

The minister earlier talked about the fact that we should be leaving it up to producers. I just want to make the point that I have been a producer. For 25 years. I have been a grain farmer. I have watched my small community suffer because people have not had the opportunity to value add and develop the industries in their area.

Interestingly enough, in the last 10 years we have moved into other crops like peas, lentils and chickpeas throughout Saskatchewan. I have done a bit of work and it is fascinating to find out that out of 700 small rural communities in Saskatchewan, 128 of them have specialty crop processing plants and facilities. They employ on average about eight people, so we have about 1,200 people working.That contributes well over $100 million to the Saskatchewan economy. That contrasts with the flour milling industry which is currently less in Canada than it was in 1987. The majority of the plants are large and they are owned by American companies.

I have a great concern that western Canadians are being prevented from processing and value adding in their communities. They are prevented from allowing their communities to survive and thrive.

If he is going to insist that central marketing boards exist and they control everyone's lives, what solutions would he have for the small communities in western Canada that have struggled so hard because they are not allowed to process or to value add to the product of which they grow the most, which is wheat?

Supply November 6th, 2002

Madam Speaker, I do not know if the member is aware but in Alberta one member, Mark Hlady, has introduced Bill 207 that when passed will give Alberta grain producers the option of selling their wheat independently or of using the Wheat Board as a broker for a 10-year trial period. It is scheduled to be passed by December 10. If the federal government attempts to override the bill, the province is prepared to launch a constitutional challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada by introducing Bill 201 which would then amend Bill 202.

His party has strong feelings about provincial rights. Does the member feel that the Canadian Wheat Board extending its reach into Quebec, which it is now beginning to do and actively looking to do I believe, is going to impinge on Quebec provincial rights and its ability to make decisions within its province?

Supply November 6th, 2002

Madam Speaker, I am a little disappointed in the position that the Bloc has taken on this. It runs contrary to the position it took last spring.

The member for Lotbinière—L'Érable travelled with us and he was one of the most enthusiastic members in terms of supporting the choice of western Canadian farmers. It was interesting to talk to him because he felt there were many similarities between the situation in which western Canadian farmers found themselves and the situation in which producers in Quebec found themselves.

I am a little disappointed today that the Bloc has taken a position that has gone against the position that the member took in the agriculture committee.

I do not know if the member is aware that the government is now extending the powers of the Canadian Wheat Board into Quebec. It is beginning to force producers in Quebec to get export licences that up till now they have not had. I know that is starting to cause interference with producers being able to move their product into the United States and sell into the markets that they normally have had.

I should also point out that it is important to know that there is a big difference between supply management and the Canadian Wheat Board. The supply management industry for the most part has nothing in common with the Wheat Board. It is a domestic industry. It is one where the products for the most part need to be used quickly. There is voluntary participation. There is strong support for supply management. There is no one calling for tearing that system apart. It is also free from government interference.

One thing the supply management industry brags about when it talks to us is the fact that the government is not subsidizing it, in contrast to the Wheat Board which is that most of the market is an export market. The product can be stored for a long time. There is little support on the Prairies for it, and the government controls the marketing agency much more than it ever has.

Is the member willing to reconsider the position that he has taken and support western Canadian farmers who have so much in common with Quebec producers? I would like his opinion on that.