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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

Agriculture April 23rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the federal Liberals have failed to defend Prince Edward Island potato farmers from unwarranted U.S. protectionism. The restrictions on the export of P.E.I. potatoes continue despite the fact that P.E.I. crops were cleared of potato wart some time ago.

Once again the federal government has treated an issue with inaction and complete disregard for farmers.

How can the minister of agriculture claim that he is working closely with the U.S. when he was not even able to meet with his U.S. counterpart, agricultural secretary Ann Veneman, when she came to Quebec City? Why did the Prime Minister not make arrangements for his minister of agriculture to attend the summit of the Americas to discuss the P.E.I. potato crisis?

It makes one wonder: Is anyone looking out for the interests of Prince Edward Island?

Access To Information Act April 23rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I have just come back from southwestern Saskatchewan where the new crop year is beginning. Ranchers are out in their fields and calves are just being born. They are watching their new crops come to life. Farmers are beginning to go into their fields now to start their farming year, and within the next month will start to see their crops come to life, in the same way that western Canada is trying to come to life economically.

We are having a tough time in agriculture and producers are trying to respond and be successful. As we move into a new season and see it come to life, it is fair to ask: Should producers know about their product?

When growing a product there are some questions that are fair to ask and we should be able to get answers to those questions. It is reasonable to ask where the product is being sold and where the market is for it. It is reasonable to ask how much a product sold for, how is it blended and mixed out and if a maximum price was received. It is fair for the producers to ask if they got a fair price for their product. It is also fair to ask how much other people are benefiting from production.

These are a few of the areas that producers need to know about. They know very little today because of the lack of information coming from the system. Producers should know this, and the bill today begins to address that problem and process.

Bill C-249, an act to amend the Access to Information Act particularly with respect to the Canadian Wheat Board is important for several reasons.

First, we continue to live in a democracy. As we saw this weekend, people have the right to participate in and be a part of a democratic process. Farmers can be trusted. They do not need to be shielded from information about their own industry.

Second, producers need and can use this information. Farming is changing very rapidly these days. The old days when we trusted those above no longer exist. The days when everything was done in secrecy are not acceptable to producers.

The wheat board was developed during the war years to provide Europe with its source of cheap grain. It did that job. The wheat board did a good PR job from the beginning but there has been a culture of secrecy around since it was put in place. Basically farmers were told to trust it and not ask questions.

I remember as a young person on a farm being in a situation where farmers did not know what freight rates were and what they were paying to get their product to the market. They did not know what deductions were being taken off their crops. They did not know where their production went or how it was priced. Those days are over. It is not good enough any more.

It is only in the last 10 or 15 years that producers have realized that the wheat board and other organizations have not necessarily been looking after their best interests. One of the best examples I saw was in the early nineties with some frozen feed wheat. We were told by the board that it did not want it. It was not prepared to market much of it that winter. Farmers went out and found markets. They took their wheat across the border and arranged for pricing. They found out it was not quite as bad as it was thought to be in Canada.

They were prepared to go through the buyback system from the board. It was not the board that contacted them. It was the grain company in the United States that phoned and said it did not want to buy their wheat at the price which had been negotiated. It said it could get as much as it wanted at 85 cents less than what the farmers had negotiated.

It became obvious to the people who knew what was going on that our interests were not always being looked after but we could not get the information in any way, shape or form to prove it. I think we could agree that government organizations that withhold information have seen their day. We saw a good example of that this weekend.

Once it was stay at home and let someone else make decisions about the farm, but not anymore. The era of “we will look after you” is over. The farmers who are succeeding in agriculture today are some of the sharpest and most successful business people. They are usually the people who insist on managing their own resources in order to be successful.

Farming is a tough business today. Success means being on top of the industry. It means having all the information available to make decisions. Virtually every other commodity allows that. Wheat is one of the few that does not because we cannot get the information from the wheat board.

An example of an industry that has grown phenomenally and where people can get information is the pulse industry. Over the last few years pulse acres have grown by 2,000%. That industry continues to grow in western Canada. It is interesting that it has been one of the industries which has had the least government involvement of any industry in western Canada.

Producers need information which deals with the products they are growing. We need this bill for a number of reasons.

First, there is a desperate need for accountability at the Canadian Wheat Board. It has a long history of denying access to information. Without information there can be no accountability. Anyone who thinks about that statement will realize it is accurate. Without information no one can be held accountable.

There has been an information wall, almost a code of silence. We heard the member for Brandon—Souris speak about trying to get generic information and was absolutely stonewalled. It is a process familiar to those of us who have tried it.

The second area in which we need information is the buyback system. Over the years if farmers wanted to market their own grain they had to sell it to the wheat board and buy it back at an inflated price. This restricted and did not help producers. In particular it restricted diversification.

The western Canadian economy is struggling right now. One of the things we absolutely need is value added processing and diversification. The buyback which the board has in place hinders that in every way. There is a restriction on getting information on how the buyback is calculated and why we should have to pay the price it is asking. Producers are not allowed to question the figures.

I believe that the beginning of accountability would be to open up the Canadian Wheat Board to the Access to Information Act. There is a principle which applies here. People should be able to make their own choices and be educated enough to make them. The only way to ensure accountability is to let people participate voluntarily. I would suggest that while this bill is a good start, we need to go further. We need to take a look at voluntary marketing of our wheat.

I will give three examples of producers who are hurt by the current system of forced participation and the inability to get information from the Canadian Wheat Board system.

The first example is western Canadian farmers who have been able to contract their grain. Farmers who have found markets for it have been restricted by the Canadian Wheat Board from marketing the grain themselves. Ontario farmers have a choice when it comes to marketing grain but not western Canadians. Not only can we not get information but we have no freedom to market.

The Liberals are sending out a task force to talk to western Canadians about agriculture. Maybe they can start with this. One reason why there is alienation there is that people are treated differently in different areas of this land when it comes to marketing their products.

The second example of producers who are hurt by the current system is the organic farmers. They do a very good job of selling to niche markets. In the last few years the wheat board has tried to step in and take that away from them. Organic farmer organizations have a tough time marketing their grain because the wheat board does not sell well to niche markets.

The third example is producers who want to add value to their communities. Right now, because of the buyback system and the entire wheat board system, there is an inability to diversify in rural communities. We absolutely have to do that.

We have no opportunity, no information and no choice. I believe we should have a voluntary marketing system that would remove the problem of not being able to get information. However I do not see anything that progressive coming from the government.

I conclude by saying that I do not think there is a need to oppose this bill. The Access to Information Act gives adequate protection to the Canadian Wheat Board. If it does not want to release information it feels is commercially sensitive, it does not have to. If people have ever seen an ATI, they will know that there are more black felt pens probably used than there is clear ink on the page.

I encourage the government to have the guts to use this bill as a good beginning. It leads to greater freedom and autonomy for producers. I call on the government to go further in establishing a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board.

My challenge to the government is that it quit being afraid to lead. It is time to treat western Canadians as grown-ups. We are all familiar with the Berlin Wall that surrounded its people. The results behind that wall were inefficiency, a huge bureaucracy, an air of intimidation when it was challenged and no accountability. I encourage the government to get over that mentality concerning the Canadian Wheat Board.

I fear the wheat board, with its lack of openness to its policies, will drive the prairie wheat producers into the ground. I ask that this bill be supported. Although I know it is not votable, I ask that its provisions be brought to reality in the House.

Foot And Mouth Disease April 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is good to be here tonight to talk about foot and mouth disease. I would like to recognize the member for Brandon—Souris and congratulate him on bringing this issue forward tonight.

It was interesting to read in the paper that there has only been a total of 991 cases of foot and mouth disease in England. However, the consequences of that are that one million animals have either been slaughtered or are due for slaughter.

I would like to talk a bit tonight about the kind of disease with which we are dealing. As we know, it is a virus and is very communicable. It has an incubation period of about 14 days. Because of that the discovery of it lags the infection of the animals.

This disease weakens and debilitates animals. It causes blisters on their hooves and mouths. It affects cattle, swine, sheep, deer, goats and all ruminants. It does not affect humans but we can carry it for a limited time on our clothes and shoes. It can be found in dirt, in food products, in our respiratory tracks and it can also be transferred in the wind. Interestingly enough, it can survive freezing.

The costs of this have been enormous. If we look at the European Union and the piles of burning carcasses that we have seen on TV, we recognize that there is an economic cost to this. However, there are other costs as well. There is a political cost in Europe right now. The election has been delayed because of this disease. We read today that animals were being dug up and reburied because people were afraid they were contaminating water supplies.

The psychological damage in Europe has also been great. We see a way of life being destroyed. I had a lady tell me that if they were going to take her husband's cows away they may as well bury him with the cows. We understand what European farmers are going through as they watch their livestock being destroyed.

The United States has paid a cost as well. In response to the recent foot and mouth outbreak it has taken some measures. It has moved swiftly to protect its borders. It has included things like prohibiting shipments of products from high risk countries and increased personnel and surveillance at ports of entry. It has tightened regulatory enforcement and strengthened its federal and state industry co-ordination, which has accelerated its research and implemented education campaigns. It has also sent experts, as we have, to Great Britain to study this disease.

The cost can be high in Canada as well. I would like to quote from our press release of last Thursday after the news conference. I will quote the member for Selkirk—Interlake who is the chief agriculture critic for the Canadian Alliance. He said:

Livestock industry experts have estimated that the cost of an outbreak of this disease could cost up to $20 billion in the first year. We all must work together to prevent this disease from occurring here.

People are concerned. The Canadian Alliance is working together with the government on this issue. I have raised this issue at least four times in the House and tonight is the fifth time. It is good to see that it has moved on to the agenda for Canadian people.

It is important that we do not politicize this issue. We have tried to avoid that. However I have a couple of questions for the government tonight. There are two areas where there have been some problems with politicizing this.

One MP from Alberta asked CFIA people to come out to meetings in his riding and discuss this issue with ranchers. He has had a very difficult time getting permission to do that. Permission has to come from the people in the minister's office. He is having a hard time because they think it is going to be a political meeting. The member is trying to make sure that does not happen.

I saw in the media some details of the plan the government has created to deal with foot and mouth disease. We have yet to see the plan. I would ask the government to come forward with it and lay it out so we can see what will happen if we have to deal with this problem in Canada.

It is time to talk publicly about this issue. We need leadership from the government. We need cautious but very aggressive measures. We need to avoid overreaction.

Foot and mouth disease existed before this spring. There were only 48 countries in the world that were seen as being free of it at the beginning of the epidemic. We need to present a balanced and safe way of dealing with this disease. Overreaction will end up with consequences, particularly with trade, and those are consequences that cattlemen do not want to experience. We need good inspection and a good border patrol.

I would like to talk a bit tonight about what is being done. We see that the border has been closed to swine and ruminant products and the importation of fresh, chilled and frozen meat products. That is a good beginning. We have restrictions on bringing products back to Canada. We have upgraded our inspections. However, do we have enough personnel?

The member for Palliser spoke earlier about whether our personnel are adequate and whether they are trained adequately. We need to take a serious look at that. The consensus indicates that we do not have extra field staff right now.

I have one example to bring forward tonight. A constituent of mine came back from Europe about 10 days ago and wrote to me the following:

The attendants also passed out declaration forms which we all filled out. One of the questions asked was “Are you going to be on a farm in Canada in the next 14 days?” I answered yes. All the other questions had a “no” answer so this one was quite obvious, and it was the last question.

Once into the airport we went through customs, the customs officer looked at my passport and declaration paper and put me through. I am not sure he even noticed the “yes” to the “on the farm” question.

Upon stepping on the mat, I said to the fellow, that was in charge of the process, that I had better clean my feet good because I was going to be on a farm in the next 14 days. After saying this to him he said to me, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” He then proceeded to tell me some of precautions to take.

In her letter she asks the following question:

What if I had not mentioned to the man, at the cleaning mats, that I was going to a farm in 14 days? He would not have told me a thing, I would have walked through just like the thousands of other people coming from Europe into Canada.

We need our border people to be very vigilant in looking after this disease.

I was glad to see this morning that we turned back a ship which was filled with military vehicles. We were led to believe that they were washed and disinfected in England and apparently they were not. They had dirt on the vehicles and I was glad to see we caught that and sent them back.

One of the things we also need is education. Our greatest danger from the disease is probably from tourists entering Canada who do not understand what they are doing or what they are bringing with them when they come. Travellers must know the facts. We need to have signage at our airports and we need to have brochures available on airplanes. That is happening and it is not too soon. It is good that it is taking place right now.

I also suggest that farmers need to take some responsibility. They need to restrict access to their livestock. Many of these people have spent years establishing their herds. They are just like family to them and they need to take the responsibility of making sure that they are not in a position of allowing the disease to come on to their farm.

I will be splitting my time with the member for Lethbridge. I would like to raise another point. I acknowledge the sacrifice that some of our citizens are making. I raised this with the parliamentary secretary for agriculture. I also raised it on Friday night during members statements. It is about our young people who are trying to do the right thing.

In my constituency there are students from Swift Current, Shaunavon and Bengough who are trying to decide whether they should take school trips to Europe over the Easter holidays. They are trying to do the right thing out of a sense of obligation to their home areas. The communities are responding, as they typically do, by helping out.

I would like to know if the government will issue a travel advisory dealing with foot and mouth disease so that when these people make a decision not to go they will be refunded their airfare by Air Canada. Many of them are having trouble dealing with the airline companies, with the tour companies, and they are not getting full refunds. I believe they should be receiving refunds.

In conclusion, I should like to make sure that this does not become a partisan debate. I realize that this is the end of a long and in some ways fractious day. I am a new member here. I came here to try to work with people together on issues. I say tonight that I would like to work together with the other parties. I am glad the motion came from this side of the floor and that we are dealing with it together. All members should work together to make sure that this disease does not become a problem in Canada. We cannot afford it and we do not need it. We have to keep it out.

Health March 30th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the impact from foot and mouth disease is very real. Canadians have watched the devastation of the European rural areas.

In Canada people are willing to work to prevent this disease from entering the country. They are waiting for direction from the government.

For the last month the Canadian Alliance has called on the government to ensure that inspection and prevention measures are adequate and for programs to educate the general public.

I would like to take a few moments this morning to talk about a real life issue where Canadian people need direction. Across Canada there are hundreds of high school students who are planning on going to Europe over the Easter break. These young people want to do the right thing. If they go, they are concerned about bringing foot and mouth back to their communities, but if they cancel and stay home, they are being told that they will each lose approximately $1,500 of their deposit.

The government was willing in the last 24 hours to charge the Canadian taxpayer thousands upon thousands of dollars in airfare by forcing its members to return to Ottawa last night. What is it willing to do to help these young high school students do the right thing? Can the government give these students help or direction in making this decision?

Education March 28th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on March 2 I questioned the government's ability to provide agriculture solutions for Canadian farmers, and that question remains unanswered.

Last week we learned that the government had no solution for short term farm aid when it refused to vote for additional funding. Over the years we have seen a lack of coherent agriculture policy, which has culminated in the AIDA program, a program that is complicated. It has taken accountants and AIDA employees many hours to put the program together and we still have a lack of ability to deal with the program and to understand it.

AIDA is a program that has been slow. People have waited up to 18 months for their payment. It is a program that has been inefficient. I had an accountant tell me that he thought the government was probably throwing the applications down a set of stairs and picking one or two out of the pile. That was as much sense as he could make out of the government's response to the applications.

AIDA has also been bureaucratic to the nth degree: new employees, revisiting files, combining files without consultation with producers, and demanding clawbacks from farmers up to 18 months later. AIDA has not been a long term solution for farm families.

I am also concerned that the government is not ready to deal with or provide a solution to another problem, and that is the threat of foot and mouth disease.

The Canadian Alliance has grave concerns about the government's ability to react. This is a viral disease that spreads rapidly and is highly contagious. It is a viral disease. We know it can survive and can be transported on clothing. It is deadly to the cattle industry wherever it has shown up. We must prevent the disease from coming to Canada. I would like to suggest some ways of doing that and suggest some things on which the government could improve.

We would like to see the government immediately initiate an education program. Travellers who are coming to and from Canada must have information about the disease. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and its employees need to have information on the disease. People who are working at airports need to understand the importance of dealing with it. The general public are calling us constantly and they also need to be educated.

Farmers and ranchers also need to be educated. They need to understand that they can be part of the solution by being careful as to who has access to their places and to their herds.

The former Texas agriculture commissioner, Jim Hightower, said at one time that “there ain't nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos”. The government needs to get going. It cannot sit in the middle of the road on this issue.

There is also the inspection issue. Does the government have enough staff and field personnel in both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the customs agency to deal with the problem? The government must increase the number of personnel if they are needed. Do we have enough sniffer dogs? When we talk to field people, they say no. We saw a news report this afternoon with some vets who have been in Britain and they also say no.

The cost of ensuring that the disease is stamped out is far less than dealing with it once it gets here. Is the government ready to act effectively? It is important that it begin to move on this. It cannot blame the opposition. It needs to make the right responses. If it makes inadequate or wrong decisions on this matter, it will cost billions.

I am asking the government if it has a solution for young people trying to do the right thing. A number of school groups are cancelling their trips and are facing a loss of their deposits. I call on the government to treat these young people properly. What will it do to provide these young people with a solution to this problem?

Is the government prepared to provide a solution for families and for young people with regard to the foot and mouth disease crisis?

Agriculture March 20th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the minister may not have heard or answered the questions but we have been asking them. The backbench member for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey repeatedly states that the $500 million aid package is not nearly enough to avert the farm crisis. He promises to continue his lobbying efforts to the Prime Minister and the minister of agriculture.

Since the Prime Minister refuses to acknowledge the depth of the crisis and get the needed resources out to farmers, will he at least allow his backbenchers to vote freely for the additional $400 million?

Agriculture March 20th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, agriculture has been a priority for the Canadian Alliance all winter, but it appears that the Prime Minister does not particularly care if farmers can even plant their crops this spring.

The government spends money advertising government rhetoric rather than giving emergency money directly to farmers who need assistance. Why will the government not make agriculture a priority and deliver the additional $400 million needed by farmers?

Supply March 20th, 2001

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.

I will quickly deal with three questions today: Why are we here, where are we going with agriculture, and what are we doing with it? We are faced with a desperate situation in agriculture today. This morning I heard people criticize the Alliance for its agriculture policy. I want to read it to them to assure them it has not changed.

Our agriculture policy reads:

To ensure a self-reliant and economically viable agricultural sector, we will vigorously seek free entry of Canadian products into foreign markets. We support and will advocate the phased reduction and elimination of all subsidies, support programs and trade restrictions in conjunction with other countries.

We further go on to state:

We believe it is in the best interest of Canada and Canadian agriculture that the industries under the protection of Supply Management remain viable.

Our agriculture policy has not changed. It continues to be compassionate and based on common sense. We are in a situation now that requires some common sense and we do not seem to be getting any direction from the government. We are stuck in a subsidy war with the European Union and the United States, and Canada is the third and smallest partner in those trade wars.

Our grain and oilseed prices have crumbled to the point where farmers cannot compete. Why do we need to help? When incomes have fallen to 20% of the five year averages, something needs to be done. We either let our farmers go down the drain or we help out. We are not prepared to let them go down the drain.

We must expect changes in agriculture as the industry goes along, but seeing 23,000 people per year leaving the industry is far too many. We have a problem.

The second question is this: Where are we with agriculture and what are the specific problems?

The first problem to which I have already referred is financial viability. People put many years into their farms. We heard the member for Brandon—Souris talk about that. At a young age they begin trying to build equity in an operation. They make the best decisions they can. They try to raise their families on the farms.

Farming is not just a living. It is a way of life that contributes $95 billion to the Canadian economy. A farmer's decisions can be absolutely right but in the end the results can be wrong. They must make their crop selections and guess their incomes far ahead of production. When incomes go down and costs go up, as we have seen with the price of diesel and fertilizer, grains and oilseeds are no longer viable.

We have other problems in our agricultural sector, one of which is political interference. I have talked a little about subsidization. According to reports, U.S. farmers are asking for $14 billion more in subsidies on top of the approximately $28 billion they already get.

Farmers cannot afford to be involved in trade wars. Last week we had a discussion on softwood lumber. It is the small people who are affected by trade wars and disputes. Wheat and cattle have begun to get dragged into the softwood lumber dispute. Farmers cannot afford that.

We see trade problems in the area of P.E.I. potatoes. We feel for the people who have produced their product and then are not allowed to take it to market.

Another concern for farmers is transportation. Our system continues to be very expensive, particularly in western Canada, and not all that efficient.

Producers are separated from legislation which seems to be made far away from them and into which they have no input. Two examples are the firearms legislation in western Canada, which is still a big issue, and the endangered species act that producers look at with suspicion because they realize they do not have a big say in how it is being put together.

Farmers have concerns over GMOs. Many have grown them. They are unsure whether they can continue to grow them or even whether they should. The government needs to give some direction and regulation in that area.

There are food safety issues. Producers are concerned about food safety but they also need to be protected from overreaction. Producers have issues over seed patents. We put public money into seed research and then turn around and sell the new varieties to private companies, and farmers in turn must deal with those companies. It is one more expense for the farmer and for the taxpayer. Those kinds of things make farmers and producers feel marginalized.

Perhaps my biggest long term concern, and the concern of many people to whom I have talked, is that there seems to be no leadership or coherent direction in Canadian agriculture. I have farmed for 25 years. For decades we have seen ad hoc programs. I would sum up what I have seen over the years by saying that policies are often too little, too late.

The federal and provincial governments need to sit down and accept responsibility for the sector, negotiate what they will do and begin to develop long term plans. Uncertainty in this business kills. We have enough of it without the government providing more.

I talked a little about why we are here and where we are with agriculture. I will now talk about where we are going. I have some suggestions.

I suggest we begin by building on the positives. Specialty crops have been a real success story in Canada in the last few years. Organic crops like kamut and the chick pea industry which has developed out of nowhere in western Canada are examples of this.

The second success story is the development of the pulse industry. It has seen a 2,500% increase in productivity in the past 20 years. It is now a $1 billion industry and within the next five years it is expected to be a $2 billion industry. That is a success story.

A third success story has been our livestock industry. Infrastructure is being developed and has been developed to support that industry. We need to protect it.

These are three sectors where we have had limited government involvement and have had success. We need to give the Food Inspection Agency the power to keep our cattle industry safe.

I suggest that we need emergency aid at this point. People have been criticizing the Alliance for what they see as a change in policy. As I have explained, it is not a change in policy at all. Farmers need compensation. We are prepared to deal with that and we want to deal with it.

We need an emergency structure for natural disasters. People come into our offices on a fairly regular basis who have not had satisfaction in dealing with natural disasters such as floods. We need long term planning for those kinds of situations.

We need to strengthen our insurance programs. Those programs have worked for the most part. Producers and the government contribute to them, and with adjustments as we go along they seem to be working not too badly. It was mentioned earlier that we need transition programs. I would echo that as well.

We need a long term safety net program with producer participation that works better than AIDA. We also need good trade negotiations to reduce foreign subsidization. We need to reduce our involvement in that regard. We need our trade negotiators to sit down and do serious business in that area.

As our motion says, we need $400 million of short term aid to farmers. I would call on the government to do more than just criticize the opposition. In the last two weeks it has changed its tactics. Last week members such as the member for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey expressed the opinion that it is the opposition's fault the government has not responded to the crisis. I reject that.

This week there has been a very expensive Canada-wide media campaign to convince Canadians that farmers are well off as it is now. The government still does not understand that driving a wedge between people is not good agricultural policy. Perhaps again its agriculture policy is being driven by poll.

I cannot believe the lack of planning and commitment we see in the government. Liberal backbenchers today need to stand and show their influence. The opposition has done its work. We have tried to bring the issue to the forefront and we have done so today.

Many opposition members agree with the Liberal member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex who said, in response to the government's last announcement of new agricultural funding:

It was one of my darkest days in politics so far. I had really honestly thought the Prime Minister understood the plight of the grain and oilseed farmers...I just really felt my knees were cut out.

We call on members opposite to support our motion today to get involved, take care and do their part in correcting the emergency situation we have on the farm.

Hayley Wickenheiser March 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize a unique young lady. She is a worldclass athlete, an Olympic participant in both hockey and softball, and someone who believes in her community.

Hayley Wickenheiser was born and raised in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. She began her hockey career in the Shaunavon minor sports system and has gone on to be a leader in Canadian women's hockey. She has had tremendous success in international hockey and has won an Olympic medal in that sport.

Through all of her success, she has not lost her belief that young people are the key to the future and she is committed to them. Her commitment to young people and her community is shown by her willingness to return this weekend to her home town of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. The Shaunavon Project 2002 Committee, a fundraiser for a new community complex, is hosting the Hayley Wickenheiser homecoming weekend.

I would like to recognize Hayley Wickenheiser and the project 2002 committee for their commitment to kids, to hockey and to their community. Today I ask the House to pay tribute to this outstanding young Canadian.

Agriculture March 14th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, there are several things missing from the government's self-righteous and feeble response to the agriculture crisis.

It is missing any coherent, long term farm policy. It is missing a meaningful commitment to agriculture. It is missing the feeling of desperation that families feel as their livelihoods go down the drain. It is missing $400 million. When will the government come up with the additional money needed to stabilize this Canadian farm income crisis?