Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, this government is ignoring the problems facing farmers. The Speech from the Throne did not contain a single word, let alone a paragraph, about agriculture. The Liberals have banned the words “agriculture”, “farmer”, and “agri-food” from their vocabulary.
Our supply-managed farmers want to know if the trans-Pacific partnership compensation agreement will be honoured.
The Minister of International Trade says she is not bound by the compensation commitment. Can the minister clarify her position?
Mr. Speaker, our government supports free trade and we understand the importance of international trade for economic growth and prosperity for the middle class.
Regarding the TPP, we are committed to ensuring full transparency and having a full debate in Parliament. We will stand up for Canadian farmers. My colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, and I have already met with farmers on this matter. That was our commitment.
Mr. Speaker, this morning the World Trade Organization ruled that the United States’ country-of-origin labelling was in fact blatantly protectionist. This is a rule that has cost our farm families over $3 billion on an annual basis.
Our government was prepared to move expeditiously as soon as this ruling came out. I wonder if the Minister of Agriculture, who has been invisible on this and other files, will stand in his place and finally do his job and defend the interests of farm families.
Mr. Speaker, the discriminatory COOL legislation was in place for eight years during the previous government’s rule. I welcome the ruling by the WTO. It is the fourth time the WTO has ruled in our favour, with a record $1 billion quantum. We are pursuing this matter. I welcome the fact that the House of Representatives has repealed COOL. We are calling on the Senate to do the same. Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the agriculture committee, has already, today, called for the repeal of COOL. I would like to say to the hon. member—