Minister MacAulay answered one question on Sept. 28
By Diego Flammini
Most topics took a backseat during question period on Sept. 25 as opposition parliamentarians wanted answers about how a Ukrainian war veteran who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War attended and received recognition in the House of Commons on Sept. 22 during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit and address to Parliament.
Other subjects, however, did receive time that day – including agriculture.
Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné, the MP for Terrebonne, Que. cited a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that estimated 250,000 small and medium-sized businesses will close because they can’t repay their Canada Emergency Business Account loans on time, and the government’s three-month extension is not enough.
Yves Perron, the agriculture critic for the Bloc Quebecois, asked the government to provide farmers with flexibility to pay back loans or they risk going bankrupt.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay reminded the House of programs already in place.
“That is, of course, why, with the provinces and territories, we have the business risk management programs in order to make sure we are able to assist farmers in these difficult situations,” he said, the Sept. 25 hansard says.
No questions related to agriculture, or the carbon tax occurred on Sept. 26 or Sept. 27.
On Sept. 28, carbon pricing received significant attention.
During one exchange, John Barlow, the Conservative ag critic, asked the government to remove the carbon tax to help bring down the price of food and reduce the number of families who rely on food banks.
He also said the government will raise the carbon tax on farmers, truckers, processors and retailers and then explain that the tax doesn’t contribute to higher food prices.
In response, Adam van Koeverden, the parliamentary secretary to the ministers of environment and of sport, said the Conservatives aren’t prepared to tackle climate change.
“If they do not have a plan for the environment, they do not have a plan for the economy,” he said.
In another carbon tax question, Jacques Gourde, the Conservative MP for Lévis—Lotbinière, asked if the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois will “choose common sense” to remove the caron tax and stop “penalizing our Canadian farmers.”
Dianne Lebouthiller, the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, provided a response but didn’t address the question.
The hansard for question period on Sept. 29 was unavailable.
Farms.com will provide that day’s summary next week.