Agricultural Growth Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, it is always a difficult time when time allocation is raised in this place. It is very frequent, we now know. It is up to 69 times now. This used to be a measure that was taken only very rarely. When we have a debate on time allocation we end up in the substance of the bill. The Minister of Agriculture is a very honourable man and I find it very difficult because I do not know that it was his idea that we have to be rushed through without adequate time. With time allocation, what inevitably happens is members in my position who represent a small party, and I agree that the Green Party with two MPs is a very small party, and others in this place do not have an opportunity. The discussion on the debate will not come around to allow a speaking opportunity.

I have been deluged by concerns from farmers who are concerned about losing plant breeders’ rights. We need adequate time for study. I do not think it is this minister’s idea that we are denied adequate time for study. Sixty-nine times does not look like ministers of the Crown making independent decisions. It looks like a PMO bulldozer. Therefore, would the hon. minister consider changing course on the bill so that we have adequate time for debate and all MPs can be heard?

Gerry Ritz: Mr. Speaker, I listened to what the Green Party leader said, but the unfortunate part is, if she looked at all those interventions she got, they would be a form letter from the same type of people who are actually operating under misinformation, or myth-information, done willingly by a small splinter group of agricultural producers.

At the end of the day, this actually backstops our organic industry. It makes sure they have the ability to get the new varieties they need to move forward, to get the yields that they need to make that operation a viable operation. Therefore, whether we spend five hours or fifty hours, the ultimate end is, the vast majority of farmers in this democracy we call Canada are demanding this sooner rather than later. Let us just get it done and deliver what they are asking for.