Emergency Debate – Food Safety

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend from Welland for directing us to the budget. We were told by the parliamentary secretary that the budget would contain new money for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I think what we have here is a case of bait and switch.

If we go to page 168 of the budget, we will see the figure of $51.2 million in new resources under “Strengthening Food Safety” in big letters. That $51.2 million is over two years, split between three different agencies: the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency. By my reckoning, that is about $8 million a year if it were distributed evenly.

If we go to the fine print on page 261, which my friend from Welland noticed, we see $2 million less this year, $10 million less the next year and on an ongoing basis $56 million less. Does my hon. friend agree with me that there is less money for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, relying on the facts in the budget?

Malcolm Allen: Mr. Speaker, as much as the other side continues to say that opposition members do not read its budget, lo and behold, we do.

There is one thing I can say about being a Glaswegian, that when it comes to numbers and money I am always looking. I will always find if someone is trying to shortchange someone else, because a nickel or penny to us Scots is expensive, and we are going to hunt for it.

I found that the budget intends to give less on an ongoing basis, as we head forward. Yes, my colleague is correct. It is written in tiny print, but I do wear glasses and if I have to really work at it, I shift the bad lens to the bad eye to make it look bigger and I can actually see it. That is how I am actually read that tiny print.