Bill C-275 talk: Sask. Tory MP takes exception to comments of “Canadians don’t have trust in farmers”

The commons ag committee will again be discussing bill C-275 early next week, when parliament resumes following the Thanksgiving break.

The bill, introduced by Conservative Ag Critic and Foothills MP John Barlow is aimed at amending the health of animals act, to make it illegal for anyone to trespass into facilities like barns, where animals are housed.

Barlow introduced a similar bill in the last parliament with the aim at preventing the introduction a bio security hazard into these facilities from people who shouldn’t be there.

Some of the witnesses that testified in recent days suggest the bill has more to do with hiding questionable farming practices than preventing a bio hazard situation from unwanted protesters.

Saskatchewan Tory MP Warren Steinley took exception to that at the most recent hearing

“I think to just blindly say a statement like ‘Canadians don’t have trust in our farmers anymore’ is damaging to our reputation and I think it does a great disservice to our producers across the country,” Steinley said. “We’ve gone into a weird place with the agriculture committee right now where we’re actually putting farmers on trial in saying that they’re not doing their job.

“I grew up on a dairy and beef farm and I know the protocols we had and some of the CFIA standards we’re talking about are voluntary, and we’re trying to say now that producers aren’t doing the job and aren’t going the extra mile to make sure their animals are safe, and I, for one, don’t believe that for a second. I think we should take a step back and look at this committee and not be putting our Canadian producers on trial here for not taking good care of their animals.”

Debate on the bill will resume on Monday.

(With files from Dean Thorpe, CFCW)

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