Mr. Dale Johnston
Mr. Speaker, I certainly do recognize the amount of cattle that there are in Ontario. At the heyday of our cattle producing in Alberta, we shipped a lot of feeder cattle by train to Ontario feeders, but I did preface my remarks by saying that I would be speaking specifically about my riding.
I want to answer my colleague's question directly. What do I think is necessary? I think we need to convince the Americans that any restrictions they place on us will be restrictions that they are really placing on themselves. We need to convince them that we have to look at the continental market. The 49th parallel, for the purposes of cattle, should be erased. We need the slaughterhouses in the United States.
From the time we start to put the shovel in the ground to the time we actually get the coolers running might be a year and a half. By the time we build a slaughterhouse in a year and a half, I certainly hope that the border would be open. By that time we would be shipping live animals to be killed in the United States, where they really need the beef. The price of beef has gone through the roof in the supermarkets in the United States. If the Americans could take our beef, it would put a little pressure on their retail price and give the consumers a break. The slaughterhouses need to be investigated, I think, to see whether or not they are coming up with a decent markup or are actually guilty of gouging the producers.
The primary thing we need to do is build a good rapport with the United States government and convince it that America needs our beef as much as we need that border open.
Subtopic: Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply