Farm Products Council of CanadaÂ
SUBJET: Pullet Growers of CanadaÂ
Brent Montgomery, Panel Chairman
John Griffin, Member
Nathalie Vanasse,Â Hearing Secretary
Duane Schippers, Legal Counsel
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Council will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the Council members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is recorded and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
â€‘â€‘â€‘Â Upon commencing on Tuesday,Â March 12, 2013 at 1:12 p.m.
OPERATOR: All participants. Thank you for standing by. The conference is ready to begin.
Welcome to the preâ€‘hearing conference as part of the public hearing proceedings to establish a Canadian Pullet Marketing Agency.
I would now like to turn the meeting over Mr. Brent Montgomery, Panel Chair. Please go ahead.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Brent Montgomery and I am the Panel Chair of this public hearing.
The Panel has been appointed by the Farm Products Council of Canada to examine the merits of establishing a Canadian Pullet Marketing Agency.
I am the viceâ€‘chairman of Council and my fellow Panel member, who is here with me today, is John Griffin, who is also a Council member.
I would also like to introduce Duane Schippers, our legal counsel, and Nathalie Vanasse, hearing secretary, who will be who will be able to answer your questions regarding rules and process for the hearing.
Before we begin, please note that a transcript of this meeting will be produced for the public and posted on the FPCC Web site. Â Â Â Â
As I mentioned, the Council appointed this Panel to conduct hearings into the merits of establishing a Canadian Pullet Marketing Agency.
The Council, as part of its duties, must inquire into the merits of establishing an agency for any farm product where producer groups file requests and then proceeds to make recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture and Agriâ€‘Food in accordance to the Farm Products Agencies Act.
In connection with such inquiries, Section 8 of the Act directs the Council to hold public hearings. While doing so, the Council has all of the powers of a commissioner appointed under Part 1 of the Inquiries Act.
During this inquiry, the merits of a proposal developed by the Pullet Growers of Canada will be examined. This proposal pertains to the establishment of a Pullet Growers Marketing Agency under Part 2 of the FPAA.
The notice was published in the Canada Gazette on January 12, 2013, as required under Section 9 of the Act. The notice gave the purpose and scope of the hearing.
Council's inquiry was also advertised in weekly newspapers and farm journals across Canada.
The Council called for submissions on the proposal for the Pullet agency by February 14, 2013. We have received a total of eightyâ€‘four submissions.
As a Panel, we want to encourage participation at the hearings and, depending on our agenda at each hearing, we hope to hear from the floor. Any person or party who has filed a request to appear will be given the right to crossâ€‘examine other interveners at the hearings.
Second priority will be given to anyone who has filed a submission with the Council within the prescribed deadline. Although they will not be allowed to crossâ€‘examine other interveners, the Panel does recognize them as participants in the hearing.
The last part of the agenda will be reserved, time permitting, to hear from anyone else who wishes to make their views known.
We intend to be an active Panel and ask a lot of questions. We are going to look at this proposal from all sides, both in support and against, and to examine any constructive suggestions for change to the proposal as it has been put forward by the Pullet Growers of Canada.
The Panel intends to be fair throughout the hearing process. We want to be fair to all individuals and groups appearing before us and we intend to ensure that each group will be given an equal chance to speak and to ask questions.
We hope to be as flexible as possible during the hearing process. We also want to be sure that we have carried out our mandate as fairly as possible to allow us to submit a wellâ€‘balanced report having considered every element brought forward by the hearing process.
We are going to have a number of options in terms of the final recommendations. We could support the proposal as is. We could support it in part.
We could recommend that certain powers be included or excluded, as set out in Section 7 of the Act. Also, we could recommend changes as we see them being suggested through the hearing process.
I want to emphasize this because this is the real reason for the public hearingsÂ â€‘â€‘ to get input from people in the industry from all sectors and to use this information in compiling our report at the end of the day.
This Panel will make its report and recommendations to the Farm Products Council of Canada. Council will then report and make recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture and Agriâ€‘Food.
In making its recommendations to the Minister, the Council will not recommend the establishment of an agency unless it is satisfied that a majority of producers is in favour of such an action.
It is then up to the minister to decide whether or not to proceed with negotiations towards an agreement to proclaim a Pullet agency.
If an agreement is reached with the provinces, then the Minister will take that to Cabinet for approval of the Proclamation of the Agency.
I want to emphasize that the Panel does not make the decision in terms of whether or not there is to be an agency. Our mandate is to make recommendations to the Council. The process continues from there.
To return to the Preâ€‘hearing Conference agenda, the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the dates and locations of the hearings themselves and to settle the other procedural matters listed on the agenda.
All decisions on these matters will be published in a report which will be sent to all participants. The dates and locations of the hearings will be advertised on FPCC's Web site as soon as possible.
The public examination file that contains all of the submissions and letters of opinion received is also available on our Web site for public view, as it will be at all hearing sessions.
Another set is kept at the Council's office. Evidence tabled during the hearings will be added to the public file as we go, including the transcripts of the hearings.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes my opening remarks and I will now pass it over to Nathalie Vanasse, hearing secretary, who will proceed with our agenda and the public hearing process. Thank you.
MS VANASSE: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and hello everyone.
The general rules of The General Rules of Procedure govern the hearings conducted by the Council to provide a framework to the process in a uniform and expeditious manner while maintaining safeguards to ensure fairness throughout the proceedings.
From these rules, guidelines were developed to outline the procedures for the public hearing to be conducted by the Panel appointed to review the Pullet Growers of Canada's proposal.
The objectives of the public hearings are to provide opportunities for the applicant to explain the proposal and respond to concerns and questions raised by interveners during the hearing.
It also provides a forum for stakeholders groups, government representatives and the public to provide their views on the implications of the proposal.
In addition to these procedures, the Panel, under Section 25 of the Rules, has the power to summon persons to appear as witnesses and provide evidence before the Panel.
The information presented to the Panel will help them complete its assessment of the merits and effects of the proposal.
The procedures are meant to ensure that the public hearings take place in a fair and equitable manner, with maximum cooperation and courtesy. The Chair of the Panel will maintain order and efficiency of the proceedings.
In accordance with Section 10 of the Farm Products Agencies Act, the Panel will conduct the public hearings in a manner that ensures a thorough examination of relevant matters and encourages public input and participation.
As mentioned by the Chair, eightyâ€‘four submissions were received by the February 14, 2013 deadline.
All submissions have been placed on the public record and made available for viewing.
Interveners who wish to have a copy of the application and any submissions may do so by accessing FPCC's internet site.
If any intervener requests that information be kept confidential, the Panel will deliberate and decide whether the information can be protected.
To ensure that the hearings are held in a manner that offers all parties an effective opportunity to participate, the Panel will hold hearings in Ottawa on April 23rd and in Winnipeg on May 22nd. Further details will be posted on FPCC Web site as they become available.
To date, we have received ten requests to appear. Interveners who filed a request to appear have been granted a time, either in Ottawa or in Winnipeg, depending on the origin of their request.
If any change is required, do not hesitate to contact me.
Interveners are invited to make their presentation in the language of their choosing as interpretation services will be available.
Interveners who make an oral statement at the hearingÂ â€‘â€‘ who will make an oral statement at the hearing will have their views officially entered into the record of the proceedings through the official transcripts.
All new documents or information referred to during the presentation must be submitted to the hearing secretary within ten working days ahead of the Public Hearing. So, April 8th for the Ottawa sitting and May 6th for Winnipeg.
Participants making presentations at the hearing session may be asked questions by the Panel, the Applicant and other interveners.
Questioning will allow the Panel and all participants to gather information and explore issues related to the potential effects of the proposal.
All participants should be courteous and respectful when asking questions. The Panel Chair may refuse to permit further questioning from an individual who is being discourteous or disrespectful. Clarity and brevity are encouraged.
The Panel Chair may limit or exclude questions or comments that fall outside the mandate of the Panel or the scope of the hearing if they are repetitive, irrelevant, or immaterial.
The Panel may also limit questions if it feels it has sufficient information on a specific topic.
The Panel Chair may also limit the number of questions in order to respect the time schedule for each session.
If a participant would like additional time during the question period to ask detailed questions, advance notification should be provided to the Panel.
Additional questions to any or all parties may be communicated to the Panel in writing.
The questions will be forwarded to all parties for information sharing purposes and the appropriate party will respond, in writing, via the Panel, whom will distribute the response.
This can be done via FPCC's Web site, by email to the Hearing Secretary or by postal mail.
Now the order of appearance.
In Ottawa, we have eight people. So we have Marcel Leroux from Ontario; Roger Pelissero from Ontario; Laurent Souligny from Ontario; Harry Pelissero representing the Egg Farmers of Ontario; Peter Clarke, Tim Lambert, and David Wilson representing Egg Farmers of Canada; Dan Veldman from Ontario; Carl Bouchard de QuÃ©bec; and Alvin Brunsveld from Ontario.
In Winnipeg, we have only two. It's Harold Froese from Manitoba; and Harvey Sasaki representing BC Egg Marketing Board.
Interveners we haveÂ â€‘â€‘ who have not registered before the deadline still have the opportunity to address the Panel if time allows. Late registration can be made until then via our Web site or between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. the day of the hearing sessions.
The opportunity for persons who have not previously registered to make a presentation may be granted at the discretion of the Panel Chair. Priority will be given to Interveners who have registered in advance.
As mentioned earlier, the public examination file that contains all of the submissions and letters of opinion received is available on our Web site, as it will also be available during all hearing sessions. Evidence tabled during the hearings will be added to the public files as we go, including the transcripts of the hearings.
In addition, the transcript of this preâ€‘hearing conference will be available within the next few days.
That concludes my presentation, Mr. Chair. If you agree, we can now open the floor to questions.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Nathalie.
Are there any questions about procedures?
OPERATOR: For participants on the phone line, if you have questions, please press "*1" on your telephone keypad.
We do have questions on the phone lines.
The first question is from Harry Pelissero from Egg Farmers of Ontario. Please go ahead.
MR. H. PELISSERO: This is Harry Pelissero, but I could change my name if it will keep everybody happy.
Anyway, first question. Is there the opportunity to appear or make a presentation to the hearing via either conference call or Skype?
THE SECRETARY: This is Nathalie Vanasse.
We haven't made all the arrangements, but we can definitely look into that to have all the equipment set up, so we can investigate and let you know.
MR. H. PELISSERO: Okay, thank you. Just a quick supplemental.
How much time is allotted in the Ottawa session for each of the presenters?
THE SECRETARY: How much time?
Well, the time that theÂ â€‘â€‘ that the people have put in their requests will be the time that is provided for them.
MR. H. PELISSERO: I didn't specify any time, so I canÂ â€‘â€‘ it can be 15 minutes or it can be a half an hour? What is the wish of the Council?
THE SECRETARY: Well, I think so far we have enough time, so if you can just let us know if 15 minutes or 30 minutes will be more appropriate for you, we can, you know, schedule it into theÂ â€‘â€‘ theÂ â€‘â€‘
MR. H. PELISSERO: One final question.
Did I understand the process will be that Pullet Growers of Canada will make the opening submission at each hearing location and then people will make presentations or have the ability to crossâ€‘examine if they're on the list of eight or 10?
THE SECRETARY: That's correct.
MR. H. PELISSERO: Thank you.
THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
The next question is from Errol Halkai from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Please go ahead.
MR. HALKAI: Yes, good afternoon. It's Errol Halkai from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
My question is in regards to the decisionâ€‘making process. As I understand it, it's the Panel that will conduct the hearing and then the Panel makes its recommendation to the Council who, in turn, make a recommendation to the Minister of Agriculture.
My question is, is there anythingÂ â€‘â€‘ any other information that the Council would consider aside from the recommendation of its Panel when making its final recommendation to the Minister?
THE CHAIRPERSON: The Council would take into consideration any information that they have collected during the process of the hearings.
MR. HALKAI: Just further to that, so justÂ â€‘â€‘ just the information and recommendation from the Panel that it created.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That's correct.
MR. HALKAI: Okay, thank you.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
The next question is from Andy DeWeerd from Pullet Growers of Canada. Please go ahead.
MR. DeWEERD: Hello, I have a few questions, so I hope you'll be patient.
Will there be a computer projector or PowerPoint available at the meetings?
THE SECRETARY: Yes, we'll have all the technology available to the presenters.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. Actually, I have about five questions, so I'll just go through them all.
There will be translation in both languages simultaneously during the proceedings?
THE SECRETARY: Oh, yes. Yes, there will be simultaneous translation.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. Are we allowed, as Pullet Growers of Canada, to have multiple presentations so we can have the whole Executive do different parts of presentations, orÂ â€‘â€‘ going forward?
THE SECRETARY: Yes, that's fine. Just let us know who's going to be representing you andÂ â€‘â€‘
MR. DeWEERD: Okay.
THE SECRETARY: Â â€‘â€‘ being part of the presentation.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. After the hearing, will PGC be asked to come in front of the committee to answer any questions outstanding, so if there's some points of clarification that isn't quite answered in the hearings, will we be given a chance to respond to them afterwards if it's still lingering out there?Â Â Â
THE SECRETARY: Yes, that's not a problem.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. At what point can we still submit new information to the hearings if we have new information coming up and stuff? When would we be able to do that?
THE CHAIRPERSON: You'd be able to do that at the hearings themselves or any time previous to it.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. And does the committee need anything more from Pullet Growers of Canada before theÂ â€‘â€‘ prior to the hearings?
THE SECRETARY: No, thank you.
MR. DeWEERD: Okay. I think that answers most of the questions we had, so I thank you for your time and looking forward to meeting you at the hearings.
THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
The next question is from the French portion of the call. It will be from Laurent Souligny from Ferme avicole Souligny. Please go ahead.
M. SOULIGNY : Oui. Moi, ce que j'aimerais savoir, c'est si on va recevoir par courriel tout ce qu'on a discutÃ© ici aujourd'hui.
LA SECRÃ‰TAIRE : Oui, M. Souligny, il va avoir un rÃ©sumÃ© qui va Ãªtre mis sur notre site Web, et on pourrait aussi le circuler Ã notre liste de distribution.
M. SOULIGNY : O.K. Merci.
LA SECRÃ‰TAIRE : Bienvenue.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
Once again, you may press "*1" if you have a question. If you are using a speakerphone, please lift the handset before making your selection.
At any time, you may cancel the question with the pound ("#") sign. You may still press "*1" if you have a question.
There are no further questions at this time. I would like to turn everything back over to Mr. Montgomery.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
I would just like to mention that, at this point, that we did receive one submission a little later than the deadline from B.C., and so that has been accepted by the Panel because they said that they would be submitting it, just not by the deadline date.
So this concludes the agenda, and asÂ â€‘â€‘ for a few closing remarks.
First of all, I appreciate your presence here today and I would like to thank, on behalf of the Panel, the participants on this preâ€‘hearing teleconference and especially the staff that have worked so diligently during this process.
The Panel is looking forward to the hearing. As I previously mentioned, we intend on being an active Panel and ask a lot of questions. We encourage participation from all individuals and groups appearing before us and we expect fair, constructive and thorough discussions during the proceedings.
Thank you very much for your participation. This concludes today's preâ€‘hearing conference.
OPERATOR: Thank you. The conference has now ended.
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