David in the House

David Anderson – Committee Evidence FAAE 57

April 13, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Thank you.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence FAAE 57

April 13, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

How do you see Turkey playing into this relationship? Obviously there is the whole Kurdish issue played out through the Daesh activity. We’ve spent quite a bit of time at the subcommittee on human rights talking about the Yazidi situation and the problems faced in the Nineveh plains, but how do you see Turkish relations with the United States playing into this relationship you are talking about as well?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence FAAE 57

April 13, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

I think we’ve seen the best and the worst of that. Some governors have come out saying they don’t need these border adjustment taxes, but COOL came out of some of the border states, and beef moves back and forth all the time. They should have had more sense, but there were some special interests that really played that issue well.

The U.S. has basically decided that they want to become energy-dominant. They’ve made a big change, I think, in their commitment to climate change and some of those things. What do you think their relationship with Saudi Arabia and some of the other oil-producing countries will be over the next while? Will there be at any point an addressing of the funding of extremism that has taken place out of a couple of the countries, and particularly Saudi Arabia, over the years? Will that play into the energy conversation, do you think?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence FAAE 57

April 13, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

It’s a pleasure to be here at committee today. There are a number of directions I’d like to go in during my short amount of time, but Professor, I’d like to ask you what you see as the role of state legislatures in protecting our trade relationship. We have, I think, more than three dozen states whose main trading partner is Canada.

Could you comment on that?


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David Anderson – Hansard 163

April 10, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for the opportunity to speak to this legislation this morning.

Like my colleague, when I was asked to speak to the bill, I decided I needed to go to our policy and see whether this is something I can support, and I actually came to the opposite conclusion of that of my colleague.

I will read again the part he read, that we believe that the “CBC-SRC is an important part of the broadcasting system in Canada”. That is true. It plays a major role in Canada across the country. It says that “[i]t must be a true public service broadcaster”. When I read that, I wondered what this is specifically talking about. The bill says “public service broadcaster”. It does not say publicly owned broadcaster. We heard some comment earlier about what this would imply. Does it mean the CBC should be covering emergency services? Should it be covering cultural events, as my colleague just spoke about? Is it about public information? I do not know that it says that the CBC has to be a publicly owned, taxpayer-funded regular broadcaster. That is not how I read that.

It says that the CBC needs to be “relevant to Canadians”. As we have heard in the debate in the House, both from the Liberal side and our side, there is some concern about whether the CBC is relevant to Canadians and how relevant it really is.

What could show public support for a broadcaster more than having private shares issued and having the public decide if it wants to support it? Those Canadians who want to step forward could then put their money where they want it to be. It would be a test of whether the CBC has the support of the public if the bill successfully passes.

I am here to speak to Bill C-308, a bill brought forward by my colleague from Saskatoon—University. I was going to discuss the CBC and its potential future, but I want to talk a bit about the history of the CBC as well, which has been covered a bit here.

During the 1920s in Canada, a number of private media outlets were being set up, particularly radio stations across Canada. It is my understanding that the Canadian National Railways was one of those companies that was establishing media outlets across Canada. It had stations in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Moncton, and Vancouver and covered things like concerts and comic opera, school broadcasts, and historical drama, the kinds of things my colleague just talked about. At that time, no full national program had been developed, but it was coming along.

A Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting, under the chairmanship of John Aird, was appointed by Mackenzie King in 1928. The concern was that some of the private Canadian stations were falling into U.S. hands. The BBC was also being held up as an example. There were those who felt that private broadcasting in Canada could not provide an adequate Canadian alternative to the United States. It is interesting to note that almost 100 years later, we are still hearing some of those same arguments.

The private CNR radio stations and other private broadcasting stations were seen to be not enough to stop the idea that public ownership of the media was important. There was a feeling among some that the taxpayer needed to contribute to this media as well.

The moving force within the Aird commission was Charles Bowman, who was the editor of The Ottawa Citizen at the time. He argued that public ownership of broadcasting was necessary to protect Canadians against American penetration. It would be interesting to understand a bit more about the politics that would have been revolving around those decisions at that time as well.

In 1929, just before the stock market crash, the Aird commission presented its report. It recommended the creation of a national broadcasting company. The commission saw it being set up as a public utility but funded by the taxpayer. It would have a responsibility for “fostering a national spirit and interpreting national citizenship”.

Specifically, the report called for the elimination of private media stations. The commission did not want any private stations at all. It thought they should be compensated but removed from the networks. Obviously, when the stock market crashed, that changed a number of things.

It took a while for CBC/Radio-Canada to be set up, but it was established as a crown corporation in 1936. While it may have had a mandate to foster national spirit right from the start, it has always been controversial. My colleague just talked about some of the early controversy even about that.

The question Canadians asked then and are asking now is whether Canadians need a taxpayer-funded broadcaster. For many years it was argued that the CBC was necessary because Canadians did not have direct media service. I come from probably one of the least populated areas of the country, but I think that argument only holds true as new technology is introduced and as it takes time to spread across the country.

I would like to use a couple of examples. There was radio service across Canada in the twenties, thirties, and forties. As TV developed, obviously it took a while longer for TV to get into the rural areas. Would it not have been a better argument at the time to actually spend taxpayers’ money to provide the hard infrastructure, the things like the towers, so that people in rural communities actually had the infrastructure to carry those signals, rather than having control of the content, which is what the argument was about the CBC?

Our first TV station was the CBC, in the early 1960s. CTV followed a few years later, and, it was interesting, so did stations from Montana. We were served by five national broadcasters in the southwest corner of Saskatchewan in what many would have considered the back of beyond.

I remember CBC in those days. Hockey Night in Canada was one of the first programs I remember watching on a black and white TV. We had to get fairly close to it. We could not see the puck. We could just see these grainy figures moving around. In those days, I was actually a Montreal Canadiens fan. Over the years there was a whole pile of other teams and it kind of got diluted, but obviously, the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins were what we watched on Hockey Night in Canada.

There were other things like Bonanza and Red Skelton that came up from the States, and we thought they were great entertainment. Front Page Challenge was another one people watched. I think it was Sunday night when people sat in front of the TV and watched Front Page Challenge.

However, times changed, and other networks were developing with private money. The CBC lost its uniqueness long before Front Page Challenge went off the air, I would argue, as other commercial alternatives developed. Even in our remote part of the world, as I mentioned, we had three U.S. networks, CBC, and CTV, and certainly there was nothing we saw that was unique about CBC. It was mostly the same types of shows, the same types of news, just maybe at different times. Hockey Night in Canada stood out as one thing that was unique, as I mentioned, but even a new CTV without the subsidy was able to develop and go head to head with CBC with its taxpayer assistance.

From my Conservative viewpoint, I think what a shame it was that a company, trying to develop, would have to compete directly with taxpayers’ money, and on the flip side of it, that taxpayers were stuck paying for the development of a structure that was being duplicated commercially. It was just, from my perspective, a lot of wasted money. The opportunity for change came and went without adaptation, guaranteeing that CBC would become more and more irrelevant.

CBC and its supporters have always tried to convince Canadians that it is some sort of national institution, but practically, it never has been. The only thing that has made it national is that taxpayers across this country have been stuck paying the bill. The notion that it provides some sort of unbiased Canadian content has not been proven, even as recently as last week, when two provinces were already taking great exception to the latest history project that is going on.

A second example of this failure, I would think, was evident yesterday. I went on the online website, and among dozens of headlines on there, I could not find one, not one, that was critical in any way of the present government. That seems to be quite a change from a couple of years ago. There was not a single critical headline on its website, in spite of the fact that we have a government that is mired in corruption, following a budget that has been universally panned, and in the midst of an attempt to unilaterally change the rules of the national legislature . I do not know where all of their investigative reporters went to. Perhaps they have left, but I doubt it. I think it is just that they actually cannot find anything to criticize.

A constituent called me a couple of weeks ago disgusted by some of the content he saw on TV early in the evening. It was 8 o’clock at night, and his seven-year-old son was with him, and he said it was completely inappropriate content for young people. He contacted the CBC. They told him that he did not actually watch it and that it was not shown at that time of night, so what he thought he saw, he did not see. That was their way of dealing with his complaint about content. I do not think the CBC is actually listening to Canadians at all.

The establishment of the CBC meant that right from the beginning, the taxpayers were paying the bill. Right from the beginning, I would argue, the cost was just too high to be justified. It still is in this day of media expansion.

Let us talk about the taxpayers. We sit here with 100 or 200 TV channels on most of our televisions. We have 1,000 or 2,000 internet channels. We have instant news from all over the world. We have movies and videos from dozens of sources. We have cable TV that has the capacity to charge for what people use but that is burdened with having to carry unpopular subsidized channels, and we have private companies delivering professional production and news services that are paying their own way.

In the middle of all this, there is a $1-billion-plus annual bill to the taxpayer for a provider that no longer provides anything that is unique, and a provider that many Canadians believe fails to provide a balanced and comprehensive view of the issues.

If we look at the mandate, it is not successfully addressing that. It is unnecessary that the CBC be supported by governmental intervention in order for it to continue to exist. It should have been done decades ago. Taxpayers have borne the burden for many years longer than they should have. It is time to make this a commercial entity and let it compete directly with its competitors.


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David Anderson – Hansard 161

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government never misses an opportunity to rip money out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians.

For decades Canadian farmers have been able to defer cash grain income from one year to the next. Now the Liberals want to take that away without proper consultation, and apparently without even knowing what they are doing. This bad decision will affect farmers from across the country.

Why is it that the only new agricultural initiative in budget 2017 is a Liberal rip-off of hard-working Canadian farmers?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence SDIR 54

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Just on the basis of what you’re talking about, then, where do the neighbouring countries stand right now? One issue has been trying to get the neighbours engaged and speaking out against this. Typically, the OAS for many years was very ineffective on this issue. You’re calling for international intervention. Where do you see the help coming from within the region, and who is going to take the leadership on this to lead to a new day?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence SDIR 54

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Yes, sir.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence SDIR 54

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

I want to thank the witnesses for coming here today, and some are old friends of ours. We’re not happy to be here, but we’re happy you can be with us today.

I just have a question. My perception is that through all of this, the real issue is the role of the military, and that behind all the issues around the promotion and the destruction of the democracy, the military has been the pivotal institution.

I’m just wondering if I can get your comments. When this is all resolved when Mr. Maduro is gone, even with a newer election and a new day dawns, will there be real change, or will the military simply find one more puppet, one more leader, to put in place to protect its power and its corruption? I’m just interested in your thinking on that. Will the military give up its power, and if so, how will that happen?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Thank you.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Have we been able to build a good Canadian brand in India?

I had a chance to go to the Tokyo food fair and see the high esteem that Canadian quality—especially pork products—is held in there. I’m just wondering where we are at in being able to develop that brand that we need to have in order to convince people that we produce the best—


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

What are those products that you see as having the most potential in the future? You mentioned organic, but what other—


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Okay. I just want to switch, then, to the market access secretariat for a few minutes.

Can you tell us a little about your role in all of this? What is your role in the future in developing markets for Canadian products? Mr. Peschisolido talked about the opportunities that some of his people feel they have. Obviously, we have lots of room to grow.

What is your role and how do you anticipate being able to play an important part in this?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

In terms of the working groups, then, who supervises them? Is that a CFIA working group? Is that something under the market access secretariat? Do you have a role to play in the working groups and their activities? How do they function? In different places we’ve seen, they seem to be key to being able to make some of these changes.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Can you tell us a bit about how India sets their phytosanitary standards? How much of a role does domestic politics, and if you want to call it science, play and how much can you rely on international standards for them to be making their decisions? I realize I’m not just talking about the on-again, off-again, side of some of these imports.

How reliable is their system? How much is it based on international standards, and how much of it is done domestically?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Thank you, again, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Breton asked a question about the size of the industry. I had a bit of time to look it up here. Saskatchewan alone has 15,000 growers of lentils. There are almost 100 special crop processors in our province. Therefore, it makes a huge difference.

Its development has been fantastic, because there really weren’t many pulses grown from 1975 to 1980. I think their cash receipts for pulses generally were $50 million in 1980, $1.5 billion in my province in 2010, and it has grown significantly since then. Peas, lentils, and canola have been great success stories because we’ve had export markets; we have to export.

How long have you been working on the systems approach? You seem to indicate that you suggested it in 2016, but is this something that has been going on for 15 or 20 years and you’re finally able to start getting through to them, or have they changed their perspective such that they’re willing to consider this now? That seemed to be what you were indicating earlier. I’m interested in how long this has been proposed.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Okay. I wouldn’t suspect they would be that interested in agricultural investments, so I’m just wondering how much of a role you play in encouraging them to take a look at these things.


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Are we working on that as well, or is that outside your purview?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Can I rephrase that? Is there something that the government can do, then, to improve the investment environment for Canadian companies in India on this issue?


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David Anderson – Committee Evidence AGRI 52

April 6, 2017
David Anderson
Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Saskatchewan
Conservative
Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

You seem to be giving the impression that this will be sooner rather than later, which is an excellent thing.

I also want to talk a little bit about the fact that we’ve had to fumigate offshore. There’s been talk about establishing a fumigation centre, if you want to call it that, in India. There is a reluctance by Canadian companies to put money into that because of investment agreements and the fact that Indians require local ownership of these plants. Do you have any comment on that? You’re part of the market access secretariat. Do those investment agreements and that inability to actually invest and then own your investment have any role to play in this discussion?


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