|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Agricultural Policy Framework
Mr. Marcel Gagnon
(Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in the negotiations for the agricultural
policy framework agreement, the Minister of Agriculture is trying to
impose a single model for all the provinces. Faced with opposition from
some of the provinces, including Quebec, the minister is even threatening
to cut their funding; this could cost Quebec farmers roughly $100 million
Will the minister admit that an agricultural policy that does not take
into consideration the reality of the provinces is doomed to failure?
Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr.
Speaker, for the first time in many years we have locked in, for business
risk management to help producers, $1.1 billion as a result of the
announcement by the Prime Minister and myself in June of last year.
It is the goal and the intention of the government to make sure that all
farmers across the country, with those business risk management programs
that are being developed with and for the industry, are treated in an
equitable manner, no matter what sector of the industry they are in or
what province they are in.
Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, all agricultural
stakeholders in Quebec recognize the key role of the Financière agricole
du Québec. Only the federal Minister of Agriculture is ignoring this
Why does the minister want to destroy a perfectly good system that
everyone in Quebec is happy with?
Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the system that is being developed, as I said, will be
equitable to all farmers in Canada from a federal perspective.
That certainly leaves every province at liberty to do the similar types of
programs that they may be doing at the present time or even adding to
them, as a number of provinces have in the past. The province of Quebec
has chosen to do that. It will be at liberty to do that as a provincial
government in the future.