These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Initial Deposits Expected

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in recent years Canadian farmers have been plagued by floods, drought, grasshoppers, the U.S. congress, and a Liberal government that just does not care.

Now the minister, with his new APF program, is expecting farmers to provide an initial deposit of $3 billion to ensure adequate coverage.

My question is simple this, where does the minister expect that cash strapped Canadian farmers will get this money?

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced a program worth $5.3 billion to help farmers across this country.

This is the amount of money we have provided to support farmers. The Alliance Party members said that farmers should not be provided with support and that they should not be subsidized. They should stand up and congratulate the good work that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has been doing for many years.

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is trying to apply a one size fits all approach when he designed the APF for the entire agricultural industry. This will not address the different problems faced by the various regions in Canada. The gradual removal of federal money from the companion programs will leave farmers with ineffective coverage.

Does the minister think it is fair to withdraw money from programs that are already working for farmers?

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are not withdrawing programs. In fact, we have a new framework to improve the programs. We are having a transition period to move from the current programs to the better, more improved programs to provide better protection. The transition period will be over the next three years. The hon. member should take that into consideration when she asks her question.