These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Income Stabilization Program

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, BQ): Mr. Speaker, for some time now, the Bloc Quebecois has been pointing out that farmers disagree with the structure of the income stabilization program proposed by the Minister of Agriculture.

Now the Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture has indicated in a letter to the minister that he is amazed at the degree of unanimity among farmers in demanding that implementation of new programs be postponed.

When will the minister take off his blinkers and realize that we are right in demanding that this be put off for a year?

[English]

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, since December 31 of last year there has not been a disaster program in place for Canadian farmers. We all know that it is necessary. The funding is there for that. The work has been there to develop that. I have made it very clear from the start that we have time in order to do that.

We will continue to work with the provinces and the industry to make sure we have a very good disaster and stabilization program that will treat every farmer in Canada in similar circumstances exactly the same way.

[Translation]

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the letter from the Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture also invites the Minister of Agriculture not to repeat the error made with the disaster relief program.

Does the minister plan to bow to the wisdom of his Liberal colleagues, who are telling him that new programs need to be put off for a year?

[English]

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not think anyone is saying that there should not be a program for this year. I know that all of the opposition members and the industry from coast to coast said very clearly in the past that the programs we had in the past were not as good as they should be and they wanted them fixed. They wanted them improved and that is exactly what we are going to do.

Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food asked that more time be given to implement programs so that the concerns of stakeholders could be taken into consideration.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is wrong in wanting to impose his new net income stabilization program. Does he not believe he should agree to more time, in order to avoid confusing and angering farmers?

[English]

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I indicated very clearly to the standing committee the other day that there is more time and we will take that time. We will work with the provinces and the industry over the coming weeks to do just that.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Roy (Matapédia—Matane, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the minister is suggesting that it is farmers in Quebec who are resisting his program. However, the letter from the chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food indicates quite the opposite.

Does the minister realize that all of the farmers in Canada want more time?

[English]

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I just answered the question. They keep asking the same question and I keep giving the same answer. I said there is more time. We have time in the weeks ahead to do that and we will be doing it.